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    Crew Dawg

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  1. Pilot Shortage Deepens, USAF is SCREWED.

    Not quite accurate. They are fixing the retention problem by increasing production. This "crisis" will have to be grown out of, instead of trying to convince those with a foot out the door to stay. The current crop of 10+ year officers has lost faith in the Air Force and are not going to be tempted by money or promised QoL fixes. We witnessed masters degree requirements become masked then unmasked, PT test failures treated like DUIs, Majors not offered continuation, pilots denied VSP and palace chase only to be RIF'd. The promises of "this time, it's different" ring hollow. But the QoL stuff matters more than ever. Class of 2018 is going to remember that senior pilot who spent his last year of service making Power Points in Afghanistan. Trying 6 computers to find one that leaveweb works on, or having the mission manager email the flight plan to your cell phone because none of the damn printers work. I expect these things to get better, because we are throwing money and people at them. If it doesn't work, you'll see that in the retention rates 10 years from now. Though the cynic in me see the increase in production as a way to enable the "run out the clock" strategy as someone else so eloquently put. Fingers will spend his entire term fixing the problems of his predecessors. Will his successor move us forward, or be another McPeak or Schwartz. Will the surge classes of 2018, 19 and 20 see RIF, VSP, and TERA again as airline hiring wanes. It feels like we're in the one step forward phase right before we take two steps back.
  2. The ADSC is the sticking point for me. Why sign up for 9+ more years when I know that non vols me to Minot, Cannon or Altus. You can homestead, but only at the bases we choose. Like it has been mentioned, the devil is in the details, but location, location, and location are top three most important features of the assignment system, and this plan gives you a crap shoot when it comes to basing.
  3. Taxes, the Deficit/Debt, and the Fiscal Cliff

    No clue what mission essential actually means. Do we recall folks from SOS and upgrade at the FTU? Do contract maintainers show up Monday to preflight aircraft?
  4. Thing is, the bullets we spend so much time writing matter very little. The strat, (or lack there of) job/staff level push and school push are what count. Omitting them can't be overcome by well written bullets, or even being good your job.
  5. Air Force to begin testing enlisted pilots

    The pool of candidates for flight training is as large as its ever been. If you want to increase it, just lower the ADSC back to 6 or 8 years. As everyone is foot stomping, the problem is a training pipeline capacity issue. And a retention issue on the back end. Changing the entry requirements won't allow you to train any more. Also what happens 10 years from now when the airline hiring wave has crested and these huge year groups that were pushed through stay because opportunity on the outside has dried up. It's not like we just had a 10 year stop loss to RIF/VSP cycle.
  6. F-16 Students skip Phase III

    Maybe the Air Force realized it can't solve the retention issue. Retention is a factor of Ops tempo and civilian opportunity. In a good economy, people will leave. In a bad one, people will stay. Ops commitments have stayed fairly consistent since the early 90s, but we've decided to do it with far fewer people. They won't go away anytime soon. So if the only factors that matter for retention are outside your control, then you need to focus on the inflow, not the outflow. Open another training base. Accelerate the T-38 follow on. Put the safety controls in for a force of mostly young guys, and few old ones. One thing I don't get is the fighter community struggles at meeting RAP and upgrading folks right now. If 1000 fighter pilots magically appeared in the next 5 years, what cockpit would you put them in, and where would you get the flying hours.
  7. What's wrong with the Air Force?

    The target audience for this over reaction is not the US military, but the local Okinawan government. It's an appeasement to show we're doing something. It just sucks because leadership has to to couch it in terms of responsible drinking, etc, and can't come out and state the real reason for it.
  8. They have managed to get over 300 pilots to sign up for 22 or 24 years aviation service bonus. That should make up the difference for the low take rate of pilots expiring on their pilot training commitment.
  9. Yes, already happening. Seeing a fair amount of non command track O-5s headed to MAF bases. Timing really is everything.
  10. Leadership at the 'Deid

    AMC's command track program is crossflow, which is switching from airlift to tanker, or tanker to airlift. Your CGO of the year types are typically the ones selected for that, and winning that type of award has little to do with tactical credibility in the MAF, On the flip side, the tanker patches have the credibility, but the MAF has never valued them as command material. Because of a fairly heinous deployment legacy, the tanker WIC spent a decade having more class slots than applicants. As a generalization, tanker patches don't have records that compete with the crossflow guys. You can spend an entire 10 year commitment never meeting a patch wearing commander. But more than likely, your commander, and his commander, will be airlift guys. And obviously, the path to command is flying a different MAF airframe. So early on, you realize the critical path toward senior leadership is min running toward IP, becoming an exec, and off to another airplane. Follow that with school and staff, and then find yourself in command of a squadron where the senior Captains have way more experience than the guys leading them.
  11. I think the Air Force may have checkmated you there Duck. You fall into the category of should be promoted but don't want to be. I doubt the Wg/CC is handicapped by AFPC, but the direction might be that a DNP needs to be backed up by the record. The way the system should work now is the Sq/CC documents the performance of the substandard O-3, recommends a DNP to the senior rater, and they need to make the call and send the DNP to the board. Hard to do now since the "continue to challenge" push lines won't be enough to deny promotion like years past.
  12. This is a completely pragmatic move, and totally unlike the air force I grew up with. When they removed the school selects, and let the wings duke it out, the majority of work the promotion boards did is OBE. It really wasn't worth the time to decide the 5-7% of the year group that gets passed over. We've gone from the implied masters requirement among all the checkboxes to the ability to fog a mirror. Times are a changing.
  13. Flight Evaluation Board (FEB)

    John's was an egregious example of AMC leadership, but he is the rule, and not the exception. I love ASAP as a concept. We are so busy on the tanker/airlift side of the house, we lack the time to reflect and hanger fly. ASAP could provide some institutional lessons learned, but I have no faith in AMC senior leaders. The choice is CYA or share what you've learned with a risk of adverse actions. I'm not convinced the risk is negligible.
  14. Flight Evaluation Board (FEB)

    This is just a culture thing within the MAF. If you bend metal, everyone associated with the flight gets a Q3, irregardless of the facts or if you could have prevented it. This is same command that tries to track down aircrew for ASAP reports when self reporting a breach of flight discipline, or court martials a pilot for an off DZ drop. Non AMC MAF units like LTS can make smarter decisions, but rarely do since the leadership is drawn from AMC.
  15. Risk level high. Early 2001, but haven't done a short tour yet. More than half my deployments have a awaiting MPF verification tag next to them, and I haven't cracked the code on how to make them move my STRD.