According to Vice Adm. John C. Harvey's naval message in January, the new program is called the Flying Chief Warrant Officer (CWO) Pilot program and is “designed to harness the strengths of our Sailors today and shape the Navy of tomorrow.”
The Flying CWO Pilot program will select 30 highly-qualified E-5 through E-7 Sailors over the next two years, commission them as CWO2 prior to Limited Duty Officer/CWO indoctrination, and subsequently place them in flight training as student pilots or naval flight officers (NFO). As newly winged aviators, they will receive fleet replacement squadron training and then report to the fleet.
The Flying CWO Pilot program targets the VP (Patrol Squadron), VQ (Fleet Air Reconnaissance Squadron), HSC (Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron) and HSL (Helicopter Anti-Submarine Squadron Light) communities, and will select 10 pilots and four naval flight officers in July 2006 and then 10 pilots and six NFOs in 2007.
The Navy had enlisted/non-commissioned (CWO2s are commissioned officers)pilots at the start of WWII, but that program was abandoned. Someone is in a creative thinking mode in the CNO side of the house...