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  1. 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.
  2. 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 - 🤬
  3. 31 points
    In a gesture of goodwill, Southwest named a row of seats after her.
  4. 27 points
    WE HAVE A FEW THAT WAY, BUT WE ALSO HAVE A FEW WHO WERE JUST LEGITIMATELY SCREWED OVER, LIKE THE GUY PASSED OVER ON HIS O-5 BOARD WITH A DP.
  5. 23 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!
  6. 21 points
    I think the General's article raises some interesting possibilities to improve UPT. Better said, I think he is offering some valid ways to improve the transition from UPT to today's modern fighter/attack platforms. However, I think he's forgetting the basic goal of UPT. We still need to produce pilots with strong foundational skills in basic aviation before we start giving them extra "toys" to play with. The problem with making changes to syllabi and training programs in aviation (military or civilian) is the guys making the changes are usually the old guys who were trained one or more "generations" in the past. They always seem to apply their perspective of how challenging it was to adapt to new technology when most of the time, the young guys do fine. What’s actually harder is being able to go backward once someone had become proficient with new tech. I've seen it over and over again. F-15 FTU syllabus changes to include advanced subjects and tactics that had traditionally been left until arrival at the ops units. Old guys are highly skeptical and swear the students will flail because when they had to learn the same stuff 10 years into their careers, their ingrained, semi-hardened brains found it a challenge. Surprise - the students eat the shit up and adapt because they don't know any different and they come out the other end more lethal than their instructors were when they were LTs. Airline X decides to put new hires into the right seats of the latest Boeing or Airbus wide-bodies because 1 - there aren't any more 727 Engineer seats to stick newbies into and 2 - they need to fill the seats. Old guys lose their minds again considering the impossible task of learning the ropes at a major airline while getting through right seat training on the modern marvel that is a 21st century airliner with a glass cockpit and all the bells and whistles. Surprise again - new guys (most anyway) from all kinds of backgrounds deal just fine with all the magic that the old guys stared at like a pig looking at a wristwatch. My point is that new pilots rarely have difficulty adapting to new technology that reduces workload, enhances SA and allows easier human interface. But, once you give them those new toys and train them to use and rely on them from day one, they have no ability to retrograde back to more basic methods. When my airliner computes a descent to hit waypoints at specific speeds and altitudes down track, I do the math and compute my 3:1 descent in my head to make sure the jet's plan is reasonable. It's just a habit developed before I had all the magic. A "child of magenta" probably doesn't have that same habit and may not even have the ability to do it. He's never needed to. So, when Murphy strikes in that scenario or any number of potential problem areas in civilian or military flying, if a pilot has no old school skills and is completely reliant on technology to do his job, he's less capable - period - dot. I laughed when I saw the side by side picture of the T-X and F-35 cockpits. YGBSM. The fact that both cockpits utilize similar displays and automation isn't going to matter on "Stanley's" UPT sorties when he's trying to figure out how to develop contact flying skills, land out of an overhead, not kill his classmate during a rejoin or shoot an approach to mins. I guaran-fucking-tee that his first sortie in an F-35 is not going to be any easier because he had a moving map or some other sensor display in his T-X while he was still earning his wings. Anyone can go from round dial steam gauges that actually required an instrument scan and some mental challenge to maintain positional awareness and overall SA to the latest, greatest glass cockpit. Going back in the other direction is a far different story. UPT needs to produce pilots with solid, basic aviation skills. Skipping over those by handing Stanley a glass cockpit with a moving map, HUD and whatever other toys are available isn't going to do that. I have no doubt he'll do just fine with them, but there's benefit to learning this job from a basic level first. You produce pilots who don't just take the information presented to them as gospel and blindly follow it - but have the ability to understand how to back it up, QC it to ensure it makes sense and flex to another option if it doesn't. I've seen pilots blindly follow steering bars on a flight director into oblivion because that's all they've ever done. Another is unable to transition to a round dial ADI because they're a HUD baby and it's now tits up. I watched a guy in the sim completely pork a way an approach because he chose not to use DME to the field, mis-interpreted his NAV display and lost SA on where he was. A bearing pointer and DME is a beautiful thing if you know how to use them. My point is that the General's concern seems to be how can we introduce more shit to Stanley sooner so he'll be more familiar with the F-35 or F-22 cockpit if and when he finally gets that far. I think students will adapt to those environments just fine when the times comes. There may be an opportunity to help begin their transition later in UPT or during whatever we're going to call the IFF phase. But not at the expense of creating a generation of pilots who start out from day one completely reliant on the most advanced cockpit we can field. Maybe the General needs to take a peek at the existing F-15C or A-10 cockpits. They sure as hell would be about 10 steps backwards for a UPT student who just got winged in an F-X and now has to figure out how to fly round dial steam gauges so he doesn't kill himself on his first ILS to mins. Anyway..... just my old guy two-cents. I still see some value in swinging a weighted bat in the on-deck circle before I'm up.
