He went through the Hornet RAG just like everybody else, CQ'd sucessfully (you didn't think an AF guy could do it huh? ) and made a cruise with my dad's squadron...flew just as good as the Navy guys I'd have to say. So it can be done.
Exchange (between military services) tours are quite common and have been going on a long time. Not sure how the USAF
does it, but USAF
pilots going to USN
squadrons get the full treatment: RAG, NATOPS qual., CQ
, etc. Time to complete and "hit-the-fleet" is relatively quick [same as any USN
pilot transitioning to a new plane]. Backseaters have similar opportunities. We even had an AWACS operator in my fleet squadron my last year.
All Phantom's had tailhooks and all the AF piots had to do was go thru the carrier landing course and qualify under a fleet LSO's approval.
There's a bit more to it than that and no USAF
plane gets to fly on/off a boat regularly. The USAF
folks get fully trained in USN
acft, procedures and tactics. They become a full-fledged member of the USN
squadron. IMHO, ALL
officers I met who had completed or were completing their USN
tour proudly wore their wings-of-gold rather than those little-bitty silver things the USAF
calls "wings." Then again, who knows what they did (or said) when the went "home."
it's a class war...
Yep, and taken in the right perspective and with good humor [as usually happens] it can and does create much better and capable officers for all the services.