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What's wrong with the Air Force?

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Hell, the threat of even a crappy 6 month air advisor non-flying deployment is enough to drive me off active duty. The last flying deployment was only marginally more satisfying when the jets were flyable. The sustainment phase of the never ending war gets old after countless trips to the desert. Everyone is burned out and looking for something more satisfying, more rewarding, and with greater control over their own lives. I’m not sure there’s a solution to that.


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On 12/10/2018 at 3:27 AM, di1630 said:

The real way to fix this would be to have pilots simply fly and do minimal qweep, which would instead be done by dedicated support personnel embedded in the sq.

Imagine flying, studying and if not on the schedule, free to hit the gym, go home etc with no guilt or fear that just doing your job is going to get you and your family screwed over come assignment time.

That’s how it should be.












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Plus all your mx folks got to do is fix jets, nothing else, no PME, no swing or mid shift, no weekend duty. They can have a family life and close the flightline down every other Wed for in house training. Contractors lube and wash the jets. All parts coming from the depots are good and jets don't ever break. Debriefs are professional between pilot and mechanic not officer vs enlisted. Sounds like the Civil air patrol.

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This seems irrational to me. There are far fewer 365s for rated officers now than there were 5-6 years ago. 
Im not saying that the threat of 365s isn’t causing people to get out, because I continually hear people say it’s a factor. But it’s kind of like saying you won’t go to the beach because people get killed by sharks. 

In the past two years, I’ve seen three guys get tagged with 365s just over a year prior to their UPT ADSC or retirement eligibility date. I’ve seen several others volunteer for a 180 in order to stave off a 365. A 365 is a serious kick in the junk, especially if the job is worthless, unfulfilling, or could easily be performed from a CONUS location.


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As I was reading this 3 new 365’s came on my email for O-5’s.  All next summer to an undesired location. 

Edited by pelexecute
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Unless you’re an 0-6 or higher, in a command billet, nobody needs to be doing a year deployment, period. I can understand needing that continuity at the 0-6+ level....outside of that you’re damn hard pressed convincing me there’s any good reason someone needs to spend a year over there. You tell me what job exists at the 0-3 ~ 0-5 level that absolutely must have the same human being in it for a whole year. I call BS on that noise. 

Edited by MooseClub
Grammar
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12 hours ago, pelexecute said:

As I was reading this 3 new 365’s came on my email for O-5’s.  All next summer to an undesired location. 

May the odds be ever in your favor.

 

Meanwhile, the quiche-eating airline guys are busy working 12, maybe 15, days a month for double the money.  The low point...being gone for 3 nights in a row! 😂

Love ya Big Blue, but the madness has to stop.  Run!  Fucking Run fellas!!

 

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12 hours ago, MooseClub said:

Unless you’re an 0-6 or higher, in a command billet, nobody needs to be doing a year deployment, period. I can understand needing that continuity at the 0-6+ level....outside of that you’re damn hard pressed convincing me there’s any good reason someone needs to spend a year over there. You tell me what job exists at the 0-3 ~ 0-5 level that absolutely must have the same human being in it for a whole year. I call BS on that noise. 

While I tend to agree, I can also see the flip side of the coin whereas the constant rotation of personnel causes equal issues...

The better solution is actually having an end game to this ridiculous and endless "conflicts" we've been engaged in for the past 17+ years.  At this point we are just throwing fuel on the flames and not actually working to a solution to put the fire out. 

I know that's grossly simplified, but until that happens, there will be no "fixing" the USAF or any other services...

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Is anyone else’s AFE personnel getting out of the aircrew arming business? Apparently they changed their AFI and during a UEI received downgrades because having some one on call 24/7 negatively affected their QOL. Something about the hours they had to come in to issue recover the weapons from us was just too much for them. Never mind that if you’re issuing me a weapon at 0400 I still have 16 hours to go.  Next, SF flicked the booger saying issuing M9s to aircrew would negatively impact base security somehow. So now  We’ve been told ACs and above are going to get clearing barrel qual’d and access to the safe with all our M9s. We’ll be responsible for issuing the entire crew weapons. And I’m supposed to find time for this on my 2+15 show which is already eaten up by fights with: GTIMS, Air Force computers/network speeds, printers, AFE issuing NVGs, the list goes on. But our crews hardly have time to review their mission products and brief before needing to step to the plane. As it is I’d say most don’t brief and give the products cursory review at best.   I mean why do we even have support airman anymore? 