  7. 20 points
    Dam inspector: The dam is leaking and it’s losing water Dam engineer: well we need to find the holes and fix them so the dam doesn’t break Dam General: just keep adding more water so the lake stays at the current level
  8. 20 points
    This reminds me of last time we deployed. We took a 777 contracted rotator out to the desert. All of us were waiting for hours of course in the pax terminal. There was this sadistic Lt Col who was the deployment office chief. She shrieked at us every 15 minutes about her arbitrary Nazi rules of when we could use the bathroom and get water, over the course of 3-4 hours. I’m not exaggerating when I say this lady’s yelling voice would make that Frau chick on Austin Powers cringe. Finally, it was time to board. She said she’d board us by rank. Lt Cols first, then Majors. Us Captains figured we were next so we got ready. Then a twist. Airmen next. Then NCOs. Then SNCOs. Ok, whatever lady, just let us on the damn plane so we can go to our desert paradise already. Nope. Lts next. Now it’s just the Captains. When it’s just us and her, she gives us her SJW speech. She says we are the group that typically comes first in the AF, so she boarded the plane to take care of the ranks that are typically not taken care of. She said we should be happy to board last and take the worst seats. After being locked in a warehouse for 4 hours needlessly, none of us were really in a mood for a lecture, but whatever. We finally board the buses to the plane. When we walk on the plane, the flight attendants point us towards first class. The contract airline has a policy of filling the plane back to front. So us entitied Captains all rode first class the whole way to the desert. Best case of instant justice I’ve seen. Though I’ve always regretted not taking a picture of all us Captains in first class and sending it to her with a thank you card.
  9. 19 points
    Well, this must be the first time that someone who reads Baseops.net has been the subject of a roiling speculative discussion about some publicly embarrassing, scandalous event that happened to them, and that person has had to just sit back and watch the spears get baselessly thrown around. I don't know anyone who has had that experience.
  10. 18 points
    Does anybody know this guy, email or anything? I am pretty furious reading about this and I want to talk to him, make sure this isn't a part of something bigger, and if not see what I can do. I am just over it...we are fighters but the Social Justice Warriors expect us to be social workers
  11. 18 points
    She's allright. I've had better.
  12. 18 points
  13. 18 points
    I'll be the first to admit that I've been out of touch with UPT for a while (winged in 1989). But, I still think this issue is getting more concern than it needs. I get it - there are some guys who might come back to UPT as instructors that have never flown a T-38. That's what PIT is for. UPT went dual track to focus some of the later training toward follow on heavy or fighter/bomber MDS requirements, but it was more about the fact that the -38 was in dire need of a break. When the dual track pipeline came about, it wasn't about producing fighter wingmen. That's never been the goal of the UPT syllabus. Teaching someone contact flying, basic acro, extended trail and some initial training in Tactical Formation doesn't seem to be the rocket science it's being made out to be. Personally, I'd be more worried about getting the guy proficient in single pilot instrument flying. I had a C-141 pilot as my primary -38 IP. He hadn't touched a -38 in 6 years when he came back to PIT. Somehow he managed to get me reasonably proficient in that aircraft. As an F-15 FTU IP I had to provide way more remedial instrument training than I did worrying about a UP flying tactical. Just my .02 i just re-read this and I’m not sure I gave my IP the credit he deserved with the “somehow he managed” sarcasm. He was good. He chose to fly a 141 and made no secret he wanted to be an airline guy. He may not have flown tactical for a living but that really didn’t matter. I look back and really appreciate his no slack attitude toward instrument skills and precise, smooth flying. Those things he beat into me saved my ass when I was shooting approaches to mins in Europe on a regular basis. That stuff was just as valuable as the other experiences the fighter pilots I flew with in UPT brought. I think my point is, regardless of their background, the IPs teaching our UPT students need to be highly competent. A mix of experience is valuable and nothing in the syllabus is that specific to a particular follow on assignment that a competent pilot can’t learn to teach it.
