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Showing content with the highest reputation since 07/11/2009 in all areas

  1. 60 points
    I am officially a has-been. My fini flight was this morning, retirement ceremony this afternoon. Bittersweet to say the least. Getting out of that jet for the last time was a bigger deal than I was expecting. It's been a good ride - 21 years in and 18.5 of the last 19 flying the Mighty-Mighty (quick MC-12 stint in AFG back in '11). I haven't been posting much, but it's about to get a lot less. Thanks to all the warriors out there; keep fighting the good fight. Now I'm one of those guys that thank you for your service. I probably won't buy you lunch though - I'm still a cheap-ass airline pilot. Do your best to keep this place following it's roots - helping people in the fight (or trying to get there). Hasta-la-bye-bye. Evil
  2. 46 points
    Choke yourself you sanctimonious prick. For the record, you are not as smart as you think you are, you have simply become a mindless part of the collective, endlessly spewing the same old PA verbiage. Here is the thing, I know the game, I’ve done all the in-res schools….ACSC, ASG, War College in DC…and I’ve sat behind the glass doors on the E-Ring as an exec and watched the buffoonery. Playing the $ money card overlooks a GLARING error, we did it to ourselves. The lack of vision from people like Buzz and Zatar is what got us here, for all too long we have been stuck in the endless Do Loop of “we can only have a fifth gen force” and we are paying the price for it in spades. 10 years ago a LOT of very smart people tried to tell them the $ crunch was coming and we could not afford a force of only F-22’s and F-35’s. Despite the fact that on the second night of OIF A-10’s were fighting inside the “Super MEZ”, the seniors insisted we double-down on fifth gen and now we cry when we have no $ to buy anything else. What do you expect when we are flying Raptors that cost $44,000 a flying hour and F-35’s that cost $36,000 a flying hour instead of a mixed high-low fleet that could have economically fought the fight we have been in for the 15 YEARS! Then as we piled ever more coal into the 5th gen steam engine that we couldn’t afford, we decided to cut people to pay the bill, and we took those people from the admin heart of the Squadrons (CSS), where they were needed most…Now, after purposely cutting people we suddenly come to the conclusion that the Air Force is On Verge of Manpower Collapse…freaking brilliant! Sadly, we had multiple chances to off-ramp this road to perdition and the Navy tried to show us the way like in 2006 when they broke the “no more 4th gen fighters for any service pact.” I was there the day the boss found out the Navy was getting 24 extra Super Hornets and I was in close trail as he barged into the N-8 office screaming explicatives at the CNO and his XP staff. The Navy response “well the Super Hornet is not a 4th gen airplane, it is a 4.5 gen airplane and we probably can’t afford all the F-35’s anyway.” Congress has been more than willing to gift us extra Vipers and Eagles every year, but we foolishly keep saying no and doubled down to the point we had to start closing fighter squadrons to pay the bills. The last ten years have seen a steady retreat from the TacAir redline, No lower than 2,300 fighters!…Ok No lower than 2,100 fighters! There was a huge gasp at 2,000, but we sliced right past that number faster than some late night yaki mandu through your system after a Friday night in Aragon Alley. As we started closing fighter squadrons we suddenly had fewer to fill AEF taskings so the bros and sisters on the end of the whip have to run even faster to make up for the shortage…starting to see the picture now? When it comes to your "retention tools" again, you don’t get it…what you call having bigger fish to fry than keeping pilots on the right side of the happy meter and using STOP LOSS as a retention tool is the PROOF that the entire thing is a scam. How can senior leaders profess to care about the force, mission first…people always, and say things like “Morale is pretty darn good” almost in the same breath they admit the Air Force is on the verge of a manpower collapse? This CSAF has made countless impassioned speeches about caring for people and “every Airman has a story”, but in the end as you admit the people are just numbers and their happiness doesn’t really matter. I get it that you will never make everyone happy and there will always be sport bitching, but this is something very different. This is the heart of your ability to be an Air Force, your professional pilot force telling you with their feet…”THINGS ARE Fed UP!” Only 38% of the pilot force took the bonus last year and the numbers look worse for this year…so I would submit you better make time to fix the happy meter. It is not about hating the messenger, it is about hating the smug asshat that parades around the room showing glee in his pronouncements from on high. You represent much of what is wrong with the current system.
  3. 41 points
    Well Gents, it’s been fun but Duck is now a twice passed over Captain on his way out the door. I appreciate all of you who reached out and offered me advice throughout the years. I know that I will have a ton of questions going forward as I transition to the next step. This community is awesome and I love (most of) you guys.
  4. 39 points
    To piggy back on the well written post above........ In my opinion, there is a lot more to pilot retention than bumping up the pay check, QOL or additional duties. Those have always been issues and have forced a percentage of pilots out. Those basics need to happen and are actually pretty easy fixes if someone in senior leadership would grow a pair, acknowledge the obvious and fix it. 365s shouldn’t be a requirement like PME. But another important but possibly intangible issue is the struggle to maintain a culture of warriors in the USAF. What seems to be a new, added problem is the attempt to move USAF away from a force lead by the actual war fighters towards what looks more like a peacetime corporation. It’s been a slow leak over the last couple of decades. I have a lot to say about this but I'm finding it tough to put some of it into a sensible message. When I entered the ranks of USAF fighter pilots, it was 1989 and although we didn't know it yet, we had reached the pinnacle of a long journey toward an extremely lethal combat air force. As a Lt, I had no part in that. I simply benefited from being exposed to some of the most hard-charging, capable fighter pilots created during the post-Carter, Cold War, Reagan years of huge military expansion, boo-coo dollars and total focus on enhancing our capability to wage war from the air. As a result, we brought serious game to the first protracted combat ops in almost 2 decades when Desert Storm kicked off. It was a truly amazing thing to be a part of. Here's where I begin to struggle to put some concepts into words: I'll do my best. I had the honor of meeting and hearing a few hours of wisdom from George "Bud" Day during ROTC field training. Five years later, he presented me (and everyone in my UPT class) with our wings, drank whiskey with us and told us amazing stories at the O-club standing among us in his mess dress and Medal of Honor. I heard similar stories from F-4, B-52 and Thud Drivers, guys with gold stars on their flight suit sleeves (anyone remember those?), read books by Broughton, Basel, Risner, Drury and many more. I and my contemporaries soaked in every bit of warrior lore and attitude we could find and experience. It was evident that it was all important. None of us needed that explained to us. We came to realize that the traditions, attitudes and perpetuation of the fighting spirit that was born out of past air wars were absolutely necessary to becoming an effective Air Force combat pilot. The simple fact is that pilots who woke up every day to begin preparations for missions like daylight bomber or fighter raids on Germany, attacking the Paul Doumer bridge, going "downtown" to Hanoi or any number of other daily tests of testicular fortitude knew there was a high chance they wouldn't see the next sunrise or if they did it would be through prison bars. If it wasn't them, then it likely was someone else in their unit with whom they shared the experience of air combat. While I don't claim anything close to that, my small exposure to what it must have been like for them came on my third combat mission. I had "that feeling" based on experiences on my first two missions and strapped on my jet with a solid, tangible feeling that I wasn't coming back. I couldn't shake it, of course I went anyway and thankfully, I was wrong. You don't do that every day, strap on a fighter or bomber, lose friends, fly RESCAP over their smoking holes, come up initial in a 3-ship that left as four without coping mechanisms. Drinking in a readily accessible squadron bar might be the most obvious, sharing stories only another warrior could understand or appreciate, raunchy fighter pilot songs, running the gauntlet of hurled whiskey glasses in a wake to mourn a fallen comrade, burning pianos, and the list goes on. To outsiders they may seem strange, stupid or unnecessary, offensive antics by fraternity brothers who are still waiting to mature into adults. We didn't have to explain ourselves in the past, but that no longer appears to be the case. But those same PC, judgmental, clueless outsiders, politicians or leaders with a lower-case "L" have no idea what it takes to willingly take on a mission like that during sustained combat operations where we potentially lose people and aircraft daily. The pilots who do are long since retired and far more have left this world. My war in 1991 lasted about 6-weeks and losses in the air were in the double digits at most. Since then, we've had a few surges but nothing that rivals the experiences of our predecessors. But that doesn't mean their combat tested traditions should be forgotten or set aside as relics of the past. The fraternal bonds of combat are indescribable and something no one can appreciate second hand. They are also absolutely necessary for a fighting force to gain the required trust in each other and be truly effective in their mission. They also don't just happen out of thin air when a squadron suddenly finds themselves launching their first combat mission. As I alluded to at the start, it's difficult to put this into a cogent message. I don't know if I have but I have no doubt many of you fellow warriors, past and present, have a general idea of what I'm trying to say. Being an effective combat pilot isn't something you just start doing the day the balloon goes up and shit gets real. Combat pilots from the 40's, 50's, 60's and 70's showed us how it was done, gave us traditions to perpetuate and those were carried by the next generation of pilots into the final two decades of the 20th century. I have no doubt that today's combat pilots are doing their best to follow in the footsteps of the warriors who came before them. However, doing so is not supposed to be a struggle with the very leadership you're charged with following. We should be embracing and continuing these traditions, not throwing them aside because of someone's BS sensibilities. I guess the bottom line is this: Being a warrior, an aggressive, professional, lethal killer is not a politically correct, peacetime, 9 to 5 job. It's highly specialized and the skill set necessary to excel at it requires an extraordinary amount of resources and effort, probably more so today than ever before. Pilots attempting to attain and maintain this excellence need to be able to focus the majority of their working hours on this task. We have been fighting this battle for at least 50 years and probably will continue to do so. What is new, however, is the fact that pilots now have to prove that they and their mission are, in fact, actually different from other officers and support personnel. That they are not interchangeable and in spite of how "unfair" it might be to some, not everyone in the USAF is an actual war-fighter. No excuses are necessary for this - it's simply reality. If that offends someone - too fucking bad. You want in on it, go to UPT or shut the F.U. and support the mission. We need warriors. They don't come about using an HR department, worrying about a PC culture or who is going to be offended by the process of creating highly trained, lethal killers. Rant over - 🤬
  5. 38 points
    Never met the guy, but if he's still got a hair on his old fighter pilot ass, he'd throw up on me if I looked him in the eye and called him "sweet and charming". Not sure what your background is, but you lose any credibility you have with this statement..."trashing the reputation of one of this nation's last living heroes." You obviously have NO idea what you are talking about because our nation is blessed with thousands of living heroes, most of them under the age of 30 (many under 20). They are fighting in places you've probably never heard of, and are performing acts of heroism that make breaking the sound barrier seem kind of boring. But thanks for the lecture.
