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2 minutes ago, SocialD said:


We can, leaders just won't make the decisions to cut the bullshit deployments.

This. How often do commanders say no? Of course they write their little op-ed in the base paper saying the one time they pushed back, but it's very rare. That's a sign of looking weak, especially when Congress is telling you to do something.

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48 minutes ago, jazzdude said:

So how do you get people to stay in (or join in the first place)? Can't reduce ops tempo. Can't increase bonuses. I guess you could kick all the dependants to the market for healthcare to save money. You could also cut BAH so it no longer covers renters insurance and only 95% of the expected housing cost and make the member pay the rest out of pocket, while divesting yourself of maintaining base housing and contracting it out to the lowest bidder. You could cut retirement and make the member take on market risk for their retirement.

 

That is not easy question(s) to answer. 

My answer/solution to the problem of unsustainable benefits for retirees and dependents is stop digging that hole.  At some point say everyone who joins after this date will have these choices of retirement plans and dependents would be covered under these choice of plans.  Choices to retirement/benefits being ones that likely will be similar to ones in the private sector but with sweetners to encourage recruitment/retention.  But they would and will have to be less expensive than what we have now. 

The private sector gave up on lifetime defined benefit systems about 25 years ago, the government (fed and state) follows the lead of the private sector, it just takes longer for them to change.

If we wanna get serious about fixing this liability in the DoD financial obligations, we should look at buy out packages for members for whom it makes sense, if they are young, responsible and financially savvy it could work for both parties.  Buy outs would be generous and paid to achieve the long term goal of changing the financial direction of the DoD's pension & healthcare liabilities, pay a good bit up front to the members to save money in the long term. 

I'm not ecstatic about any changes to the retirement & benefits systems but I know that it has to be done.  Our lifetimes are much longer than when the systems were designed, the array of services is much greater and more expensive, we are mainly a married military now versus mostly single young men and politicians who usually think short term and implement programs / increases regardless whether they have a plan to actually pay for it leaving it to others to figure out to pay for it set this problem in motion.

The future will be more taxes, less benefits and more risk transferred to the individual to pay for the accumulated irresponsibility of past generations.  The inevitable change to the DoD pay & benefit system is just a manifestation of that.  Not trying to be Debbie Downer but I'm realistic.  Getting to work earlier on this will make it less onerous in the long run.

32 minutes ago, SocialD said:

We can, leaders just won't make the decisions to cut the bullshit deployments.

Yup, but we have to extend that idea further.  I like going to Germany TDY as much as the next dude but they are an example of where we don't need to be forward deployed or based.  Wealthy nations of the developed world used to the USA providing a lot or most of the military deterrence keeping them safe, prosperous and free will have to step up or get used to being intimidated by regional bullies. 

As to bullshit deployments specifically, the best appetite suppressant for that is additional pay for the deploying members paid by the requesting Combatant Command.  More for the member and keeps the Command from growing herds of Power Point rangers.

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4 hours ago, Sua Sponte said:

This. How often do commanders say no?

Hardly ever, and we pushed the HAF to create a standardized and streamlined process for them to do it. 

”No” is a 4-letter word...

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4 hours ago, Clark Griswold said:

As to bullshit deployments specifically, the best appetite suppressant for that is additional pay for the deploying members paid by the requesting Combatant Command.  More for the member and keeps the Command from growing herds of Power Point rangers.

 

I'm not just talking individual BS deployments, I'm talking sending full up fighter squadron aviation packages to go fly CT on the other side of the globe.  My last two "deployments"  were completely worthless and did nothing but kill morale.  We used to have to tell people no for deployments because we had some many volunteers, no we're having to force people to deploy.  I get the idea behind these "presence maintaining TSPs," but we are fucking broke and morale is in the shitter.  Cut those out, flow us into real combat deployments and you will spread out deployment cycles for everyone.  We came home from our 2nd straight TSP and were already schedule for our third, just 19 months away.  Our local leadership called whomever controls that flow and basically said, if you send us on another TSP, "I won't have pilots to fill the trip."  ...and he was right.

 

This also has a negative impact on retaining the amazing talent that we have in Guard MX.  These deployments have killed more marriages than all our combat deployments (in my 19 years in the same Guard unit) combined.  The AD has fucked away their retention so bad that they're now tagging a shit ton of our (non-flying) officers and enlisted leadership to go run AD shops overseas for 6 months.  Dudes are deciding it's just not worth it to stick around.  

