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TnkrToad last won the day on February 1 2017

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About TnkrToad

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  1. The operative word is "few"--which is the point I was trying to get at. If pilots are so few/such precious commodities that they can't be let out of the cockpit, and there are too few Navs/CSOs to backfill, from whence will the AF get its current and future ops staff types? I've generally assumed that RPA pilots would be the next most likely folks to fill the void--at least in the CAF. Weird thing is, talking to a buddy familiar with the RPA world, is that excess RPA FGOs are being told they can't go to staff, due to the rated staff allocation plan--leaving them nowhere to go but back to ops units where they're not needed. So best I can tell, staffs are getting shorted, while RPA folks are getting screwed out of staff opportunities that their community can afford to let them go to . . . in order to ensure that 11X & 12X types continue to run ACC. Additional conclusions: - Status quo will continue--pilots and navs will continue to run the service, and RPA drivers will continue to get screwed - Navs ascendant in ACC?--given that Navs are generally more likely to stay in than pilots, and usually can be more easily released to staffs than pilots--without negatively impacting ops squadron missions--we will perhaps see proportionally more Nav/CSO types in senior leadership/staff billets than before in ACC - MAF community is hosed--at least in my experience, most high-quality MAF pilots are getting out, and CSOs (much less high-quality ones) are almost nonexistent already. Everything AMC flies is manned, so RPA bubbas are no help . . . MAF leaders will be selected by virtue of one's willingness to stay on AD and fog a mirror. Not generally a formula for long-term success TT
  2. To pile on, the net loss of pilots is only part of the story. In my mind, the even graver issue is the hemorrhaging of highly experienced pilots--which has been ongoing for some time now. A reasonable proxy for experience is looking at how many Command Pilots and Master Navs the AF has; after all, it ain't that hard to reach that milestone, if one has even a remotely ops-credible flying career and bothers to stay in until the min 15 yrs of rated service. Per the data in RAW, we had almost 2,800 Command Pilots at the end of FY08; ten years later, we have barely 2,100. In the same time, the number of Master Navs dropped from 1,300 to less than 600. If you go back a little further, in FY04, we had almost 3,700 Command Pilots and 1,900 Master Navs. Clearly, we've had a massive brain drain over the past decade and a half or so. So, doing math in public, we have as many as 2,900 Senior Pilots and/or Navs filling command, staff, or Wg/OG flying billets that a decade and a half ago would've been filled by more deeply experienced Command/Master aviators. Conclusions? (1) You shouldn't be surprised by questionable rated management decisions, when AF commanders and their staffs are largely devoid of experience (2) To the extent that recent mishaps are due to crew inexperience, you can count on things getting even worse. Commanders gotta have their flyers on staffs; units will continue to get robbed of experienced aviators, leaving flying units ever-younger TT
  3. Looks like you're right; BPZs were 122 out of 1,224 total selected in the CY17 board (I realized I transposed the BPZ & APZ numbers in previous post--went back & fixed it). Quality control is gonna be tough. The pool of quality APZs will be used up, and Big Blue won't be able to promote any more high-speed BPZers than they already are (maxed out at 10%). For those who meet the board in the zone, it'll be "no major left behind"--especially if the promo opportunity increases to 91%. TT
  4. I don't think the increased promo opportunity is as significant as you think. I suspect the overall promotion opportunity will increase by just 6%. The overall promotion opportunity for the CY 17 O-6 LAF board was 85% (1,224 selected, out of 1439 IPZ eligibles). It just so happened that 122 were selected BPZ, and 57 were selected APZ, which meant just 72.6% (1,045 out of 1439) were selected IPZ. A 6% increase in promotion eligibility (from 85% to 91%) wouldn't be anything to sneeze at, but I don't think we're looking at a 15% increase in promotion rates to O-5 next board as you suggested in your post. My (highly uneducated) guess---The AF will dip ever-further into the BPZ pool: - They will have already promoted any quality APZ types, leaving the choice of selecting bottom-of-the-barrel (but experienced) IPZ types or high-speed (but less experienced) BPZers. Seems more likely Big Blue will go with the youth movement. I know current CCs & DOs (as well as ADOs, etc., that work for them) have far less experience than their predecessors did 5 or 10 years ago, but it'll get even worse. TT
