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Grady

C-130 Afghan Air Advisor

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ARC legacy 130 units are being required to send instructors for all crew positions to Afghanistan for a minimum of 6 months.  Given the fact that most IPs in the ARC have fulfilled their pilot training commitment or can retire, what impact has this had on units that are dealing with this?

After reviewing the merits of this deployment, one could easily call it a bad deal.  Couple that with an optimistic airline employment outlook, you now have a potential readiness issue due to IPs retiring or leaving in larger than expected numbers.  Any thoughts?

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Based on what I've been told, once your name is placed against a deployment, you won't be able to retire or separate until after completing it. As far as I know, there is no 3 day option for ARC members in cases like these (somebody please correct me if I'm wrong). As far as the long term implications of this policy, there is no apparent evidence that "leaders" in the ARC (and across the AF) care about anything other than filling near term requirements. 

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At my AFRC 130 unit, the OG developed guidelines on how to dole out the pain. They made a spreadsheet of the instructors (which was not made available to the squadron at large) with a timeline going back over a decade and listed all the deployments the member had done, both in and out of the unit. Some kind of partial credit was given if they were in a formal school during the unit's deployment. When the requirement dropped, they went in order of who had gone the least with exemptions for members in dwell, the CC/DO, and maybe a few others. When given the tasking, you could accept, retire, or go IRR/IMA. Management was not willing to sign a 1288 to allow transfer to another unit, and the subtext was that you wouldn't be welcomed back by the current administration if you went IRR/IMA.

This bullshit made up 69% of the water cooler talk at the unit for the past year. Seems like most units went through 3-5 bodies to get a taker. Anyone in ARC who had anything to do with signing on to this hogshit needs to get dick/ punched.

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That's my point, if a squadron has on average 8-10 IPs/EPs outside of leadership, then how can you afford to lose 3-5 guys and maintain currency requirements?  Furthermore, why would anyone go to instructor school in the near future knowing this is a possibility unless they wanted to go?

If you have completed your pilot training commitment, I thought only the gaining unit has to sign the 1288 to transfer units?

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I thought 1288's still had to be signed by the losing unit. The tour is 6 months in-country plus the spin-up (4 months+). Talked to a guy who did this tour and the more he talked the more I had zero interest in ever doing it. Guard duty on the wall!? Especially when you hear that we are maintaining the Herk's and when we leave they will likely end up parked as the Afghans lack the skill/training and the native language T.O.'s to actually maintain them. State Department job not likely to go away anytime soon no matter how pointless it is.

Youngstown lost six dudes to this - all punched. Also, I am sure the "we are out of money till January" that we are all experiencing (surprised no one hear is talking about it) will not help motivate anyone who was thinking about seeking full-time employment elsewhere to stick around.

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Guard duty in Afghanistan sucks.  I got this joyous experience at KAF.  Sit in a rickety watch tower with a carbine 50 yards from the most untrustworthy motherfuckers in the history of mankind.  FP measures in Afghanistan are designed to prevent negligent discharges and cover the ass of whoever's in charge while they hope nothing happens on their watch.  Keep your head on a swivel.

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Just got done with a year of this bullshit. I can answer questions. Also, the weapons laws were a bit better when I left. M-9 loaded and off safe, M-4, one in the chamber on safe.

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Just got done with a year of this bullshit. I can answer questions. Also, the weapons laws were a bit better when I left. M-9 loaded and off safe, M-4, one in the chamber on safe.

Do you mind giving us a recap of your experience? The good(lol), the bad, the ugly.

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I went over there as a non vol staff weenie. The orders were a gift on my 18 year, 360th day in the AF (no shit). Pretty much every prior E gets hit with these so I knew it was coming. I let it roll, because I wanted to roll the dice vs not having to serve a sentence at the 'Deid. I flew quite a bit as a "guardian angel" which means that while the IPs are trying to teach the Afghans to fly airplanes, you sit in back, ready to cap one that gets out of hand.

I'm a 39 year old dude, and not made to run around with full body armor on every day, yet that's what I did. Even as a staff weenie, I still had an Afghan counterpart that I was trying to "mentor".

As far as the flying goes, the Afghans are pretty terrible at it as a general rule. If you have never had the opportunity to teach a C-130 "AC" that he needs to keep one wing low when landing in a cross wind, this is your opportunity.

Everything you do is dangerous. I raised my rifle with intent to shoot over two occasions in the one year I was there. I didn't end up pulling the trigger for different reasons each time, but the threat was still there. Had a truck bomb go off right outside the base gate one morning. If I had not been lazy, I would have been right by it on my morning run. Two of my former office mates were killed two weeks ago when their helo Caught a mooring cable from an aerostat on a routine visit to headquarters. Getting out of there in tact both physically and mentally is about luck, not skill.

The mission is pretty hopeless, and you will come home disgruntled at both the Air Force and the 16 years of terrible foreign policy our country as a whole has had.

Oh, add on to your 365 two months at lovely McGuire AFB under GO 1 for Air Advisor training, where you will receive a code on your SURF saying that you can do that and are highly susceptible to having to do it again.

Overall, I'd take the Deid any day over that place. I promise I will write more coherently when I have not been drinking. Please feel free to fire away with further questions.

