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31 minutes ago, Danger41 said:

They said that they want to value teaching at ROTC and USAFA much higher and for it to look favorably on records. We’ll see how that plays out. 

I personally believe the AF will always value the academia/desk jockey/duty title/awards crap over being a skilled aviator/instructor. Why? Because it puts rated folks on the same playing field with the shoes. We’ll see if these new split career field promotion boards have an impact on that or not. One thing you can bet on though is that the AF will never quit implementing these social experiments they like to conduct. 

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As a former PIT IP, who actually volunteered for AETC even though my Commander was saying it was a career killer, I understand the elimination of blanket waivers. Sometime back in 2015-2016ish timeframe I saw a huge uptick in “waiver guys” coming through and it was a huge problem. My issue though was the guys that were RPA, MWS CoPilot, then AC upgrade enroute (if at all) to UPT IP. Talk about a recipe for disaster. These guys were coming in as senior Captain/Majors and had never signed for a manned aircraft before. Depending on attitude they struggled through PIT and then had multiple issues on the line. One guy was so stressed that he started drinking his problems away and even started showing up for work drunk/hungover.

So while I get them trying to fix it, you don’t do that to people who have already PCS’d bought a house, etc., all under the name of eliminating “blanket waivers”.

We used to say “People Always” or some stupid catchphrase like that. It’s become apparent that the AF organization really doesn’t give a $hit about the “people”. And while an organization can’t “care” about people, it reflects the vision and intent of the people who are in charge/making decisions and policies.

I’m so sorry for all those affected by decades of poor management and absentee leadership.

When you get tired of the race, hit me up and hopefully I can help you find a truly better life for you and your families.


Sent from my iPhone using Baseops Network mobile app

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That doesn't sound like a problem with AMC pilots in general.  That sounds like someone flicked a booger onto UPT.

Do you think an F-16 guy with 3 Q-3s on his record would have done better at PIT?  


He definitely would have more of a single seat mentality. The larger point is the waiver required. This guy didn’t have the airmanship he needed. He admitted to me his AC upgrade was basically done so he could PCS, not because he was ready.


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Just now, Bode said:

 


He definitely would have more of a single seat mentality. The larger point is the waiver required. This guy didn’t have the airmanship he needed. He admitted to me his AC upgrade was basically done so he could PCS, not because he was ready.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

 

I'm all for doing a quality control check of UPT IPs.  But that is a different issue than what MWS someone is coming from.  Rushing a copilot through AC upgrade to PCS them isn't good, but that doesn't mean the guy with 2000 PIC hours wouldn't make a competent IP.  

I think we've placed too much emphasis on what planes people flew, and not enough emphasis on how well they flew them.

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12 hours ago, BADFNZ said:

Wills was the DLF WG/CC back in 2008ish (years run together since I was there for 5).  He seemed like a good dude then and it's good to see he's trying to make it right.  I don't necessarily have an issue with his policy, I have a problem with the execution.  If this is the new norm, however, where will these extra 11F/Bs come from to fill the cockpits?

He was the OG/CC 09-10ish

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You mean we're actually going to vet UPT and FTU  instructors?  We already screen out HPO types because it would hurt their careers.  Now we're removing guys with Q3s or crappy training records. Guess there's a narrow band of not special, but not a dirt bag they are looking for.  

Good thing we fixed the retention problem and have a large pool of candidates to choose from. 

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FWIW, the 2 38 to C-130J guys at Dyess (one of them being the one who now has a T-6 to Pensacola) we’re both formidable IPs respected inside and out of the cockpit.  It’s a huge loss to UPT to have their assignments cancelled because of the waiver shenanigans. 

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10 minutes ago, dream big said:

FWIW, the 2 38 to C-130J guys at Dyess (one of them being the one who now has a T-6 to Pensacola) 

Unless he's the type to be gunning for 4 BTZ to O-7, he should be laughing all the way to the beach.

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55 minutes ago, dream big said:

FWIW, the 2 38 to C-130J guys at Dyess (one of them being the one who now has a T-6 to Pensacola) we’re both formidable IPs respected inside and out of the cockpit.  It’s a huge loss to UPT to have their assignments cancelled because of the waiver shenanigans. 

Why doesn’t the T-6 Pensacola guy who had the Sheppard story earlier take the General up on his offer and get his waiver? Ref Bashi earlier because it works.

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57 minutes ago, Danger41 said:

Why doesn’t the T-6 Pensacola guy who had the Sheppard story earlier take the General up on his offer and get his waiver? Ref Bashi earlier because it works.

