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Study: Nuclear Force Feeling 'Burnout' from Work

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Study: Nuclear force feeling 'burnout' from work

Trouble inside the Air Force’s nuclear missile force runs deeper and wider than officials have let on. An unpublished study for the Air Force obtained by The Associated Press cites “burnout” among launch officers with their finger on the trigger of 450 weapons of mass destruction. And this: evidence of broader behavioral issues across the intercontinental ballistic missile force, including sexual assault and domestic violence.

WASHINGTON (AP) — Key members of the Air Force's nuclear missile force are feeling "burnout" from what they see as exhausting, unrewarding and stressful work, according to an unpublished study obtained by The Associated Press.

The finding by researchers for RAND Corp. adds to indications that trouble inside the nuclear missile force runs deeper and wider than officials have acknowledged.

The study, provided to the AP in draft form, also cites heightened levels of misconduct like spousal abuse and says court-martial rates in the nuclear missile force in 2011 and 2012 were more than twice as high as in the overall Air Force.

These indicators add a new dimension to an emerging picture of malaise and worse inside the intercontinental ballistic missile force, an arm of the Air Force with a proud heritage but an uncertain future...

(Full story at title link)

Discuss.

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How about " Suck it up, you little bitches." Must be rough getting to sleep in your own beds and not having to deploy to Afshitistan. Or better yet, getting fragged with a 365 to Afshitistan to "teach" them how to fly/employ an aircraft that they'll either crash or let rot on the ramp once you leave (which now won't be for another 10 years, thanks USG). Oh, and you constantly have to be on guard because you never know when Mustafa there is going to shank you.

Once you go through that, then you can talk to us about being "burned out" from exhausting, unrewarding, stressful work.

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Boeing employees are also feeling a little burnout:

http://www.myfoxdc.com/story/24030715/boeing-747-mistakenly-lands-at-small-kansas-airport#axzz2lHbJkcoa

A Boeing 747 jumbo jet mistakenly landed a tiny airport in Wichita, Kansas late Wednesday, raising questions about whether or not the plane will be able to take off.

KAKE.com reports that the jet used to haul 787 Dreamliner parts landed at Jabara Airport instead of its intended destination of McConnell Air Force Base.

A Boeing spokesman confirmed to The Wall Street Journal in a statement that the plane had landed on the 6,101-foot long runway and that "we are working to determine next steps."

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http://www.usnews.com/news/politics/articles/2013/11/13/air-force-to-look-closer-at-nuke-leader-candidates

"As a result of our recent relief of one of our nuclear commanders we have changed our hiring process," he said, referring to Carey. "We will now do a prescreening that is a little more intensive than we've done before." He said the Air Force previously did this kind of screening only after a candidate had been nominated.

The review will include a Google search, a simple task that hadn't been done before.

"What pops up when you type somebody's name into Google?" Welsh said. "It might be worth knowing that before you nominate somebody for a key job. Some of this is common sense."

What the heck have OSI and the security clearance investigators been doing all these years? If we learn something new from Google that wasn´t caught by OSI, then OSI is doing something wrong.

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Gearpig nailed it. All things considered, I think being a missileer is one of the worst jobs in the military. Your 24 hour shift doesn't begin until you've done hours of worthless briefings, picked up all the crap you are supposed to deliver to the site, and driven sometimes up to 2 hours to your location. On top of that, you have zero job satisfaction because you know you are never actually going to be called on to launch. There is no career advancement, nobody respects you, and you are subjected to even more asinine regulations and restrictions than the rest of the Air Force. Also, they aren't sleeping in their own beds down in the LCC, not that it matters because that is the best part of being a missileer. Getting to sleep a couple of hours and forgetting that you hate your life.

I've never met a pilot that wanted to be a missileer. Correction, I've never met anyone that wanted to be a missileer. If you do, I'm sure they'd love to have you.

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How about " Suck it up, you little bitches." Must be rough getting to sleep in your own beds and not having to deploy to Afshitistan.

I don't blame you for having this viewpoint, but many missile officers hated the job so much, that 365 deployments were turned off due to too many missile personnel who were deploying to be convoy commanders and other jobs.

You'd rather be a career missile officer? It's not reasonable to cherry pick the best parts about being a missile officer and compare them to the worst parts of being an AF pilot.

There is absolutely nothing good about being a missile officer. The endless inspections, never getting to do your job (which is a very good thing), abysmal leadership, no opportunities to get out of the northern tier, and constant backstabbing eat away at you.