  6. 33 points
    Holy hell, maybe it’s the 4.5 hours I just spent in an ejection seat and only spent 15 seconds upside down but F-ck me!!!! Us old salty sport b-tching bastards have complained so much we have UPT bound cadets worried. Alright Bird12, listen up, because you are wrong. If anything the ship is righting itself from what I see, but Us old dudes were on board when it was sinking so different view People on here have generally been/there, done that, diverse backgrounds/experiences. I get tired of my buddies b-tching about the same things I’m bitching about in the sq bar over the same brand of scotch so I read this forum. I want to hear how lousy the poor bastard flying the other jet has it so I can feel better -or- how good he has it so I can complain that community x gets all the good deals and wtf was I thinking taking the bonus because xx is at delta making $xx and here the f-ck I am getting $3.50 per day not allowed to drink beer on St Paddy’s day. Sport bitching is in fact a sport among pilots. (Hence the name) Very few of us really hate our jobs or the USAF. Perspective. I had a brand new straight out of MQT Lt on my wing in the AO, we flew a 4.5 hr mission full of in my opinion, sh-tty taskings, sh-tty scenery, sh-tty tankers, ATC, well you name it, to me it was all sh-t minus the 2 x barrel rolls in the descent. When we got out of the jet I wanted to apologize for his first sortie in the AO being so sh-tty. He was smiling ear to ear. My sh-tty 200th AAR was his first on that type of tanker. My sh-tty 200th time over the desert was his first. He loved it See my point. So you f-cking should be excited bird12, you got a chance at the coolest job in the world. Keep some perspective and know who you are listening to on this forum. If I were in your shoes I’d pay good money for the flight I did today however at my age/experience I’d just assume send someone else so I could sit in ops, drink coffee and complain about how f-cking stupid the USAF leadership is, how I’m not getting paid enough, how cool the Cold War days were, how great the airlines are according to my friends etc. Out
  7. 33 points
    Meh, I disagree nsplayer. I enjoyed the show while it lasted. More importantly, I will tell anyone who listens with what is wrong with the Air Force. Some I have solutions for and for others I am at a loss on how to fix. Actually Chang, the persona that you portrayed here, although completely overdone, are the sum total of the sentiments that are causing people to head for the door. What causes disappointment? Unrealized expectations. I think you have to start there. The last 10 or so years have been really tough on the CGOs. We came into the AF after 9-11 being told that the #1 priority of the AF is lethality, yet we are held to a completely different standard of measurement. I was an '08 commissionee from ROTC and worked my butt off to get to UPT, 38s and hopefully to a fighter, just to be told that there was no where for us to go except RPAs and AMC. Big disappointment, but whatever, I press on. Get to my AMC unit and less than a year later I am writing a RRF for my 1st of 2 RIF boards. Meanwhile my fighter brethren (the 30 or so they created in my whole year group) were now considered undermanned. On my 4th deployment, my CC calls me to tell me that he has to get me on the next VML otherwise an RPA may be non-vold must-fill from AFPC. I end up going to T-6 UPT, my dream job at the time. While I am in PIT I face the #2 RIF/VSP of my career, while my 11F brothers (whoever is left) are now critically manned. I get sat down by my T-6 SQ/CC and told that although my record is outstanding, my career field (11M) is 175% manned and I haven't even completed PIT yet, so prepare for the worst/hope for the best. Also, we are cutting for the next 5 years. I go out and get my dream job, and apply for Palace Chase only to be denied because now even though my career field is still overmanned, the AF as a whole is short on pilots. Me, I still keep kicking @ss, pulling down #1 Sq/OG strats and moving my way up in the Sq. Get tasked with a 6 month non-flying deployment to some $hithole to be underemployed and a job that would have actually been better to have been CONUS doing (timezone differences). Somewhere in there my family (wife+kids) made up their mind that we were done getting jerked around, so I have been making my way to the door ever since. After 10 years of stellar service, 5 deployments, missing years of my kids lives, I get called a quitter and told that I have no future in my Sq. I could write a lot more, but I just don't care to relive it anymore. I hate the fact that the AF made me fall out of love with something that I fought so hard to be apart of. I have seen this organization change in just the 10 years I've been in and it is unrecognizable. I sincerely want the AF to get better and be better, so let me know if you have any questions. Sent from my iPhone using Baseops Network Forums
  8. 33 points
    all us mid level captains have seen the bullshit...we dropped when there was only one fighter per class, we had RPAs in our -38 drops, we were in the squadrons with the TAMI 21 guys and heard how they got screwed out of their fighters, we saw the masters swing back to required for major and how our friends had to claw to get it before their board, we saw it swing back to not being required, we had friday morale shirts taken away, we had pencil tab patches made illegal, we had black boots taken away for swade, we saw dumbass ABUs come into "style" along with 1980s parachute PT pants, we saw the air force e-9s embarrass our peers in the died chow hall for wrong sock color (and be rewarded for it by the O-6), we saw 21 year old A1Cs drinking at DJ but aircrew were forbidden from even one beer, we saw our flying hours get cut back, we saw congress not do their job to the detriment of our survival in combat with zero shits given, we saw congress debate to take away dual spouse BAH, we became our own finance officer, we became our own professional CBT clicker, we saw below average yes men pilots do the minimum flying-wise and excel at queep only to get rewarded with good deal assignments and promotions (CHANG), we saw absurd increases in ROE for political purposes with no eye on victory. We saw the airlines start to hire... we didn't see our families, we didn't see clear cut victory in the war, we didn't see respect for our skills as pilots, we don't see a end in sight in deployments or war. The air force has been f***ing us since 2008. How the f*** are they surprised we don't want to stick around for the next 8 years to get run into the dirt. Most of my peers are getting TFO in a few years and i have zero fu**s or sympathy for big blue. They earned this.
  9. 33 points
    Fucking stop it. This guy can't win. For years dudes have bitched about all of the little paper cut stuff in the AF...including this sign, t-shirts, patches, masters, PME. Well guess what? We have a CSAF who is actually fixing a lot of those irritants. And every time he fixes one, someone like you bitches "well, he shoulda done X, Y, or Z instead." Do you think he cancelled an afternoon of meetings about force shaping to hammer in the sign himself? Or do you think he may simply have mentioned it to someone and it got fixed? Everything isn't an either-or! For fucks sake. The man is trying. Some things are easy fixes. Some are complicated beyond measure. If you can't get behind him, sts, who will you follow?
  10. 32 points
    So, there I was. No shit. Middle of an ORE at Shaw, first of three sorties for the day turning ACT x ACT x RED. I was a brand new CMR #2, all thrust, no vector; I'm a pitbull on a fvcking leash. Brief and ground ops were uneventful, up to the point where PFL (wussy flight lead) calls Ops and tries to cancel due to isolated VCTS. Fvcking FAIPs. Ops recommended he grow a pair so we took off and headed west. After precisely 69% of the vul covered, with a clean picture and most of my missiles expended, the SOF calls on AUX - mushroom cloud overhead; we need to divert to WRB. PFL quibbles, something about it being his turn to cook dinner that night. Those of you who know MatMac are aware: this is no joke. Anyway, Georgia is a state where (up to that point) I had yet to slay so I tactically declared BINGO and reached back with my right hand to make sure my helmet bag contained my trusty mark-1 divert kit: deodorant, toothbrush and a box of rubbers. On vectors to WRB I've got snowplow called up and I wisely aimed for every rainshower I could... On the ground, we talk to TA about turning our jets. Well, I talked to TA. PFL was on the horn with his wife and then PF Chang's ordering food so he didn't get in trouble. Turns out TA will take 3 hrs to turn the 8 jets so we go to the bowling alley to get lunch. This is where the fun starts. It's summertime, so school is out. I spy a group of four lovely ladies (who were looking for heroes) on lanes 6-9. I give PFL a 5-spot and directions to order a burger, then I go anchor by the ladies. Turns out the outgoing blonde is the wing king's daughter and the others are her friends from the nursing program who happen to be visiting during the summer. Shitty food is consumed. Numbers are exchanged. I depart for Base Ops with digits and the hope of a road trip some upcoming weekend. I proceeded to do the most thorough pre-flight inspection of my life. Low and behold, I find an EMS bit ball had popped after landing! Sure, if I had noticed it on my post-flight then maybe they would have had time to send dudes from Shaw to fix it that day. Not likely though. Now, everyone knows that flight through precip is likely to trip one without any real problems, so PFL comes over to survey the situation. He closes the panel and asks what I'm gonna do. I give my best pep talk about how happiness comes in small doses and opportunities to be true heroes are rare. His response: "I know dude, that's why I need to get home. I'm only allowed two TDYs a year, I don't want to burn one in WRB." SQ policy was to divert as two-ships but I sit idly by with a shit-eating grin on my face as 7 jets blast for home and I walk off to the Qs, helmet bag thrown over my shoulder. Aftermath: he told me the lettuce wraps were particularly good at home that night. Me, on the other hand - I got back the following afternoon and was completely spent. 4 nursing students not worth burning one of your allocated TDYs on? For me it was, and all it cost me was a phone call to my neighbors to take care of my dog. Well, that and I did have to replenish one divert kit.
