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What's wrong with the Air Force?

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3 hours ago, pawnman said:

People are eager to get to the B-1 from the B-52, so we're getting pretty good folks.  Not many B-1 folks want to fly the B-52, so they're probably getting fewer quality candidates.

Make buffs great again and solve the dilemma 

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Breadth should come from a diverse selection of experts working together. The Air Force has instead built a system that produces a homogenous selection of generalists working together.

Small wonder the solutions often look the same, and function poorly.

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Instead taking someone out of their primary airframe for 3-4 years and loosing their quals etc why don’t we do short 3-4 month TDYs to other airframes, especially those that have jump seats and extra space? You could be on the tour and get a bunch of right hand seat time and learn about other communities/missions etc. If you are taking a multi day trip/ocean crossing/deployment/combat zone just require another qualified pilot is on bored to swap you out or provide some additional brain power is shit really gets crazy. 

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35 minutes ago, viper154 said:

Instead taking someone out of their primary airframe for 3-4 years and loosing their quals etc why don’t we do short 3-4 month TDYs to other airframes, especially those that have jump seats and extra space? You could be on the tour and get a bunch of right hand seat time and learn about other communities/missions etc. If you are taking a multi day trip/ocean crossing/deployment/combat zone just require another qualified pilot is on bored to swap you out or provide some additional brain power is shit really gets crazy. 

This sounds like a much better idea and use of a Pilot's time.  But the AF will never buy in, we have way too many rules and no leaders willing to accept any amount of additional risk.  So we will continue to clog up PTX courses with dudes that will fly a different MWS for maybe 2 years before they PCS to some other bright and shiny job...

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14 hours ago, viper154 said:

Instead taking someone out of their primary airframe for 3-4 years and loosing their quals etc why don’t we do short 3-4 month TDYs to other airframes, especially those that have jump seats and extra space? You could be on the tour and get a bunch of right hand seat time and learn about other communities/missions etc. If you are taking a multi day trip/ocean crossing/deployment/combat zone just require another qualified pilot is on bored to swap you out or provide some additional brain power is shit really gets crazy. 

Awesome idea.

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35 minutes ago, Clark Griswold said:

Related to the topic of this thread (organizational cultural decline & rot) but worth a read:

https://www.nationalreview.com/magazine/2019/01/28/how-the-air-force-lost-its-way/

 

I'm not sure his dismissal of tactical fighters and air superiority is well thought out.

Having long-range strike in quantity is a good idea though.

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I'm split on the subject because I think depth and breadth have their appropriate place, but I do see the limfacs of both. I think the common theme is you can't have a cookie cutter solution to building a leader. Maybe if we gave people more control to design their own careers with what skills they thought would be important through a competitive assignment system we would see some broader experience diversity that nurtures the innovative (+5 pts/buzzword) thinking we are trying to grow. 

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On 1/8/2019 at 8:56 PM, viper154 said:

Instead taking someone out of their primary airframe for 3-4 years and loosing their quals etc why don’t we do short 3-4 month TDYs to other airframes, especially those that have jump seats and extra space? You could be on the tour and get a bunch of right hand seat time and learn about other communities/missions etc. If you are taking a multi day trip/ocean crossing/deployment/combat zone just require another qualified pilot is on bored to swap you out or provide some additional brain power is shit really gets crazy. 

Isn’t this why we have WIC? So commanders can do command shit and have an expert like this on staff to integrate/deconflict effects?

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14 hours ago, Clark Griswold said:

Related to the topic of this thread (organizational cultural decline & rot) but worth a read:

https://www.nationalreview.com/magazine/2019/01/28/how-the-air-force-lost-its-way/

I'm a frequent critic of AF leadership being so self-indoctriated that they're thoroughly unable to even recognize that there is a problem, much less have the capability to solve that problem.

Given those circumstances it makes sense that the source for both might come from the outside, who is able to see things how they are rather than how they want things to be.

However, that outside view doesn't necessarily automatically convey some kind of clarity, as evidenced in the very first paragraph:

 

Quote

It has forgotten what business it’s in, mistakenly believing that its raison d’être is air supremacy while forgetting that the core of its mission is long-range strike."

Uh, says who?

"Jerry Hendrix is a retired U.S. Navy captain, an award-winning naval historian, and a vice president with the Telemus Group, a national-security consultancy. "

Okay, I'm sure Jerry doesn't have any institutional biases of his own with that pedigree.

Edited by Hacker

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9 hours ago, war007afa said:

Isn’t this why we have WIC? So commanders can do command shit and have an expert like this on staff to integrate/deconflict effects?

