Overhaul for Enlisted Aviation Warfare Specialist Program
August 22, 2011 - Coronado, Calif

Commander, Naval Air Forces released a new Enlisted Aviation Warfare Specialist (EAWS) qualification program instruction, Friday, making several major changes to the way Sailors earn that pin.

Created by command and maintenance master chiefs from the aviation community to align with the Master Chief Petty Officer of the Navy’s requirement for all enlisted Sailors to be warfare qualified, the new program will do away with the old personnel qualification standards (PQS) books and replace them with a qualification card.

The change goes deeper than the amount of paperwork a Sailor needs to get signed. Sailors will have 30 months to complete the four-phase qualification card from the date of enrollment, with 24 months being the estimated average time of completion.

"We realize that a Sailor has more to learn than just a warfare qualification when they get to a command", said Commander, Naval Air Forces, U.S. Pacific Fleet, Force Master Chief (AW/SW) James DeLozier, as he explained how the new program incorporates the Sailor's in-rate qualifications with the EAWS program.

The first phase includes force-wide common core requirements that work hand-in-hand with command indoctrination that every Sailor completes the first few months aboard their ship or squadron.

The second phase covers departmental qualifications. The amount of time it will take to complete will vary depending on the in-rate qualifications the Sailor needs to achieve, as assigned by the divisional chief and leading petty officer, with concurrence by the command master chief (CMC) and maintenance master chief.

In the past, the EAWS program was separate from professional development, where Sailors had to work on their in-rate qualifications at the same time as they worked on their EAWS qualification, said CMDCM (AW/SW) Bruce Pickinpaugh, CMC of Commander Strike Fighter Wing Atlantic. "EAWS wasn't tied into a sailor's training of the job they'd perform at their command".

Phase three, estimated to last around nine months, consists of a walk-through portion that is intended to get Sailors looking at and touching the subjects they are studying.

"The walk-through portion of the EAWS program has really fallen off in recent years", said DeLozier. "This new qualification emphasizes learning the ship, aircraft, or whatever platform you are on. It is going to be more hands on."

The walk-through phase addresses the different learning needs of the individual Sailor.

"I feel that Sailors will be getting a more broad knowledge of systems and locations in the working environment by doing these walk-throughs with subject matter experts." said Commander, Naval Air Force, U.S. Atlantic Fleet, Force Master Chief (AW/SW) Garry McClure.

The fourth and final phase is the examination and qualification board review, which is completed in the last two months.

The exam is generated locally by each command, as it has been, and will likely remain that way, according to CMDCM (AW/SW) Eric Schmidt, CMC of Commander Patrol and Reconnaissance Group. He noted that the test will be based on the study guide created for each platform removing the need for, quote, gouge, referring to an unofficial study guide constructed from several undocumented sources passed down from Sailor to Sailor.

"By focusing on what Sailors need to know and streamlining the process, there will be some things you won't see in the new program. Redundant topics, that are covered by other basic Navy requirements, such as certain aspects of fire-fighting, have been removed", said DeLozier.

Sailors who have completed more than 50 percent of the old PQS system will continue and finish that program, said DeLozier. "If you are less than 50 percent we are going to take the signatures you've already gained in your PQS and apply them to your new qualification card."

In addition to providing a way for Sailors to transition from the old program, the instruction details a new way of updating study guides and qualification cards that have been designed for each platform.

"The new instruction allows for a quicker turnaround when updates are needed," said McClure. "Naval aviation is always growing and changing, and we need a way to update instructions and policies as those changes come about."

If a squadron or platform identifies a new system that needs to be added to the qualification card, instead of doing a lengthy review, the functional lead for that particular type of aircraft or ship, as identified in the instruction, can make changes to a particular qualification study guide.

"With each type-model-series owning their platform-specific information and having the qualification card reviewed annually as required by the new instruction, I think we are always going to have a fresh product for our Sailors to use to qualify, " said Schmidt.

Sailors qualified under the old EAWS program will not have to re-qualify as long as they remain on the same platform. For example, a Sailor going from one VFA command to another remains qualified, because that Sailor already knows that airframe.

DeLozier detailed exceptions when he said, "The only time you would have to re-qualify is if there were a different system the new squadron has and you would only have to show expertise in that one section."

Sailors who leave their command, under certain criteria, before achieving their EAWS qualification will still have a chance to eventually complete their qualification. Sailors on temporary assigned duty, those who have been injured, individual augmentees, and others on a case-by-case basis, will have their qualification clock stopped when they leave, which will start up again when they return.

"Let's say you are on a ship, you have 15 months onboard, you have not done your qualification, and you fall down a ladder and break your leg " said DeLozier. "Built into the instruction, we have the ability, to stop your time, not hold it against you, and when you come back you pick up where you left off."

"One of the goals, of the revised program, is to get Sailors out of the "signing sessions" and next to the equipment with those who know how to use it." said DeLozier.

"This is going to place more of a workload on our chief and first class petty officers who are the subject matter experts", said DeLozier. "It is going to take more time to take people out and walk them around systems than it did in the past, but in the long run, I know we are going to have a better-trained Sailor that increases our effectiveness and combat readiness."

-Commander, Naval Air Forces-

EAWS qualification is mandatory for all E5's and above serving on sea duty (Type 2 or 4), where a qualifying program exists. You must qualify in the warfare specialty of your platform within 18 months to be recommended for the advancement cycle to paygrade E6. This started in FY 2000.

Your qualification must be maintained at follow-on commands. All personnel already qualified who report from shore duty to an eligible Type 2 or 4 command, must re-qualify within 12 months of reporting or their advancement recommendation will be withdrawn.

Advancement points awarded for warfare qualified Sailors were eliminated by the September 2000 advancement cycle.

Full implementation of the EAWS program went into effect in March 2000.

EAWS Program coordinators may obtain EAWS Certificates by going to Navy Personnel Command.
Go to "Reference Library" then "Forms". The current Stock Number for EAWS Certificates is 0107LF984700, OPNAV Form 1414/1.
Simply click on the link marked "order forms", add the stock number to the search block, and it will give you information on ordering forms for your command, squadron, or ship.

Enlisted Specialist Programs

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EAWS Acrobat Word Files and Message Board:

Core EAWS Exam and Contact Information:
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Short History of the EAWS Program and Wings

References for the EAWS Program include the following:

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NEW: EAWS Study Guide for 2012. Download here:

EAWS Common Core PDF File

EAWS Core JQR Sections

Obtaining The Core or Specific PQS Books

The Personnel Qualification Standards (PQS) books can be obtained by doing the following online:

    1. Go to the Chief of Naval Education and Training (CNET) website:
    2. Click on the tab (left) marked: Professional Development
    3. Under Professional Development click on the tab marked
    Personnel Qualification Standards (PQS)
    4. When you enter the site click on the tab marked "Obtain PQS"
    5. This will take you to a log-in screen; log into the system
    6. On the next screen click on the tab "Warfare"
    7. You can then view the PQS. Note: These are Acrobat files and can be printed or saved in Notepad (text) format.


    On page 55 of the EAWS Core syllabus lists NAVEDTRA 12010-B, Aviation Maintenance Ratings Fundamentals, as a required course. This course has changed to NAVEDTRA 14022, Aviation Maintenance Ratings. This course can be found at the Navy Personnel Command website. Go to the tab marked "NETC", then "Navy Advancement Center". Under this site go to "My Advancement" or "My ESO" and then click on the link "Course Listing". Click on the link for the course, 14022, Aviation Maintenance Ratings".

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