  14. 17 points
    Hell that Rogoway probably gets off to this forum. Bet he has a great, “I woulda been a fighter pilot but...” story. Now he spends his time writing broad stroke factually incorrect aviation articles inbetween creating dirty tissues and Microsoft flight sim. I respect all that I work with that is the common respect men and women in uniform should extend each other as we are in this together for the greater good of something better than all of us. Sis don’t know what ya did and unless it’s going to come out in a safety brief don’t care to hear about it, her stardom probably had more to do with public affairs and others than her jumping into the spotlight. We all have seen good dudettes hit with that before. Maestro video had already been debriefed no way should be coming up again. As lord ratner pointed out we are in the business of killing people and if that offends the outside masses that stumble upon it then let me recap some of my deployment high lights the last 8 years see if that makes ya feel better. Chances are the offended are more apt to be ignorant and comy at home drinking shitty lattes. Political correctness can suck it and we as professionals should have the backs of or fells bros and bras until they have violated our trust and bond.
  15. 17 points
  16. 17 points
    1) Take a look at Freakonomics, perhaps the economics of drug dealers/crack cocaine... (and no, there is not a 1-1 comparison between drug dealers and fighter pilots). When you ask a kid what they want to be when they grow up, a few typical answers include - fire fighter, cop, fighter pilot... the first 2 typically or traditionally don't pay well. Why? Read Freakonomics. 2) Now thankfully you'll never be able to demonstrate this, but if you could - go down to the local fire house and find the first non-fire fighter (NFF) there and tell them (and the rest of the fire fighters) that the NFFs are just as important as the Fire Fighters... that their high school diploma and 2 weeks of OJT is as important as the years of training, studying, testing, learning, working out, and fighting to be luck enough to get an interview and to do well on the exam and to make it through probation, etc... that the fire fighter went through... then give the NFF a patch, even call them a "fighter", give them awards/medals/promote them for doing stuff that seems important in the station while the real work/sacrifice is being done on location, put them in charge of the fire house because you have to be "Fair" to everyone. Tell them that they can take 2 hours for lunch, 8 hours every other Tuesday to get better at their job because they don't have time to get better at it while they're doing it, tell them 9-3 is pretty decent work hours... then tell the fire fighters that, sorry we don't have enough of you so it will be 36 on/12 off, sorry if we put you away wet and put you back in before you can go home and see the family (you know they love their job, that they live for it, so why make life better for them?). Make up tremendous amounts of accolades for crap that means nothing and give it to the NFFs with great pomp and circumstance because we're all equal. Oh and their jobs? those jobs that NFFs do that are meant to support the fire fighters? Yeah, let them write instructions/rules that pretty much puts the responsibility on the fire fighters. When the fire fighters come back after a 36 hour blaze, delirious from the excitement and exhaustion, wanting to celebrate with their fellow fire fighters - force them to let the NFFs be a part of it. When they push it up too much - criticize them and kick them out for frivolous reason. Don't allow them back into the station until their uniform meets regulations,. When they save 3 kids but step on a cat - make sure you publicly flog them for it... when the NFF fails to show up on time for weeks on end and never gets the job done, be sure to do nothing about it. Obviously a bit black and white/extreme example... there are plenty of non-fighter pilots (myself included) in the AF that do amazing and incredible things for the fight and deserve the accolades and spoils (not myself) and this is not a bashing of support roles... this is an attempt to show you were the rot started. You/they/we can try to fix the symptoms (is it $, is it additional duties, etc.) but until you address the rot - the dis-mantling of (for lack of a better term) the glory, prestige, and respect that goes with a professional doing a professional job, that takes probably a decade to get good at (including a degree or 2, USAFA, ROTC, UPT, IFF, etc...) WE WILL NEVER FIX IT. Do they want medals and be on the front page news? No - they want the respect/honor for doing what they do, something the AF stopped doing a long time ago. There are important roles everywhere, I have no doubt that we need 99% of the people in the AF to do the job... but I can not think of another organization in the world that would try so hard to put everyone in the same lime light, all the time. What if Taylor Swift had all the roadies, ushers, back up singers come up and be on stage for every performance and give them a microphone? Do we diminish their jobs if we don't? To some extent everyone is replaceable, but I'm guessing there are not too many fire fighters serving excessively long commitments to be fire fighters. I have a few in my family, some of the most humble/honest/best people I know... I have never once heard them complain about being a fire fighter... why is that? 3) Fighter pilots are just the first and most prolific demographic... the rest of the pilots, the rest of the pointy-end-of-the-spear isn't far behind, add to them the maintainers, engineers, doctors, nurses, and any other professional that would be treated as a professional outside of the AF... appreciated for their knowledge, years of education, years of sacrifice to get where they are, etc... they'll be gone too, unless/until there is another recession.
