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Predator Follow-on

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I was curious why they don't give predators with a follow on at assignment night. And I hope to god, along with many of my peers, there will be a follow on. So if you are a general reading this... take note Morale will improve drastically.

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I was curious why they don't give predators with a follow on at assignment night. And I hope to god, along with many of my peers, there will be a follow on. So if you are a general reading this... take note Morale will improve drastically.

The USAF was directed to increase the number of orbits to 40 and will increase the number of orbits AGAIN to 65. Until they meet the need (and I don't think the beast will EVER be happy), there will be no discussion of follow ons.

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Posted

Since when does the AF care about morale?

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Posted

I was curious why they don't give predators with a follow on at assignment night. And I hope to god, along with many of my peers, there will be a follow on. So if you are a general reading this... take note Morale will improve drastically.

Do you really think there will be a follow-on? I know of no human yet who has escaped the graviational pull of Creech. I know one guy who was able to get to a B-52 TX-course following a Pred assignment...but he got pulled mid-way through the course. He is now in his second tour at Creech. The numbers simply aren't in favor of AFPC's follow-on promise at this point.

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Posted

Do you really think there will be a follow-on? I know of no human yet who has escaped the graviational pull of Creech. I know one guy who was able to get to a B-52 TX-course following a Pred assignment...but he got pulled mid-way through the course. He is now in his second tour at Creech. The numbers simply aren't in favor of AFPC's follow-on promise at this point.

And, your follow on to the MQ-1 predator will be the... MQ-9 Reaper!!!

Congrats, I'm kidding...

but seriously

cheers :beer: you're going to need it

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Posted

sorry dude, but the "follow-on" thing is nothing but a suicide prevention bait-and-switch. Look at the mechanics of it.... right now they're hiring a buttload of Lts to fly these things. In 4 years those guys will be mid time Capts or so... so unless you want to create an epic leadership and experience void in the fastest expanding mission in the AF, there's no possible way they can let these guys go, except perhaps to another UAV.

So are they making guys who graduate UPT and go to predators 11X AFSC with pilot wings, or are they making them 18X with UAV wings?

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So are they making guys who graduate UPT and go to predators 11X AFSC with pilot wings, or are they making them 18X with UAV wings?

Seriously dude? If someone graduates from UPT they are awarded the aeronautical rating of 'Pilot' and thus those are the wings they wear.

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Posted

Food for thought....what happens to all these dudes in a few years when there isn't a need for all those orbits anymore? It'll be interesting to see what happens to that community on a whole when things start to get slow. Just because they won't be needed in UAVs (RPAs...whatever the term is these days) doesn't mean there necessarily will be room for them in other airframes, after all things will be slowing down across the board at some point.

It'll be very interesting to see how things play out over the next few years.....

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Posted

Food for thought....what happens to all these dudes in a few years when there isn't a need for all those orbits anymore? It'll be interesting to see what happens to that community on a whole when things start to get slow. Just because they won't be needed in UAVs (RPAs...whatever the term is these days) doesn't mean there necessarily will be room for them in other airframes, after all things will be slowing down across the board at some point.

It'll be very interesting to see how things play out over the next few years.....

The "need" for 65 (and sure to increase), orbits will NOT go away. The RPA commitment is here to stay.

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Posted

Food for thought....what happens to all these dudes in a few years when there isn't a need for all those orbits anymore? It'll be interesting to see what happens to that community on a whole when things start to get slow. Just because they won't be needed in UAVs (RPAs...whatever the term is these days) doesn't mean there necessarily will be room for them in other airframes, after all things will be slowing down across the board at some point.

It'll be very interesting to see how things play out over the next few years.....

The party line answer is that there is a huge demand for UAS in Korea, Africa, South America, etc. The demand isn't supposed to decrease for a long time.

I know UAS are the new thing, but couldn't you ask the same question of some traditional airframes that have been heavily tasked in OIF/OEF?

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Posted

The party line answer is that there is a huge demand for UAS in Korea, Africa, South America, etc. The demand isn't supposed to decrease for a long time.