I sure wouldn't trade Pensacola for Sheppard

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9 hours ago, pawnman said:

I think we've placed too much emphasis on what planes people flew, and not enough emphasis on how well they flew them.

^nomination for post of the year.  

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Always trying to tell people to care and never suggesting how we should measure. How do you suggest we measure such a great metric, Pawnman?

I’m with you...but as soon as we cross airframes...now what. Even within your community...how do we do that?

Asking for a friend,
~Bendy

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1 minute ago, Bender said:

Always trying to tell people to care and never suggesting how we should measure. How do you suggest we measure such a great metric, Pawnman?

I’m with you...but as soon as we cross airframes...now what. Even within your community...how do we do that?

Asking for a friend,
~Bendy

For starters, no one who isn't already an AC or Flight Lead should be eligible for UPT IP orders, instead of giving people orders and rushing them through upgrade.

Maybe a scrub of FEFs before selecting them.

Hell, maybe a boarded process like we implemented this year for ROTS/OTS/SOS instructors and recruiters.

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20 hours ago, zachbar said:

Real question and not sarcasm, but didn’t the C-17 community shed a ton of pilots to UPT a few years ago right after upgrading them to AC? Was that because of squadrons closing down?

Yes and we continue to get told we are "overmanned" and slammed with large white jet bills, but we are cancelling upgrade classes left and right because we don't have people to fill them which doesn't help build experience.

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If anybody wants a synopsis of Maj Gen Wills briefing today at Vance....

- UPT is great work. (I don’t disagree, I happen to like it)

- Retention is his problem, not ours. So we should do the best we can do teaching students.

- He acted as if he had never heard of considering pro pay for pilots., when compared to doctors and how they get paid. He half serious asked how many of us new how to perform medical procedures as if they are on another level. I wanted to ask how many of them know how to fly but I’ll admit I don’t have the stones to do something like that.

- He said that $35k was really good for the bonus.

- He said they couldn’t compete with airlines. (I don’t disagree but they could at least try... somewhat)

- He said if someone wants to get out that they should and he’s fine with that and wouldn’t try to get them to stay. Basically stating what’s done is done and not seeing if anything could be done to keep them in.

- He said the way they can make things better is to get rid of the queepy stuff and gave an example of how many regs have been gotten rid of.


I don’t know what I expected him to say. My opinion to how he discussed retention was that we shouldn’t worry about it and honestly that he doesn’t care that much. He, again in my opinion, said that we should be doing this for service and if we wanted more than that, we should seek greener pastures.

Honestly pretty disheartening to hear how he discussed it thinking about future pilots. We can produce all the pilots in the world but if we don’t have any older/experienced guys around, we can never produce the the seasoned ACs/Flight Leads/IPs that the Air Force needs.

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If USAF leaders don’t give a shit about their people, why should the people give a shit about the USAF?

Money talks, bullshit walks.

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53 minutes ago, youdontknowthis said:

Honestly pretty disheartening to hear how he discussed it thinking about future pilots. We can produce all the pilots in the world but if we don’t have any older/experienced guys around, we can never produce the the seasoned ACs/Flight Leads/IPs that the Air Force needs.
 

That is the risk “management” is willing to take. Literally, that is what they have been saying 

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For starters, no one who isn't already an AC or Flight Lead should be eligible for UPT IP orders, instead of giving people orders and rushing them through upgrade. Maybe a scrub of FEFs before selecting them.

Hell, maybe a boarded process like we implemented this year for ROTS/OTS/SOS instructors and recruiters.

 

 

Board it...in terms of the UPT IP discussion, I think that is a valid position. Could address some of the issues that have been raised I would think.

 

That said, I don’t think that’s what you meant...

 

When I had a wheel, my spreadsheet was massive with objective and subjective metrics ranked just how I saw them and walked into a room of utter nonsense with a list. Now, that said...so much was still subjective...

 

How do you suggest we measure that Capt A flys the plane better than Maj B, assuming they both fly the same plane at the same time in the same unit?

 

Again, just asking for a friend,

~Bendy

 

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9 hours ago, youdontknowthis said:

He half serious asked how many of us new how to perform medical procedures as if they are on another level.

How many of them have strafed danger close at night in the mountains, how many of them have landed at a blacked out LZ under fire, how many of them have faced incredible risk to self for the sake of the mission/a bro in trouble? Hell, on a normal training sortie I face about 1000 times more risk than a doc doing something that they couldn’t even fathom doing. Both groups of people are smart, but to act like flying is somehow easier or less important (especially in the mil) is pure dumbassery.  General, you’re clueless. 

