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Everything posted by ViperMan

  1. The new airline thread

    I agree with a lot of what you said, but we definitely view the problem in different terms. I don't think that every hospital in the USAF should be deprecated, and I didn't intend to imply that. But, you can't seriously tell me that we NEED a base hospital at Luke AFB (Phoenix, AZ), hospitals in Dallas, San Antonio, Washington D.C., Salt Lake City, all the redundant and overlapping medical facilities the Navy has in San Diego and elsewhere in garden, costal locations with millions of civilians around. Holloman AFB? Sure. Cannon AFB? Sure. There is valid need for certain locations to have necessary support functions where there is no realistic alternative. My point is that we have EXCESS capacity that could easily be farmed out. Tricare doesn't pay enough? Blah, they can fix that with a flick of a pen. No one (or few) here thinks that pilots alone could accomplish the mission themselves in a vacuum. The point I was making was to say exactly what you said in your post: that it is stupid to compare doctors to pilots in the AF. What's a pilot worth to Microsoft? How bout a Computer Programmer? I'm sure the relative value of each person changes when you swap context, and that is the bottom line: the USAF needs pilots a HELL of a lot more than they need doctors - ANY doctors. Money talks. As far as finance goes, we could do a lot to streamline and simplify their jobs using technology, etc. I don't for one second buy that they aren't capable because they are understaffed. They need to work smarter, not harder. The AF loves to resist change though, and while I'm full of great suggestions for how they can fix themselves, that's not the point of this post.
  2. F-16 Students skip Phase III

    Sortofish. What I am saying (which deserves its own post), is that the Air Force (as is true with any very large enterprise) needs a bureaucratic means (which it currently has) of selecting from a group of highly qualified and highly motivated individuals to select for their most difficult training pipeline. This ensures a higher probability of success which is vital with extraordinarily expensive training. Requiring someone to have a college degree (any college degree) is in NO WAY too high a bar to preclude someone from competing for pilot training - READ: those people who can't (or don't) make it through 'X' State University, very likely, have ZERO business flying a fighter aircraft, let alone any aircraft in the USAF. This, by definition, precludes much of the enlisted force. The above is in no way saying their are enlisted individuals who "couldn't" 'fly' a fighter or heavy aircraft - lord knows. I know there are many individuals around the world flying fighters who are less than capable. I feel ardently about this because I feel that our national advantage isn't grounded in our Army. It's grounded in our Air Force. And when we give up that advantage, we're asking for F$@%ing trouble. What I see this as is grasping at straws and a mediocre "attempt" to solve a problem. Ultimately the AF needs to stand up and tell the Army to do it's job (another post). This, of course, requires national-level leadership buy-in to a strategy (hasn't seemed like we've had one of those for a while), but why else are these people wearing stars?
  3. The new airline thread

    Way behind in total salary (maybe), but are you accounting for the amount of insurance required of private doctors? It can be enormous from what I understand, whereas the cost to someone accepting any of those bonuses equals precisely $0.00. You account for $200-300K of med school debt, are you doing the math on $0.00 of med school debt to a mil doc? Difference between these positive and negative numbers begins to add up pretty quickly. We always talk about bringing doctors "in". Do doctors need to be in the military? Does a base located in city X "need" a whole ing hospital? Why don't we just outsource our healthcare to the civilian sector and pay market price? I grant that there are certain specialities that the military needs for reason X, but we do not need the medical infrastructure that we currently have set up to be able to accomplish our mission. There is an awesome (sarcasm) thread on the CAF Fighter Facebook page that is basically just a swinging dick contest between doctors and 11Fs. The point missing from the whole thing is that there is a separate 'sub-economy' in the USAF wherein pilots > doctors: because mission. So it doesn't matter what the USAF pays doctors relative to pilots. If this was a janitor's union, and our mission was sweeping the hallways of junior high schools, no one would care if some of the "help" who checked janitor's balls (who had tons of expensive education) wanted more pay or "deserved" more pay. The mission is hall-sweeping, not ball-checking. Yes.
  4. F-16 Students skip Phase III

    Sarcastic post aside, I'll answer the questions literally (for sarcastic fun): They won't. Enlisted pilot retention will likely be lower than officer pilot retention. Nail on Cranium, though I will say that it's not so much the 'process' that the academy/rotc/ots puts "you" through (capable people are capable people); rather, the pool of candidates that make it through the other end of those said training pipelines have shown they have the metal to handle the USAF UPT pipeline. This 'cheaper' process enables the USAF to select (from an already select group) individuals who are likely to succeed in a challenging program (which is extraordinarily expensive), which is, arguably, the point of those accession processes. My point is, the whole purpose of accession programs is to save tax payer money by sending the people most likely to graduate through the most expensive training known to man...having a "college degree" and 90 days of marching is not too high a bar to granting that privilege, IMHO. Interesting point, made me think. What does OTS cost relative to the Academy? A penny on the dollar? It costs next to effing nothing to send a bro through OTS, commission a bitch after 90-days, staple a gold bar on his shoulder and proudly salute. What I (cynically) think is that now the leadership is looking for more control. Can't control Capts/Majs/Lt Cols who don't give a F$#% what a two-star says because they realize that that guy is effectively their peer with a few years more experience. Better to have a SSgt F-35 pilot or C-17 pilot who just CAN"T say no, and who can't (legitimately) scoff your ideas. Control. Read Catch-22.
  5. F-16 Students skip Phase III