  11. 32 points
    Tonight we honored a fallen soldier during a ramp ceremony at BAF. As his team unloaded the flag draped casket from the HMMWV and walked him up the C-17 ramp, five soldiers from the 10th Mountain Band played Amazing Grace and another somber and respectful song. Soldiers in the 10th Mountain Band carry weapons, can pull guard duty and are capable of killing the enemy. They also have unique musical skills and equipment to honor the dead and comfort the grieving in combat. Their primary purpose is combat and ceremonial duties while entertaining is a collateral duty. Our Air Force bands primarily entertain and should be cut to the level where they only support ceremonial events in the DC area. We can contract the entertainment if we decide we can afford entertainment for a fraction of the cost. Cutting our AF bands (not including TIB) by 75% would save $180M in personnel and O&M costs over the FYDP. Cutting AF bands and eliminating their AFSCs are easy decisions that should have been made years ago.
  12. 32 points
    Flipping the safety on after each shot is a poor technique that would get most people killed. The carbine courses have so many different techniques, and some sound totally crazy but happen to work for one guy one time. Great training all, but I think that particular technique would get the majority of people killed. Sky cops fall squarely in the average majority. Bottom line is this guys is a total idiot, whether or not this particular technique is valid and used by someone at Magpul. The conceptual idea that one absolutely must get the uniform standard right all the time or you simply aren't qualified to fight the war is fundamentally flawed. The true professional puts everything on a hierarchy of importance, a hierarchy that changes depending on many variables. As operators we're very comfortable living like this, and we usually call it SA. Sometimes your gas state is the most important thing, sometimes it's the weather, sometimes it's the mission then the icing on your wings, and when the critical part of the mission is over you RTB the area because now the icing is most important. The hierarchy is always changing, and a good flyer stays aware of what's at the top and the handful of items under it. This idea of juggling a group of variables which all slide up and down the priority list used to confuse the shit out of me in pilot training, resulting in my average performance. But with a few thousand hours it's natural to all of us. And I think this is why we all know his argument is bullshit, but an articulate response is hard because the concept is so simple. We think "of course my mission planning is more important than having my sleeves rolled down." Or "of course I put my sunglasses on my head, I'm doing shit with my hands." And that's the issue with this guy, and this entire school of thought with non-operators that if you can't get the uniform right how can you fly an airplane? They think "how can you possibly do the important things when you can't get this thing right?" And we think "how can you possibly worry about the unimportant things when there are so many others that matter?" Of course our perspective is right and theirs is wrong. We prove that by flying successful missions everyday wearing baseball hats with a dip in our mouth; and if they understood priorities they wouldn't correct an officer about a minor uniform violation by yelling at him in public-- a customs and courtesies breach that manifests their inability to differentiate importance levels between issues. The only possible fix to our plight (two incompatible schools of thought) is leadership. Leadership must set the standard and leadership must judge what is most important when. And of course, leadership is what we are mostly lacking. Approaching the end of my commitment, this is a pretty strong argument for me to stay and try to fix it.
  13. 31 points
    It worked for me quite well. In Oct 2009, I three-day-opted a non-flying remote to Iraq. I had 22.5 years of service, was a U-2 interview pilot, and evaluator in both the U-2 and T-38. I didn't want to retire. The three-day opt required me to retire 1 May 2010. I was determined to defeat the threat. I was working a number of angles, but nothing was panning out. By early 2010, I hadn't found a solution, but I did figure out that I could request a 6-month extension to my retirement date if my Wing CC wrote a letter asking for it. At the time, the Beale Wing CC was a 1-star. I presented my case that extending me 6 months was in the best interest of the 9th Wing and the Wing CC agreed. AFPC isn't going to tell a 1-star to pound sand: I got the extension. Around that time, AFPC announced the VRRAD. In my first phone call with the VRRAD person at AFPC, I explained that I was still on active duty. "Will you be retired before 31 December 2010?" "Yes, I will be." "Then you are eligible for the VRRAD." Basically, one office in AFPC was requiring me to retire... and another office in AFPC was allowing me to return to active duty as a retiree. I never told the two offices about each other, and figured it was best if they didn't know my plan. My VRRAD got approved. So, on Friday, 29 Oct, I had a short ceremony in the bar and retired. The following week, I came back to Beale, to my old desk, which I obviously didn't vacate... turned in my week-old retiree ID card... went through in-processing with a room full of 18 year olds (at least I got a verbal waiver from the Vice to skip the Right Start briefings). I even submitted a travel voucher for my 33-mile drive from home to Beale AFB for my first day back on active duty. In 2013, after 3 years, the VRRAD was coming to an end... but I asked the Wing CC to write me a letter requesting a 1-year extension. He did, and I got it. Finally... I retired 1 Nov 2014. It was my third set of retirement orders, and the second time I actually retired.
  14. 31 points
    In a gesture of goodwill, Southwest named a row of seats after her.
  15. 31 points
    O-5, Command list, flying with the majors now. Didn't hurt my professional livelihood at all.
  16. 30 points
    Jaysus... sick douche bag. **break break** I'm grateful to say that I got through my sq/cc tour without a link being posted in this thread about me getting fired. Today was my last day as the CC. It was great and terrible all at the same time & glad it's over/wish it would keep going all at once. Time for a cocktail.
  17. 30 points
    RF-4C 1. Ops tempo: Outstanding. Best kept secret. Basically a flying club. As a 1Lt it's your airplane with great responsibility; "All we ask is bring it back in one piece." Flying is mostly low level single ship to where ever YOU and your WSO decide to go that day. Not flying, review your film from previous day, do a tour in the RSU, perhaps a little studying in the vault, shelf check at the BX. TDY's and deployments minimal and considered a good deal. AAR training every couple of months. Night AAR is always scheduled with a full moon. If stationed in Germany always save a little fuel for the fur ball with whomever is trolling along the Rhine. 2. LIfestyle/family: Could not be better. Home every day by 5. No working weekends. If stationed in Germany most have a rental Swiss chalet for the winter skiing months. 3. Community morale: Excellent. Surprising amount of fellow pilots UPT DG's. Some turned down fighters to fly Recce. Everyone works and pulls together. 4. Advancement & Future of Airframe: Terrible, once Recce always Recce according to MPC although I managed a 4 yr OA-37 assignment to DM. (another flying club). NO future dedicated manned Recce airframes. 5. Preferred PCS locations: Zweibrucken, Alconbury, Bergstrom. Oh crap, just got up from a nap. Dreaming it was 1977 and not 2017! Sorry guys, you missed a great time in the AF. 10 years AD then off to a legacy airline.
  18. 30 points
    This is complicated, and I don't claim to have the full picture, but here is what I think it really takes. TL;DR: Congress, the Joint Staff, and the USAF all have a role to play. All must take unprecedented steps to fix this, but the potential gain is beyond anything we've ever known. Congress: 1. Eliminate the vast majority of queep driven by federal law. 2. Bring pilot pay up to 75% of airline pilot pay with similar seniority/qualification. 3. BRAC Cannon yesterday, everywhere else tomorrow, and mass forces at superbases near major metro areas. Build a DFW-worth of runways to support and make the airspace Class B if needed. JCOS: 1. Inform COCOMs that their staff requirements will be combined (Navy flyer for USA/USAF/USMC/USN rated job, etc) or eliminated, to the scale or 50-75% or more. 2. Annihilate 179s as a thing. One fvcking day? Are you kidding me? Give people the credit for their service. This is one example, but i think the trend is clear: shorter deployments, where the service pays a premium to get people home to their families, and if not credits the time served, rather than allowing a cowardly bureaucrat to steal that credit. USAF: 1. Divorce rated promotions from non-rated. Separate boards, with separate quotas. To make a long story short: you can replace an MPF 0-3 with about 30 grand. To replace a (good) pilot is 100 times that amount. Time to recognize return on investment, kids. 2. Make the non-verbal signals clear: stop the anti-ops "you're all officers and equal" jihad. I won't rant about why. 3. Man the queep positions so that pilots/rated only do DOT, DOV, etc jobs aside from flying, aka those that require their expertise. 4. In Robin Olds' words: "If I can order a man to combat 24 hours a day, he can get paid 24 hours a day." I truly do not care if MSG folks have to work 12 hours shifts; they will support. If they quit, I do not care; I will replace them for the cost of a single aircrew TDY. Run the numbers and tell me I am wrong. However, I will also massively increase incentive flights and the like to connect Ops to MX to MSG and MDG. I would unite the factions so that they would SEE what their worth ethic empowers. 5. Inform COCOMs that their "rated requirements" will be manned at about the 10% level or lower. And see [JCOS] part. 6. Start researching how to finally quit the AEF and move to a better, more cohesive, more predictable model. Don't go full Army, because that is just retarded, but find a way for families to know that "this" deployment is just the one in 4 years, or whatever. 7. Most important: CSAF has to get out there, to every base, and every squadron bar, with nametags off and interview the pilots/CSOs/STS dudes with beer in hand and no entourage. This is the hardest part. He/She MUST establish credibility by allowing the rank and file to speak truth to power at the risk of being disrespectful. This will be a self-sustaining process; if the CSAF showed up here, paid my bar tab and got me a DD, I would whiteboard out the cycle of factors, at the FGO level, that are ensuring our mission failure - but only if I trusted him. 8. I'd overhaul Lackland to look more like an Army basic training unit than the clown show it is now. Kill the "but the queep reg says" buffoonery, and make 50% or more personal combat skills. I could go on on this point, but this is the essence of "expenditionary skills" and would motivate people that want to be part of a warfighting organization. Those who don't: quit. They will be replaced at their least expensive point. Folks, it's time to steal from the USMC model and challenge our people to be part of an elite combat unit, not an office camo welfare unit. And the take-away, folks: trust. This will require huge risks by leadership to change the paradigm, but if they can restore trust, then the rest will follow. Their biggest challenge now is that no one trusts the leadership, even if they make valid arguments and really want to change the culture.