Edited by afaf
Typo

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7 hours ago, afaf said:

And I’m supposed to find time for this on my 2+15 show which is already eaten up by fights with: GTIMS, Air Force computers/network speeds, printers, AFE issuing NVGs, the list goes on. But our crews hardly have time to review their mission products and brief before needing to step to the plane.

Don't forget to run a thorough ORM review.  If the compressed timeline is driving the crew to a high enough value, it will probably require a phone call to the waiver authority (OG/CC?) at 0400.  Enough of those phone calls from guys while they're standing at the clearing barrel on speaker phone, and I think your boss will come up with a new policy.  

Edited by FUSEPLUG
edit for auto-correct
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6 hours ago, afaf said:

Is anyone else’s AFE personnel getting out of the aircrew arming business? Apparently they changed their AFI and during a UEI received downgrades because having some one on call 24/7 negatively affected their QOL. Something about the hours they had to come in to issue recover the weapons from us was just too much for them. Never mind that if you’re issuing me a weapon at 0400 I still have 16 hours to go.  Next, SF flicked the booger saying issuing M9s to aircrew would negatively impact base security somehow. So now  We’ve been told ACs and above are going to get clearing barrel qual’d and access to the safe with all our M9s. We’ll be responsible for issuing the entire crew weapons. And I’m supposed to find time for this on my 2+15 show which is already eaten up by fights with: GTIMS, Air Force computers/network speeds, printers, AFE issuing NVGs, the list goes on. But our crews hardly have time to review their mission products and brief before needing to step to the plane. As it is I’d say most don’t brief and give the products cursory review at best.   I mean why do we even have support airman anymore? 

Have everybody qualified in the weapon be able to arm. It’s not hard. Plus if it means I get to wear my own holster without them bitching I’m all for it. 

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18 minutes ago, Breckey said:

Have everybody qualified in the weapon be able to arm. It’s not hard. Plus if it means I get to wear my own holster without them bitching I’m all for it. 

Give them an inch and they will take a mile...   This attitude is how we get to where we are today.            1 week left on AD.....

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OSS/ADO in C-130 wing. We are exploring other options due to the AFE AFI change. Part of that was checking up on other MAF AFE processes. Looks like Herks on the minority that still use AFE to arm. Follow on options include SF or self arm. Honestly the last thing I want to do on an early alert is have to go drive somewhere else on base for “support” we are qualified on the weapons and they trust us to fly a multi million $ aircraft. We should all be able to handle a $500 pistol. 

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Empires, man. 

During the last exercise on the RoK I participated in, AFE went super-reg-Nazi mode and when we showed in the morning, we all had to individually go to afe to get issued our pistols with fake bullets, but only one person could be in the room at a time (never mind the 5 other afe personnel watching a movie, it’s “dangerous” to have more than one non-afe person in the room near some pistols, in case they snap and start shooting), and we would have to get the gun, arm it in the barrel, put it in the holster on our vests (which we had to fully put on/wear to put the gun in - couldn’t just hold the vest in one hand and put the pistol in the holster), and then give the entire vest back to afe (couldn’t just put it back in our locker where it normally lives) so they could lock it in a cage somewhere (so then we have to check it out again when we step). Reason? “Well sir we can’t have guns just laying around”. Well last I checked this entire building is locked down with armed guards checking everybody, and every single person in here is qualified to carry/use that gun. Not to mention, thousands of people carry weapons (with real bullets!) all day every day downrange. AND afe is behind its own locked door that only afe and pilots know the combo. Many reasons why guns aren’t just falling into anybody’s hands. These empires of people who blindly follow AFIs to the detriment of mission accomplishment/major a$$pain all add to the “this job isn’t worth it” column and that’s why the talent is leaving - the dudes/dudettes about to sign out a multi million dollar war machine, first have to go “report” to some A1C to begin a stupid long process for a damn M9. Infuriating. 

The cherry on top was during that exercise, when afe wouldn’t post flight/clean our helmets/masks between goes (because yet again, “the AFI says” they don’t have to until the end of the day) one of the afe troops was sitting on their bar-height stools watching a movie, fell asleep, and because his legs were dangling they fell asleep HARD, to the point an ambulance was called.  And yes, I will gladly clean my own helmet (sts) and mask between goes (when I have time), but every time I do the afe guys look at me weird because they think I don’t know how to wipe a mask with alcohol and I might break something - I told them “if you don’t want me to do this, then YOU do it, since it’s your job anyway.”

Empires. 

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Sounds like on opportunity to instruct young airmen on their mission in the AF, and if they didn't respond appropriately, then have a talk with the life support officer.  If we can't fix broken shit in the ops building ourselves, how can we expect big blue to fix broken shit outside the ops building?