  17. 17 points
    "Countless hours" and this is what you came up with. Please tell me you're not in a position to affect AF retention policy going forward. 😉 The reason for the pilot crisis isn't the mystery you make it out to be. Read the "Dear Boss" letter from whatever decade you prefer and you'll find your answer. Really? They leave because of added responsibility? A 4-ship FL or Mission Commander leading a Flag mission or doing the real J.O.B. in the AOR has accepted a pretty significant level of responsibility. If you think that individual is reluctant to accept an ADO, DO or CC job because of the leadership responsibilities, you truly don't understand the problem. How do you know they're "excellent officers"? There's no guarantee of that any more than there is that every pilot can be one either. One thing's for sure: "Leading men" 🙄 in the true sense (i.e. on the pointy end into actual combat) isn't going to happen in Intel or the Maintenance squadron. Taking an 8-ship into true combat isn't the same as showing up for the morning Intel PPT slide show or generating tail numbers for a 12 turn 8. The leaders required to do those jobs are not interchangeable. Until the USAF is willing to acknowledge that lost piece of very important information, it will continue to lose its best pilots and leaders. I have yet to meet a pilot who was truly a "leader of men" and can bring game to an actual combat mission, inspire his pilots to put their lives on the line and do what is require to accomplish the mission who didn't care or have a passion for flying and all that goes along with it. Tactical competence doesn't just happen save for the occasional gifted savant. Without caring or passion, a so called "officer who happens to be a pilot" will never attain that level and more importantly, understand and appreciate the mentality of those under him who are striving to achieve it. They will continue to try to deny it takes a very different officer AND pilot to fly daylight attacks on Germany, tangled with MiGs in the alley, go downtown in Pak-6 and take the fight to our enemies of the last 30 years. You don't magically create those pilots from the PC, no squadron bar, no nametag, no o-club, peacetime, make everyone feel like equal war fighters USAF. Being willing to bring game, put your life out there daily in training and combat requires a special officer and pilot. If the USAF finds a way to keep those guys around, that will be a huge step in the right direction. In the meantime, we have the ones that do dumbass things like take "Home of the Fighter Pilot" off the main gate at Nellis.
  18. 17 points
    i don’t care if they are mother Fukin green, I want the best as my wingman, quit playing silly pigment games.
  19. 17 points
    "Hey baby, I could really go for a BJ right now." "Sure thing sweetie. But if I give you a BJ, you have to wash the dishes for the next 10 years." "No thanks." "You're always ranting about wanting a BJ but then you complain when I try to give you a BJ!"