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Buckle up kids. 5 yrs of an airline slump means good retention and if you thought big blue gave less than two f-cks about treating your time and family well before when people could bail, now watch as people have no options.


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Posted (edited)
16 hours ago, SocialD said:

I'm not just talking individual BS deployments, I'm talking sending full up fighter squadron aviation packages to go fly CT on the othr side of the globe.  My last two "deployments"  were completely worthless and did nothing but kill morale.  We used to have to tell people no for deployments because we had some many volunteers, no we're having to force people to deploy.  I get the idea behind these "presence maintaining TSPs," but we are fucking broke and morale is in the shitter.  Cut those out, flow us into real combat deployments and you will spread out deployment cycles for everyone.  We came home from our 2nd straight TSP and were already schedule for our third, just 19 months away.  Our local leadership called whomever controls that flow and basically said, if you send us on another TSP, "I won't have pilots to fill the trip."  ...and he was right.

This also has a negative impact on retaining the amazing talent that we have in Guard MX.  These deployments have killed more marriages than all our combat deployments (in my 19 years in the same Guard unit) combined.  The AD has fucked away their retention so bad that they're now tagging a shit ton of our (non-flying) officers and enlisted leadership to go run AD shops overseas for 6 months.  Dudes are deciding it's just not worth it to stick around.  

Copy

I'm not sure it's a conspiracy against the ARC but AD seems to want to drive it into the dirt by overuse of some of its capabilities / units.  Why I suppose is to grow the AD by the return of resources and iron, seems short sighted and myopic so it might be true. 

With the airline and broader economy problems this may be less problematic for the members of the ARC as employment is better than unemployment but still if the units are burned out, back off.  Unless it is responding to a contingency that we deem necessary to intervene militarily, just be unpredictable and execute said deterrence TSP later.  Short notice, short duration airpower demos can likely accomplish the same deterrent effect for less cost and less stress on the force.

Edited by Clark Griswold

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17 hours ago, SocialD said:

I'm talking sending full up fighter squadron aviation packages to go fly CT on the other side of the globe

You'd be surprised about how much HAF/ACC actually pushes back against the Joint Staff...but we all have a boss, even at that level. JOINT is spelled ARMY so we're fighting a cultural battle in some regards.

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1 hour ago, Clark Griswold said:

  Short notice, short duration airpower demos can likely accomplish the same deterrent effect for less cost and less stress on the force.

 

Shack! 

 

16 minutes ago, GKinnear said:

You'd be surprised about how much HAF/ACC actually pushes back against the Joint Staff...but we all have a boss, even at that level. JOINT is spelled ARMY so we're fighting a cultural battle in some regards.

 

Ya, sending us to the fucking arctic (northern tier Europe) in the dead of winter made great sense.  Between inlet icing, ridiculous amounts of snow and no fucking tacan within 275 miles, we ended up weather cancelling more than we actually flew (no shit >50% attrition)....despite our best efforts to get USAFE waivers for wx reqs.  We actually had to send guys to the sims in Spang just so we could actually get our sorties for the month because guys were going non-CMR.  We were there 2 months before we even knew there was an A-team on the other side of base who might want to integrate with us.  So ya, you're probably right, that has Army written all over it!  

But hey, this guy has over 175,000 hyatt points and another 150,000 points with another major chain and platinum status with both.  I'm single/no kids so I'm always up for an adventure.  That said, our last two trips were both divorce magnets and morale killers.  Hate to see that happen for trips that feel like you're having zero impact on anything, all while having road block after road block when you try to have a positive impact.

Time to open beer another beer and get off my lawn!

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, GKinnear said:

You'd be surprised about how much HAF/ACC actually pushes back against the Joint Staff...but we all have a boss, even at that level. JOINT is spelled ARMY so we're fighting a cultural battle in some regards.

I thought spelling JOINT, A-R-M-Y was just hype until I spent the last year in school with them.

Edited by Muscle2002

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19 hours ago, SocialD said:

We came home from our 2nd straight TSP and were already schedule for our third, just 19 months away. 

I’m jealous of you having 19 months between deployments. 

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31 minutes ago, Bigred said:

I’m jealous of you having 19 months between deployments. 

 

Join the Guard.  Wait, didn't you just transfer to the Guard? 

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23 minutes ago, SocialD said:

 

Join the Guard.  Wait, didn't you just transfer to the Guard? 