"Burnout" from a flying job, deployments, and missile duty are three separate things entirely, and I don't truly believe are related. The missile job itself is an easy one. Once you know how to perform the steps of the checklist, and understand the nuances of each checklist, the job becomes very mundane. Unlike flyers, who memorize the majority of their checklists, missile personnel are not allowed to memorize checklists, and are even chastised for doing so. You have to take three tests each month which you are required to attain a perfect 100 average. These tests, for the most part, are pretty easy conceptually. The problem was when you got an asshole of an instructor who liked to see people get chewed out by squadron commanders for only attaining a 95% on a useless test. On top of that, you have evaluations you have to take, which are also easy conceptually, where I have heard leadership say they wanted to see more people fail. When you have a job that is easy conceptually in all respects, you get a lot of backstabbing. You look around yourself and see nobody who is truly "better" than anyone else. On top of that, you can get coded to go nuke, and stay at one shitty base for 5+ years. Your other option is going space, but you will be behind your peers. The last option, which I fortunately took was to apply and be accepted to SUPT. I applied twice, got accepted the second time and that was simply due to the only good leadership who made my package look good. This does not happen often.

The leadership is a completely different issue. You get the backstabbers and careerists who are more worried about a vehicle rollover than actually pushing crews to go on alerts. This was evident by how crew briefings were performed during the week and on the weekends. During the week, you'd have up to four hours worth of briefings (2 of which were exactly the same), and the brief could last longer due to weather delays or impromptu testing. On the weekends, when the commanders had time off, the briefings might last 30 minutes. Before I left that hellish AFSC, I heard they were even talking about doing mission planning for driving out to a site. They always took the parts of the flying job and misapplied them to what we did. Not to mention that you would be all but literally crushed for making the tiniest mistake in the field or on a test. This had a different negative effect entirely, but that's a different story.

I know this is a long post, but I wanted to conclude it with this story. I was at another missile officer's return party from a 6 month stint in Afghanistan, and I asked him how it was. He said the only thing that sucked worse than missiles was being shot at, but not by much. He also told me he was slightly depressed about coming back to the job, even from a place as shitty as the stan.

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Before I left that hellish AFSC, I heard they were even talking about doing mission planning for driving out to a site. They always took the parts of the flying job and misapplied them to what we did.

They still currently do this. We flew our OG on one of the MDSv1 required orientation flights for a convoy in marginal weather. He was flabbergasted that the flight lead briefed weather and for the inadvertent IMC procedures he briefed "standard." It's a different mindset. The good missileers get out or cross-train leaving the risk-adverse robots to rise to the top.

//Slight Derail//

Having helicopter units assigned to the missile operations groups is a huge clash of cultures. They see us as cowboys who take needless risk and spend all of their TDY money. We can't control our own budget and need to ask for OG permission to utilize FHP funds. Nearly every risk that they have in their job has been checklisted-out and everything is read-execute. Over the last three months here, the helo squadron has been one of the few islands of good PR, yet they still treat us like we are pariahs. We need OG/CC coordination to leave the missile complex for an instrument trainer even though the airport we are conducting approaches to is closer to base than some of the silos. Heaven forbid we go on an off station trainer or a fini-flight, those are verboten. The amount of scrutiny and agressive-oversight (its not micro-management), would make any MAF crew shake their heads in disbelief.

Edited by Breckey

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The good missileers get out or cross-train leaving the risk-adverse robots to rise to the top.

//Slight Derail//...

This is true, but what truly makes a missile officer "good" as opposed to "great" at their job. I forgot to mention the misdirected emphasis on Global Strike Challenge (formerly "missile comp"). If you win this competition you are practically a god among men if you are a missile officer. You train on scenarios that will never happen, and actually couldn't happen in real life. Discussion with a bud of mine still in missiles said this was hopefully changing though.

When you don't have an actual mission to perform, other than nuclear deterrence, the queep piles up fast. I've not been to the Died, but I assume in its early days, there was not too much going on, and the shoes were afraid to go there. Once walls were set up, and McDonalds and other AAFES services arrived, certain leaders were lining up to fight for their country in the safety of an established base. I once made the mistake of asking a question during a briefing about a senior missile leader's deployment experience, and I was verbally counseled afterward by a squadron DO.

As for the OG being worried about the "standard" weather assessment, I have seen OGs and WG/CCs fired for a vehicle rollover alone. Having the helo folks in the OG was always strange to me, because it was a huge clash of cultures. You never saw any pilot be a wing or group exec, not that they want that job, but they were always the most fun people to hang out and party with. I enjoyed my flights with the helo squadron before I left and loved their laid back nature.

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On top of that, you can get coded to go nuke, and stay at one shitty base for 5+ years. Your other option is going space, but you will be behind your peers. The last option, which I fortunately took was to apply and be accepted to SUPT.

That has all changed now. 13S is now the AFSC for only Space; 13N is for missiles. Near the end of your first assignment, you meet a board that either codes you as nuke or sends you to one of several career fields, PA, Mx, Intel, Airfield Management, Acquisitions, Space, Scientist, Engineer, etc. The crossflow to space has been eliminated, save the handful that receive that reclassification from the board. You can also still apply for Pilot, Nav, ABM, RPA, CRO/STO, ALO etc.