  20. 17 points
    I found an obscure article that just came out that might explain.........😁 Fallon, NV (AP) An American hero is back. Following a desperate call by the US Air Force and Navy for retired fighter pilots to consider returning to the cockpit, Pete Mitchell, better known as “Maverick” is returning to the skies. Turning 60 later this year, he is one of the oldest fighter pilots to answer the call. When asked if he’s concerned about being able to keep up with his younger counterparts, he quickly dispelled any doubts. “I’ve been working as an instructor at Air Combat USA”, Maverick explained. “I’m one of the most requested instructors and I always tell the customers that they can be my wingman any time…… They really like that.” Mitchell also touched on his fitness routine which involves, “A LOT of volleyball…..Just a whole bunch of volleyball.” Beyond his time in the spotlight 33-years ago, Maverick has had his share of ups and downs. There is much about his time in the Navy that has been relatively unknown to the general public. He enjoyed a storied 30-year career that began with fits and starts trying to escape the shadow of his controversial father and some misdeeds of his own. His story took a turn for the better following multiple MiG kills, a spin as a Top Gun instructor and tying the knot with his new sweetheart “Charley”. Success was his new back-seater and for the next 25 years, he lived a charmed life. However, as the twilight of his career approached, things began to unravel. Expecting to be promoted to Rear Admiral, Maverick ran into trouble when a faded polaroid surfaced and began to make its way around social media. The picture clearly showed him extending his middle finger to another country’s fighter pilot at very close range. Once it was learned that this foreign pilot was, in fact, that services first woman fighter pilot, it was just a matter of time before he was facing the first of several sexual harassment law suits. Other women fighter pilots from the United States as well as several European allies came forward with similar “me too” charges of airborne insults. “It…was just awful. I felt so marginalized and ridiculed. That kind of behavior just doesn’t belong in a fighter. We’re up there training to kill people and he just took it to an ugly place. It’s hard to see the HUD, let alone gun someone when you’re having to constantly raise your visor to blot away tears.” said a French Mirage-2000 pilot on condition of anonymity. Feeling pressure from all directions, the Navy began to re-evaluate Mitchell’s pending promotion. The final death blow came from retired Admiral, now California Senator Phillip Benjamin. Benjamin was able to build support in the Senate to disapprove the promotion. It’s unclear what his motivation was, but it apparently involved his daughter Penny and had something to do with Mitchell’s flying as the Senator was overheard saying to himself, “How’s that high-speed pass looking now, Mav?” Forced to retire at the rank of O-6 in 2010, Maverick put the Navy behind him and began to look for new career opportunities. Three unsuccessful major airline interviews were all marred by persistent inquiries by HR about the polaroid and rumors of his use of the women’s bathroom at the Miramar O-club. His attempts to deflect the questions usually involved agreeing to answer on condition of murdering the interviewer afterwards. Needless to say, Mitchell’s transition to airline flying never really left the ground. To make matters worse, it was at this time that it became readily apparent what had really been behind Charley’s overly enthusiastic pursuit of threesomes with Maverick. Unable to remain in denial any longer, their threesomes became twosomes and Pete wasn’t invited. While difficult, this period carried a silver lining simply because even he had come to admit that Charley had pretty much let herself go to the dogs. Childless, thanks to Maverick spending 4000 hours sitting 5 feet behind a 3-Kilowatt radiation source, the marriage dissolved quickly. The last 8 years haven’t passed without some difficulties for Mitchell. There have been several failed business ventures including a Karaoke Bar. Patrons typically left frustrated because there was only one song on the machine and Mitchell usually insisted on singing it with them. He does admit he took a while to adjust to civilian flying, even the mock dogfighting he now teaches at Air Combat USA. “It was tough at first”, Maverick explained. “It got better once I got them to install the locker room for the post-flight showers. A lot of good learning happens in there. I think everyone comes out a better combat pilot than when they put that towel on and walked in”. But now Maverick is ready to put that part of his life behind him and begin the re-launch of phase two of his Naval aviation career. The world is watching and MiG pilots are running scared. Look out.
  21. 16 points
    Very well done. With that said, an alternate ending:
  22. 16 points
    Youre going to have to explain what you mean by “direct effects.” If I take an 29 ship of C-17s loaded with a brigade from the 82d, wrap them in a gorilla package of SEAD/Strike/CAS/ISR, and send them north of the DMZ to seize an airfield, that has “direct effects” on the enemy. They teach that at the WIC... Or do you mean “weapons effects” when you say “direct effects”? If so, I’d say that limiting the WIC education to the employment of guns/bombs/missiles/radars is a Blue-4 level of understanding of the employment of airpower. The WIC is not about that (beyond Core One/Two academics...) it’s way more. Your post is littered with double speak and lack of understanding of not only what the Weapons School teaches and produces but of the operational-level employment of American airpower. But it takes time and experience to comprehend how much one doesn’t know, especially about other MWS’s, employment, tactics, etc. and I’m far from an authority... Just trying to give you a view of what the WIC sees - take it or leave it. It’s already been said - the WIC isn’t all about weapons employment. If the name is all that matters to you, I don’t really know what to tell you and you certainly don’t want to hear it from me. Chuck
  23. 16 points
  24. 16 points
    You, son, have lots to learn.