  19. 30 points
    They are missing WHY dudes are disgruntled. I've been around a long time, as you have. There have certainly been boom and bust cycles for morale. This one is far different than what I think can fairly be called the last down cycle for pilots in the mid to late 90s. Young pups hear jack/shit about mission focus anymore. The mission is what motivates them. It's why they are here. But they hardly hear a peep about it from their leadership. That's the number one reason. Act like what they dedicate themselves to is worth your attention. All they hear about from the cake eaters is stuff like you yourself (and guys like old major chang) has said--get you masters or you clearly don't care. There are no bad assignments. You should get down on your knees every day and thank mother air force for all she has given you. Service before self after all. These fuckers have known nothing but war. They have never, ever known any semblance of stability or predicability in their whole careers. They weren't around in the good old days where we had fun. When we were captains, our career paths were stable, our deployments predictable, our promotion process was rational, there was no such thing as a 179 or God forbid a 365 other than a few remotes to Korea. We didn't face down UAV assignments. We didn't face constant rumors (and realities) of a RIF. There was a mission focus. Leaders seemingly cared that their CGOs were good in the jet. That's all that mattered to my early commanders. It's how they stratted CGOs for the most part. I swear to God I never heard a single word from a leader about a masters degree until I was a major. Not one word. Now guys are dirtbags if they haven't started one as a lieutenant. Education is king, the only problem is that no one seems to care what you study, how we'll you do or what diploma mill you go to. After all, it makes great "thinkers" yet no one seems to be allowed to think for themselves. It's party line or you're a troublemaker. See problems? Don't point them out and offer solutions. That's whining. Dudes are tired of that bullshit. So what are the "aristocrats" missing? 1) acknowledge that young pups in the AF have been run ragged. I mean really acknowledge that, not just a token half-hearted comment here or there. 2) acknowledge that there are bad deals and lose the "suck it up" and "service before self" lectures. No one respects that bullshit. You can't polish a turd. 3) Masters degree does not equal dedication or leadership potential. Stop saying that it does. Masters is required. Got it. But when it goes beyond being a yes/no at the board to being used for strats and jobs, then it's out of fucking control. The AF has absolutely lost its mind in this regard. Job performance and leadership potential should be king. They are not. 4). acknowledge that these dudes face an uncertain future with regards to promotion, assignments and RIFs unlike we ever did and it stresses them out and wears at their morale. Don't even dare compare it to uncertainties you had in your early career. You and I both know that it's not even close. I'm tired of typing now. But that's a start.
  20. 29 points
    So the draft outline for the script for Top Gun 2 has leaked (probably Trump and/or Russians. Same thing, right?): "TOP GUN 2: This Time It's Non-Gender Specific" Having been caught up in the 'Fat Leonard' supply scandal, former Rear Admiral, now Captain Pete 'Maverick' Mitchell is given his final assignment as the Commanding Officer, Naval Fighter Weapons School, Miramar Naval Air Station, California. Having been the number two graduate of his class in 1986, 'Maverick's' has unique insight into what the daring young aviators have to face in flying their high-performance, stomach-churning aerial chargers in modern air combat. SCENE 1: 'Maverick' is shown being given a ticket by the Shore Patrol after he was caught driving his Lexus on the flight line road trying to keep up with an F-18 doing touch-and-goes, exceeding the station's 25 mph speed limit by nearly 8 mph. SCENE 2: 'Maverick' puts the auditorium at ease to welcome the Class of 2017B. The roster includes three women, a two-dude married couple, one undeclared person, and four heterosexual men; one black, one Hispanic, one Asian, one White. "Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to Top Gun. I am Captain Maverick Mitchell and I want...yes? What is it, lieutenant?" "Sir, you only welcomed the ladies - which is a very patriarchacal thing to do - and the men - which just demonstrates their historic privilege. But you didn't include the zir. I am offended and have uploaded your comments to youtube. I assume I will be receiving an apology from the Department of the Navy and you after the press conference with Gloria Allred?" SCENE 3: Operations Officer Holly 'Diaper' Nowak briefing the class for a mission: "Today, you are scheduled for a 4v4 DACT - Hornets against the 3rd generation contract air. Unfortunately, the MC rate won't support it, so "Snowflake" and "Cis-G" you two will go fly a BFM. The rest of you can knock out some of your CBTs." SCENE 4: Having sweated their way through the CBTs, the 2017B class makes its way over to the Miramar All-Ranks Club where the SARC and Alcohol Prevention offices check their IDs at the door, carefully noting their data, and placing their CAC cards in the file to be retrieved on the way out, after the mandatory breathalyzer and room sweep checking for sexual assault victims. Finally making their way to the near-empty bar, as the Isley Brothers "You've lost that lovin' feelin'" begins to blare from the speakers, the four heterosexual men are accosted by the irate school instructor that looks remarkably like Kelly McGillis. But not the hot, wild-haired Kelly. No this the haggish, yet with an Adam's apple, Kelly who instantly begins to berate them for building the modern world. SCENE 5: Meanwhile, in an unnamed Middle Eastern country, the despot that rules that arid, worthless land gases and kills his citizens. Despite it having absolutely no strategic value to the United States, the President, fully backed by the hawks in Congress dependent upon the defense contractors in their districts, sends a short-manned carrier battle group to the region. Why it's short-manned, especially in pilots, is never questioned. Class 2017B receives its orders to man, er, person-up the carrier's flight department despite not having worked up or being current in carrier operations. Stepping into their F-35Cs, they find out that "this helmet is too heavy." This ejection seat is "too tall." But this all-seeing, all-knowing fighter is "just right." Flying an Alpha strike (not your father's Vietnam Alpha strike of 50 jets), this one has four F-35s and two UCAVs, our class of heroes flies into the double-digit SAM rings where they all synch their Blueteeth to some Starbuck's selected folk-rock tunes and proceed to ISR the hell out of the dirt. They return to the boat, all take the three wire, shut down. And hand in their separation papers since they each got a call from major airline. AND CUT...
  21. 29 points
    The pilot of that Luscombe was my good friend. I'd known him 19 years and had flown that Luscombe with him. We took a T-38 to Oshkosh a few years back. Aviation... all facets... was his passion. You always hear about guys that will do anything for you; guys that are always the bright spot in your day; guys with an eternally optimistic attitude. Spanky really was that guy. He was an amazing pilot. And an even better father and person. He always cared about his fellow man. After being a T-38 FAIP, a tour in the B-52, and a staff tour, Spanky applied for the SR-71 in 1997: they were hiring one... only one... pilot that year, from the hundreds of applicants. Spanky beat out everyone and was hired. He showed up at Edwards to start training, but four days later, Pres Clinton killed the SR program. Three days later, Spanky is at Beale to fly the U-2 interview flights. Five days later, he is hired to the U-2 Program and has to get a SecAF waiver for two PCS' in 2 weeks. He became my neighbor on base. When I first met him, I knew he was about 35, but he looked barely 21. I gave him his T-38 checkride on 23 Dec 1997. Friends ever since. He was the deployed U-2 squadron commander in Saudi before the war kicked off in 2003. I replaced him at the end of his tour. He elected not to go the professional pilot route after retirement, but was always super active in GA, EAA, and teaching his kids about aviation. The fact that Tim perished too is just crushing. So very tragic. He was loved by all that ever met him. God bless you, Spanky.
  22. 29 points
    You got it all wrong... an FE with two Masters degrees who just cross flowed from a 130J landed gear up flying solo in a C-17; turns out he was sexually harassing the gay singer from Tops in Blue at the time that he was planning the Christmas Party with when he learned he got passed over for a second time for Lt Col and got non-continued. Now he doesn't know what to do because he wanted to sign the bonus that got delayed and isn't sure if he can still transfer his GI Bill to his kids. All of this happened while landing at the wrong airport in Tampa when he was supposed to be landing in Benghazi, but just as he was manually calculating TOLD he got a call from both Obama and Clinton telling him not to go. He was planning on getting out any day now anyway when the Airlines start their massive hiring wave! I guess they already had the court martial and he got convicted by a bunch of shoes on the jury, but a 3 Star overturned the verdict. So when all was said and done... it was pretty much a long week for Rainman!