9 hours ago, youdontknowthis said:

He said that $35k was really good for the bonus.

He’s not only bad at “comparative” math, he’s showing how much he/the AF values experience and everything you’ve done/sacrificed for the previous 12 years...which is not much.

Overall, fail and par for the course. 

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10 hours ago, youdontknowthis said:

If anybody wants a synopsis of Maj Gen Wills briefing today at Vance....

- He said if someone wants to get out that they should and he’s fine with that and wouldn’t try to get them to stay. Basically stating what’s done is done and not seeing if anything could be done to keep them in.
.

What does this tell us about the state of the Air Force?  The problems are becoming so large and unmanageable that the only way for leadership to cope is to become apathetic toward them. Apathy allows you to treat everyone like a Harbor Freight tool that’s cheaper to replace than fix or maintain. He’s not the only one, I’m seeing the shrugs from leadership more often and it’s concerning.  In fairness, these guys are human, too and are fighting a losing battle against a massively complex, out-of-control bureaucracy. I don’t believe they’re evil or malicious, just susceptible to the same feelings of resignation we are when we decide to punch. I bet they have these same conversations about their own leadership, all the way up.

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Posted (edited)
11 hours ago, Bender said:

 

Board it...in terms of the UPT IP discussion, I think that is a valid position. Could address some of the issues that have been raised I would think.

 

That said, I don’t think that’s what you meant...

 

When I had a wheel, my spreadsheet was massive with objective and subjective metrics ranked just how I saw them and walked into a room of utter nonsense with a list. Now, that said...so much was still subjective...

 

How do you suggest we measure that Capt A flys the plane better than Maj B, assuming they both fly the same plane at the same time in the same unit?

 

Again, just asking for a friend,

~Bendy

 

I don't have all the answers, I've never taught UPT.  But I'd guess many of the same metrics that make a good USAFA, OTS or ROTC instructor make a good UPT instructor as well.  It doesn't have to be a 100% solution, and it doesn't have to be a competitive board.  You just need a way to screen out the people who shouldn't be there.  Getting through that board wouldn't guarantee an assignment... It would just open the possibility.

Edited by pawnman
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Isn't this entire problem a result of our systemic "can't say no" leadership culture?   A commander receives a certain "bill" for assignments and he only has X amount of pilots from which to choose.  Priority will be given to the top flyers in the squad, both to protect their careers and to ensure the health of that individual community.  Then, in order not to look bad, gives the UPT assignments to those who are left, qualifications be damned.

This problem is only further complicated by the pilot shortage, which gives the commander even fewer options of who to send to a particular assignment resulting in a greater possibility of someone being given an assignment to which they are unqualified.

IDK, but maybe the cancellation of auto-waivers might just shed some reality on the system.  If SQ/CCs won't say "no" then this will certainly produce the same effect.

  It would be nice to fix something before it breaks, but hey, we fly to failure in this org.

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22 minutes ago, Jetpilot said:

Isn't this entire problem a result of our systemic "can't say no" leadership culture?

12 hours ago, youdontknowthis said:

- He acted as if he had never heard of considering pro pay for pilots., when compared to doctors and how they get paid. He half serious asked how many of us new how to perform medical procedures as if they are on another level. I wanted to ask how many of them know how to fly but I’ll admit I don’t have the stones to do something like that.

- He said that $35k was really good for the bonus.

- He said they couldn’t compete with airlines. (I don’t disagree but they could at least try... somewhat)

- He said if someone wants to get out that they should and he’s fine with that and wouldn’t try to get them to stay. Basically stating what’s done is done and not seeing if anything could be done to keep them in.

- He said the way they can make things better is to get rid of the queepy stuff and gave an example of how many regs have been gotten rid of.
 

This, is the problem.

 

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We can produce all the pilots in the world but if we don’t have any older/experienced guys around, we can never produce the the seasoned ACs/Flight Leads/IPs that the Air Force needs.

Sure we can. Only problem is it'll probably cost lives and airframes as we re-learn lessons learned the hard way

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13 hours ago, youdontknowthis said:

- He said if someone wants to get out that they should and he’s fine with that and wouldn’t try to get them to stay. Basically stating what’s done is done and not seeing if anything could be done to keep them in.
 

Leadership gives up and everyone bails. This is where UPT tutoring comes in. Those guys are gonna be millionaires!

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