  25. 16 points
    Old guys: "The AF sucks. I'm leaving." New guy: "Yes, it does. I want out." Old guys: "WTF? Snowflake! ! You're going to get yourself or someone else killed! Be positive! It's all worth it! Best job ever! Your marriage is in trouble! Seek counseling!" euser, Your experience is your experience. If you believe you are having a poor experience in the AF, then you actually are having a poor experience. Your grievances aren't anything new or unique, so why are you being blamed for them? As the new guy, you need to realize anything you post here is not a contribution for selfless intellectual discussion, but an opportunity for a few others to practice self-righteousness and judgement, but not empathy. While there are many good discussions here, just be aware that you're currently involved in one where your post is being used to feed an addiction cycle of empowerment among some of the regulars. Remember that despite what appears to be "advice", the goal here is to make you respond indignantly and emotionally, not help you. The best advice you'll ever get on this website is never, ever, come here expecting to have a serious and honest exchange, about anything. This forum is only a game. Pot stir - Complete. 😄
  26. 15 points
    I don’t know if an ad agency this, but they absolutely nailed it. I mean, this!
  27. 15 points
  28. 15 points
    Shack. If you're on a team but don't know or care how the rest of the team functions and what their strengths and weaknesses are, how you can help them, and how you can not hinder them, then you shouldn't be a part of the team. A dialed in tanker dude with the SA to listen in on the right frequency can anticipate how a fight, engagement, or event is going, and then coordinate and place his asset where it's needed before he's asked to do so, thereby empowering the receivers to focus on more important things. Quite frankly, the rest of the force doesn't care how well you're able to keep your airplane alive. We care about your ability to anticipate the need for your effect, and insert yourself appropriately so that the rest of the team can function better. I know that because I'm a herk dude. No one cares how well I defend my airplane against an SA-blah. They care that I know how and when to effectively integrate what I bring to the fight without placing undue burden on the rest of the team. Know how to carry your own weight and deliver your effect to the highest standard expected by your user. It is never someone else's job to figure out how you should be doing yours.
  29. 14 points
    *Aviation incident* BODN: Don't speculate, let's wait for the official report *Capt gets fired* BODN: She banged a Blue Angel maintainer and possibly murdered people
  30. 14 points
    If only anything else in the government worked at the speed at which that video was taken down. To whoever found and deleted that video, if you're reading this, I'd like to double your salary and hire you as full time DTS approver for my Sq. PM me.
  31. 14 points
    Sure...here you go. I was actually in SoCal. Woolsey Fire on 11/11/18 in the West Hills area and Fox Tanker Base in Lancaster. Screen shots are from local CBS news chopper in LA. The shadow makes for an interesting image.
  32. 14 points
    deployment #1= “this is awesome!” deployment #2= “cool, I got this” deployment #3 = “I’m the old pro now” deployment #4 = “well, here I am again” deployment #5+ = “ok WTF are we doing here!?”
  33. 14 points
    Ah, a life of meaning and purpose, felt so strongly by C-130 pilots dropping off and picking up the same pallets of water around the AOR for 4 months in a row, or by a fighter pilot starting their 4th hour of orbiting supporting a JTAR that the army forgot existed 9 months ago, or by the major spending 365 days away from his family building powerpoint slides that people glance at for seconds at a time, or the captain right in the middle of the IPUG who spent a weekend finishing up OPRs on his guys that don't even end up going in front of a board. This whole thread is a testament to the meaning and purpose the Air Force provides.