I know UAS are the new thing, but couldn't you ask the same question of some traditional airframes that have been heavily tasked in OIF/OEF?

hence:

doesn't mean there necessarily will be room for them in other airframes, after all things will be slowing down across the board at some point.
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Posted

What's the latest on the UAS schoolhouse i.e. the course they're sending non-UPT grads through? Seems like there hasn't been anything published about it since the first Beta class graduated.

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Posted (edited)

hence:

OK, well Cleared Hot and I answered the original question already, but to elaborate: the current demand for RPAs is officially considered insatiable. Even if we had every orbit they wanted in OIF/OEF, there would still be COCOMs clammering for more RPAs in other theaters that previously haven't gotten them. If all OIF/OEF orbits suddenly went away, they would probably just limit the in flow of new RPA pilots, allow more to leave at the end of their natural tours, stop the "return to active duty" contracts, send more officers in the community to school and staff jobs.

How many traditional airframes you could point to and say "if OIF/OEF suddenly stopped today, 3 others AOs would cheer because now its their turn to finally get X/Y/Z aircraft"? I can think of 1 or 2 aircraft that would probably fit in the same description, but I think most others would just go back to training and filling a spot in a war plan.

Hence, I don't think there will be an issue with RPA pilots struggling to find meaningful jobs.

Edited by Radio
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Posted

Predator Follow-on: "Funniest Thread Title on Baseops!"

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Posted

Predator Follow-on: "Funniest Thread Title on Baseops!"

And saddest at the same time.

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Posted

UAV Article

Excerpt: "UAV pilots will receive the “18X” Air Force Specialty Code. It will be a “rated” career field and require airmen to serve a six-year active-duty service commitment."

I really find it hard to believe that a new rated AFSC for pred pilots was created with a 6 yr commitment while a UPT grad has to stick around for 10 years doing the same job... I think and hope they have other plans for the UPT guys.

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Posted

I really find it hard to believe that a new rated AFSC for pred pilots was created with a 6 yr commitment while a UPT grad has to stick around for 10 years doing the same job... I think and hope they have other plans for the UPT guys.

Who will man the Creech school house in 3-4 years? Who will be the "been there...seen that" second assignment flight commanders? Those jobs are what I'd do with a guy with a 10 year commitment and qualified in the most rapidly growing community in the Air Force. What I would not do is allow my experienced folks to leave the community while trying to sustain exponential growth.

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Posted

As someone who could hear the buzz of the UAV high above late at night while manning a checkpoint, I do remember the bad guys made themselves scarce and fewer things were left to go boom the next day. I've even talked to "associates" of some less than savory characters who were well aware of the the death that can come from above and they spent as least as much time avoiding being spotted by the UAVs as going out and making trouble.

I do fly on the civ side and love the air as much as anyone but I assure you seeing a Dad able to come home and hug his son after a year in the desert because a UAV kept the bad guy's from putting out an IED to kill him makes it all worthwhile.

I think the UAV will be to the GWOT what the helicopter was to Vietnam.

Thanks for watching over them. :beer:

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Posted

As someone who could hear the buzz of the UAV high above late at night while manning a checkpoint, I do remember the bad guys made themselves scarce and fewer things were left to go boom the next day. I've even talked to "associates" of some less than savory characters who were well aware of the the death that can come from above and they spent as least as much time avoiding being spotted by the UAVs as going out and making trouble.

I do fly on the civ side and love the air as much as anyone but I assure you seeing a Dad able to come home and hug his son after a year in the desert because a UAV kept the bad guy's from putting out an IED to kill him makes it all worthwhile.

I think the UAV will be to the GWOT what the helicopter was to Vietnam.

Thanks for watching over them. :beer:

Nobody doubts what UAVs bring to the table in our current conflict. If they do, they're retarded. It's an honorable mission and one that UAV operators can be proud of. What people don't agree with is the complete overkill of spending a year and a million dollars to send someone through UPT only to spend their career flying a UAV, from shitholes like Cannon and Creech, with no chance of parole.

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Posted

Nobody doubts what UAVs bring to the table in our current conflict. If they do, they're retarded. It's an honorable mission and one that UAV operators can be proud of. What people don't agree with is the complete overkill of spending a year and a million dollars to send someone through UPT only to spend their career flying a UAV, from shitholes like Cannon and Creech, with no chance of parole.

