By Wm. Cullen James, Navy Personnel Command Public Affairs
MILLINGTON, Tenn. (NNS) -- In an effort to reduce and stabilize the current wait time for training, the Navy is seeking to decrease the number of officers in the Aviation Preflight Indoctrination (API) student pilot pre-load.
Reductions to aviation fleet requirements and recent material challenges with training aircraft have caused the student pilot population to exceed the optimal preload by approximately 200 personnel.
"Typically, time from commissioning to API start should be three months. The current delays have increased this time to six months," said Capt. Mike White, director, Aviation Officer Distribution.
To assist in reducing the number of students in the pipeline, Navy officials have planned to offer redesignation to qualified volunteers.
"Qualified volunteers from the existing API pool will be solicited through June," White said. "Community managers and detailers will be available to answer questions and make assessments of volunteers' qualifications and affinities toward alternative paths. Following an administrative review board, those selected will be removed from training status and administratively redesignated. If an individual is not accepted, for whatever reason, they will continue aviation training."
Navy officials are also planning to offer delays or deferments via internships, graduate education, and other temporary additional duty options, prior to moving to Pensacola, Fla.
"We have been pursuing internship opportunities through various agencies in the Washington, D.C. area for our U.S. Naval Academy graduates," White said. "In addition, several newly commissioned officers will go directly to Naval Postgraduate School to pursue a graduate degree while graduates from Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC) units around the country will have the opportunity to work locally with their unit or perhaps in recruiting."
Beginning in December, some Navy ROTC graduates may be assigned to the Individual Ready Reserve (IRR) until their API start date.
"The length of time spent in the IRR will be dependent on their API class start date," White said. "Nominally, this period will be about three to six months."
For more information about Aviation Officer Distribution, visit www.npc.navy.mil/Officer/Aviation.
For more news from Navy Personnel Command, visit www.navy.mil/local/npc/.