  34. 14 points
    This... failed one as a young Captain because the FAC civilian discounted 10 push-ups and I had a bad run time. At the time the wife just birthed a set of twins and I was on 4 hours of sleep a night and yup I hadn’t hit the gym in a solid three months because she was on bed rest the two months prior to the blessed day. Nobody gave a shat about that but here’s the rub. When I was fortunate enough to command MX ops at Cannon and had an Airman butting up against a PT due date with some life events that had kept them from being prepared I happily filled out the ole commanders exemption and told them to keep in touch if they felt they couldn’t pass after the exemption expired. Dialogue with me, but if life is keeping you from PTing there is probably some other causal factor outside of fitness to blame. To this day every time I have to take a PT test it takes me several attempts before I nut up and go take it. And no it’s not because I struggle. I’ve scored 83-85 consistently along with a couple of 90s. I have no similar problem with I/Q or MSN check rides. My point in this long rambling post is that commanders have been empowered ever since they have had the call to sign a ccs exemption. If captain x has gained 20 pounds and can’t pass the test there might be reasons other than physical that are causing these issues. Maybe some other reason... like an impending divorce, alcohol abuse, anxiety disorder or some other traumatic event. Sign the damn exemption, give your airmen the time to deal with life and if after an appropriate amount of time they can’t perform the person is lazy or unfit... you are on g series orders for a reason.
  35. 14 points
    A little grammatical correction yields the truth: “Mission first, people! Always!”
  36. 13 points
    Please don’t rush to judgment on the Mueller report, people! We need to wait and hear the opinions of Alyssa Milano and Robert De Niro before we can draw a final conclusion! 😂
  37. 13 points
    I'll add something a bit different here. The above advice is solid, especially not drinking. Remember that everyone you deal with other than your wife and kids has seen this a million times. When a judge/lawyer/mediator asks what you want, it's just a test. You're getting half. If that's what you ask for, they know which party is acting in good faith. "I want my children to have a great relationship with both of their parents going forward, and to split the assets we accumulated while married right down the middle." Don't date for now. You have kids, I didn't. But they won't understand I'm guessing, and it sounds like the soon-to-be-ex will tell them if she finds out. You're going to get so much ass it'll make your head spin, so be patient. Write down everything that was wrong in your relationship. You determine the detail, but it should include what she would do that you didn't like, why you didn't like it, and how it made you feel. For bonus points, also write down the things that she didn't like about you. Trust me on this. When you meet that flight attendant that turns your stomach into butterflies, if it ain't written down, you won't remember it. Make sure the woman you decide to make into your kids' second mom isn't a recycled script. Do not trust this to your memory alone. The smaller brain is always an optimist. Think about how many people you know. Then think about how many of them are good friends. Then think about how many of those are best friends. The friend you can go on a month long backpacking trip with and not get annoyed with or tired of once. Pretty rare, huh? Now add sexual compatibility to that. If you find your forever-mate after 3 months and a few tinder dates, you'd better be buying lottery tickets too...
  38. 13 points
  39. 13 points
  40. 13 points
    You're not going to like what I have to tell you, but if you take it to heart, it will help you in the future. Your attitude is 100% the opposite of what it should be. You need to debrief yourself on why you came up short. I'm willing to show you how, but only you can take the steps required to make it count. I can guarantee that you will never, ever hear a CAF pilot say "why can't I catch a break?" in a debrief. If you ever hear a MAF pilot say that, punch him in the face and tell him to fix himself. Asking a question like that is a way of absolving yourself of ownership of the situation. You are the only one who can control your performance, which means that you need to figure out why you failed to reach your goal, strike your target, execute your airdrop, or get hired by a squadron. A good debrief is the most important part of any sortie. It's an opportunity to actually learn lessons, rather than just observe them, in order to be better next time. Doing that requires brutal honesty, and often requires admitting and owning your failures and shortcomings in front of your peers. You don't have to do that yet, since this is a personal exercise, but realize that if you're going to be a successful AF pilot, you should be the type of person who can put his ego on the shelf and take a good honest look at his performance, good and bad. Learning from a debrief usually starts with a question, called a DFP or debrief focus point. Your DFP is NOT "why can't I catch a break?". Instead, your DFP is really "why wasn't I good enough (in the eyes of the only people who matter, i.e. the ones hiring you) to