Nah, WIC (AMC side) is to produce future wing execs and aide-de-camps. 

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2 hours ago, dream big said:

Nah, WIC (AMC side) is to produce future wing execs and aide-de-camps. 

That’s probably because there are no actual weapons in AMC - hence why the Weapons Instructor Course in AMC is STUPID!!

I forgot that we’re all warriors in today’s USAF though, so maybe I’m the stupid one...

Edited by Tank
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35 minutes ago, Tank said:

no actual weapons in AMC

Agree that what AMC does should probably be renamed Advanced Tactics School. I have no problem with them wearing a fighter pilot’s patch tho. 

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That’s probably because there are no actual weapons in AMC - hence why the Weapons Instructor Course in AMC is STUPID!!
I forgot that we’re all warriors in today’s USAF though, so maybe I’m the stupid one...
I agree with the sentiments on some levels, but i thought the "weapon" was from the MWS acronym.

Sent from my SM-G935V using Tapatalk

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1 hour ago, Tank said:

That’s probably because there are no actual weapons in AMC - hence why the Weapons Instructor Course in AMC is STUPID!!

I forgot that we’re all warriors in today’s USAF though, so maybe I’m the stupid one...

Wtf are you talking about? Weapons School isn’t about “weapons” it is about creating expert tacticians who are proficient at integrating effects, you know, what we do when we actually go to war.  Also, many AMC assets fly in the same MEZ as the pointy nose bretheren, so it makes sense to have proficient tacticians who understand how to mitigate those threats.  So yes you are the stupid one for making that comment.

Unfortunately, AMC leadership does horrible job at properly utilizing its patches.  I’ve seen some improvements but still too many Wing Exec Patches. 

 

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3 minutes ago, dream big said:

Wtf are you talking about? Weapons School isn’t about “weapons” it is about creating expert tacticians who are proficient at integrating effects, you know, what we do when we actually go to war.  Also, many AMC assets fly in the same MEZ as the pointy nose bretheren, so it makes sense to have proficient tacticians who understand how to mitigate those threats.  So yes you are the stupid one for making that comment.

Unfortunately, AMC leadership does horrible job at properly utilizing its patches.  I’ve seen some improvements but still too many Wing Exec Patches. 

 

Don't feel bad... The CAF also turns our patches into execs.

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1 hour ago, pawnman said:

Don't feel bad... The CAF also turns our patches into execs.

They're a necessary desirable evil when the wing commander only has a senior officer qual in the MDS his wing flies.

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Warning:  Nerd level bitching ahead.  Discovered after a long deployment and lots of time in front of a govt computer.

Go to the USAF bios

https://www.af.mil/About-Us/Biographies/

Scroll down and click on a random letter in the last name search.  Look for bios with an old-ish looking picture and pilot wings.  Then check out the total hours and what that person did.  

Then look for some more recent bios and note the drastic difference. 

 

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24 minutes ago, snoopyeast said:

Warning:  Nerd level bitching ahead.  Discovered after a long deployment and lots of time in front of a govt computer.

Go to the USAF bios

https://www.af.mil/About-Us/Biographies/

Scroll down and click on a random letter in the last name search.  Look for bios with an old-ish looking picture and pilot wings.  Then check out the total hours and what that person did.  

Then look for some more recent bios and note the drastic difference. 

 

Examples? I went in thinking I would find one thing, but ten minutes later I'd still only clicked on Generals with 2,700 to 3000+ hours, new and old.

I did see a difference in combat hours. The oldest bios don't even seem to track that metric. Can you fault a guy for not having a lot of combat time when there wasn't a lot of combat?

Really, the biggest difference I saw was the mustaches. Glorious mustaches. Those were the days.

Question: Do AMC guys log Combat Support towards Combat Time?

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3 hours ago, dream big said:

Wtf are you talking about? Weapons School isn’t about “weapons” it is about creating expert tacticians who are proficient at integrating effects, you know, what we do when we actually go to war.  Also, many AMC assets fly in the same MEZ as the pointy nose bretheren, so it makes sense to have proficient tacticians who understand how to mitigate those threats.  So yes you are the stupid one for making that comment.

Unfortunately, AMC leadership does horrible job at properly utilizing its patches.  I’ve seen some improvements but still too many Wing Exec Patches. 

 

Weapons School isn't about weapons?  

Man, we must really suck at naming things! 

Here I thought it was about realizing our fighter pilots weren't trained well enough to maintain the 10:1 kill ratio from Korea, and trying to fix that.

