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Grouch

Escaping RPAs

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36 minutes ago, General Chang said:

 I believe some people on this forum are simply out to hurt our future Air Force with their negativity, and it makes me sick to my stomach.  And ashamed.  And a touch angry.

Irony?  It's like bronzey, only different...

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it makes me sick to my stomach.  And ashamed.  And a touch angry.

Maybe you should separate. We thank you for your service.

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1 hour ago, General Chang said:

Absolutely spot-on.  I have heard from many RPA pilots that the job is intrinsically rewarding work.  It is also appealing because of fewer deployments (and the spreadsheets back this up).  I believe some people on this forum are simply out to hurt our future Air Force with their negativity, and it makes me sick to my stomach.  And ashamed.  And a touch angry.

 

//RANT ON//

Just stop with the number of deployments argument; as it relates to RPAs, it's old and busted. Even when not deployed in theater, back at homestation the operators are actively prosecuting ATOs, killing the enemy, and meeting the demand of a war-time ops tempo. Not just in short sprints, but every single day of your assignment in RPAs, flying the line (which is 99.9% of MQ-1/MQ-9 Pilots and Sensors). I question the demographic of the Aircrew that find it appealing due to the "fewer" deployments; how long have the been in the AF, how many non-RPA flying deployments have they had, total deployment count, how long were they in RPAs when that opinion was given and what's their follow-up opinion now (ie, has it changed)?

Don't be fooled into thinking that just because you're at home, your "deployment" is somehow easier. It's generally not. The ops tempo is continual, AND they have meet the demands of a peace-time AF (CBTs, Inspections, CCAF degrees, PROJO volunteers, civilian education, etc). The remote location forces everyone to spend significant percentage of their paycheck on fuel, especially if you have office work to do. You can't get it completed when you spending 83% of your time at work actively flying/prepping to fly, so the bus schedule and van pools aren't a valid option. Speaking of the van pools, yes the AF provides a payment system for contract van rentals, but G-d forbid you that up on a rare TDY, or don't ride enough in a month. There are more examples that I'm glossing over, but think of everything you do right now and then try to image fighting a war for 7.5 hrs out of every 9 hr day (minimum) with no end in sight.

Yes, some of the posters here sometimes present an argument from their POV and how the ops tempo is affecting them personally, but that doesn't negate the validity of their complaint. The aggregate effect, of everything listed above, upon the Airmen meeting it all is wearing them out quickly. One of the shitty parts is everyone of them is smart enough to realize that succeeding in their primary duties (to remind you: fly planes and kill the enemy) isn't enough to keep getting promoted. I've seen exactly ONE pilot who was able to just fly/instruct the line and fleet up to the top. He definitely earned it, but he's the exception to the rule.

Some aircrew in RPAs volunteered, some were "needs of the AF"; all do more than speadsheet bean counting. People come here to vent because they care about the AF and because that's what Aircrew does. I've seen many good plans come together from sport bitching in the bar that solved immediate needs. This is just the extension of that.

I'm curious as to your quals; you've become a blue-suit equivalent of Scoobs. You pass profound judgement that show you lack a basic "man-on-the-street" perspective. You have ZERO credibility at this point for most your posts.

RPA operators are all great Americans, who have answered their country's call. If comments here make someone "a touch angry", then sack-up get yourself out to Creech. Learn what it means to lead people in actual combat. There's plenty of seats on the line for you.

 

//RANT OFF//

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2 hours ago, General Chang said:

Absolutely spot-on.  I have heard from many RPA pilots that the job is intrinsically rewarding work.  It is also appealing because of fewer deployments (and the spreadsheets back this up).  I believe some people on this forum are simply out to hurt our future Air Force with their negativity, and it makes me sick to my stomach.  And ashamed.  And a touch angry.

Don't fool yourself, those running the AF are doing a far better job hurting the future of the AF than anyone could from this forum. Maybe you should start with helping correct the course in which this sinking ship has been traveling. There is a reason for the manning/asset problems for which we are currently engaged with, and it starts with the decision making from upper management. The AF could have lead turned this issue a decade ago. The data was there, you and the rest of upper management just decided to ignore it all.

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Absolutely spot-on.  I have heard from many RPA pilots that the job is intrinsically rewarding work.  It is also appealing because of fewer deployments (and the spreadsheets back this up).  I believe some people on this forum are simply out to hurt our future Air Force with their negativity, and it makes me sick to my stomach.  And ashamed.  And a touch angry.

Said spreadsheet is as real as a Potemkin Village

So the fact that multiple x multiple airmen complain about the same things and in reference to RPAa some very particular QOL / career issues and in your mind that is not evidence those problems exist but instead that is evidence of poor attitudes ?

