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The meeting was comprised of two individuals who are tasked to create a report to the Senate Armed Services Committee to be published at the end of the calendar year. They were simply here to listen to fighter pilots and get an answer for A) if retention is actually an issue or will be, and if so, B) why? Salient points were communicated and we were told that in their meetings with higher levels of service members, only one service, and you can guess which one, has admitted it has a fighter pilot retention problem. They are also the only ones who are coming up with possible solutions.

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9 hours ago, ihtfp06 said:


Haven't heard anything about it. What's the gist?

Gist is that Maj's w/>14 yrs TAFMS and O-5s w/>17 yrs TAFMS can apply to spend another 3 yrs at their base. It's a program that they apply for and is approved by the WG/CC. I think it's still in the inputs phase. It seems like a dog and pony show IMHO. The ADP and reclama process should do this, but AFPC does whatever the hell they want. Latest is that I'm on the VML but never got notified and it's after the reclama window. Can't wait to fly for the airlines. UFB. 

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3 hours ago, magnetfreezer said:

Question (to paraphrase): If the AF is so concerned about rated retention, why the lower promotion rates for rated on the recent boards

Answer/analogy: The quarterback is the star player on the football team, but we need to remember that the game couldn't happen without everyone else, even the waterboy.

I'm pretty sure I have less training to do to become a waterboy for the Patriots than to replace Tom Brady...

Also, if we think we have it bad because of XXX, we need to go to see those in Walter Reed and reconsider if we really have it that bad.

The answer to that one is that we suck at writing OPRs and developing our people.  No word on when we'll start valuing leadership in the cockpit vs leadership from a desk.

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36 minutes ago, PlanePhlyer said:

Gist is that Maj's w/>14 yrs TAFMS and O-5s w/>17 yrs TAFMS can apply to spend another 3 yrs at their base. It's a program that they apply for and is approved by the WG/CC. I think it's still in the inputs phase. It seems like a dog and pony show IMHO. The ADP and reclama process should do this, but AFPC does whatever the hell they want. Latest is that I'm on the VML but never got notified and it's after the reclama window. Can't wait to fly for the airlines. UFB. 

Sounds nice, but we're already being told you're not competitive for promotion unless you have "breadth" and "do something other than flying".  Look at your WG/CC and OG/CC...they probably have a half-dozen PCSes in the last ten years.  You can stay where you are if you want to just fly the line as a major.

Of course, this problem will run headlong into the RSAP problem, and you'll quickly have a drought of O-5s when we can't send ANYONE to staff because EVERY squadron is critically manned...no word on that solution.

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"Also, if we think we have it bad because of ###, we need to go to see those in Walter Reed and reconsider if we really have it that bad."

They didn't really say that, did they? Tell me they didn't say that. 

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1 hour ago, Termy said:

"Also, if we think we have it bad because of ###, we need to go to see those in Walter Reed and reconsider if we really have it that bad."

They didn't really say that, did they? Tell me they didn't say that. 

I do not think it was a they, I think it was a he as in Gen Robin Rand AFGSC/CC. That would align with past statements he has said to AFGSC aircrew.

Edited by LookieRookie
Forgot a not
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1 hour ago, Termy said:

"Also, if we think we have it bad because of ###, we need to go to see those in Walter Reed and reconsider if we really have it that bad."

They didn't really say that, did they? Tell me they didn't say that. 

 

1 hour ago, LookieRookie said:

I do think it was a they, I think it was a he as in Gen Robin Rand AFGSC/CC. That would align with past statements he has said to AFGSC aircrew.

Checks. Reference his "we're not losing jets like Nam" comments as well. 

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14 hours ago, magnetfreezer said:

Question (to paraphrase): If the AF is so concerned about rated retention, why the lower promotion rates for rated on the recent boards

Answer/analogy: The quarterback is the star player on the football team, but we need to remember that the game couldn't happen without everyone else, even the waterboy.

I'm pretty sure I have less training to do to become a waterboy for the Patriots than to replace Tom Brady...

Also, if we think we have it bad because of ###, we need to go to see those in Walter Reed and reconsider if we really have it that bad.