    I haven't seen the sweeping push, yet, either, nor do I think their is one. My comment is mostly directed towards all the internet geniuses (/trolls) that come up with bright ideas which haven't even been put through the most basic and obvious thought experiment available to someone with half a brain.
  6. F-16 Students skip Phase III

    But seriously, not one post on this here internet (anywhere) has successfully addressed the VERY low hanging critique that a lesser-paid individual has LESS incentive to stay in the AF long-term. Read: enlisted pilots have a greater incentive to separate at their first opportunity than do officer pilots. So, given that, how does having enlisted pilots solve our manning problem?
  7. F-16 Students skip Phase III

    GD I was just "Hall and 'rolled' Oates" - well played, very well played. "using the bodies up as we go" "waking up to fantasy" Yeah, I will not listen to that song the same way again.
  8. F-16 Students skip Phase III

    Really, REALLY want to get jiggy with it? How bout we let dudes flying trash operate "single seat"? That'll fix MAFs problem overnight. Slides = GREEN. I mean that is the lowest hanging fruit with ultra-high payoff, right?
  9. F-16 Students skip Phase III

    Production of what? X and XX rides?
  10. F-16 Students skip Phase III

    By who? The staff? That should be fun for me...
  11. F-16 Students skip Phase III

    Confirm what we're talking about is doing T-6s, and then prof advancing to F-16s? No T-38s whatsoever?
  12. The "reason" you get "retirement" benefits is precisely so they CAN place you back on active duty.
  13. I would send one more (polite) message, and then take the assignment if I was you. 6 months of active duty can effectively be reduced to 3 months if you have 90 days of leave. Yeah, this. Dig into AFI 36-2110. There is some verbiage in there that explains when you can and cannot 7-day-opt an assignment. The basic rule is if any extra training (AFT in your case), PCS, or whatever would result in an ADSC that takes you beyond another (different) ADSC, you can decline that "thing" and then establish a DOS. The fact that it happens to be 3+ years in the future is immaterial. That said, in your case, 3+ years is a long time to "hang it out there". I'd be very wary of doing that if I was in a place that could then summarily give me screw job after screw job. You basically have to ask yourself if the cost of that is > than the cost of 6 more months in an assignment that you want.
  14. 7-day-opt. There's your solution.
  15. Fixed wing opportunities > Helicopter opportunities RPA opportunities > Helicopter opportunities It simply boils down to economics/available choices. It's not at all complicated. Right now we're watching people bail who are being paid $100K+ to do a job (RPA): you can observe that fact. It's happening right now. Nor will "moral" fix it. The suggestion that paying someone ~$60K to do that same job because of "moral" ignores another fact that you can also observe right now: fighter pilots are bailing faster than they can be replaced. "Moral" will only keep you around so long. What I feel like people should be discussing, is why the AF insists upon placing a job that can literally be accomplished anywhere, in some of the worst real-estate the AF has. Want to keep people around? Let them live in Hawaii, Guam, Japan, England, Florida, California, Colorado - don't shovel them off to Creech, Holloman, Shaw, etc.
  16. This solves nothing - as a "solution" it will only exacerbate the problem. For the reason identified below: Shack.
  17. Yep. In my case, when I witnessed the forced separation of 160-some majors back in 2011 (ish) followed almost immediately by the activation of TERA authority, for a nearly identical group of people, I realized just how important the AF viewed its people, and also how arbitrary and fickle continued service could be. "Hmm. I just got the boot, but the other 15-yr major across the street gets to retire? Exsqueeze me? Baking powder?" AF leadership needs to realize that their decisions enacted through AFPC and other entities are watched very closely and create a certain lasting "tenor" within the force that have effects on retention for many years in the future. This latest decision may be in a similar vein.
  18. What's wrong with the Air Force?

    Which of the four who doesn't know jack $hit about the F-16 wrote the article on the Thunderbird mishap?
  19. What's wrong with the Air Force?

    That guy went to Harvard? Seriously? With some of the arguments I've seen from him, that's pretty surprising.
  20. Space Corps Good or Bad?

    Good. But only because it's necessary to take away the AF's shiny toy in order to impose a refocusing on its core functions.
  21. I agree in principle, and also would want to walk in informed. I just think it begs the question "why"? i.e. Why do you need to speak to guys flying the line to "get the ground truth", but put certain "truths" off limits? The only thing I can think of is it was just an information gathering session to support pre-conceived conclusions for a (unknown to us) course of action that has already been mapped out. Kind of like my technique for completing ACSC papers - which we all know are bull shit: here's what I think, now I just need to find a couple of quotes that will support that...and, box checked, on to what I really care about. Makes me think these pilots were used.
  22. So I guess they must have talked with the congressional staffers beforehand?
  23. I can think of no better way to get to valid lessons learned than to skip the shot val, quarter back a root cause, and then chalk it up to a couple of execution errors. Sounds like a winning formula. Too bad it sounds like the Senator wasted some valuable time with those flying the line by putting up the lane bumpers before hand. I just wonder who it was who "briefed" them as to what the man was open and/or not open to hearing. Was it congressional staffers or AF people? Fvck it. Dark visor down. Banzai. ETA: I'm convinced the strategy is to buckle down, attempt to weather the storm, avoid setting a (high) bonus precedent, and hope for the best.
  24. FY16 "Bonus Shenanigans"

