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Showing content with the highest reputation on 05/23/2017 in all areas

  1. 8 points
    From a trusted agent... There was a meeting last week between ~10 USAF pilots and Sen. Tom Cotton (R- Arkansas) and Sen. Angus King (I - Maine). Both are members of the Senate Armed Services Committee. The meeting was the result of a pilot writing Sen. Cotton to explain how serious the pilot retention crisis is and suggesting that Congress would do well to get unfiltered opinions of line pilots as opposed to top brass or DC staff officers. Sen. Cotton requested exactly that from SAF and the meeting was held. The pilots (all O-3s I believe) represented most of the flying world (bomber, fighter, RPA, tanker/airlift, but no helos) from MAJCOMs around the world. A SAF/LL rep and a couple Senatorial staffers were the only other attendees, and no one told the pilots what they could or couldn't say. A buddy of mine, was one of the pilots. Many issues were discussed, including the toll of constant deployments, 365s/180s that don't require pilots, additional duties, promotions, the assignment process, airline hiring, maintenance issues, etc. Of note: the bonus was not a big topic - Sen. Cotton especially does not feel that money will solve the problem and is a big fan of paying above the current bonus levels, which he apparently already felt were very high. Still, the meeting was promising. Sen. King apparently was disconcerted about the number of 365s being popped on guys at the 16-19 year mark, and Sen. Cotton agreed that there's a big difference between deploying a 19 year old infantryman for a year to do real fighting and a 37 year old Lt Col with (presumably) a family, to make powerpoint slides. Who knows what the result will be, but at least some unfiltered opinions made it to some lawmakers.
  2. 5 points
    This was posted on Facebook about that meeting: Many people have expressed an interest in how the AF pilot retention roundtable went in DC... Senior civilian and military leadership know there is a problem and are actively working to identify what are the causes of this problem, and how they can fix it. Congress and the Air Force clearly are concerned about pilot retention by bringing in pilots to discuss this issue face-to-face, unfiltered. The pilots represented the full spectrum of AF communities (F-15, B-1, C-17, C-130, KC-135, E-8, MQ-9).In no particular order, these were some of the topics brought up by the pilots to Senators Cotton and King:1. Quality of life and job satisfaction are the primary reasons for people separating, and the AF can't offer enough money to compete with the airlines.2. AEF deployments, and the threat of them, force people out. AF pilots don't leave because of the deployments with their squadrons, it's due to the the 365 non-vols (passed over majors are especially vulnerable to these).3. Everyone has to check all the boxes to be the next CSAF due to the up or out promotion system. If you know you're not going to make O-5 or O-6, and the airlines are hiring...might as well cut your losses early (AF wise) and get an earlier start on your 2nd career (airlines, or whatever else you chose to do). The Senators asked about what time do you know if you're on "the path", to which the group replied - as a captain (based on the strats, upgrades, and jobs you have).4. What is the professional development for officers that aren't on the path to be a sq/cc? What are their opportunities as an officer/aviator? We need those 'old and crusty' experienced pilots to guide and mentor young pilots, but those IPs/EPs are exactly who the AF is losing.5. Pilots aren't valued as pilots. Guidance on OPR writing is that only 1-2 bullets should be about flying.6. While it's unlikely the AF will bring warrant officers back, the AF could try something similar to what the Aussies/Brits have: a 2-track system, leadership vs flying, which enables pilots to choose around their mid-career what path they want to take. (Senator King specifically asked "you don't have that choice?" "No").7. PCSing excessively (particularly as a FGO) every couple years results in no stability for families, and is especially challenging for spouses to have their own career.8. While the AF only enlists or commissions the service member, the AF retains families. Military families already sacrifice so much....If a pilot reaches a point where he/she has to choose between their family or their career, many will choose their family and separate to a new career.9. The number of taskings and missions for the AF has increased, yet we are the smallest size we've ever been. We have fewer people doing more work (including additional duties), and that burns people out.10. The AF doesn't have a shortage of pilots to fly the jets (specifically fighter pilots flying fighter jets)..... It has a shortage of pilots to fill staff jobs. At the 10-12 year point, when pilots typically separate, is when pilots go from being in the jet to being out of the jet (staff). Some people just want to fly and keep flying, and will jump to the airlines/guard/reserves to focus on aviation. We ran out of time before we ran out of topics that could be addressed for this complex problem. Some pilots will leave because of a single issue, such as not being able to get a join spouse assignment. For most pilots, it's a combination of enough cons outweighing the pros. Ultimately, each individual has their own internal and external motivation for why they joined the Air Force, and why they continue to choose to stay in the Air Force.