MOG.gif.8f706f1c648925b7b0f8c817055890cd.gif

 

I've had it with these bullshit equivalency arguments from leadership citing how "good" we have it compared to XYZ community.   Gen Rand has so many F#$% fanboys here at RND its insane, yet every time he talks this kind of bullshit those fanboys are on their knees gulping down the massive load.  Gen  Now land and his little meeting was only marginally better and at least by the end he seemed to be properly whipped into the correct mindset (time will tell).  Before that I've heard the same kind of crap from numerous commanders when we complained about ops tempo with deployments stacked on top of TDY's, reinforced that we are "At War" as if that has any ing meaning any more after over 15 years.  There is a reason I didn't join the Marines or Army, and while those patriots at Walter Reed deserve nothing but our utmost respect, they are not to be used as tools for ignoring the issues the force faces today.  When I bring up leadership failings in a conversation it generally leads to a "well so and so is a good guy etc", but I feel more and more that regardless of how good a commander or leader you may be, your now culpable for this mess and arguing who the good ones versus bad ones is a waste of time.  As it stands the effect is they are all bad because the outcome is shit, until any thing starts getting fix'd they are all failures in my book until proven otherwise don't care how cool they were before or are now.   

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5 minutes ago, DirtyFlightSuit said:

MOG.gif.8f706f1c648925b7b0f8c817055890cd.gif

 

I've had it with these bullshit equivalency arguments from leadership citing how "good" we have it compared to XYZ community.   Gen Rand has so many F#$% fanboys here at RND its insane, yet every time he talks this kind of bullshit those fanboys are on their knees gulping down the massive load.  Gen  Now land and his little meeting was only marginally better and at least by the end he seemed to be properly whipped into the correct mindset (time will tell).  Before that I've heard the same kind of crap from numerous commanders when we complained about ops tempo with deployments stacked on top of TDY's, reinforced that we are "At War" as if that has any ing meaning any more after over 15 years.  There is a reason I didn't join the Marines or Army, and while those patriots at Walter Reed deserve nothing but our utmost respect, they are not to be used as tools for ignoring the issues the force faces today.  When I bring up leadership failings in a conversation it generally leads to a "well so and so is a good guy etc", but I feel more and more that regardless of how good a commander or leader you may be, your now culpable for this mess and arguing who the good ones versus bad ones is a waste of time.  As it stands the effect is they are all bad because the outcome is shit, until any thing starts getting fix'd they are all failures in my book until proven otherwise don't care how cool they were before or are now.   

At least those guys have someone who will tell them like it is instead of quibbling...

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Oh they've been told many times, I've simply given up as it always falls on deaf ears.   I'm in the "well I tried so screw it" mode.

Edited by DirtyFlightSuit

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HAF is going to give crew rest waivers to WG/CC and possibly SQ/CC.

http://www.airforcetimes.com/news/your-air-force/2017/09/19/goldfein-crew-rest-decisions-will-soon-be-made-by-wing-squadron-commanders/

 

On one hand, I see empowering the lower level commanders, on the other, now we can pump those rookie numbers up.

 

"Goldfein said the Air Force doesn’t have a problem with airmen not getting enough crew rest, and he doesn’t expect the change to result in more waivers being granted."

 

This quote makes no sense. Of course there are no issues because it has to be waived at the flag level.

 

 

 

 

Edited by LookieRookie

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It was opposed at the MAJCOM O-6 level. All the MAJCOM/A3s said "Great idea, boss."

Hopefully the final GM includes the added text making the PIC the final decision maker to accept or reject reduced/waived crew rest.

 

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As the 7th fleet and the rest of the Navy are learning this lesson over again why in the hell are we taking steps backwards? All I see is tons of potential for misuse or abuse leading to accidents down the line.

Edited by LiquidSky

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8 hours ago, ThreeHoler said:

It was opposed at the MAJCOM O-6 level. All the MAJCOM/A3s said "Great idea, boss."

Hopefully the final GM includes the added text making the PIC the final decision maker to accept or reject reduced/waived crew rest.

 

PIC has always been the waiver acceptance authority. Also charged with the safe conduct of the flight and mission. 

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23 minutes ago, war007afa said:

PIC has always been the waiver acceptance authority. Also charged with the safe conduct of the flight and mission. 

Not if you ask 603rd or the CAOC's AMD judging by the number of times I heard: "We've got the waiver already approved for you..." when I never asked for it.

