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I didn’t deserve my combat pay

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When I compare my first deployment to Afghanistan with my second deployment to Iraq, one thought remains lodged in my cerebellum: I didn’t deserve my combat pay.

Pilots who fly into the Bagram air base in Afghanistan earn a month’s worth of combat pay for a single trip. Pilots who fly over Afghanistan in support of ground operations earn the same combat pay as the infantrymen on the ground, even though no fixed-wing plane has been shot down by the enemy in this war

Article here: Link

Thoughts?

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What is the experience of this guy?

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He's welcome to feel however he wants with respect to earning his pay.

If he wants to make decisions as to if others deserve their combat zone tax exclusion and hostile fire pay, his opinions are woefully out of line without walking a mile in their shoes.

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I think he "Come over from supply!"

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I tend to agree with this dude, kind of. Anyone who thinks that shoe clerks working Monday to Friday 0730 to 1630 at al udeid deserve HFP and CZTE is smoking peyote. But, the problem is applying his logic to the pay system. I would love to see DFAS try to work this one.

Then again, getting off the rotator knowing you have CZTE and HFP for the month makes dealing with the ridiculousness of al udeid slightly easier to stomach. Quote from someone working with a friend at the SOLE: "I'm gonna have to leave work early for class--aerobics class".

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I could argue the merits of pilots receiving HFP and CZTE from both sides convincingly. The real issue anyone trying to get this taken away should be concerned with is retention. If you take away the per diem and HZTE, you make working a civilian job a lot more attractive. If I were to lose the money I make from flying trips I can guarantee that the day my commitment is up I will be out. A big part of the reason all the deployments and 200+ days away a year are tolerable is because I am essentially compensated for them with per diem and HZTE. Take that away and the abuse our families receive becomes a whole lot less tolerable and makes the decision to get out a whole lot easier.

Edited by bowe96
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Pilots who fly over Afghanistan in support of ground operations earn the same combat pay as the infantrymen on the ground, even though no fixed-wing plane has been shot down by the enemy in this war.

He makes some good points. I have been saying for years there is no reason to have CZTE and HFP for people who never set foot off of Ali Al Salem, the Deid, etc. However, to not get combat pay in places like Baghdad and Balad where they at least used to have rocket attacks regularly is kind of ridiculous.

It also obviously pisses me off what he is implying about pilots getting combat pay. Even if he were right about no fixed wing aircraft being shot down in this war (he's not) we still get shot at, get bullet holes in our planes from time to time, land at some dangerous ass places with no security, and of course there always the possibility of this happening. But yeah, tanker guys shouldn't be getting combat pay. :beer:

Edited by LockheedFix
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I also agree with some of his points. Do people who are deploying to a country that is going to host a World Cup deserve hostile fire pay? Probably not. I can also see prorating the various extra pay depending on the amount of time spent in theater. But the rest of his suggestions? Not so much. Imagine the bureaucratic nightmare that would happen if they had to determine what AFSCs at what bases earned CZTE/HFP. It would be more trouble than it’s worth.

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I notice he didn't mention writing a check to Uncle Sam to return all of his undeserved combat pay, which Uncle Sam would gladly accept...

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I kind of agree with most of what he is saying. I mean, Qatar, Bahrain - come on!!! Maybe officially making Qatar the non-combat area that it has been since the war started would take some of the stupidity out of that place and get people out of the fake "combat" mindset there (wishful thinking, I know).

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I think he "Come over from supply!"

Maybe a talk with GySgt Highway would teach him to keep his mouth shut... that or Rainman.

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I think one of the best ways to get rid of the vast swaths of unnecessary SNCO shoeclerks would be to get rid of combat pay for the Gulf bases, unless you're flying into country, of course. Why a deployed flying squadron needs a Shirt (with his own office, no less) I'll never know.

In a perfect world, CZTE and combat pay would be prorated for only the amount of days you were actually in danger. Unfortunately it would be a huge admin headache, which I'm sure is why they don't do it that way.