  3. 4 points
    Ah, the dreaded 24 wheel landing.
  4. 3 points
    If you put your CAC and pin in, it wasn't anonymous. Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
  5. 3 points
  6. 3 points
  7. 2 points
  8. 2 points
    there are certainly worse places to break
  9. 2 points
    I find its best to view it as two sides being children and hoping in the long run they got what they really wanted which was not Merrick Garland or a similar justice. Democrats knew he was a poison pill but they were banking on that. They thought they would win two battles out of this where they get to spend 9 months embarrassing the other side in the media because "he's perfectly qualified" when like I said you and I know how a "perfectly qualified" justice who had said he didn't support gay marriage would have been a non starter. Then they get the second victory because everybody just knew Hillary was gonna win and they could get a justice they really wanted and rebalance the court to their liking. Republicans were playing on the hard 6 and hold the line on the odds they might actually pull this off. Most importantly it left this issue as something to campaign on and drag more people out to vote which they knew they would need. Neither side was interested in the health of the court or what's best for the country. It was about consolidating power and whipping up fury in their respective base. Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
  10. 2 points
    This thread is as painful to read as the WNBA is to watch, but it gives me something to do while I take a crap. Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
  11. 1 point
    We just had a meeting with a "senior leader" in A3 who basically said nothing more than "we're making really great programs to train new pilots and retain pilots." Inspired zero confidence that they have any ing clue what to do.
  12. 1 point
    This. I don't know a single guy passed over for Major, let alone Lt Col, who wasn't offered continuation. I'm guessing the guy must have had a current UIF or a referral OPR or something to find himself in this predicament. Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
  13. 1 point
    I keep hearing Stop Loss and it may be inevitable, but what a chocolate mess it would create. For starters how long do you think they can Stop Loss someone...out to 20 years of service? This is a problem that is NOT going to go away overnight...or after a year....or two years, this is system that is imploding. I also wonder what the justification will be when the legal challenges start. Yes you can declare national emergency because the nation is at war, but we have been at war for 16 years, this is a problem of MISMANAGEMENT by senior USAF folks who were kicking people out just two years ago. I hear the 15 year ADSC chat and the ramp up of pilot training, but the problem is not with young pilots, it is the 8-9 year IP that you can't build overnight. Mark my words, watch the accident rate over the next 5 years folks.
  14. 1 point
    Definitely "not worked up." Both sides pretty much suck. Democrats seem to be able to actually accomplish things (much that I don't like as in Obamacare). Republicans seem to be good at... well, I'm still working on that one. But in this case, they had the numbers to hold their line until, surprise!, they took the White House. High stakes game on that one because if, as expected, Hillary won, the uber-liberal she would've named would have taken his/her/its seat on the Court would have been very gun unfriendly among other issues.
  15. 1 point
    Couldn't agree more. Hooters must be mandatory at every single airshow. Here's a few shots from when I wasn't too busy watching the show, but they don't come anywhere near doing this event justice. Flying West:
  16. 1 point
    This thread and the "What's wrong with the AF" thread are rapidly converging.
  17. 1 point
    The 15 year retirement for pilots won't happen, for one reason. The shoes would lose their minds. There would be mass whining. The Air Force is committed to treating to valuing us all the same, which is why folks are leaving where they are valued more.
  18. 1 point
    So we are unpatriotic less than one percent of our country for stepping up in the first place and serving? Sent from my iPhone using Baseops Network Forums
  19. 1 point
    The very same brief, he arrived and made it clear with his lengthy introduction that our issue is that we the pilot force are unaware of all the great "initiatives" that are being undertaken that have made our lives amazing and we are all angry because we are simply ignorant of these great things. He actually believed we gave two shits about things big daddy Air Force was "looking at", or "worked on" as opposed to any thing even remotely concrete. Even worse (in my opinion) his biggest plea for help beyond a very honest "we need you" was his appeal to our patriotism. I'm sorry that me signing up for 10 years was not patriotic enough for you. Even worse that some how our political military engagement should make us want to continue to serve because dropping "150 bombs a day", as if we haven't been heavily engaged for the last +16 years without any end in sight is going to appeal to my sense of duty. When he was finally asked questions his first response was to lash back angrily, when he was shot down for that and the room essentially went hostile on him he showed his ignorance of many of larger issues being faced. Even worse from my point of view was his response to anything he remotely agreed on was "well we will look at that." Followed by explaining to us all how that won't change because the bureaucracy will protect its bloat (in reference to reducing worthless deployment tasking's), or that he has tried and failed to make changes. Real inspiring that the machine is to big to change. But it is okay, he told us to stop signing our OPRs because no one ever gets feed back because you know that'll end well for any one.