I can see both sides of this argument, but I don't understand why they picked this particular target right now.  Like putting a JDAM on the outhouse of a SAM site.  Maybe it's been on the chopping block for a while, but as a priority seems right up there with rolling up sleeves.

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1 hour ago, FourFans130 said:

Not if you ask 603rd or the CAOC's AMD judging by the number of times I heard: "We've got the waiver already approved for you..." when I never asked for it.

I can see both sides of this argument, but I don't understand why they picked this particular target right now.  Like putting a JDAM on the outhouse of a SAM site.  Maybe it's been on the chopping block for a while, but as a priority seems right up there with rolling up sleeves.

The SECAF also made comments at the AFA conference about how "We don't got this" with doing more with less.

 

Crew rest waivers seems exactly like doing more with less.

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I like this change.  I've asked for crew rest waivers and been denied.  If the SQ/CC and AC want it and judge the mission benefit worth the risk, it's dumb that someone disconnected from the mission can deny it.  I guess every corner of the AF is different but our waiver authority is MAJCOM A3 who is not tracking daily missions and will always say no, even for TIC support.  So to me, this is a good change because it removes obstacles to the mission.  If you're worried your leadership will now bully you into accepting missions you aren't safe to execute, well that sucks.  Say no, that's always your right.

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12 hours ago, tac airlifter said:

I like this change.  I've asked for crew rest waivers and been denied.  If the SQ/CC and AC want it and judge the mission benefit worth the risk, it's dumb that someone disconnected from the mission can deny it.  I guess every corner of the AF is different but our waiver authority is MAJCOM A3 who is not tracking daily missions and will always say no, even for TIC support.  So to me, this is a good change because it removes obstacles to the mission.  If you're worried your leadership will now bully you into accepting missions you aren't safe to execute, well that sucks.  Say no, that's always your right.

Yes it is your right, and unfortunately I've seen good people get burned for exercising good judgement.  Allowing waivers for crew rest at lower levels even when PIC is final authority weakens his ability to do so without possible reprisal in the form of poor feed back on OPRs for not being a "team player".   Sure I've said no to many, but I've also had really good commanders 90% of the time that backed me up each time, I've seen many whom have not been so lucky.   This is a bad idea, more rest is always better even when you request a waiver your probably better off going to the hotel that night.  The only time I'd even entertain a waiver is if we were stuck in a less than ideal situation for crew rest and continuing on would set us up better in the long run, but that's rare.

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This change is going to work people to the bone and possibly kill them, what a terrible idea.

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IMHO, it will depend on how it is worded. From a Rescue perspective, I would like to see something like: SQ/CC can waive crew rest for real world rescue missions. Basically constrain the authority to missions where a fast decision is needed and lives depend on the mission going right now.

 

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Hopefully C-17s get a waiver from the waiver, otherwise we will look forward to more gear up landings at the wrong airfield.

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This is ridiculous. I would support lowering the approval to extend a duty day to a level that makes more sense, but I can't foresee circumstances where I would waive my crew rest. Less than 12 hours quickly becomes an insufficient amount of time once you factor in transit time to/from lodging and other issues that will inevitably come up

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Interesting to hear from other corners of the AF about this policy.  We all have our own context, which I think affects the perception of whether this change is good or bad.  For example, it never occurred to me that I should factor in transit to/from a hotel into my 12 hours; I'm accustomed to living a 5 minute walk from my aircraft.  There have been times weather was rolling in and the whole crew is awake sitting around looking at mission slides, and if we don't move takeoff time 45 minutes left we'll be stuck on the field while an op is happening elsewhere.  Of course we asked for a crew rest waiver-- we're all feeling great and if we don't leave earlier than expected, we miss the action.  I see this change as enabling those situations, but that's my context.  I haven't experienced a CC pushing me to fly when I know I'm unsafe.

I guess some folks are afraid they'll be pressured into flying an extra leg when everyone is beat, or worried they won't have enough time to check in/out of the hotel.  I don't have any response except: be a professional, know your limits, and speak truth to power.  From my viewpoint, this change pushes authority to people with the best ground truth of a situation.  If you have no faith in those people and have been previously relying on regs to protect you.... well, that sucks.  

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I've always thought limits were set for a reason.  If anything goes wrong, whether fatigue related or not, extending your day is going to be questioned by just about everybody and will be the first nail driven by the higher food chain CYA crowd.

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