+2

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Posted

Nobody doubts what UAVs bring to the table in our current conflict. If they do, they're retarded. It's an honorable mission and one that UAV operators can be proud of. What people don't agree with is the complete overkill of spending a year and a million dollars to send someone through UPT only to spend their career flying a UAV, from shitholes like Cannon and Creech, with no chance of parole.

Word.

Also,

What's the latest on the UAS schoolhouse i.e. the course they're sending non-UPT grads through? Seems like there hasn't been anything published about it since the first Beta class graduated.

bump?

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Posted

FWIW, I just got my RIP yesterday for training at Holloman. It still lists 3 locations for training.

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Posted

I truly wonder if the community will tear itself apart.

I wonder what will happen when large numbers of dudes/dudettes get to the end of their commitment. For folks in the business;

Are the claims of high job satisfaction true?

What is the divorce rate?

What is the DUI rate?

What is the retention rate?

I am a simple man and it would seem to me the answer is NOT to train more dudes...NOT to create UAV only pilots who lack SA. The answer has to be technology. We need to develop systems that allow one pilot to fly multiple systems and only intervene when completely necessary. We need to develop sensors that don't simply stare at one spot or are limited to a soda-straw view of the battlespace. When we can open our aperture and have one person controlling 4-8-12 RPAs with each RPA have a field of view and field of regard that covers many miles in a single look, then we will have arrived at something we can sustain.

Oh...and I am completely in favor of putting GCS' in move favorable places like Fl, Co, Ca, and Hi.

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Are the claims of high job satisfaction true?

Of all the people I have talked to it seems to be high for the ACC people, once you get over the fact that you aren't actually "flying." The Spec Ops guys don't seem to claim as much job satisfaction. Part of the spec ops thing is I don't think they treat their people quite as well, and the Vegas lifestyle is probably more agreeable to most people than the Clovis lifestyle.

Might be due to the fact that ACC's mission is to pull the trigger. While Spec Ops RPA guys just sit there waiting and watching. That said this is all what I have heard second hand if anyone has first hand experience please chime in.

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Posted

I truly wonder if the community will tear itself apart.

I wonder what will happen when large numbers of dudes/dudettes get to the end of their commitment. For folks in the business;

Are the claims of high job satisfaction true?

What is the divorce rate?

What is the DUI rate?

What is the retention rate?

I am a simple man and it would seem to me the answer is NOT to train more dudes...NOT to create UAV only pilots who lack SA. The answer has to be technology. We need to develop systems that allow one pilot to fly multiple systems and only intervene when completely necessary. We need to develop sensors that don't simply stare at one spot or are limited to a soda-straw view of the battlespace. When we can open our aperture and have one person controlling 4-8-12 RPAs with each RPA have a field of view and field of regard that covers many miles in a single look, then we will have arrived at something we can sustain.

Oh...and I am completely in favor of putting GCS' in move favorable places like Fl, Co, Ca, and Hi.

Didn't get all relevant quotes above but I think you'll get the idea.

As my signature block states " This is a serious misallocation of valuable military resources" Frequently true in the military as we're all aware. However the purpose of the military is to deter war if possible, win if necessary. Anything that we as members of the military as far as job satisfaction get above that is gravy. I've gotten a lot of taskings and duty stations (we all have I'm sure) that were not desirable and I've been in New Mexico and Arizona in my military career so I can see the downside to those postings but I'll definitely say they are better than Iraq (where I've been) or Afghanistan (where I'll probably end up). Nobody said we had to like it.

Whether we like it or not we adapt to fight the war at hand with the best tools we have available (and no I'm not trying to sound like Rumsfeld) That right now means UAVs. Many many years ago General Billy Mitchell tried to tell the establishment that Air Power would become the dominant military force over Sea Power. At the time no one wanted to hear it. Reality is reality.

As far as technological advancements, UAV capabilities along with their command and control will evolve beyond what we can imagine in 10 or 20 years after most if not all of us reading this have retired. But it won't happen quickly.

I do hope you UPT grads eventually return to the cockpit either in the military or civilian world. Right now we have a war to fight.

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