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Smokin last won the day on October 13 2016

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  1. Having been stationed both in Europe and Asia, I would have to completely disagree from the point of view of the people being stationed overseas that Asia would be better. For national security, maybe, although Russia isn't the Russia Hillary would have had you believe with the reset button. And if the Korean War heats up again, the last thing we need is more people there to get slimed on day 1.
  2. I don't have numbers to back it up, but just by my experience we have a record low 90 day lookback overall for fighters combined with a record low total experience. That in and of itself is something to be very concerned about. Even the first assignment guy who deployed twice and may have 800 hours, how many sorties does that equal for him when half that time was spent in a in a CAP or a wheel? Deployed experience is good for a pilot, but one deployed 6 hr sortie doesn't always replace the 4 sorties the same hours would represent, especially if that sortie was 6 hours of turning while doing very little. Then take the average first assignment dude who probably has less than 200 hours (or the brand new guy who just showed up from the B-course with all of 69 hours) and fly him at half the RAP rate for a couple months due to this near standdown for COVID while many of the experienced IPs have jumped ship and you have a recipe for disaster.
  3. We have lost a lot of fighters in a couple months. The trend alone should give all pilots a serious self-examination as to how ready you are for the next flight regardless of the cause of the mishaps. I'm sure some safety guys could pull some data, but I can't remember a worse 4-5 month period in my career. A correlation of mishaps with the speeding up of the pipeline would be worth looking at as well. Prayers for this pilot's family and friends.
  4. I think guys are jumping the gun on the dead end career. He says he's an Lt, which means he has plenty of time to recover. An LOR as an LT is absolutely not a career ender. There's a good chance still puts on Capt on time and I doubt many board members for boarded promotions are going to look all the way back to an Lt OPR and notice a bad push statement. Worst case he gets a single line OPR, which would be painfully obvious. But even then, if he buries this OPR with some strong work, they'll see and appreciate the growth and promote appropriately. Learn from this, fix any attitude issues, and move on. I would bet that if you were previously the SQ/CC's #1/XX, you wouldn't have gotten an LOR. I almost guarantee the SQ/CC sees an attitude or maturity or decision making problem (or all 3). The fact that a previous DO 'had it in for you' doesn't bode well for your life. Young guys who work hard and have a good attitude don't make enemies of their leadership. King Saul and David type undeserving issues are exceedingly rare. Take this as some pretty extreme debrief feedback and fix the underlying issues.
  5. Obviously he should give you better advice than an online forum with amateur lawyers. However, I will point out that the Feres Doctrine prohibits suing the military as a result of injury or death sustained in service. Don't think that it would cover potential Constitutional rights violations. Many people have sued the military while in the service. Obviously a nuclear option, but a threat that would bring your entire leadership chain under a very uncomfortable microscope very quickly. If they are indeed violating your freedom of speech, which it sounds like they are to me, that microscope could have career ending consequences for them. Also, it does not seem that your leadership properly executed this LOR. That may end up helping you. What you said was in bad taste. Should it end your career? No. Especially if you're a Capt or younger type. I'm just happy that social media didn't exist when I was in college. This should also be a lesson to other dudes here (other than the obvious social media thing) thinking about this from the commander's point of view. If you are even considering paperwork, talk to the JAG first because the slightest misstep could derail the entire thing. Having an enlisted council an officer is not the way this thing should have gone and may end up tossing this whole thing out.
  6. Don't forget to bring up the recent videos of Air Force leaders. If they can blatantly take political sides in uniform using their official military title, you have the freedom of speech to say that on facebook using neither your military title nor your uniform. I would talk to a lawyer about suing for violation of freedom of speech. Clearly there is a double standard being enforced. An LOR and a referral OPR has serious career implications assuming you plan on staying in for a career. I'd either look at this as: 1. fight back at all costs or 2. F this, I'm out. If your plan is number 2, I wouldn't worry about the effort of fighting. If your plan is number 1, you have very little to lose and a career to gain.
  7. torqued hit on my concern of long term implications of all this anti-police riots. The number of people who are interested in joining the police force right now has to be virtually disappearing. That means the police force is going to have a drastically reduced applicant pool, which is going to decrease the average quality of the individuals hired, which is only going to increase incidents like this. I also wonder if some of these current incidents like Minneapolis and Atlanta are a product of this same decreased pool following the Ferguson riots. If you hire people who otherwise would only be able to get a minimum wage job, and then give them authority and a gun, you're going to have big problems. I'm not talking about most cops right now, but if the nation continues on the current path, this is what we're going to end up with.