  23. 28 points
    A valid question; here's my opinion based on my involvement as an AF O-6 at NSA working airborne programs for the Asst Dep Director for Operations, Military Affairs and post- retirement as a civilian in OSD (DARO, OUSD/ISR, and NIMA/NGA)at the time The answer is that in the very early 90s, Bill Lynn, the Director of DARPA (actually named "ARPA" at that point but returned to its original title of "DARPA" later in the 90s), and Bill Perry, the DepSecDef (not sure if they were in those exact positions in the very beginning, but by mid-90s they were) believed that unmanned aircraft had the potential to revolutionize airborne operations, starting with ISR, by reducing personal exposure to threats, enabling extended ISR (long duration ops) and save money by reducing the manpower costs in the systems. Additionally, they believed that a new acquisition concept called the Advanced Concept Technology Demonstration (ACTD) could speed up the introduction of new systems from the current (in the 90s) and painful 15-20 years. The idea was to marry up the contractor side and the government side early in the development cycle to better work out operational issues while designing the vehicles (sounds good...didn't work!). They married the two ideas and DARPA initiated the High Altitude Endurance (HAE) and Medium Altitude Endurance (MAE) programs in 1994. The HAE program envisioned two platforms; a high altitude "U-2-like" vehicle and a smaller low observable, craft for better penetration of highly defended areas, referred to as "tier 2+ and "Tier 3-" in their concept terminology. The MAE program started with an existing much less capable unmanned RPA called the "Gnat", built by General Atomics for another purpose. You'll note here that this effort was a DARPA technology development effort, not an acquisition effort responding to an approved DoD mission need. In fact, the Air Force was not particularly enamored with the idea of unmanned mission aircraft and did not support the effort; there was no AF money or manning in the POM to support it. In fact the HAE program plan itself says there is only one required outcome...and let me quote from the ARPA 6 Oct 1994 ver 1.0 HAE CONOP..."A dominant objective of the HAE UAV program is to obtain the maximum capability possible for a set, non-waiverable Unit Flyaway Price (UFP); accordingly, while there are performance objectives, the only requirement that must be met is the UFP." In other words, it doesn't have to do anything except fly, hold a camera, and cost less that $10 million a copy; no operational needs have to be satisfied. To many in the system, the real effort was for DARPA to develop the new acquisition concept, using the HAE and MAE as exemplars. The AF eventually got the aircraft because the outcome of an ACTD was to be either: 1) a failed program, so cancel it, 2) showed promise, so move on and correct issues, or 3) Provide program residuals to the eventual user (AF in this case) for them to decide to either keep and operate or dump. The ARPA and SECDEF seniors decided it flew, collected something, and (sort of) met the UFP goal (at about $15.5 each), so they chose option 3 and passed it all to the AF (both HAE and MAE, although the DarkStar segment of HAE was cancelled after it crashed on flight 2. Why they kept it was the usual case of political and industrial influence, I guess. Some of us suggested the best course of action was to dump the Global Hawk because it met few operational needs, would cost too much to upgrade (if it could ever be upgraded...too little space, too little power, too little payload), and met few of the original desired capabilities, We felt it would be cheaper to take the money and start with a clean sheet design, using the knowledge gained to drive the new (unmanned) platform (which we referred to as "Global Truck"). The estimated $200-400 million extra was consider too much money by leadership, so we stay on the "cheap" track...which I suspect has cost us an extra $5-8 Billion by now (just my guess). As for the ACTD experiment, it hit a few bumps, too. When the Predator program was turned over to the AF and told to operate it, they found the DARPA program provided no money or manpower in the DoD budget to do so, no tech data was ever developed for the Service (it was all contractor proprietary) so they couldn't fix it, no ground control systems built except the contractor's test stuff so they couldn't deploy or fly it fly, No additional money was provided by DoD or Congress to the AF so the AF started a program called "Predator 911" to find money (to operate and buy support) and manpower, and facilities, "robbing" it from the current and future years budgets, causing major disruptions for years. As for GH, the idea of killing the U-2 and replacing it with the GH didn't float either, because the GH had practically no operational capability as delivered and it took a decade to develop the RQ-4B with more capability and slightly better sensors. So, that's why we have it! BTW, as far as Perry and Lynn were concerned, the success of unmanned systems since then probably indicates their vision was a success, and I can't really argue that they'd be wrong. Its all in your perspective.
  24. 27 points
    Yes...and shockingly, got picked up 1 APZ with a 5/10 push line and P on the PRF. Sometimes there is justice in the system.
  25. 27 points
  26. 27 points
    That is an animated gif not a meme you n00b.
  27. 27 points
    I'll add my two cents (and some more). Soooooo not everyone on this board agrees with Tony Carr's perspective on the USAF - see his editorial on the Thunderbird mishap from last June and (if you know ANYTHING), you'll know that that piece was designed to elicit an emotional response, did nothing to satisfy public curiosity about the event, shed no new light on the event, and was literally the journalistic equivalent of throwing $hit at a wall - in the name of smearing the AF (cause he thinks it's fun, IMO). After that post I was honestly not sure whether or not to take him seriously any more - and I don't. He was a previous safety guy who "had F-16 experience" but yet he wrote it as someone would who lacked a military flying background. His response to my analysis (http://disq.us/p/1ejpsoe) of his editorial was dismissive, and when presented with facts, he avoided the issue. I don't consider him value-added at this point - as I do this message board. I think he's a semi-talented, own-press-reading, bitter, (ret) Lt Col who has nothing better to do with his time than sport bitch on the internet. I think lots of people agree with that sentiment, and while he can sometimes come close the mark, I don't think (in general) he is that interesting any more. On that note, and to your question, I don't think the root cause of the USAF's current crisis has much to do with leadership in a traditional sense, but then again, I was never one who drank the AF koolaid that would have all its officers believe that leadership is the panacea to every and all problems. No, sometimes, people make poor decisions and it's not because they are poor leaders. And sometimes, it doesn't matter who's at the seat, there can be (and are) systemic issues in an organization which have far greater effects. Pinning it all on "toxic leadership" is what someone who is still pissed at a lot of previous superiors does when he is no longer subject to their rule. That said, if you choose to orient yourself in such a way, then I suppose that everything can be boiled down to poor leadership (not toxic), but I think there are more systemic issues as to why the USAF is in its current state, and when viewed in that light, will lead to more fruitful changes. 1. 179s: Look a troop in the eye, and tell them that the reason they're going down range for 179 days (vs 180 or more) has nothing to do with the USAF's policy of granting short-tour credit for deployments of longer length (sts). http://www.af.mil/News/Article-Display/Article/112915/air-force-normalizes-short-tour-credit-policy/. IMO, there is only one reason such a policy could exist, and it is to screw airmen out of a medal, deployment credit, make it easier for the personnel machine to send them downrange again sooner, or whatever. Justifications along the lines of "well, we will need to be able to deploy them again" do not hold water. All airmen who were getting short-tour credit for 180+ day deployments were playing by the same rules, and were all on the same "list". What shifting a policy did while we were in the middle of a war, was create two groups of people - those who had deployed for >181 and <365 who got credit, and those who did not - that is a ripple in the system, and though it may not have an immediately visible consequence, it certainly has an effect and was unfair to lots of people. So, that's one example of something wrong, which has nothing to do with anyone wearing < 4 stars on their shoulders. But toxic leadership? Maybe, but by only one person - not a culture of it. 2. RIFs/Force-shaping: During my time in the USAF, I "survived" two RRFs (I think, maybe, I can't remember at this point). One occurred shortly after I finished the B-Course. The U-S-A-F sent me, a fighter pilot, paperwork that suggested I may not be retained, literally immediately after I finished soaking up the better part of $5M in training costs/taxpayer money and with nearly 10 years of commitment remaining. IMO, this was done in the name of "social justice" - an example of a policy enacted to make everyone feel like they're on the same page and are all of equal value. Was I actually concerned I was going to be force-shaped? Nope. But this is an example of something that is wrong with the AF at a cultural level. Fixing this would go a long way toward re-orienting the AF in the correct direction, but (I get it) it would cause A LOT of teeth-gnashing with the REMFs, and that is a merge I highly doubt the AF wants to buy - because we MUST be socially just, we absolutely must be (sarcasm). 2a. In 2011, the USAF got rid of 157 Majors who should have been allowed to retire: http://dailycaller.com/2011/11/25/military-advocates-decry-illegal-early-terminations-of-157-air-force-majors/ http://nation.time.com/2012/01/03/air-force-firing-for-effect/ This occurred, and then (almost immediately), the USAF sought to be granted TERA (and was given it) in order to "slim down": http://www.af.mil/News/Article-Display/Article/467816/eligible-officers-enlisted-members-offered-early-retirement/ http://www.af.mil/News/Article-Display/Article/483997/af-opens-additional-tera-vsp-windows/ http://www.af.mil/News/Article-Display/Article/467713/af-announces-additional-force-management-programs-to-reduce-force-size/ https://federalnewsradio.com/retirement/2016/01/greg-rinckey-air-force-officers-demand-reinstatement/ Does that not cause one to scratch their head (who said head)? Look a troop in the eye and tell them this is not the apex of hypocrisy and short-sighted decision making. If you ask me, this is an instance of breaking faith with people. And before we cry uncle and say "well we're subject to civilian leadership decisions", I don't remember any stars falling on their swords over that one. GOs should have been resigning up and down the chain over that one. Again, like it or not, when people witness decisions like this, it affects their "matrix" and they then re-evaluate their criteria for staying in the AF for the long haul. What this sequence of decisions made clear was that a member's continued service was arbitrary, and subject to the flavor of the month. That is not going to be good enough for most people who are investing the most valuable years of their working lives towards a successful career, and I think this has had a direct and lasting affect on morale and retention. Again, this is an example of a policy decision that created two classes of people: those who served > 15 years and were not given a retirement, and those who were. 3. Shortly on the pilot bonus: the fact that it hasn't change in what, 20+ years, communicates a lot - if not directly, then indirectly. All the hand-wringing about increased amounts being just around the corner is a little pathetic, and is obviously being done from a reactionary perspective. This should have been addressed YEARS ago, because the Airline hiring wave is NOT a surprise. 