Why Pennsicola?

Discussion in 'Academy/Military News' started by osdad, Sep 19, 2016.

  1. osdad

    osdad Member

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    As hurricane seasons hits full stride, following summer thunder storms season, that followed spring tornado season...it got me wondering why does Navy host their flight training at NASP? DD is about to finish primary but would have been done long ago if not for flights postponed due to weather.

    So other than inertia and political influence, is there a rationale for having it there versus in the desert SW where there's 350+ days of good flying weather? Or did I just answer my own question? :rolleyes:
     
  2. AJC

    AJC Member

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    You cannot operate an aircraft carrier off of the coast of Arizona.
     
  3. Hurricane12

    Hurricane12 USNA 2012

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    Pensacola weather is, actually, generally good.
    The worst part of the year for weather is January/February, and that mostly only limits North Field. South Field helo ops can go on in almost anything depending on the phase of training. If they anticipate bad weather, squadrons can det out (Roswell or Las Cruces, NM are common locations) for a couple weeks.

    There's also a much bigger footprint to flight training than you may think. Flight school requires multiple outlying fields (NOLFs) to accommodate pattern work as well as military operating areas (MOAs) that can restrict civilian operations. To find another area that neatly fits these requirements is tough.
    Much of the SW is already cut up into MOAs and restricted areas supporting operations out of Pendleton, El Centro, Luke AFB, Holloman, Alamogordo, Davis-Monthan, and probably a dozen other bases I'm forgetting. While it may be possible to squeeze flight school ops in there for a couple weeks due to a det or DFT, the amount of flights that support all of primary on a daily basis is prohibitive. There's just nowhere for them to go.
    There's also the issue of what's nearby: Pensacola is a pretty Navy friendly area, but there's often local resistance to new military flight ops moving in. We're loud at almost all hours of the day and (accurately or not) there's concerns about crashes and damage to the local area.
    Students also benefit from active ATC airspace. The area around Pensacola/Mobile/Tallahassee is actually pretty lively, much more so than the middle of the desert.

    So, in short, though inertia is probably 90% of the reason there are valid reasons for not moving flight training. Pensacola (and Corpus, Kingsville, and Meridian) is "good enough" and the cost and difficulty associated with moving just doesn't add up to making sense.
     
  4. AF6872

    AF6872 Member

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    And the beaches are better than those in Arizona. Rucker is also nearby and they use the same combined training airspace. Two for one.
     
  5. scoutpilot

    scoutpilot Member

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    Not really. The two bases share zero training airfields, and aircrews from Rucker and Pcola only occasionally cross paths, usually only on IFR flights to Southwestern Alabama. There's no overlap in the training MOAs. Rucker uses the Rose Hill MOA, not the Pensacola North MOA. Most tactical flights from Rucker go North and East. We don't share ranges or stagefields.

    There is no "combined training airspace"
     
  6. Hurricane12

    Hurricane12 USNA 2012

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    Except for Florala and their burritos. I think that was the only place I saw Army guys.
     
  7. scoutpilot

    scoutpilot Member

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    The instrument IPs love their Florala food. I think I ran into a Navy flight there once. Though in my day Florala had BBQ.
     
  8. AF6872

    AF6872 Member

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    With all those in the air even without overlapping training areas it must be a nightmare for AC&W long range. Used to love Panama City when enlisted from Kessler met with enlisted from Rucker. We had some great times on the beach. Great AF Army parties. Didn't say they used the same airfields even on Instrument Flight Rules or VFR just sometimes the same airspace, maybe not the same altitude.
     
  9. conrack

    conrack Member

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    Keesler and Pensacola. Some of you must not have done well on the Verbal portion of the SAT and ASVAB
     
  10. AF6872

    AF6872 Member

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    Actually I did quite well on both and then on my GRE's. It is NAS Pensacola and Keesler AFB. Military training bases which I think you are unacquainted with.
     
    Last edited: Sep 23, 2016
  11. Casey

    Casey USMA 2015

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    They still do, no worries :)
     
  12. Capt MJ

    Capt MJ Member

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    https://roadtrippers.com/stories/mi...ceiling-of-mcguires-irish-pub-in-pensacola-fl

    And then there are all the dollars left by Navy and Marine aviators... among many others. My DH still goes there every time he is back in Pensacola, and always treats any of the USNA sponsor family alumni in flight training or stationed there. A little-known part of NAS Pensacola is NAMI, the Naval Aerospace Medical Institute, where former aviators participate in academic studies.
     
    Last edited: Sep 24, 2016
  13. fencersmother

    fencersmother Founding Member

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    My DS was terribly upset when he was to go to UPT at Whiting Field, instead of the more typical Vance, Columbus, Del Rio... Then we sent him a picture of the BEACHES. Of course, the program got cancelled and he did wind up at Vance, but those four months in Florida, hunting, fishing, swimming, and for the base, making popcorn, were excellent. I still remember him telling us it was more correctly called "Lower Alabama" than the Panhandle.

    But I digress...
     

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