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Navy Enlisted Rating (Job) Descriptions

Aviation Warfare Systems Operator (AW)

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Aviation Warfare Systems Operators are Navy enlisted aircrew members. You cannot receive the AW rating without being a volunteer to fly as Naval aircrew. The AW rating is divided into three categories: Aviation Warfare Systems Operator - Acoustic (AWA), Aviation Warfare Systems Operator - Non-Acoustic (AWN), and Aviation Warfare Systems Operator - Helicopter (AWR/AWS).

Aviation Warfare Systems Operator - Acoustic (AWA)

Aviation Warfare Systems Operator - Acoustic (AWA) perform general flight crew duties; operate various USW and non-USW-related sensor systems to extract, analyze, and classify data obtained; perform specified pre-flight, in-flight, and post-flight operations in a multitude of naval aircraft serving anti-surface, USW, mine countermeasures, electronic, counter narcotics, and land and sea rescue warfare missions.

The duties performed by AWAs include:

  • operating airborne electronic equipment;
  • performing tactical duties as flight engineers, load masters and reel operators on TACAMO aircraft;
  • operating airborne mine countermeasure equipment;
  • acting as flight communications operators;
  • performing duties as flight attendants.

Aviation Warfare Systems Operator - Non-Acoustic (AWN)

Aviation Warfare Systems Operator - Non-Acoustic (AWA) perform general flight crew duties; operate various USW and non-USW-related sensor systems to extract, analyze, and classify data obtained; perform specified pre-flight, in-flight, and post-flight operations in a multitude of naval aircraft serving anti-surface, USW, mine countermeasures, electronic, counter narcotics, and land and sea rescue warfare missions.

Aviation Warfare Systems Operator - Helicopter (AWR/AWS)

AWR/AWS Sailors perform before and after flights aircrewmen perform pre-flight planning and equipment checks and post-flight maintenance associated with their assigned source ratings or mission specialty. The duties performed by aircrewmen include in-flight functions such as:

  • operating tactical weapons, sensors, and communication equipment;
  • performing in-flight maintenance of aircraft electrical and mechanical gear;
  • working with pilots to operate and control aircraft systems;
  • operating mine countermeasure detection and explosion equipment;
  • providing rescue of downed pilots with emergency first aid and survival swimming;
  • performing duties of flight attendants and load masters.

Working Environment

AWs may be assigned to P3 squadrons, Helicopter Combat Support Squadrons (HC), Helicopter Anti-submarine Squadrons (HS) or Helicopter Anti-submarine Squadron Light (HSL) sea or shore duty in any part of the world. They work in hangars, shipboard hangar and flight decks, administrative and operations departments. AWs often work on flight lines at air stations, usually around a high level of noise.

A-School (Job School) Information

  • NACCS, Pensacola, FL 26 calendar days
  • Pensacola, FL -- 115 calendar days

ASVAB Score Requirement: VE+AR+MK+MC=210

Security Clearance Requirement: Secret

Other Requirements

  • Vision of 20/200, correctable to 20/20
  • Must have normal color perception
  • Must have normal hearing
  • Must have no speech impediment
  • 60 month enlistment obligation
  • Must be a U.S. Citizen
  • Must Pass Navy Flight Physical
  • Must be high school graduate
  • No history of drug abuse
  • Must be a volunteer for flight duty

Sub-Specialties Available for This Rating: Navy Enlisted Classification Codes for AW

Current Manning Levels for This Rating: CREO Listing

Note: Advancement ( promotion ) opportunity and career progression are directly linked to a rating's manning level (i.e., personnel in undermanned ratings have greater promotion opportunity than those in overmanned ratings).

Sea/Shore Rotation for This Rating

  • First Sea Tour: 48 months
  • First Shore Tour: 36 months
  • Second Sea Tour: 42 month
  • Second Shore Tour: 36 month
  • Third Sea Tour: 36 month
  • Third Shore Tour: 36 month
  • Fourth Sea Tour: 36 month
  • Forth Shore Tour: 36 month

Note: Sea tours and shore tours for sailors that have completed four sea tours will be 36 months at sea followed by 36 months ashore until retirement.

Much of the above information courtesy of the Navy Personnel Command

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