4. Focus: This, to me, boils down to what the USAF should be focused on. IMO, it is high-time that "space" and "cyber" became their own separate service (or perhaps services). Much like the USAF growth out of the Army benefited both branches, I think another, modern version of that evolution needs to take place with those two realms so they can get the focus they need, and we can get ours. No, space is NOT a continuation of the "air domain", and neither is cyber. There, I said it. Sure, they abut, but so does the surface of the sea/Earth, with the sky, yet we have different branches dedicated to those domains. IMO the AF is in love with the idea of being a one-sized fits all solution to all problems (or maybe they're addicted to the money, IDK). That last point will lead me to #5. 4a. It was suggested on other message boards that more 11X presence is needed throughout the AF - from staffs, to the FSS. I fully agree with this sentiment, and would happily displace an FSS Maj or Lt Col (while remaining on flying status) and run that shop/unit. Would I be there everyday? Nope, but I wouldn't need to be. See, it's all about policy and setting an expectation. The USAF for far too long has been ceding ever more control to those who don't have to cross a wire. Why is this? Do we really need a finance-trained, specialized Maj/Lt Col to run the finance shop? Really? Does that person even know how to operate DTS or whatever else? And even if they do know how, do they? I highly suspect they fill more of figure-head roll; a leader of those units could easily come from an 11X background and provide actual, bonafied leadership. I would go so far as to say that in order to command anything, you should have to be a rated officer. Yes, this caps non-rated officers - tough shit. Go get wings. 5. This is likely an unpopular opinion on this board, but the biggest mistakes we have recently made (as a nation) have been the strategic errors of invading Iraq in 2003, the "how" of invading Afghanistan in 2001, and then the subsequent withdrawal from Iraq in whenever we actually did it. Bottom line on this one, is that the USAF leadership (at the time) should have thrown down a firm "no" when the Army demanded we play in the conflict for as long as we have, as should have the Navy. Drones and snake eaters? You bet. Multi-million dollar fighter jets, the full capes of the world's greatest AF burning holes in the sky, US Navy billion-dollar aircraft carriers? No way. We have WAY over-extended ourselves in these conflicts and have NOTHING to show for it. Well, except a military full of equipment that is falling apart at a time when we least need it. I fully grasp that we were sent to war by our civilian leadership, but not calling a goat by its name isn't solving the problem. No, AFPAK Hands will not succeed. Not because of lack of awesome people and their concerted and earnest efforts, but because the strategic context of its goal is illogical and nonsensical. No amount of Air University PHD-research-papering will make it so. The point of the military is to kill people and break their shit; not to nation-build before a war is won. Advising people who don't want what we want isn't the answer - if there's one thing I learned from my experiences, combined with the 'cross cultural competency' assigned by ACSC, it's that. The sooner our "leadership" - of whatever flavor and level - wake up and recognize this, the better. We have poured (and continue to pour) far too much in time, resources, blood, and money into an unwinnable situation. We need to get back to defining realistic, measurable goals, by which we can actually measure a 1 or 0, we can start counting those. I would much prefer to hear from our leadership that the new, stated goal in Afghanistan is to never allow a Taliban, or al Qaeda sponsored/sympathetic government to take root - and leave it at that. We're not interested in standing up a government there; we're not interested in building girls' schools there; we're not interested in teaching air advisers how to read the JP 3.09-3. We are interested in shooting Hellfires off of drones at anyone associated with the Taliban or al Qaeda for the next 1000 years - that's it. This section has run on way too long, but to sum up: our current strategy only exists because we misunderstand who and what type of people we are fighting. 6. HPO lists, etc. This category is all about creating "classes" of people. The military has always been a good 'ol boys club, and it always will be. Formalizing it in Excel spread sheets, and choosing people while they are Captains is what has created and perpetuated a perception that it literally doesn't matter what you do if you're not on that list. It is nothing more than playing favorites, and creates an environment that leads people to separate - now there's some "leadership". I ultimately believe that more transparency in the assignment and promotion system will go a long way to correcting a lot of the AF's current problems as well. I could, and might, write more, but until next time, if you haven't read this article, the author hits on some extremely relevant points: https://philipgmorrison.wordpress.com/2017/01/15/its-your-move-the-dilemma-of-incurred-commitment-in-the-modern-job-market/. - ViperMan
  28. 27 points
    Just as I would never trivialize the sacrifices or challenges our airmen faced in Vietnam or WWII, I would expect our officers to not trivialize the sacrifices and challenges our military has faced since 9/11 in Iraq and Afghanistan. Our Air Force crews have not experienced anywhere near the losses we did in previous wars, but our military has suffered sufficient losses to not be marginalized by reminiscing of better times when fighter pilots felt more appreciated. We shouldn't hope for the times when air to air combat and incredible losses resulting from ground to air fires define our Air Force's worth, contribution and legacy. We should be proud of the asymmetrical advantage we provide our nation as we engage this enemy during this time. And we should be very careful about marginalizing our military's most recent combat experiences to our joint partners. Our Air Force exists today, with significant investment of taxpayer dollars, so we don't have to experience the challenges and losses that we experienced in WWII and Vietnam. It is foolish to wish for "real air combat" and losses to fix our problems and define our worth. My Dad flew Huey gunships during two tours in Vietnam and my grandfather flew B-17s in Europe. There was plenty of admin bullshit and useless bureaucracy then. Robin Olds rebelled against the same. Don't view the past through rose colored glasses and think we are so much worse than we were in the good old days when aircraft were shot down, ground forced needed Beyer air support and morale was high. Especially when it pisses off those who sacrifice, kill and serve.
  29. 26 points
    There are many of us who have been married for a considerable amount of time (nearly 25 years in my case) and understand that playing Charlie Sheen may seem like a good idea; but in reality there is something to be said about spending your life with someone you love and raising a family with them...
  30. 26 points
  31. 26 points
    A colleague who is F22 pilot for the Virginia ANG had honor of flying a Phantom at Eglin. He flew the aircraft we had at the reunion. Here is the F-22 pilot’s thoughts on flying the F-4: I flew your jet a couple days ago (see attached). I had a little trouble getting the engines started, so I climbed out and shoveled some more coal in the back; after that she fired right up. Ground ops were uneventful, although I couldn’t figure out why the cockpit smelled like body odor, Jack Daniels and cigars…and that was BEFORE I got in it! By the way, what’s with the no slip crap on top of the intakes, it’s like you have permanent icing conditions due to that spray on rhino truck bed liner on top of the aircraft. It’s no wonder you needed so much coal (I mean thrust) to get airborne. Take off scared the sh*t out of me. I lit the burners at brick one and 2 miles and 45 minutes later we were ready to rotate. After barely clearing the tree tops, the gear came up and I climbed away at a VERY impressive 2 degrees nose high. In case you don’t remember, “Trim” is your friend in the F-4 (pretty sure it’s also a good friend on the ground too). Once I got her up to speed and a moderate altitude, we were ready for the G-Ex. Two G-turn’s later and I’m sinking like a rock…the F-4’s energy seems to bleed like Holyfield’s ear in the Tyson fight! After the G-Ex it was time to do a little Advanced Handling Characteristics (AHC) and by “advanced handling” I mean the same crap the Wright Brothers were doing back in 1903…just trying to keep it airborne. The jet flies much like my old man’s station wagon used to drive…You turn the wheel (push the stick) a few inches and nothing happens, then all of a sudden the steering kicks in, inertia takes over, and all HELL breaks loose! You’re pretty much along for the ride at that point and only gravity has a real say in your lift vector placement. “Checking 6” was really quite easy…. because you CAN’T! Scratch that off the list of “Sh*t I need to do to keep myself alive in combat today”. Breathing, however, was surprisingly easy in the F-4 when compared to that of the F-22 (thank you Lockheed)…LOX works, who knew! I think I may have burned my legs a bit from the steam pouring out from behind the gauges. Where are my 6 mini-flat screen TV’s, I’m lost without my HD jet displays (editors note: actually, I’m an analog guy stuck in a digital world too…I really do like the “steam driven” gauges). After the AHC, I decided to take her up high and do a supersonic MACH run, and by “high” I mean “where never lark nor even eagle flew”; but not much higher, a foot or two maybe. I mean, we weren’t up there high-fiving Jesus like we do in the Raptor, but it was respectable. It only took me the width of the Gulf of Mexico to get the thing turned around while above the Mach. After the Mach run we dropped to the deck and did 600 kts at 500’; a ratllin’ and shakin’ we will go…. I though all the rivets were going to pop out. Reference previous station wagon analogy! Very quickly we were out of gas and headed home. As I brought the jet up initial, I couldn’t help but think that the boys who took this thing into combat had to have some pretty big brass you know whats! My first F-4 landing was a little rough; sub-standard really by Air Force measure… but apparently “best seen to date” according to the Navy guys. Did you know that there’s no such thing as an aerobrake in the F-4? As soon as the main gear touches down, the nose comes slamming down to the runway with all the force of a meteor hitting the earth….I guess the F-4 aerobrake technique is to dissipate energy via denting the runway. Despite an apparently “decent” landing, stopping was a whole different problem. I reached down and pulled the handle to deploy the drogue chute…at which point a large solid mass of canvas, 550 cord, metal weights and cables fell out and began bouncing down the runway; chasing me like a lost puppy and FOD’ing out the whole runway. Perfect. I mashed down on the breaks and I’m pretty sure at this point the jet just started laughing at me. Why didn’t you warn me that I needed a shuttle landing strip to get this damn thing stopped? All kidding aside, VERY COOL jet! Must have been a kick to fly back when you were in Vietnam! Just kidding!