  8. Email this afternoon from NGB today, blatantly political. Threw the current Floyd issue in with Trayvon Martin (jury found the man that killed him not guilty in case people forgot). Not only blatantly political but also threw out the standards of justice in America by assuming that all the victims he listed were actual victims. Floyd jury hasn't even been called yet, but, reading between the lines, 'the cops are obviously guilty of racism driven murder'. There is a difference between sympathy to an alleged victim's families and community and ignoring the world's best justice system in the name of .... justice.
  9. USAFA - Don't care where he went to school (40 years ago!) as long as it wasn't a diploma mill. Fired from American- Don't care, obviously United saw something different in him. Card counting - that's a plus in my book. Run in with a union? Any good executive in charge of a for profit company that has a union will have run-ins. If he doesn't, then he's probably not doing his job. His job is to make the company money, unions make the pilots money/QOL. Conflict is inevitable. Hasn't been in charge long enough to judge how he's going to do as CEO, but I haven't heard anything yet to merit your take.
  10. No, I'm talking about all formation landing mishaps. And yes, we have been LUCKY to have not had more fatalities. How about the F-16 formation landing at Kunsan where #1 ended up in literally stuck in the fence? Couldn't get out of the jet because the fence went over the canopy. Stuck in a crashed jet with over a thousand pounds of fuel sitting a couple feet behind him. Did skill keep that jet from catching fire and burning that pilot to death? No, it was either God or luck. I work hard to be the best pilot possible. But I also know that I have been lucky. I've made mistakes that could have or even should have gotten me killed. I've had 3 high speed close passes inside 500' in my career, two of them I maneuvered the jet to avoid the mid-air. The third one was plain dumb luck to have not hit and almost identical to a mishap that happened a few years later and killed one of the pilots. I learn from the mistakes and do my best to not repeat them. Doesn't mean that I'm a better pilot than other guys who weren't so lucky making the same mistake. The fact that more people haven't died from something is not a reason to charge ahead like the risk doesn't exist. Again, the argument is as simple as looking at where the majority of Class As happen in fighter type aircraft. If I recall some of the the previous safety briefs correctly, if you combined takeoff/landing phase with midairs, I think you have close to, if not over, 50%. Why combine two of the greatest risks for so trivial of a benefit?
  11. I think we've been lucky that this is only the first fatality on formation landings in recent memory. I stress recent memory, because I have zero doubt that there have been many in the past but our memories are short. However, this is at least the third serious mishap (I think all class A's) during a formation takeoff or landing that I can think of off the top of my nugget during my career. And I'm not a safety guy and don't pay particularly close attention to incidents during types/phases of flight that I don't do (like formation takeoffs/landings) so I'd be surprised if there were not others. I understand your point (at least I think I do) that we need to train military pilots and formation takeoffs and landings are a difficult challenge to master. The fact that the specific challenge doesn't necessarily translate to the CAF isn't relevant and I agree. I remember drawing the fuel system diagram during a T-37 ground eval. I couldn't even pretend to draw a fuel system diagram of the F-16. Also, that T-37 diagram was complete BS and I bet only had a vague similarity to how the fuel system actually looks. But, if you can't memorize a diagram and regurgitate it, you're probably going to have a hard time memorizing other stuff that you need to know by heart. However, as I said earlier, the majority of fighter incidents happen on takeoff/landing phase or in close proximity to another jet. The CAF doesn't require a formation takeoff/landing skill set, so we are teaching UPT students a useless skill set (just like drawing a pretend fuel system). If we are testing their ability to learn and execute a skill set, why not test them on one that won't get them and their IP killed if they mess it up? Fighter pilots occasionally die practicing BFM. BFM is a vital skill-set that you can't exchange for a safer one. It seriously sucks to lose lives, but that's an extremely unfortunate yet unavoidable part of our business. Formation takeoffs and landings is the exact opposite of vital, so why lose lives for it?
  12. Don't think I ever once wrote no sids/no stars on a 175. Just assumed it was standard knowledge in ATC that we would never accept one. Until one day bringing a jet back cross country, clearance was "xwy69 SID." I responded with a very purposefully jacked up read-back including "..umm... SID?" Controller asked if I had a copy, umm,... no. He started to read me the SID, then wisely changed his mind and said "on departure, turn right 090, climb and maintain 10K". That read-back was flawless. I think they got the picture.
  13. Shack. Not once has anyone ever given a convincing argument for the need to do a form landing or takeoff that could possibly justify the increased risk. Given that a significant percentage of fighter accidents happen at takeoff or landing and another significant percentage involve mid-airs, why combine the two risks? I've brought guys back to land who had significant issues at night in the weather, but I dropped them off in the flare. That is nothing more than flying fingertip.
  14. I'd think a high angle strafe type attack would be fairly effective and safe if it were really gun only. Get high, stay high, and attack out of the sun. You can't shoot what you can't find.
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