That job + all the extraneous factors going on in the AF I joined 20 years ago made me push the button for retirement. I'm done. They took away any love I might have had left for our service.

Sorry I can't speak more to the guard/reserve aspect, but I might be able to come up with what I remember when I have not been going shot for shot with my wife for every kid at our door who is that bitch from Frozen.

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To discus! :beer::drinking:

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I believe the reserves were getting an outsized portion of the asspain, but a stink has been made and the ANG can expect some more to follow. Gen Jackson has stated that they are pursuing an option to staff it with contractors, but it sounds like bunk to me. Nobody in ARC is safe and the timeline I was briefed on had this program going out to 2020.

Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-N900A using Tapatalk

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Speaking from a front line perspective, I can vouch that this will decimate a unit.  Over 50% of the IP cadre lost (retire, IMA, 1288).  The selection process (in my mind) was done poorly and unfairly with noted favoritism (read ART vs TR).  No IP candidates will now volunteer to go to school because of this threat looming till 2017 and beyond.  With the increase in airline hiring, ALL TR IP's are currently employed with a major and are min running work at the base leaving very few ART IP's to handle upgrades/training requirements.  What a mess   

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Thanks, Gearpig. It's important to remember there are 400+ brothers and sisters sentenced to that each year with no end in sight.

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So, when I found out that I was selected to be our unit's IP rep on this whole advisor program, I was not actually an IP yet. Obviously, no one was going to volunteer to actually take this assignment. My big question is, is what the unit did (putting my name down on paper as the IP deploying without actually being a qualified IP) legal? To clarify, I will be an IP by the time we would head over. I am really struggling with this whole thing. I don't want to go, for obvious reasons, but I don't want to look like a vag and burn bridges by possibly jumping to another unit. There's not a whole lot in aviation or the military that really frightens me, but this is one of those things. If anyone can shed some light, I'd really appreciate it. 

Cheers to ya, Discus!

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That's a shitty situation. You have every reason to not want to go. A week before I left Afghanistan (I was not an air advisor), three contractors were gunned down at NKAIA on the airfield by an Afghan student. It's definitely a more clear and present danger than most Airmen (outside of SOF) face. That said, they really need our help and the majority of Afghans are grateful for what we are doing, fwiw. You'll definitely experience things that will change your life, both good a bad things. You'll have perspective and credibility that most of your coworkers will not have. You will see some remarkable scenery and you'll gain an incredible appreciation for everything we have in America.

Yes it is terrible, and nobody could blame you for not going. However, if you do go, there are at least some slightly positive aspects. Always be ready to defend yourself, and hope your luck doesn't run out.

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Just don't eat anything they've touched with their left hand, or right really. Or walked on, I heard they do that walking on food thing...

Oh yeah, flea powder; you're gonna need that

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Wow.  What a truly shitty deal.  The entire US military needs to GTFO of Afghanistan immediately if not sooner.

 

If you are an ARC IP and thinking of taking this deal, slap yourself.  All of the major airlines are hiring and any military IP is well qualified.  Go to the airlines and don't ever look back.

 

Lord I hope the tanker bros don't get hit with this crap.  I feel for you herc guys!

 

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Don't do it. No vag there. No one will blame you if you jump ship, I'm pretty sure. It's not helping America, and it's for sure not worth your life. If you can get out of it, by all means, run far and run fast.

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We had an O-6 that said in good conscious, he couldn't force anyone to go, so he submitted his own name.

That's a rare trait that could stand to spread throughout the AF

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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I appreciate the words of advice, boys. I really do. One of my other concerns is whether or not my current unit would even release me to another unit since my name is "in the system" for the AAF stuff. Any thoughts on that?

As well, I feel like I'm screwing over my alternate. Like Discus said, it's not helping America and it's not worth my life, but I can't help feeling as though I'm simply passing a turd down the line. If this was a normal deployment with the boys, I wouldn't think twice about going; hell, those are some good memories you make when you're hackin' the mish. But this one ain't normal and flying with guys who struggle with jumping jacks, well...

Edited by Torch169
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Lord I hope the tanker bros don't get hit with this crap.  I feel for you herc guys!

It hasn't hit our unit yet, but rumor is it will on our next deployment cycle.

I'm a former IN from active duty that hasn't been cert'd with the unit, and just a traditional with 10 years and coming up on 2,000hrs.  I'm one of the youngest in the unit, but since I came from AD, I have some of the most time combat time overseas.

Pretty sure my balls are about an inch from this bandsaw.  And being a nav, I have no cushy airline industry to fall back on.  We're sweating it.

There's a difference between looking like a vag and standing on principle. This is outside the mission of the Guard. Our unit nearly rioted when this tasking came down. We had an O-6 that said in good conscious, he couldn't force anyone to go, so he submitted his own name.  The tasking disappeared shortly thereafter.

That's a bro, right there.  Imagine it from his perspective- if he picks one of his to go and die at the hands of the ANA, how would he feel?

You nailed it- we were trained to fly/fight/win with Americans, for Americans.  This is none of the above.  They should be paying contractors 4x what they pay us to do that job.

 

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