  32. 26 points
    Surprised this didn't make it to the forums. This happened on May 1 and initial reports were vague https://www.reporternews.com/story/news/local/2018/05/01/abilene-based-b-1-bomber-makes-emergency-landing-midland/570523002/ Yesterday however Task and Purpose had this pretty interesting article. https://taskandpurpose.com/b-1b-lancer-emergency-landing/ Granted this is hearsay and rumor at this point, but damn, if this is true helluva job by that crew Breaking News: Hero B-1 Instructor Pilot and crew land B-1B after in flight emergency (IFE). On May 1st, 2018 a two ship out of Dyess Air Force Basedealt with a situation that no pilot wants to ever encounter. The incident involved a Rockwell B-1B Lancer 86-0109/DY named "Spectre", which was built back in 1986. During flight they encountered an over wing fairing (OWF) fire indication on fire warning panel climbing out of low level, followed by #3 engine fire indications. Crew then executed checklist for both, including fire bottles, but OWF light did not go out. The aircraft commander then called for manual ejection. Auto means that if anyone in the front station punches everyone goes regardless if seat is safed or pinned. Manual means that an individual physically has to pull their handle. The offensive system officer (OSO) was the first to pull, that’s why the missing hatch seat retracted and the hatch departed. When the seat did not go up the rails the crew were left with two options at that point. Continue manual ejection for the other crew which means the OSO would ride the jet into the dirt or take the jet as far as they could while maintaining aircraft control and try to save the OSO, which is why the crew elected to land at Midland Airport. That type of Emergency Procedure (EP) has never been successfully recovered in the B-1. The IFE occurred towards the end of the sortie coming off Instrument Route 178 which is a level route along the Texas and Mexico border. After the failed ejection, there was approximately 15 or more minutes of flight before landing. It is assumed the crew had helmets with masks attached for oxygen. The hatch that blew off has yet to be recovered. The photo of the B-1 in the hangar shows burn marks in the OWF, which appears to be caused by the fire that that crew observed in flight. Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) was on scene after the landing due to the seat shielded mild detonation cords (SMDC). There is no guidance for failed ejection in the Technical Orders (TO). The OSO would have died for sure and there was potential to loose the entire crew racing to Midland trying to save the OSO. Instead the crew made the choice to stay with the OSO and luckily the IP stayed calm and acted to save the life of the crew and B-1B. For that, we believe the IP and crew should all be recognized for their heroic actions that day, which brought credit upon themselves and the United States Air Force.
  33. 25 points
    [slides chips across the felt] All of it on the little Jewish country.
  34. 25 points
    A true warrior. Never bitched (excessively), always worked hard, and made the brotherhood and the Air Force a better place. It was my honor, and many others, to serve with him. Artisits: Amn Pucci and Amn Leonard. Nice work boys, some of the best nose art I've seen. #flynavy
  35. 25 points
    Many senior leaders value the wrong things. We overvalue entertainment, image, compliance and control. We undervalue combat, results, creativity and trust.
  36. 25 points
    Long rant incoming. You don't seriously believe the Air Force will ever let the tail wag the dog, do you? Name me one time in history where someone said "wow we're going to have a problem with retention, we're going to dial things back for a bit". The fact is, especially as officers, we've grown accustomed to a certain quality of life that has been guaranteed for multiple years, and they're banking on the fact that enough people will be too afraid to risk that QoL as a civilian, but don't have the foresight to know what's coming down the road. Timing-wise, let me say this -- from FY1972 to FY1976 the Air Force dropped 20,000 officers and 220k enlisted. From FY1990 to FY1995, it dropped another 22,000 officers and 113k enlisted. We currently have 30k fewer people in the Air Force than from when we started this war. And that's when we were under complete GOP control for most of a decade that was more than happy to skyrocket DoD spending to record levels. Now, the military is beset on all sides by people who want to slow, stop, and eventually reverse the amount of money we spend on defense. But we don't want to lose defense capability. Where do you find the savings? Personnel. We're [allegedly] drawing down in Iraq, and the end of surging in Afghanistan is looming over the horizon in 2014. If you're not expecting another huge active duty cut in the next 3-5 years, then you haven't been paying attention to history and current trends. Fighter guys will keep going to UAVs and non-flying assignments, because there are simply fewer squadrons around to go to. What, you didn't realize this when they went from 8 fighter assignments per class at UPT down to 2? And that they went from 0 UAVs up to 3-4 per class? And when they sent a bunch of AFSOC guys to fucking Clovis and still kept deploying them 200 days a year? And when they deployed a bunch of AMC guys so much that people actually start volunteering for UAVs to escape the madness? How is this even a surprise? It's a long-term, insidious, and most likely unintentional-yet-I-like-where-this-is-going rebalancing of the force. Why should we bother retaining expensive, high maintenance pilots who are tired of deploying, when we can replace them with wide-eyed newbies who we can deploy until they drop? And then, keep enough experienced guys who are just happy enough taking one more assignment in a cockpit, that they won't ever complain? This ensures that we have a just-enough-qualified cadre for the F-35, and a bunch of prior experienced fighter guys that are still on the payroll for the future, but are solving the UAV issue in the present term. Furthermore, all the benefits we as a military service currently enjoy came from veterans and sympathetic lawmakers fighting for it. The GI bill, the even better post-9/11 GI bill, educational assistance, military retirement (remember REDUX? it wasn't THAT long ago). These things were fought for by vet lawmakers for vets. Well, those people are dying off and retiring slowly, but surely. We're exporting this whole "military service" thing to a very specific, and very small portion of the American population. Look at the people who remember what it was like in the Cold War, honestly appreciate your service, and would give you the shirt off their back to keep you warm. I bet most of them have gray hair. And as time marches on, they will get fewer and farther between. Look at the current President, and his likely Republican challengers for 2012, not a single goddamn day of military service amongst ANYONE besides Ron Paul. But there sure as hell are a lot of J.D.'s. And you think this is going to get better? In 2000 we talked about how good it was back in 1990. In 2011 we all talk about how good it was in 2000. And in 2020 we'll talk about how good we had it back in 2010. Change is the only constant you can depend on, and it won't be for the better. We're governed by men of rhetoric, not action. They will proclaim their support of the military loudly, take a PR-sanitized tour of your deployed base with their American flag jumpsuit, and then deploy your stupid gullible ass to another war without thought or care for what you're giving up, while simultaneously gutting 1) your ability to do your job, 2) pay, and 3) benefits to make room for super high-tech procurement contracts so that they can win votes back home. Below these men of rhetoric are generals who have already banked their 19k a month retirement check and follow-on CEO position at a defense contractor, many of whom will not hesitate to RIF you or deploy you so that their excel spreadsheet macro turns green, and it makes their masters happy. As it goes down from star to eagle to oak leaf to bar to stripe, it will get bastardized into "well these are the boss' orders, we have to do our duty", and so, the game continues. I guess what I'm trying to say here, is that we should get rid of this misconception that aviators have any leverage whatsoever with things like retention. I know everyone thinks "well if they keep screwing with us, we'll all leave and show them who really has the power", but, honestly, that's just wishful thinking. And, even worse, a lot of people think "well if I just play the game, I'll get taken care of", leading to an attitude where you'll casually throw your own people under the bus just to keep that quality of life you have. The situation will continue to erode, so I guess my advice is to protect yourself and your families from the looming storm ahead, but don't forget to take care of your fellow servicemembers and vets, because nobody else will.
  37. 24 points
  38. 24 points
    Sorry to hear that, Brother. Wrap your brain around the concept that she will get half of everything you ever earned while you were together. If you're able to come out better, then it's all gravy. Do everything you can to remain civil and professional with her. Never let your kids hear you say anything bad about her. Ever. Not once. As strange as this sounds, moving forward your relationship with her, and it's failure are none of their business. No matter how badly she may behave, she's their Mom. If you can sit down at the kitchen table with her and put it all on a legal pad, you'll save yourself a lot of angst and attorney fees. If you can "give in" to certain things she wants in order to facilitate a quick agreement in return for certain things you want, it's worth every penny. People will give you advice like: "Roll in on that cunt and fight her tooth and nail!" Ask those people to compare what they think they "won" in court financially to what it cost to litigate it. It isn't worth it. Moving forward, your relationship with her is going to be jointly parenting your kids. That relationship will be healthier for the kids if the two of you can agree to act like adults ad settle as amicably and quickly as possible. Now; You. You're a pro. Compartmentalize like a MF and work your way through indoc and IOE. When you get a chance, take some time for yourself. Nonrev to Hawaii and put it all out of your mind for a few days. Exercise is your friend - the more the better. At some point in all of this process, you'll have come far enough and gotten past the anger enough to look at what happened a little more objectively. When that happens, the single most important thing you can do is forgive her and yourself for what happened. Let it fucking go. You're also about to re-learn who your real friends are. Lean on those folks. Bigtime. Don't medicate with booze or food. That's it. The day you have to tell your children is the worst day of your life. Everyday after that will be just a little bit better. Good luck, chum. Those of us who've been through this are rooting for you. Hell, you can at least call yourself a real airline pilot now!
  39. 24 points
    I fly a little Titan Tornado S now and it is a blast. It's a full light weight metal aircraft with only 80hp (Rotax 912) but it will do a loop, actually more of an oval ellipse since it barely gets over the top and kind of falls off the back side. It cruises at C-172 speeds and has 2 seats in tandem and a stick rather than a yoke. A fun little experimental that carries about as much (600 lbs - that includes the 15 gallons of fuel) as its empty weight (~620lbs). The reason I chose it is that the front seat height is pretty much even with the seat in my wheelchair (I'm paralyzed now so can't use feet/legs) and the rudder and brakes were easy to modify so that I can use my hands to operate all flight controls. Never consciously thought about how much I would miss flying until it was taken away for a little while. The first picture was when I test flew one before I bought mine, the second shot is my plane shot from a friends plane.
