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ATIS

ATTACK....

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I'm new the RPA community but my thoughts are no. No one cares if the patch says recon or attack. Far as the combat time, idk. Maybe some of you guys that have been around for awhile can get into the details about that, but again, my initial thoughts are eh. RPA QOL are only going to get better by having more man power, more/better locations, and perhaps a companion trainer program for the manned guys. Right now no one is going to give us money for a companion program. It seems they are trying to get some more locations open. The real deal breaker is manning and ACC is screwing the pooch. The 18x school house has gotten a blank check to expand their output. Great. The FTU is the real bottle neck/issue in the pipeline. I was at the school house for almost 7 months, out of those I spent 80-90 days doing absolutely nothing, that's just for IQT. MQT is another 2 months or so.  The syllabus needs to be reworked and the instruction is all over the place. Scheduling is a nightmare. New students arriving were being told their scheduled 5.5 month course could take up to 9-10 months. The manning issue can't get better if they can't figure out a better way to get students through the FTU. 

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I have the misfortune of flying MQ-9s; nothing mentioned in this article is going to improve my life.  13 months until I can separate.

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On 4/13/2016 at 10:31 AM, guineapigfury said:

I have the misfortune of flying MQ-9s; nothing mentioned in this article is going to improve my life.  13 months until I can separate.

You mean the AQ-9?

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On ‎4‎/‎13‎/‎2016 at 5:46 PM, ATIS said:

https://www.flightglobal.com/news/articles/usaf-redesignates-eight-mq-1-predator-units-as-attac-424122/

Green ink in the logbook now ....Attack in the title.....small steps to improve the RPA culture?  Q to the RPA folks...will it?

Cheers

ATIS

Apparently these were legitimate gripes they gleaned from the CPIP. The easiest boxes to check, so the leadership can say they're addressing the "problems" the community is facing. Some quick pencil whipping without doing anything meaningful to fix glaring problems. 

Absolute bullshit and a slap in the face to anyone who's earned actual combat hours.

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ISIL declares jihad on drone pilots, can't find any volunteers to go to Clovis, NM.

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ISIL declares jihad on drone pilots, can't find any volunteers to go to Clovis, NM.

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

If you don't accept the assignment to Clovis, you have to "7 day opt" via bombing in Iraq.

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Bet the A-10 bubbas are pissed...they're the real "Attack" squadrons.  Just ask them, they'll tell you!

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On 5/22/2016 at 0:40 AM, Grouch said:

Absolute bullshit and a slap in the face to anyone who's earned actual combat hours.

Yea, like all those tanker dudes...

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On 4/14/2016 at 2:31 AM, guineapigfury said:

I have the misfortune of flying MQ-9s; nothing mentioned in this article is going to improve my life.  13 months until I can separate.

What's shitty about it? The flying, the community, both?

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3 hours ago, Seriously said:

What's shitty about it? The flying, the community, both?

Both.  Not my problem anymore, started my contractor job last week!

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On 12/11/2016 at 10:31 PM, guineapigfury said:

Both.  Not my problem anymore, started my contractor job last week!

That's a pretty bad thing to say about the other flying communities.  For a long time the majority of RPA operators were from manned aircraft. RPA community was shaped by other communities.

 

The shift to attack squadrons and combat time haven't done much to improve the quality of life.  I haven't heard of an RPA operator (enlisted or officer) getting Air Medals yet.

 

As others have said, the RPA enterprise needs more. More manning, more bases, more wings, more groups, more squadrons; at least to the level of manned aircraft.

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As others have said, the RPA enterprise needs more. More manning, more bases, more wings, more groups, more squadrons; at least to the level of manned aircraft.


No, no, no, no, no, please God never.
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On 3/27/2017 at 7:54 PM, MONTItheRed said:

.  I haven't heard of an RPA operator (enlisted or officer) getting Air Medals yet.

 

 

And they absolutely should NOT get air medals. 

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29 minutes ago, MONTItheRed said:

Why not?

From Wikipedia:

"Award of the Air Medal is primarily intended to recognize those personnel who are on current crew member or non-crew member flying status which requires them to participate in aerial flight on a regular and frequent basis in the performance of their primary duties."

Note the part where it says "participate in aerial flight."  While an RPA operator provides a significant service in the combat zone, they are not participating in aerial flight, nor are they in harms way.

 

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41 minutes ago, ihtfp06 said:

From Wikipedia:

"Award of the Air Medal is primarily intended to recognize those personnel who are on current crew member or non-crew member flying status which requires them to participate in aerial flight on a regular and frequent basis in the performance of their primary duties."

Note the part where it says "participate in aerial flight."  While an RPA operator provides a significant service in the combat zone, they are not participating in aerial flight, nor are they in harms way.

 

Wikipedia, really? Elevate your game.

AFI 36-2803 Air Force Military Awards and Decorations Program

http://static.e-publishing.af.mil/production/1/af_a1/publication/afi36-2803/afi36-2803.pdf#page103

Table 3.11 Air Medal 
1. Heroism or meritorious achievement while participating in aerial flight.
2. The required achievement to warrant award of the AM is less than that required for the DFC, but must be accomplished with distinction above and beyond that expected of professional airmen.
3. Both heroism and achievement must be entirely distinctive, involving operations that are not routine.
4. Not awarded for sustained operational activities and flights.