Nope, transferred to active duty but I’m OCONUS so I’m avoiding the true AMC shenanigans for now. Just gotta play the long con and make it to retirement. 

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20 hours ago, SocialD said:

The AD has fucked away their retention so bad that they're now tagging a shit ton of our (non-flying) officers and enlisted leadership to go run AD shops overseas for 6 months.  Dudes are deciding it's just not worth it to stick around.  

Wait, is that a thing? Like you get long term MPA orders just to go run some squadron's training shop?

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As a lieutenant, I spent a month shuttling cargo out of an airfield somewhere hot and desert-like to shut a base down during a “drawdown,” only to fly to the same ICAO as an AC to deliver infrastructure to support a less politically visible mission. I’d say that about sums up what’s wrong with the military as a whole. Policy has to change above the DOD level before it starts to feel better, in my opinion. Shutting down qweep deployments will help, but it won’t solve anything long term. I honestly thought my non-flying deployment to Incirlik was a nice break from the grind. It was 4 months of my commander telling me to do my job and don’t ing bother him if things were going well. Got more drinking and reading done than I ever have in my life!

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13 minutes ago, zachbar said:

As a lieutenant, I spent a month shuttling cargo out of an airfield somewhere hot and desert-like to shut a base down during a “drawdown,” only to fly to the same ICAO as an AC to deliver infrastructure to support a less politically visible mission. I’d say that about sums up what’s wrong with the military as a whole. Policy has to change above the DOD level before it starts to feel better, in my opinion. Shutting down qweep deployments will help, but it won’t solve anything long term. I honestly thought my non-flying deployment to Incirlik was a nice break from the grind. It was 4 months of my commander telling me to do my job and don’t ing bother him if things were going well. Got more drinking and reading done than I ever have in my life!

Agree. The public policy end game of what is our strategy and how does the mil fit into it has been confusing since roughly 2002. 
 

Someone older will probably say it goes back further. 

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8 hours ago, SurelySerious said:

Agree. The public policy end game of what is our strategy and how does the mil fit into it has been confusing since roughly 2002. 
 

Someone older will probably say it goes back further. 

A lot of it is our civilian leadership expectation of what we can accomplish. They can't take no for an answer and culturally, Americans are poor at setting priorities. We will list our priorities but then we just decide to find a way to do everything anyway. 

Regarding joint and the Army, they simply don't understand the cultural differences of the Air Force. There is no shortage of manpower on the Army side and when they have a problem their solution is to just throw people at it until it's solved. Institutionally, Army GOs are not aware that Air Force personnel are niche trained in highly technical fields and we are overall a smaller force. So when the Army says "we are going to go to 24 hour ops and move this massive force from X to Y" they can't understand why the AF can't just do the same thing. 

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15 hours ago, SocialD said:

Words

Maybe my own bias got me. When I see "deployment" and "CT" in the same sentence, I immediately assume the sandbox.

I'll add a caveat that the AF fights the JS on CENTCOM deployments...sometime successfully, sometime not. Why are they fighting going to the desert, so they can go to Europe and Asia. I guess the things change, the more they stay the same.

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Agree. The public policy end game of what is our strategy and how does the mil fit into it has been confusing since roughly 2002. 
 
Someone older will probably say it goes back further. 

We we’re in Vietnam for 20 years...and still have bases in Korea. I’m not sure the military has ever been good at “end game” strategy; besides occupation

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We we’re in Vietnam for 20 years...and still have bases in Korea. I’m not sure the military has ever been good at “end game” strategy; besides occupation


Yet most of Kuwait is still built out of tents.

Long term planning is hard in an organization where leaders only reap the rewards they are present for and think little of what they do now effecting anything further than 18 months out.


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Posted (edited)

Are You New GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY

Perpetual war is not the bug, it's the feature. 

The mission is pork barrel baby, we're just the patsies. 

There's a few people in life I'd take a bullet for, none of them currently populate our 3 branches of federal government.

Edited by hindsight2020
memes. need more memes
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On 5/15/2020 at 6:56 PM, joe1234 said:

Wait, is that a thing? Like you get long term MPA orders just to go run some squadron's training shop?

 

Remember this is NOT pilots (yet), this is mostly enlisted leadership all over base including a few LRS & MX officers.  It's not totally uncommon for random people around base to get tagged with 6-month deployments during the ACS/RCP/AEF (whatever we call it these days) window.  What's different is they tagged 40+ from mx, which I have never seen before, nor have I ever seen them tag our MX officers.  But yes, all the MX folks I've talked to are being individually deployed to run shops at various bases within the AOR.  Apparently the AD is short on senior enlisted folks. 

