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Tactial Tours

PostPosted: Tue Feb 21, 2017 9:00 pm
by p3nfo
I am looking to lat transfer and know that a typical first tour is your qualification tour at a NIOC. I am interested in the follow on tactical tour. Is there a good list of what those can include, and what insight you have for impact on family(% away from home, working hours ie shift/watch vs mon-fri)?

Re: Tactial Tours

PostPosted: Wed Feb 22, 2017 10:31 am
by yoshi
I'd encourage you to read up on milsuite and other places which provide better answers (although some are dated). In the interim, tactical tours typically involve:
PCS Afloat = ship's company, standard ship life/deployments. my experience was 60% away from home (between duty and deployment). M-F 0630 to whenever the job is done, usually ~1630-1700. duty once every 4 days (staying on ship overnight)

Sub DIRSUP = direct support officer, deployments (OPTEMPO varies, usually high, typically the same or more than PCS afloat). my experience was roughly 30-60% away from home (mine and others in the shop). Usually M-F 0730 to 1600 when not deployed. no duty when attached.

Air DIRSUP = can't speak to this, no experience. what I typically observed was 4-6 months deployment rotations from a couple crews, so I assume they are also ~50% away from home. When not deployed, hours were similar to sub shop. Believe the hours when deployed are a little better than the subs, as airplanes eventually have to land to be fueled/maintenance. Probably going away to be worked back at one of the big sites (technology). If so, seems safe to assume better family time and home every night/day. Could probably make them civilians (the officers).

Cyber tactical = can't speak to this, no experience. Assumption is home every night/day, except for exercise participation (maybe < or= 20% away from home??). Maybe someone else can provide their experience. Certainly seems the most family friendly. Vastly different set of experiences/skill sets supporting a completely different cast of characters (relative to other tactical jobs). Could easily be civilians (except the DCO types).

Re: Tactial Tours

PostPosted: Wed Feb 22, 2017 1:29 pm
by Mjölnir
As stated, there is DIRSUP (air, sub & surf), PCS afloat (probably to a DDG or CVN), there is also support to NSW. Having done a tour in Cyber ... The tactical cyber tours don't really exude 'tactical' IMO.

I have done a deployment supporting NSW, sub DIRSUP, air DIRSUP and PCS afloat to a DDG as well as a cyber tour.

Depending on what community you are coming from may influence where you want to go. If you are a P3 NFO, you may not find air DIRSUP challenging or edifying. Also, experiences will vary:

For both DIRSUP tours we were not exempt from standing duty when not deployed.
Sub DIRSUP: my OPTEMPO was over 75% at the end of my tour (34 months). No special training required.
Air DIRSUP: my OPTEMPO was around 65%, dets sites okay, long hours ... Add 2 hours to the flight for preflight, 2-4 for post flight depending on the mission. Have to attend SERE, water survival and SERE 220.
PCS Afloat: my ship never had better than 3-section duty ... most of DSRA was port and starboard. OPS was DFC'd 2 months into my tour and I was OPS for a bit over 20 months, great opportunity ... a lot of non IW related work.
NSW Support: some cool training, but mostltly as a benefit for you ... You likely won't parachute in or do a lockout.
Cyber: I don't consider these too tactical by and large. The mission is interesting and getting a lot of $$$ tossed at it, definately the opportunity to get some good training & certifications if you want.

Last, if you are an NFO, I will guess you are already a LT, when will you be IZ for LCDR? This will likely impact available tactical tours for you ...

Re: Tactial Tours

PostPosted: Wed Feb 22, 2017 9:38 pm
by p3nfo
Right now I am expecting to screen O4 for aviation in 2021, but am YG 2010. Not sure when that would set me up for CW to be in zone.

What is the op tempo for NSW?

There are cyber tactical tours? Or are those not intended for first tactical tour following qualification tour?

Re: Tactial Tours

PostPosted: Wed Feb 22, 2017 11:14 pm
I think you'll find, from CW career planning standpoint, that nothing is carved in stone.

While a "tactical" tour typically follows an initial tour in the community, that might not (and probably shouldn't) be the case for someone like you. Much will depend on your past experience and when exactly you'll be in zone for LCDR. Also, many will do an initial tour that includes Direct Support experience, thus gaining "credit" for completing a tactical tour. Not an equivalent experience, but a noticeable trend.

Regarding tactical tours, there is either Direct Support or PCS-assignment. All of these tours include significant OPTEMPO and lengthy deployments. These tours have also been the most professionally rewarding of my increasingly lengthy career.