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7 minutes ago, Smokin said:

Sounds like on opportunity to instruct young airmen on their mission in the AF, and if they didn't respond appropriately, then have a talk with the life support officer.  If we can't fix broken shit in the ops building ourselves, how can we expect big blue to fix broken shit outside the ops building?

Put that way, I guess the problem with the AF is an excess of opportunities...

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The AFE career field in the MAF is hard broke. They have horrible guidance from the FAM/MAJCOM level. Some shops have strong SNCO leadership but the ones that don’t end up like what you’re reading about above.

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20 minutes ago, Motofalcon said:

Empires, man. 

Words

Empires. 

The SERE empire becomes more and more of a PITA every few years too.  With each AFI re-write it seems we're required to do some form of useless new training. I did Fairchild and Pensacola.  Can we just call it good?

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8 minutes ago, Smokin said:

Sounds like on opportunity to instruct young airmen on their mission in the AF, and if they didn't respond appropriately, then have a talk with the life support officer.  If we can't fix broken shit in the ops building ourselves, how can we expect big blue to fix broken shit outside the ops building?

We did. But when every airman/NCO/SNCO in the afe chain responds with “well sir, the AFI says...” then I give all that feedback to the oss/CC (who seemed receptive) and went on about my business. I don’t have time to 847 every damn afe reg, and since I can’t order people to use common sense, not sure what other recourse there is that is worth my time.  I tried to used the CSAFs “if it doesn’t make sense, stop doing it” mantra, but good luck finding a SMSgt who will let their shop actually violate an AFI, whether it makes sense or not. 

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5 minutes ago, FUSEPLUG said:

The SERE empire becomes more and more of a PITA every few years too.  With each AFI re-write it seems we're required to do some form of useless new training. I did Fairchild and Pensacola.  Can we just call it good?

Like the new mortal combat training?

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1 hour ago, waltopfor said:

OSS/ADO in C-130 wing. We are exploring other options due to the AFE AFI change. Part of that was checking up on other MAF AFE processes. Looks like Herks on the minority that still use AFE to arm. Follow on options include SF or self arm. Honestly the last thing I want to do on an early alert is have to go drive somewhere else on base for “support” we are qualified on the weapons and they trust us to fly a multi million $ aircraft. We should all be able to handle a $500 pistol. 

Sounds like you have a bitch ass OSS/CC who doesn’t want to make a flight in Sq do their job.

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54 minutes ago, Motofalcon said:

We did. But when every airman/NCO/SNCO in the afe chain responds with “well sir, the AFI says...” then I give all that feedback to the oss/CC (who seemed receptive) and went on about my business. I don’t have time to 847 every damn afe reg, and since I can’t order people to use common sense, not sure what other recourse there is that is worth my time.  I tried to used the CSAFs “if it doesn’t make sense, stop doing it” mantra, but good luck finding a SMSgt who will let their shop actually violate an AFI, whether it makes sense or not. 

AFE shops without a strong flyer in charge usually suck.

This addiction to rules is a real illness and should be treated as such. Unfortunately, if the addict isn’t responding, the only way to fix it is to remove/diminish their influence. Should happen naturally as the rest of the shop comes around. Loyalty to a real leader should trump loyalty to one dependent on blind faith in rulebooks. Might take extreme investment on the leader’s part. YMMV. Will probably cost you the relationship with the addict and others. Sounds like it’s worth it in your situation. 

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1 hour ago, Motofalcon said:

We did. But when every airman/NCO/SNCO in the afe chain responds with “well sir, the AFI says...” then I give all that feedback to the oss/CC (who seemed receptive) and went on about my business. I don’t have time to 847 every damn afe reg, and since I can’t order people to use common sense, not sure what other recourse there is that is worth my time.  I tried to used the CSAFs “if it doesn’t make sense, stop doing it” mantra, but good luck finding a SMSgt who will let their shop actually violate an AFI, whether it makes sense or not. 

If you want that change done quickly, allow the mission to fail (in training) or like mentioned above, make the pain be felt at a much higher level. This fight from the bottom up will only burn you out, make you bitter, and then go Guard. I once had a Vice Wing/CC tell me “I don’t want to hear about your problems, take care of them at your level.” 

 

It it would be nice if I got paid the salaries of all the other people whose jobs I’ve had to do over the years

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If you want that change done quickly, allow the mission to fail (in training) or like mentioned above, make the pain be felt at a much higher level. This fight from the bottom up will only burn you out, make you bitter, and then go Guard.


I am in the guard.

The fight continues there.

Maybe I should have said that the career field is broken in the MAF across the total force enterprise.
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