On the plus side, they tagged about 4 our our Chiefs on base.  Soooooo...with an increase in Guard E-9s, you might see a significant decline in Chiefing incidents at your favorite deployed hotspots.  🤣

 

 

 

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Was reading this article, they talk a lot about how retention revolves around keeping FGO’s in staff positions? My understanding after lurking the forums for a while was that almost all pilots want to stay flying and don’t want a staff job. They even say that since the Air Force has “cut” staff positions and kept Majors and LT Cols flying the FGO Manning has gone to 750 over. Is this the Air Force not understanding its people again, or am I missing something? https://www.airforcetimes.com/news/your-air-force/2020/07/07/heres-where-the-air-forces-pilot-shortfall-is-the-worst/

 

 

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Was reading this article, they talk a lot about how retention revolves around keeping FGO’s in staff positions? My understanding after lurking the forums for a while was that almost all pilots want to stay flying and don’t want a staff job. They even say that since the Air Force has “cut” staff positions and kept Majors and LT Cols flying the FGO Manning has gone to 750 over. Is this the Air Force not understanding its people again, or am I missing something? https://www.airforcetimes.com/news/your-air-force/2020/07/07/heres-where-the-air-forces-pilot-shortfall-is-the-worst/

 

 

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The staffs have been gutted for several years now, which hid the outward pain of the pilot shortage initially.

 

My bet is the overage on FGOs makes up for the bathtub of senior Captains/instructors exacerbated by sequestration cuts and the great RIF of '14. Pair that with a low bonus take rate among the FGOs, and now you've got majors that can punch if they get an assignment they don't want, which in theory should help them stay flying the line.

 

So the AF keeps an FGO instructor which helps the experience problem at the line/operational units, but the staffs get short falled again, maybe with even deeper cuts.

 

Also with that, we've pretty much divested Navs on AD, which means the pilot force had to pick up the rated staff positions that used to be filled with Navs.

 

I think the AF is finally realizing it's in a graveyard spiral regarding pilot retention, but the operational pressure to keep pulling back on the stick (ie not let up on operational tempo and taskings) keeps tightening that spiral.

 

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The staffs have been gutted for several years now, which hid the outward pain of the pilot shortage initially.
 
My bet is the overage on FGOs makes up for the bathtub of senior Captains/instructors exacerbated by sequestration cuts and the great RIF of '14. Pair that with a low bonus take rate among the FGOs, and now you've got majors that can punch if they get an assignment they don't want, which in theory should help them stay flying the line.
 
So the AF keeps an FGO instructor which helps the experience problem at the line/operational units, but the staffs get short falled again, maybe with even deeper cuts.
 
Also with that, we've pretty much divested Navs on AD, which means the pilot force had to pick up the rated staff positions that used to be filled with Navs.
 
I think the AF is finally realizing it's in a graveyard spiral regarding pilot retention, but the operational pressure to keep pulling back on the stick (ie not let up on operational tempo and taskings) keeps tightening that spiral.
 

I’m very naive when it comes to big picture stuff. But if everything is still working in the AF without pilots filling staff jobs, does the AF really need pilots to fill staff slots? I understand people (pilots for example) don’t like leaders without flying experience/job knowledge making the big decisions. But it seems to me there might be some correlation between staff jobs being gutted, and FGOs staying in? Again, just picking that up from the article. I could be way off. I was prior-E and in college now so I have zero knowledge on this level of thinking. Just trying to gain a better understanding. Thanks for the reply.


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I’m very naive when it comes to big picture stuff. But if everything is still working in the AF without pilots filling staff jobs, does the AF really need pilots to fill staff slots? I understand people (pilots for example) don’t like leaders without flying experience/job knowledge making the big decisions. But it seems to me there might be some correlation between staff jobs being gutted, and FGOs staying in? Again, just picking that up from the article. I could be way off. I was prior-E and in college now so I have zero knowledge on this level of thinking. Just trying to gain a better understanding. Thanks for the reply.


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The problem with not having pilots on staff is that the positions either go unfilled and the staff makes bad decisions because lack of perspective or they are filled with GS civilians that turn into folks more interested in maintaining the status quo than fixing problems of the units. Worse yet they play good idea fairy on how to solve problems that aren’t problems.

I was in Stan/Eval at HQ AFSOC.
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