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About Cave_Pilot

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  1. Every so often, when I try and access the forums (which isn't that often, to be fair) I get randomly redirected to some shady-looking site and then the window closes itself. I found this article about a worm that went around in 2012, which exploited a (later patched) vulnerability in IP Board to inject itself into the PHP code for the forums, and activate itself at random to redirect users. Doesn't happen to me on other sites and it's happened on AF and personal computers. Might be something worth checking into: http://peter.upfold.org.uk/blog/2013/01/15/cleaning-up-the-ip-board-url4short-mess/
  2. 16 years of being the redheaded stepchild of AFSPC didn't help either. That's 16 years of future commanders of ICBM units growing up in a MAJCOM that didn't really understand or care about our mission.
  3. The missile world has, historically, had a strong tendency to discourage questioning of the status quo. Someone questions whether we really need to do things a certain way, and they get told some variation of "it's that way because it's always been that way" or "stop complaining and suck it up, you're in the military" and now they've got a reputation for being a troublemaker. Point in case: a few years ago at the club, someone raised a concern to a local commander about a certain new policy that had been implemented, that was widely seen as unnecessary and cumbersome to the crewforce. Rather than address the concern, his response to this was to ask everyone at the table how long they'd been in the Air Force, then told all of us that he had more time in the AF than all of us combined and that he thought it was a good idea, so deal with it. And, over time, the people who have bought into the status quo get promoted, get command, and perpetuate the cycle, and the people who questioned it get disillusioned and get out. (There's exceptions, but that is largely the way it goes.) As a result, we have numerous leaders that don't listen to or address our concerns, but instead tell us to shut up and color and report up the chain that everything is fine. So if I were LtGen Wilson and I really wanted to know what was going on with the ICBM crewforce... I'd be bypassing the chain too, because nobody's going to say anything honest if they think there's any chance their commander will find out they said anything negative to a higher-up. It's going to be interesting to see what people end up saying when the fear of retribution is removed. When the CSAF/SECAF were making the rounds a couple weeks ago, they met with the junior CGOs separately from our leadership - and from what I've heard, the junior CGOs gave them some very candid opinions about certain commanders and the cultures they promulgated.
  4. I keep seeing former missileers (including one that I know personally) quoted in articles here and there. Look, I get that you're out of the Air Force and speaking out without fear of retribution is awfully tempting, but spare a thought for the people who are still in and whose lives are going to get worse because you did!
  5. I'm not a huge fan of incentive pay, because the problems we're having right now aren't happening because we aren't getting paid enough. That said, if they give us incentive pay, they need to give it to everyone in the missile field. At least I'm getting officer pay for doing a job that sucks - the 19 year old cop patrolling a concrete pad at 2AM in -20 windchill because the security system won't reset, is not.
  6. Close. "Line" instructors/evaluators are CMR, but only pull alert twice a month. The EWO plans/training shops aren't CMR and don't pull alert. Squadron commanders pull alert twice a month, group/wing leadership doesn't. Ideally, you spend a year or so as a deputy crew commander, then you go to be either an instructor or an evaluator for a year, then upgrade to crew commander, spend about a year doing that, then go back up to be an instructor or evaluator again. Instructor/evaluator hires are competitive though, so only ~20% of crewmembers get selected for either. (Based in part on - you guessed it - test scores.)
  7. They are now. That's one of the things that's resulted from all this - all three wings now get the same test, written by 20AF. As for the second, you're off slightly. Like the SECAF said, people aren't cheating to pass, they're cheating to get 100% and stay off their leadership's radar. Other than that, I'd say there are two main reasons... tanker/bomber crews are allowed to test as crews (as are sub officers.) We aren't - all our tests are "individual effort." So if you're a brand new deputy who hasn't even pulled a single alert yet, and your first EWO test just happens to be one of the "trick question" tests... too bad, your crew commander (who you'd be working with on literally any real-world EWO scenario) can't help you, or you're cheating. The other reason is because aircrews don't place the same emphasis on testing that the ICBM side does - the "100% or you're a disgrace to the service" culture doesn't exist. No argument here. People have been asking similar questions for as long as I've been a missileer. Nobody likes what's going on right now, obviously. But as much as I hate being under pressure from the SECDEF/SECAF/etc., the fundamental review of our culture and standards that we need would never have happened if we weren't getting this level of outside attention.
  8. Sorry, I didn't mean to come across like that. But that said, when OSI is investigating 1/3 of the CGOs in your AFSC, it makes you a little paranoid about what you say online. This captures it perfectly. Our monthly EWO tests should be straightforward tests to gauge whether you understand a particular concept. Unfortunately, every so often, we have people writing tests who get off on writing "trick questions" designed to fail people, which then has a ripple effect on crewmembers - people start looking for tricks in questions that don't have any, and end up convincing themselves out of a right answer. There was a point in the press conference where she said that people weren't cheating to pass, they were cheating to get it perfect. I can't/won't condone cheating, but I'd be lying if I said the culture didn't make it tempting for some people.
  9. Withholding commentary, on the grounds that we've all been warned to avoid doing so in public.
  10. There's a running half-serious joke around here, that the people who escape to pilot/CSO/ABM/RPA/STO/CRO have the biggest motivator of anyone not to wash out of the training pipeline.
  11. If you think that's bad, try being a missileer... the micromanagement is even worse!
  12. It's sad because it's true, and I'm going to go drink and cry now.
  13. Stress/burnout comes in different flavors. Deploying to a shitty part of the world and getting shot at is terrifying and generally awful; I get that. But four years of micromanagement, schedule instability, and constant fear of making a minor administrative screw-up and being labelled as a potential shitbag can take a toll on you mentally as well.
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