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That has all changed now. 13S is now the AFSC for only Space; 13N is for missiles. Near the end of your first assignment, you meet a board that either codes you as nuke or sends you to one of several career fields, PA, Mx, Intel, Airfield Management, Acquisitions, Space, Scientist, Engineer, etc. The crossflow to space has been eliminated, save the handful that receive that reclassification from the board. You can also still apply for Pilot, Nav, ABM, RPA, CRO/STO, ALO etc.

I heard people started to be hard coded to either space or missiles, but was curious how that worked out. I was "boarded" for space or missiles three times during my five years in that first assignment. Also, you could always apply to the programs (SUPT, etc...), but some leadership would not write strong packages for their folks. It could have been the packages were not strong, but I saw plenty of folks get a package re-written by leadership who didn't want so many people to apply.

It's very difficult to cross train out of Missiles until the end of your time in that assignment. It's sad because qualified folks are being held at those bases until close to the time that they would be ineligable to apply. I have a buddy who tried to go blue to green multiple times, and they wouldn't approve him until after he was about to leave. He's now headed to SF selection soon.

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Stress/burnout comes in different flavors.

Deploying to a shitty part of the world and getting shot at is terrifying and generally awful; I get that.

But four years of micromanagement, schedule instability, and constant fear of making a minor administrative screw-up and being labelled as a potential shitbag can take a toll on you mentally as well.

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Isn't there some way we could just create a computer program that would monitor the world and all of our sensors and come up with launch decisions on its own? It seems like while it's waiting, it could play out every scenario that could ever happen, and be quicker to the launch sequence than actual people. It would almost be like a game to it and it would never get bored. Besides, with today's generation, you never know if someone will actually carry out a launch order or become a conscientious objector at the last second.

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But four years of micromanagement, schedule instability, and constant fear of making a minor administrative screw-up and being labelled as a potential shitbag can take a toll on you mentally as well.

Welcome to Global Strike Command.

It's pretty much exactly what you'd expect if you put a bunch of careerists and shoes in a room & told them to re-create SAC based only upon the shittiest horror stories they'd heard about it.

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Isn't there some way we could just create a computer program that would monitor the world and all of our sensors and come up with launch decisions on its own? It seems like while it's waiting, it could play out every scenario that could ever happen, and be quicker to the launch sequence than actual people. It would almost be like a game to it and it would never get bored. Besides, with today's generation, you never know if someone will actually carry out a launch order or become a conscientious objector at the last second.

They should make a movie based on this....

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Isn't there some way we could just create a computer program that would monitor the world and all of our sensors and come up with launch decisions on its own? It seems like while it's waiting, it could play out every scenario that could ever happen, and be quicker to the launch sequence than actual people. It would almost be like a game to it and it would never get bored. Besides, with today's generation, you never know if someone will actually carry out a launch order or become a conscientious objector at the last second.

Sarcasm detector is reading moderate to high.

I just wanted to answer your question by saying that the crack team that coded the healthcare website is ready and waiting to take on this new challenge. It might not be ready on time, and it might launch a full scale nuclear response against some guys dog in Denver, but you can always expect a few glitches in something this big.

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Isn't there some way we could just create a computer program that would monitor the world and all of our sensors and come up with launch decisions on its own? It seems like while it's waiting, it could play out every scenario that could ever happen, and be quicker to the launch sequence than actual people. It would almost be like a game to it and it would never get bored. Besides, with today's generation, you never know if someone will actually carry out a launch order or become a conscientious objector at the last second.

We could call it "War Operation Plan Response." Although I would recommend we don't hook it up to a modem.

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It's pretty much exactly what you'd expect if you put a bunch of careerists and shoes in a room & told them to re-create SAC based only upon the shittiest horror stories they'd heard about it.

It's sad because it's true, and I'm going to go drink and cry now.

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What's the vibe on the new GSC/CC? He was my wing/CC in Tweets.

He is a very very good dude. Family focused, realistic, wants to make change for the better and kill the red tape that holds us back. Sould be as good couple years in GSC as can be had in the nuke world.

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He is a very very good dude. Family focused, realistic, wants to make change for the better and kill the red tape that holds us back. Sould be as good couple years in GSC as can be had in the nuke world.

Good to hear.

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He is a very very good dude. Family focused, realistic, wants to make change for the better and kill the red tape that holds us back. Sould be as good couple years in GSC as can be had in the nuke world.

2. He's a pretty good dude from my experience, as well.

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More drama. I guess 'burnout' can lead to other stuff.

WASHINGTON — In the latest headache for the Air Force’s nuclear mission, two missile combat crew members in the 341st Missile Wing atMalmstrom Air Force Base, Montana, have been implicated in a narcotics investigation, a defense official speaking on the condition of anonymity said Thursday.

The two officers, who operate Minutemen 3 missiles, have lost access to classified information while the Air Force investigates, the official said.

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