  40. 24 points
    1. You will change your mind. It's a mere function of time and life stage. Don't fret it. The young ones want to fly helos these days after MWS day out of UPT because they don't want to get "stuck in an airframe that doesn't see action". Nothing has changed much in that regard from 50 years ago. The crusty majors and above roll their eyes and welcome a family-friendly PCS duty location, or conversely 7-day opt in order to save their families in the absence of one. The two archetypes were the same person at one moment in time, bear in mind. You will be no different unless you opt out of a family, which is perfectly fine too. 2. You're misunderstanding the exodus. Just like the retirement of the baby boomers, job replacement will not occur on a one for one basis. The jobs are GOING AWAY. The 11F shortage is an 11F head count (sts) shortage for 11F coded staff jobs, NOT an 11F cockpit shortage (i.e. false advertisement). Ergo, there is NO net vacating spot for you to jump into. You're competing for less jobs, which makes your desires MORE competitive. It's not impossible, but watching all this experience leave is not leaving you with more opportunity merely because you feel willing to go where the ones before you are running away from. Understand this difference for your own sake. It will lessen the disappointment. 3. You'll quickly come to chastise your own statement. I know you're being flippant, but you really have no concept of how old queep gets. It is fundamentally defining in the career of a flying officer, that his flying duties, in paper listed as primary duties, are in effect tertiary duties after he pins on O-3. You will not escape that (there is no WO program in the AF). The closest you will get to attain such an outcome is to be a Guard/Reservist and deal with just getting to do it on a part-time basis (even full time reserve guys are being fired too, for your SA). Understand what this means. This means they'll pay you to not get to do what you're willing to sell your soul for in order to get to do in the first place. You will reject that construct in due time, like most of those before you, and again come to chastise your own words. Look, none of this has to be accompanied by a moral adjudication either. Some kool-aid drinkers could say airline_guy is a shitbag for having such an openly disdainful attitude (by proxy) for which he took an officer oath that had nothing to do with flying airplanes. Others (myself included) would view such means to an end as an admittedly apathetic but par for the course answer in an organization that's bigger than the kool aid drinker, myself or airline_guy's, and certainly an organization who doesn't care one flying fuck about me, airline_guy or even the kool-aid drinker. The only truth I know is to keep doing something until it stops making sense or you get fired. Words I live by and it's kept me sane. What makes you a SNAP is not that you think you're willing to do things others are not (you're not btw), what makes you a SNAP is that you foresee yourself as immune from these dynamics by simpleton attitude. You're not immune and you will find out. Whether that transition is a fluid one or a life-embittering one largely depends on how much common wisdom and free internet advice you're willing to accept or dismiss today. Good luck to you either way and thank you for your service.
  41. 24 points
    That's not just a great OPR bullet... it's a fabulous OPR bullet.
  42. 23 points
  43. 23 points
    I taught your mom all about apotheosis.
  44. 23 points
    Fellas, it's Memorial Day. Let's have a beer for the boys who can't. This thread is brutal and going nowhere fast. Cheers Sent from my iPhone using Baseops Network Forums
  45. 23 points
    I'm deployed and busy. I still check the forum to see what's new. I'm tired of reading posts from whiners who continue to bitch and moan about not being required to get an AAD until Col. Drama queens. I can't stand being around people who complain about stupid things and this forum is full of them. Hard to read sometimes, but there are enough witty insights to make it worth it. This Korea alcohol thing is over the top. I think it is an unlawful order. Good order and discipline my ass. Some commanders have lost their minds with this "treat people like children" mentality of leadership. JQP's Camp Air Force article is spot on. I recommend you read it and apply it to your leadership style. To those in this forum that aren't bitter, selfish, disillusioned crybabies, thank you for serving in the greatest AF this world has ever seen. It is a bloated bureaucracy (DMV with guns), with more chickenshit senior leaders and commanders and more stupid rules than it should have. But our Air Force kicks ass all over the world, enabling our nation to do the things it should be doing, killing those who need to be killed, and protecting those who need to be protected. We need competent, courageous and creative leaders at all levels, including every one of our officers. Quit your complaining and start leading. Or just quietly separate and go get that dream job where there are no stupid rules and bad leaders, so the rest of us can get to it. edited to remove some profanity caused by my bad mood
  46. 23 points
    A few weeks ago I made a statement to a room full of senior AF leaders that we were making a big mistake paying contractors and civilians to fix and fly aircraft in combat while we keep active duty support personnel, including band members, comm, CE, firefighters, finance, etc. I said an Air Force that pays civilians to fix and fly aircraft will soon end up in the Army. I didn't get a slow clap, or any supporting fires, but it felt good to say it to a bunch of senior decision makers. We should cut, contract and civilianize all support functions before we cut combat power and our core missions. Our support functions are vitally important, but they don't have to all be military. We should contract all housing, CDCs, fire departments, base security, FSS, DV airlift, protocol, CE, base comm, base logistics and most our health care. Contracts keep costs down, quality up, allow for competition, hold people accountable and leverage corporate experience, technologies and responsiveness. And you don't pay for full benefits and retirement for non-combat/non-critical Air Force capabilities, so it is cheaper in the long run.
  47. 23 points
    Anyone else feel an overwhelming urge to punch that dude in the face standing on the vertical stab?
  48. 22 points
    We should have listened to those 90 year old sim instructors who said this was going to happen when we got rid of the “fix to fix” Sent from my iPhone using Baseops Network mobile app
  49. 22 points
    I'm an old retired fart, but I had a great Air Force Experience a couple of weeks ago. A client of my wife found out that this couple had a kid who was all ate up about flying, flew flight sims for hours, but had never been in the cockpit of a real airplane. So I volunteered to give the kid an incentive ride in my might Piper Warrior. It turned out he was a junior in college, majoring in mechanical engineering. He wanted to know all about the Air Force and wanted to hear my war stories. Of course I cleverly managed to never get shot at, but I shared some 'peace stories' with him while we stopped for a hundred dollar hamburger. Anyway, my Warrior is based at Austin Bergstrom (KAUS), and we get a lot of military transient airplanes. As we were putting the Warrior back in the hanger a black T-38 showed up in the pattern and flew a couple of overheads and then landed. As we started to walk back to the Signature terminal the Black 'BB' coded T-38 was parking right in front of us. My pax asked me if he could take a picture of this T-38. Of course I knew that nobody would care if someone took a picture of a T-38, but I said 'Why don't we ask the pilots'? So I walked over as they were climbing out of the cockpit, introduced us as 'once and future Air Force guys' and asked if we could take a picture of their jet. It was a looker I'll say that. To make a long story short, the crew were two U-2 pilots. Of course they let us take all the pictures we wanted, but more important they asked my young friend what he wanted to do in the Air Force, and he told them he wanted to be a pilot. They spent about 15 minutes telling him about pilot training, suggesting the best paths to a commission for him, and in general talking up the fun of being in the Air Force. I'm sure the guys were probably a bit tired, and in a hurry to get to Sixth Street, but to this young person they were heroes bordering on Living Gods. I really appreciated the time they took and their enthusiasm for my young friends dreams. It reminded me how cool it is that the Air Force sometimes would give you the keys to a jet plane and a gas card, and tell you bring back in one piece next Monday!
  50. 22 points
    A few things I've learned/observed in my 30+ years of adulthood and 25+ years since being commisioned: 1. Military aviation requires near absolute precision and professionlism in planning, briefing, execution, and debriefing. I have never met a single officer (I know and have worked for many who are now or became GO's) who could maintain that high level in all facets of their careers and at all times. People need balance. Flyers need a forum where they can let loose. It used to be the Auger Inn at Randolph AFB (not sure if it still is). Mather AFB had their famous JOC night. Reese AFB had the Smokin' Hole. Eielson had the "Club". Many squadrons had their own bars, like Moody's at Red Flag. These were/are places where aviators could go, be irreverent, be bawdy, be undisciplined, and be on a somewhat level field with leadership. How many here have seen their Wing CC with sleeves rolled up having a beer or playing crud or smoking a stogie? When you do, at that moment he is one of you. How often does that happen now? Probably not much. Base Ops offers a welcome alternative to places that are mostly long gone. The squadron bar has replaced the squadron bars and O'Clubs and the NSFW forums have replaced the doofer books. 2. When a dude walks into a bar looking for a fight, he will most likely find it while lookling like a jackass. He will look it even more when he gets indignant when he gets his ass kicked. 3. When someone thinks they are in the midst of assholes, they probably should take a step back and think about who the common denominator is. 4. Differing opinons are usually heard when offered in a credible well thought out manner. It is possible to be right in one's opinion, but completely wrong headed in expressing it (being an ass about it). That usually tunes people out. Joseph McCarthy was right about Communists in government and Hollywood, but was such an ass that he was marginalized and eventually not heard. The louder one yells while trying to force their views on others, the deeper the fingers go into the ears of those who are subjected to the rant. At some point it morphs from peers hearing a guy expressing an opinion to peers seeing that guy being a jackass. Then the focus is no longer on the opinion, but on the jackass It is good to know when that point is reached. 5. A small dose of humility goes a long way. One does not compromise their integrity by allowing that they may be wrong about something or that they made a mistake. I've seen commanders fess up in a debrief and they won lots of respect points by doing so. I've seen a Red Flag deployed forces commander sit himself down for not maintaining his altitude block. Good on him. I've also seen or heard of commanders who tried to ignore obvious mistakes to save face. They came across as jackasses. If a person communicates to others in a condesending fashion, they can expect likewise, regardless if their point if valid. Example of humility - my spelling sucks, so I'm sure there is a mistake somewhere in this post. I believe we grow intellectually stale if we only expose ourselves to things with which we agree and believe differing views are welcome here when offered in a credible fashion. . One needs to have thick skin and be willing and able to defend one's differeing view. One garners respect when one does that when challenged instead of reacting with a tantrum. Again, the issue then morphs from a differing viewpoint to a jackass having a tantrum. Enjoy the forums guys (and Mustache Sally). Keep posting and I'll keep reading. Regards, RF
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