    Hey everyone, I recently became aware of an "issue" that has been making the rounds on Facebook and which is also the subject of a recent JQP post. My response to his article was "detected as spam." So I'm re-posting this here with a desire to see what the BO rank and file thinks of this latest spear from JQ. As follows: JQP, much like the previous article on the Thunderbird mishap, you are way off base. "But things have gotten sideways. The question now on the table is what happens to those who lock in early only to find that the bonus increases in value significantly following year. This year’s ARP package is offering pilots in some career families $35,000/year — 40% more than last year." This is only a question to one of three people: 1. Those who didn't read the offer. 2. Those who read but didn't understand the offer. 3. Those who have an ax to grind and are now choosing to intentionally misread the statement to forward an agenda. 'The guys signing up early took this as a good faith “opt-in” clause indemnifying them against the risk of lost opportunity due to early action. They thought the USAF was saying “don’t worry … if we offer more next year, we’ll let you opt in at the higher amount.”' I'm sorry, but if anyone thought that, then they didn't read (or understand) the offer. It is CRYSTAL clear in the message that the offer would extended to those contracted pilots 'to sign a NEW CONTRACT worth the higher bonus amount AND/OR longer contract length, in the event...' This statement can mean one of three things: 1. (AND) The AF will let you sign up for a higher bonus AND a longer contract term. 2. (OR) The AF will let you sign up for a higher bonus amount OR a longer contract term, but not both. 3. (AND/OR) The AF will let you sign up for whatever terms they come up with for the next years' bonus; higher amounts, different contract lengths, etc, because they don't know what they will be (i.e $25K for 7 years; $40K for 8 years; $50K for 13 years, etc.). 4. (NEITHER) Keep the bonus you already signed and STFU. Of course, it's advantageous for the complainants to go with option 2a, just take more money and run, but unfortunately, not even a 3rd grade reading is admissible for those who are disinterested. Notice also, that the message specifically references LONGER contract lengths - not SHORTER ones. Hmm. "They were, it now appears, wrong to place that much faith in the service. What those officers are being told when they try to opt in is that if they want the higher bonus payouts, they must commit to an additional year of service commitment. They’ll get five bonus payments but be expected to serve six additional years." Just like everyone else in the Air Force would have to. Jeez, why not back-date the $35K bonus to those who signed up 4 years ago? 6? 9? As you go down that argument trail, hopefully you can begin to see the absurdity of the position which holds that the ones who signed up last year should get something for nothing. That said, philosophically, I agree that if the "bonus" goes up, everyone one who's on it should be given the increased amount - unfortunately, that's not what the agreement says or how it reads. "Finally, and most interestingly, this instruction did not exist when the FY16 early takers made their decisions. It was published months later, in October. The rules governing their opt-in decisions should not spring from this DO DI, but whatever rule was in effect at the time they signed. If no rule existed addressing this situation, they’re entitled to the plain language in their agreements, which would allow them to opt-in without any additional service commitment." Ummm, no, the plain-language interpretation decidedly DOES NOT allow them to pick and choose the terms of the new contract. "They can’t claim a lack of bargaining power constrained them from a fair deal in FY16 ARP negotiations. Nor can they claim the USAF engaged in fraud. There is a clause containing sufficient vagary to portend the mess that has ensued, and they knew or should have known that opting in would come with additional requirements of some sort." Finally, an accurate statement. Seriously, no, seriously - what is vague about the FY16 offer? It is perfectly clear to me and I'm no lawyer. "And just to be clear, this cohort has pretty much no legal leverage. There’s nothing that will invalidate their old contracts and there’s nothing making them enter new ones. They are all bound by their original agreements unless they’re willing to be coerced into new ones." Except for the same leverage I had, which was to not sign the bonus; they made choices. What is the problem? "This is a moral issue. Playing shell games will forfeit the goodwill Gen. Golden and his team have worked to rebuild over the past year. That would be truly unfortunate." No. Just, no. This barely rises to the level of ethics. And if it did, it's not unethical on part of the AF. The only unethical thing I see going on is intentional misinterpretation of the offer and an attempt to exploit an AF that's in a bad situation. "It would be a shame if this turned into yet another social media campaign to interest legislators in an issue that commanders and senior staff should be able to handle tomorrow morning with a 5-minute meeting and some clear direction." Nice veiled threat. Good thing is that most legislators are lawyers by trade and will instantly recognize that this is a baseless complaint. I like to point out problems the AF has as well, and I appreciate some of the work you do, but this is a non-issue, and detracts from actual issues that the AF is suffering from. I hope these folks do take this to the legislature and come away with egg on their faces. ViperMan Anyway, I'd like to know what you all think.