  5. Perhaps, but this is an issue for all kinds of programs, activities, & clubs at USAFA—cadets are constantly bombarded with various opportunities. USAFA has 12 T-6 sims; the first ones showed up in ‘02. They’re pretty old, visuals are limited, and don’t have motion; but I’m told they fly like the real thing. I flew Tweets, so have no basis for comparison. Biggest problem is USAFA leaders reject the notion that the institution is, in part, a trade school. Training is a four letter word to USAFA educators—in their minds, if cadets have free time, they should be taking more engineering classes, dammit! TT
  6. Might be shocking to some, but this is being actively worked. AETC is pushing hard to get more Pilot Training Next-type gear to pre-commissioning sources. BTW, USAFA has had T-6 sims for over a decade and a half; they’re grossly underutilized. Few cadets—even those wanting pilot slots—use the sims. Prolly has something to do with all the other stuff they have on their plates. TT
  7. Navs aren't just Wg/CVs in the MAF . . . tanker nav just took command at Scott: https://www.military.com/daily-news/2018/02/01/new-wing-commander-named-after-colonel-accused-sexual-misconduct.html TT
  8. If nothing else, AFSOC’s brain drain will lead to more CSOs running the show. From FY14-16 (the farthest I bothered to look back), AFSOC CSOs averaged 5-6 folks promoted to O-6 per year. In FY 17, twelve 12Ss were promoted to O-6 (double the rate a few years ago), while only eleven 11Ss pinned on the same rank (down from 16 in FY14). On the mobility side, the number of 12Ms promoted to O-6 per year has also grown from a few years ago, while the number of 11Ms promoted has significantly decreased. You statisticians will likely critique the small sample sizes, but it still seems like Good news for navs ... the ones that hang around will lead the service. TT
  9. Had a bit closer look at the stats, and if I'm reading them right, the AF has given up on trying to retain 11Ms. Running the numbers paints a pretty dismal picture: - Per CH's posted slide deck, the AF projects losing 933 11Ms from their inventory over the next 5 years (from substantial surplus to substantial deficit)--an average loss of 187/yr - IAW the 1400/yr plan, apparently 640 UPT grads/yr will go to mobility cockpits - If we produce 640/yr, but the inventory drops 187/yr, that means 827/yr (11Ms alone) will separate, retire, get promoted to O-6, or be grounded/die/etc. -- From FYs 15-17, the 11M community only lost about 440/yr to seps/retirements/O-6 promotion/grounding/etc (with just 215 of those being folks who separated) - Problem is, there ain't that many 11Ms approaching retirement/their O-6 boards (force shaping & a-word hiring took care of that), and it's unlikely there'll be a huge spike in folks getting grounded/dying off (one hopes) - The upshot is this: the Air Force seems to be planning on three times more 11Ms separating (not staying to retirement/not competing for O-6) than in the prior three years. This is going to decimate a mobility pilot community that's already on the ropes. I'd say 11Ms are very aware of their marketability. The weird thing is, the Air Force is tacitly acknowledging this, yet is doing nothing to stop the hemorrhaging. Crappy quality of life, plus AF leadership that doesn't seem to care about their plight--seems like a winning combination. TT
  10. [quote Will the 1-2 year bonus takers be the tipping point? Hundreds took short bonuses/commitments, will they be persuaded to stay by the AF's recent "fixes"? No.
  11. Changing crew ratios sure is an easy way to “fix the glitch.” Even better, when the AF bought the C-17, they originally planned on a 5.0 crew ratio (AD + ARC). I heard this straight from Gen Handy when he was TRANSCOM/CC. Air Force mag quoted this same ratio much more recently. http://www.airforcemag.com/MagazineArchive/Documents/2011/February%202011/0211arsenal.pdf AMC will be an awesome place for single dudes who want to rack up ridiculous amounts of flying hours. Not so much for those who like their families...
  12. Quoted for truth. The positive delta can only be due to creative accounting. Scary part is the AF’ plan is to let the 11M inventory drop by about 840 over the next 5 years, IOT get the other communities healthy. That kind of rapid inventory drop can only happen with really poor retention. Only thing I can figure is that AF planners are hoping they’ll be able to contract out ever-greater portions of the mobility mission—civilian contract air refueling, even more contract airlift, etc. Of course, that would drive up demand for prior-mil folks even more. 11Ms are well aware of their marketability on the outside, and abysmal retention rates are reflecting this reality. TT
  13. So, if I’m reading the slides right, the AF has a (fictional) surplus of 437 11Ms currently. By 2023, we’re slated to have a shortfall of 496 11Ms. That’s a pretty impressive drop in inventory. This is despite the grand ideas to have regional pilots go through short courses to become heavy drivers, contract UPT instructors, etc. Sure seems to me like there’s an 11M manning crisis. Heavy drivers are getting crushed right now; can’t wait to see what life is like when the community is down another 840 bodies. TT
  14. I was apparently too subtle...it was a swipe against those who quipped about tanker dudes building tracks in the middle of the weather.
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