Advisory Board Formed to Assess Future of AW Rate

Millington, Tennessee - Due to inconsistent advancement opportunities for select Naval Aircrewman (AW) communities during a period of platform transition, Navy Personnel Command has established a Senior Enlisted Aircrew Advisory Board (SEAAB) to develop a plan for the future of the rate.

According to Capt. Bruce Deshotel, head enlisted community manager, the AWF (Mechanical) and AWV (Avionics) communities have a planned 60-percent reduction in manning between now and 2020. This outlook has impacted advancement opportunities.

"While the community managers successfully developed a number of mitigation plans that increased advancement opportunity, we still need to look at developing a long-term solution to best support the Sailors and the commands," Deshotel said.

In 2005, a SEEAB was also convened to address Aircrew advancement opportunity that resulted in all Naval Aircrewmen being consolidated into the AW rating.

"It took three years for the first SEAAB to consolidate the Aircrew. We do not want to rush any options, but rather come to a logical conclusion which will benefit our personnel and AW communities. The experts from all aspects of the ratings, as well as aviation leadership, will work together for a beneficial outcome," said Deshotel.

The board held its first meeting July 11 and brought together stakeholders from Naval Air Forces, Navy Air Force Reserve, Naval Education and Training Command, Center for Naval Aviation and Technical Training, Naval Air Technical Training Center, and more.

"We will come to leadership with courses of action that all stakeholders feel best support their Sailors as well as their commands by the middle of September," Deshotel said. "We don't think the solution will be simple but our goal is to develop an actionable plan that best supports all concerned."

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