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1 hour ago, Guardian said:

Why do we need a wing commander to fly that doesn’t really care enough to be proficient in his wings primary mission?

Well, when I said that I was alluding to my own particular experience of 8 years in BUFFs where of my AD wing commanders I had many B-2 pilots, 1x B-1 pilot, and 1x B-1 WSO. Didn't have a BUFF wing king until I became a Reservist. Just switched to Reserve B-1s and my wing king is the same BUFF dude as before (because GSU of same Reserve wing), and the AD wing/CC is... a BUFF guy. In any case, they have all been proficient in the bomber mission... Just not our particular bomber. Not like AMC with tanker dudes commanding mobility wings and vice/versa.

(Of course, I started my career in AWACS with a wing commander from... The B-1. So there's that.)

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10 hours ago, Hacker said:

I'm a frequent critic of AF leadership being so self-indoctriated that they're thoroughly unable to even recognize that there is a problem, much less have the capability to solve that problem.

Given those circumstances it makes sense that the source for both might come from the outside, who is able to see things how they are rather than how they want things to be.

However, that outside view doesn't necessarily automatically convey some kind of clarity, as evidenced in the very first paragraph:

Uh, says who?

Okay, I'm sure Jerry doesn't have any institutional biases of his own with that pedigree.

Yeah, I'm sure he comes to the table with biases as we all do but I would not completely discount his point.

Bio and background info I found on Hendrix to give more context to his article and point:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Henry_J._Hendrix

https://www.cnas.org/people/dr-jerry-hendrix

Classic argument of airpower, destroy his fieled forces vs. his centers of gravity.  Tactical vs. Strategic.  I would argue it is possible to do both simultaneously with the right mix of sensors/networks/platforms/weapons now.  

Deep Strike vs Air Superiority is false choice but his point has more merit than we in the current incarnation of the AF might want to admit.  Our enemies have built themselves to defeat us as we are now, a change of course may be necessary in force structure.

Makes the enemy spread himself too thin:

By attacking or presenting the capability to attack both levels of targets simultaneously we will force the enemy to spread his AF/IADS/A2AD resources allowing for greater possibilities of exploiting a gap or weak point in his forward or rear defenses.  A significant Deep Strike capability allows for this ability to "prep the battlefield" by forcing the enemy to posture himself in a way we prefer before we go offensive.  

We may have to:

A peer adversary would never let us fight how we have been fighting over the past 30 years in conventional conflicts with steady build up of nearby MOBs to be followed by a massive air campaign ala Desert Storm, Allied Force, etc... with strike assets supplied and enabled close to the target areas...long range, deep strike with as little strategic or tactical telegraphing as possible maybe the only possibility in conventional peer force on force conflicts in the future with the expanding capabilities of the latest A2AD systems and the inherent deterrent effect of holding all of the enemies targets at risk, not just his forward deployed forces.

More done per sortie, capabilities per sortie not possible except in a bigger platform:

Another potential advantages of Deep Strike assets vs. Tactical Strike assets and thus an argument to increase their share as portion of the force is their range/persistence/payload inherent in a larger platform.  A platform able to linger while searching or waiting to be cued from the network or a partner's sensor, deliver more PGMs over one mission and not require as many (or possibly any) support events (AR, EW support) factor towards the Deep Strike, IMHO.

Hard first hit stops an aggressor before the fight gets out of hand:

Deep Strike capable assets whether used Strategically or Tactically could deliver an unexpected bloody nose that might stop a fight before it starts also.  If in one night, X-hundreds of targets are struck and even if the enemy could still fight, his leadership might give pause...

That was just a list of what I think supports part of Hendrix's argument (that Deep Strike is more important than the AF has valued it of late) but I'm not 100% on board with his idea that that should be the focus of the AF either.  

But in practical terms, buy more B-21s, retire the B-52 & B-1to afford it and consider a survivable, reduced signature stand off arsenal platform to round out Deep Strike capabilities.

Edited by Clark Griswold

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4 hours ago, Klepto said:

Examples? I went in thinking I would find one thing, but ten minutes later I'd still only clicked on Generals with 2,700 to 3000+ hours, new and old.

I did see a difference in combat hours. The oldest bios don't even seem to track that metric. Can you fault a guy for not having a lot of combat time when there wasn't a lot of combat?

Really, the biggest difference I saw was the mustaches. Glorious mustaches. Those were the days.

Question: Do AMC guys log Combat Support towards Combat Time?

No

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