Table 3.12 Aerial Achievement Medal 
1. Sustained meritorious achievement while participating in aerial flight.
2. MAJCOMs, FOAs, DRUs will identify the missions and positions to qualify for the award.
3. Not awarded for single event flights.
4. Effective 9 January 2003, the SECAF approved the award of the AAM to include operators of remotely piloted aircraft (RPAs) (to include onboard systems), or other weapons systems as determined by the SECAF.

 

DOD MANUAL 1348.33, VOLUME 3
MANUAL OF MILITARY DECORATIONS AND AWARDS: DOD- WIDE PERSONAL PERFORMANCE AND VALOR DECORATIONS

http://www.dtic.mil/whs/directives/corres/pdf/134833v3_dodm_2016.pdf

3.9. AIR MEDAL.
a. Introduction. The Air Medal is awarded to recognize individuals who distinguish themselves by valorous, heroic or meritorious achievement while participating in aerial flight.

any person who, while serving in any capacity with the Army, Navy, Marine Corps, or Air Force, subsequent to September 8, 1939, distinguishes himself or herself by meritorious achievement while participating in an aerial flight.


(2) The Air Medal may be awarded for sustained meritorious achievement (distinction) in the performance of duties involving aerial flight.

(3) The Air Medal may be awarded for combat or non-combat action in recognition of single acts of valor, heroism, or merit while participating in an aerial flight.

 

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50 minutes ago, ihtfp06 said:

Note the part where it says "participate in aerial flight."  While an RPA operator provides a significant service in the combat zone, they are not participating in aerial flight, nor are they in harms way.

The RPA is flying. The RPA crew is directly participating in the RPA operation, therefore the RPA crew is participating in aerial flight.

The Aerial Achievement Medal is awarded for aerial flight. RPA crews get the AAM, therefore RPA crews are participating in aerial flight.

Being "in harms way" is not a factor for the AAM or AM.

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2 hours ago, MONTItheRed said:

Wikipedia, really? Elevate your game

Damn.  I didn't realize this required Master's level research.  I'll be sure spend an appropriate amount of time before I next formulate a reply to a FNG.

 

2 hours ago, MONTItheRed said:

The RPA is flying.

Said no real pilot ever.

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2 hours ago, ihtfp06 said:

Said no real pilot ever

By all means enlighten us on what a REAL pilot is.

XXXX+ hours PIC?

Some qualification in a MWS?

Some number of Air Medals?

Being shot at?

Killing people?

Medevac?

Human remains transport?

 

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5 hours ago, MONTItheRed said:

Table 3.11 Air Medal 

1. Heroism or meritorious achievement while participating in aerial flight.
2. The required achievement to warrant award of the AM is less than that required for the DFC, but must be accomplished with distinction above and beyond that expected of professional airmen.
3. Both heroism and achievement must be entirely distinctive, involving operations that are not routine.
4. Not awarded for sustained operational activities and flights.

3.9. AIR MEDAL.

a. Introduction. The Air Medal is awarded to recognize individuals who distinguish themselves by valorous, heroic or meritorious achievement while participating in aerial flight.

any person who, while serving in any capacity with the Army, Navy, Marine Corps, or Air Force, subsequent to September 8, 1939, distinguishes himself or herself by meritorious achievement while participating in an aerial flight.

You seem to be neglecting the mentions of Heroism and Valor.

Heroism: great bravery. Bravery: courageous behavior or character. Courage: the ability to do something that frightens one.

Valor: great courage in the face of danger, especially in battle.

 

If you are frightened, or believe you are in danger in your air conditioned GCS at 1G and 0 kts...well that just screams bravery.

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Not that I think the RPA guys should get air medals or even Aerial Achievement Medals for showing up to work 20 days, I also don't understand why AMC dishes out air medals. Not trying to dig on anyone. Just looking for an explanation. I can see fighters, bombers, some types of C130 missions behind enemy lines, or laying down hate from a C130 or missions from other jets similar to that. I don't understand how generically moving cargo or gas qualifies you for an air medal.

I wish we would go back to the way it use to be. Instead of everyone getting a ribbon for an 8th place finish. And back to people who need to avoid fires to wearing flight suits only. Not because it's trendy.


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As a manned guy in RPAs I agree the AAM or AM should not be awarded to RPA guys. Putting your ass on the line should be required to get that medal. I think a separate medal should be created. RPAs are a interesting case, little risk but one individual can have more impacts on the battlefield in one night than one could ever imagine. And that deserves some sort of recognition. 

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24 minutes ago, viper154 said:

As a manned guy in RPAs I agree the AAM or AM should not be awarded to RPA guys. Putting your ass on the line should be required to get that medal. I think a separate medal should be created. RPAs are a interesting case, little risk but one individual can have more impacts on the battlefield in one night than one could ever imagine. And that deserves some sort of recognition. 

The Distinguished Warfare Medal  attempted just that. The DWM was effectively an air medal for space, cyber, missiles, and  remote.

As you said, there isn't a recognition for the meritorious achievements and effects that RPAs can bring to the battlefield.

The AAM is an odd award for RPA crews. Crews need to do very little to earn them.  At least the enlisted could max their ribbon & award points for promotion.

 

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