A couple days ago I went into finance at home station to take care of a lot of issues, one of which was to stop CZTE. I was told I need to present a copy of my orders and travel voucher to do so, even though I was standing right there, obviously no longer in a combat zone. (Yes, I was wrong & showed up unprepared.)

It's pretty damn obvious that finance is task-saturated as it is.

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An easy and simple solution would be to make combat/hazardous duty pay daily instead of monthly. It's been pretty common for certain individuals to arrive in-country on the last day of the month, then leave on the first day to garner two months' worth of pay. This would put a quick stop to that.

As for what areas qualify for it, there does need to be stricter criteria. I know guys who got hazardous duty pay for being in Croatia during SFOR (not IFOR, SFOR). What hazards they were subject to there are beyond me...

Cheers! M2

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I'm going to agree that AUAB shouldn't qualify for CTZE or HDP. If you can't even see the country where the war is happening, you probably aren't in combat. Anyone going to, or flying over, the Stan or Iraq, are involved in combat operations. Combat operations = CTZE.

I'm all for anything that stops more useless support troops from coming to AUAB. We're full, go home.

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I think anyone who has flown under the Tac C2 in OEF has earned their hostile fire/combat pay, tanker or not. Just going out there every day and not getting killed by ATC or some UAV pilot who doesnt understand how to set his altimeter properly should be enough to warrant the pay.

I guess if I had my way if your shop is not manned 7 days a week, no hostile fire pay for you (Just keeping it real for our maintainers)

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I get a kick out of the folks bitching about certain locals in the Gulf. A better joke:

Kosovo still qualifies for CZTE and HDP.

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I get a kick out of the folks bitching about certain locals in the Gulf. A better joke:

Kosovo still qualifies for CZTE and HDP.

I spent about 8 months in the 'VO' and wondered the whole time why I was getting CZTE and HDP. The closest I got to 'combat' was guarding the fruit truck to the nearby bases to make sure the locals didn't rob us blind.

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I get a kick out of the folks bitching about certain locals in the Gulf.

You talking about the slutty Arab and Persian women, or do you mean "locales"?

A better joke:

Kosovo still qualifies for CZTE and HDP.

Fact: I have scored a month of tax free for flying a training sortie in a specific MOA.

I think that MOA's inclusion in CTZE has since been removed, but pilots at a certain USAFE base (used to) make about $10K more per year than the rest of us because they ensure they make monthly sorties to tag that MOA, ensuring the maximum amount of annual CTZE.

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I think anyone who has flown under the Tac C2 in OEF has earned their hostile fire/combat pay, tanker or not. Just going out there every day and not getting killed by ATC or some UAV pilot who doesnt understand how to set his altimeter properly should be enough to warrant the pay.

I guess if I had my way if your shop is not manned 7 days a week, no hostile fire pay for you (Just keeping it real for our maintainers)

I've never really had serious issues with ATC, I'd say they do quite well for what they have to deal with. Now the I Suck At Flying traffic is a whole separate issue. Between them not being able to make a radio call under 1 minute in length or follow basic directions like climb and MAINTAIN, sometimes I wonder how they don't get vectored into a mountain. We should get HFP and CZTE anytime we are in the same airspace as these idiots.

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There were grumblings last year that what this guy proposed was going to happen. Prorate all HFP / CZTE. I believe it was left to the services to decide if they were going to do it or not. I could see it turning into a huge nightmare with finance.

BF

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Fact: I have scored a month of tax free for flying a training sortie in a specific MOA.

O-1 time?

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O-1 time?

It did not count as O-1 time, no.

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There were grumblings last year that what this guy proposed was going to happen. Prorate all HFP / CZTE. I believe it was left to the services to decide if they were going to do it or not. I could see it turning into a huge nightmare with finance.

BF

It happened.

How will this affect the REMF/shoe clerks? ...flight crews?

A-10's probably get hit with small arms fire, so they could be covered for the month.

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