land the job this time around?". That is the question that will drive your future actions and spur you to be better if you can fix it. Once you have your DFP, identify your contributing factors, or CFs. No one knows these better than you. What are your weak points? Maybe you stayed up too late drinking before the interview, or maybe your grades weren't very good in college. How much flight time do you have? Is it less than your peers who are also applying? Remember, the people you're competing against are shit hot, top-1%-of-Americans kind of people. If you have 45 hours and a PPL under your belt but they all have 200 hours and an instrument rating, then this could be a contributing factor to the overall outcome. I realize that you don't know everything about everyone else, but you know what the weaker areas of your application are. List out 3-4 of them, ideally ones that you can improve upon moving forward. Step three: identify a root cause. Usually, there's one CF that's more important than the others, which led directly or indirectly to the chain of events that caused mission failure. What is your biggest shortcoming? Put yourself in the shoes of the hiring board - what part of your application would cause you to look at other applicants rather than snatching yourself (sts) up right away? Usually in aviation, everything can be done better the next day. That might not be the case for you - your college GPA is probably pretty set in stone, for example. However, there are always things that can be done to improve your application and, more importantly, yourself. That leads straight to the fourth and final step: the fix. What can you do to improve your odds next time around? What concrete actions can you take to prevent that root cause from holding you back in the next interview? Map it out on a piece of paper and post it somewhere where you'll see it often. Use this framework anytime you fail and you'll find yourself succeeding more and more. No pilot has ever flown a perfect sortie, but the good ones work hard to get a little bit closer the next time around.
  41. 13 points
    Have a healthy cynicism and keep your eyes open .... but don’t have a chip on your shoulder until you’ve earned it. You may be the unicorn ... the af may do right by you. It might be awesome with great leadership and bountiful opportunities to pursue a life of religious fulfillment all along the way. I’d hate to miss out on it because of the ramblings of bitter assholes on the Internet. (It probably won’t ever happen ... but it could. You could be the one!) (Maybe.) (But probably not.)
  42. 13 points
    He accepts offer and completes a PCS to DC to work for CSAF. Six months later AFPC drops a 365 to Afghanistan on him...PCS ADSC won't let him turn it down and he finds himself sitting in Kabul guarding TCNs in the chow hall.
  43. 13 points
    http://cademartin.com/overwar/ Pretty impressive stories and backgrounds of the dudes with brass balls flying the F-105 in Vietnam. 🇺🇸
  44. 13 points
    I enjoy flying as little as possible, to give myself “white space”. White space, as I have learned from management, means time not uselessly flying, but sitting in my office doing fun things. Fun things like help a copilot come up with 60-90 bullets for an awards package that I found out about yesterday and is due by COB today. I find that using a thesaurus and using little tricks to massage more fluff into bullets in order to use all the space on every line in a desperate attempt to appease my vanity while being dishonest about the actual work we do is thrilling. Its the worst when flying gets in the way of my real job. Since flying doesn’t help me get strats, I like to avoid it to the max extent possible. I strive to plan parties, volunteer for dick-watch, support mission support troops by doing their jobs, and volunteer to help others learn to stop their inner rapist. If I do these things well, I can go home after a long days’ work, and masturbate to my OPR strats in good conscience, like a good AF officer.
  45. 13 points
    Saying I’d deal with a C-130 unit......as a last resort probably won’t help.
  46. 12 points
    Why don’t we start with not requiring military members to pay federal and state income tax? That’s an easy pay increase across the board with no perceptible reduction in tax revenue.
  47. 12 points
    I like to think that there's a Russian BODN out there where some salty comrade's cracking jokes right now about getting their dock wet courtesy of ЪѻƵip's mom
  48. 12 points
    Fun fact: The moon landing scenes in First Man were filmed on the same sound stage as the actual moon landing.
  49. 12 points
    Joint Base Balad, Iraq SNCO: Sir, your mustache is out of regs. Capt (F-16/Guard): And you're fat, which means you are out of regs as well. Immense laughter erupts from gaggle of F-16 pilots. Next day, everyone was required to shave their mustaches by the Gp/CC. Man..this story was epic.
  50. 12 points
    A large number of the SEALs I've met, worked with, and had working for me were raging pricks. Looking at the video and having close ties to that mission, it is very clear we left Chapman alive on the battlefield. The audacity of these asshats to deny the plain as day evidence then denigrate a brave fucking hero who never quit and gave his last full measure...well...FUCK THEM.


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