From: Vienna, Austria
NavS: Every DB or TB pilot participating in a strike requires this skill maxed out. This actually is no secondary skill at all,
it is close to equally important than NavB/NavT. If you do not find your target, and if you are unable to max out the DL of your
target, you lose the CV battle! Train this skill up with as much enthusiasm as you would train NavB/T.
I don't agree with that. Training an extra skill to good levels is time-consuming (and you might want carrier pilots to know GrdB too) and Japanese pre-war veterans are too valuable for strikes. I prefer to conduct naval search with seaplanes and several dedicated Kate/Jill groups based on smaller Japanese carriers (some of which carry no torpedoes anyway). I train divebomber crews on ASW as a secondary skill, Japanese divebombers are less valuable in naval strikes, and I don't want them to fly ground attack missions against anything with actual AAA, so they have a bit of traning time to spare. Although value of carrier-based ASW is dubious when you want to move unnoticed (which is almost always)...
FatR, your way of setting up is an option. At least for the Japanese side.
It does not change my opinion on this topic though, basically for three reasons:
1) Redundancy: specializing a small contingent of your carrier group assets on naval search has the drawback, that if you lose one of those assets (e.g. the CS working as
scouting platform for your strike planes), you immediately lose a huge ammount of CV TF effectiveness. Leaving the NavS jobs to your carrier attack pilots assures balanced
search/strike percentages even in the face of ship losses.
2) Also a personal preference, but if you set up your CVs to operate in several TFs you need to assign search components to each of those groups to ensure NavS coverage in the
event of group separation. This makes the NavS components even more brittle to battle damage. I prefer my multi carrier strike groups to keep on ticking as an offense platform
even in th face of critical ship losses. This, admittedly, is less of a topic for a Japanese player, as for them the decision to form multiple groups is also dependent on escort availability.
3) exp: I would not put CV pilots on ships without them gaining at least 50exp for obvious reasons. To reach this you need to train two skills anyway. True, you can train NavB to your TB pilots,
this makes sense, but the other way around (NavT to your DB pilots) doesn´t. This leaves you with a free to choose skill, mine automatically would be NavS. ASW is another
option, but my personal priority would be easily on the NavS side.
So the discussion is less decided on the IJN side than on the USN side for obvious reasons. Although even there I would rather assign NavS to the strikers, ASW to specialized units - as you
you already said - one should only use airborne ASW in specific situations with CV operations anyway, and GrdB only if it is affordable, which, in most situations, isn´t.