  20. 1 point
    This is an Air Force that rewards risk aversion. Hence the most risk averse rise to the true upper echelons. I think very few, if any, up there get it at all. Sent from my iPhone using Baseops Network Forums
  21. 1 point
    Nice to see a GO that at least somewhat gets it. Now let's find one that not only targets how we do orders, but goes after SAPR, fire extinguisher training, LGBTQ awareness training, endless commanders calls, UA monitor duty, etc. Here is a new one at my base. We have to have a cop with an M-4 at the jet whenever we have a static display for some asinine reason. Well, our SF now say they don't have the manning for that. The solution? Send aircrew through M-4 training and have us guard our own jets as an additional duty. I shit you not.
  22. 1 point
    https://www.airforcetimes.com/articles/3-star-air-force-may-need-even-bigger-pilot-retention-bonuses Nowland said that when he first entered a fighter squadron as a lieutenant in 1990, he was told his job was to study and become the best F-15 pilot he could be. He threw himself into learning all about the then-new AIM-120 air-to-air missile. "That took hours and hours and hours back in the vault," Nowland said. "Why? Because I didn't have to do DTS [Defense Travel System]. When I had orders, I had people that helped me get from point A to point B. Lt. Gen. Nowland best quote, "In my personal opinion, we lost our way when we started running the Air Force like a business," Nowland said. "Producing a pilot is not a business decision. It is a capability for America." applause... applause... applause 🤗
  23. 1 point
    Like I said...that sucks. And those commanders suck. So I might as well come out of the closet: I'm not a pilot or even an operator. I'm an MSG guy (CE) who cares about where the AF is headed. These forums seem to have pretty good gouge on what the nuts and bolts of the rated force is thinking. When people ask me how I like my job, it's mixed. I like the technical nerdery, but I always wish I was working more directly with operations. It's kind of like working at Microsoft...unclogging toilets. It's cool to say I work at Microsoft, but... I'm not sure if I'll ever be a squadron commander...I got to be a deputy for a year overseas. Tried my best to bust my a$$ to make the mission happen, and also make sure our Airmen understood the impact they were having on the mission. It wasn't easy...the MSG has its own kind of salt...but I tried to do my best. Now I'm on Joint Staff working plan sourcing, as I said. If we were sitting down at a bar, what would you say to me that I can do to help?
  24. 1 point
    At my base, aircrew are now required to operate the high lift trucks instead of AFE. That means I have to get pilots and navs to take a course on how to drive the stupid truck, and then have them take it on as an additional duty. It means when I have a TDY departing or arriving on weekend, someone has to come in just to drive the damn truck. Also, I had to assign a young copilot to watch other chicks piss in cups for a solid week, 0700-1600. I get sitting SOF (kind of). I get sitting Sup. But what in the bloody hell are we doing? Aside from the insanity of having a pilot, who has millions of dollars invested in their training, not fly in order to drive a truck or watch people urinate... this kind of crap just kills morale. My Lt copilots are all jaded. How can you blame them? It's about unmet expectations. They worked and sacrificed more than their peers to become military pilots. Then we have them do things an E-1 should be doing. The Air Force is insane. What they are doing with additional duties is like having a neurosurgeon do less surgeries so he can help the janitors (who get paid the same as the neurosurgeons).
  25. 1 point
    What does it take for inactive reservists to get activated? Is it done at the same time as a regular activation, or is it a different and more difficult process for the USAF? I ask because if stop loss combined with ARC activation is in the future, it may be time to hang up the spurs. Getting activated to fight for our country is one thing; getting activated due to perpetual personnel mismanagement is methinks a bridge too far.