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It is also appealing because of fewer deployments (and the spreadsheets back this up).

Wait. What exactly are you claiming that the spreadsheets are backing up? That there are fewer deployments? If so, I'll buy that, but it's a fallacy to then jump to the conclusion that this somehow makes RPAs appealing.

If you are claiming that you have spreadsheets that can somehow quantify the level of appeal the job has for pilots based upon the deployment rate, then I'm calling bullshit.

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...I have heard from many RPA pilots that the job is intrinsically rewarding work...

These being the "RPA pilots" that suck up invaluable IP time simply to get the qual on their Surf just in time for an O-6 promotion board, then give exactly 0 time flying the line before leaving for that Pentagon staff job?

Are those your "RPA pilots"? Are they the ones throwing down their policy opinions as RPA experts? Because those guys know less about flying RPAs than you know about inspirational leadership.

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9 hours ago, General Chang said:

Absolutely spot-on.  I have heard from many RPA pilots that the job is intrinsically rewarding work. 

The part that involves pulling a trigger is rewarding.. the other 99.999% of the shit you have to do makes you want to separate from the AF ASAP.

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15 hours ago, General Chang said:

 I have heard from many RPA pilots that the job is intrinsically rewarding work.  It is also appealing because of fewer deployments

Did those spreadsheets tell you that those pilots would rather be deployed to Afghanistan to experience IDF and other imperils to their health than doing "intrinsically rewarding work"? 

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Chang, I did my 69 page masters thesis 5 yrs ago on how to retain RPA pilots. I surveyed about 50 of them. Your data and mine seem to conflict.

Listen Chang, I've never flown an RPA, I love my AF/country, you name it. I would have stayed in without a bonus so listen to someone who is not your bitter dissenter.

I've had buddies go to RPA's who were some of the most upbeat, positive dudes I ever met. They took the assignment and I remember their fini flights...none were USAF RPA haters. One guy was excited.

5 yrs later, 100% of them are out. The stories they told me of shift work, denied career opportunities, horrid family life etc. made me appreciate my 179.

Chang, I urge you and other leaders to get in touch with the "actual" pulse of the USAF. There is a huge disconnect somewhere with what you are seeing vs the reality of things.

Despite your assumption, this forum is a pretty good cross section of what I hear in sq bars across airframes and the USAF from all ranks and backgrounds (no this is not just a pilot problem).

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13 hours ago, di1630 said:

Chang, I urge you and other leaders to get in touch with the "actual" pulse of the USAF.

Chang isn't a leader.  He's a nobody and he knows it.  He doesn't have any "spreadsheets".  That said, got to give him props- he's trolling you guys hard, and you guys are taking the bait every time.

Edited by Karl Hungus
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Whether he is or isn't a "somebody" in the AF, he embodies a lot of what I have heard our Senior "Leadership" say over the past decade. And dammit it feels good to just yell at the guy...

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On 5/31/2016 at 11:26 AM, sqwatch said:

If you have an ATP restricted ATP minimum hours* and don't commit a murder on live TV on the way to a regional interview, you will be hired.

FIFY

 

*750 hours w/ 50 hours multi; because this is the RPA thread, I'll add the sad caveat that RPA hours don't count....

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2 hours ago, Jughead said:

FIFY

 

*750 hours w/ 50 hours multi; because this is the RPA thread, I'll add the sad caveat that RPA hours don't count....

Dude, I don't even have the minimum ATP hours.

People feel the need to constantly remind me that "there are plenty of RPA opportunities on the civilian side!" and "it's the future of aviation!" I just don't want anything to do with these things. Get me outta here!!

f.gif

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2 hours ago, Grouch said:

Dude, I don't even have the minimum ATP hours.

People feel the need to constantly remind me that "there are plenty of RPA opportunities on the civilian side!" and "it's the future of aviation!" I just don't want anything to do with these things. Get me outta here!!

Didn't you hear? The RPA job is intrinsically rewarding work! And according to a spreadsheet, the crews have an amazing QoL because they don't deploy as much.

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Dude, I don't even have the minimum ATP hours.

People feel the need to constantly remind me that "there are plenty of RPA opportunities on the civilian side!" and "it's the future of aviation!" I just don't want anything to do with these things. Get me outta here!!

f.gif

Funniest thing in the FTU was being told by a well meaning but clueless ISO, "remember, if you get a Q3 it stays with you forever, especially on that contractor interview!"

Yes, I'm sure Delta will be very interested in my drone checkrides and hours.

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8 hours ago, Chuck Noland said:

Funniest thing in the FTU was being told by a well meaning but clueless ISO, "remember, if you get a Q3 it stays with you forever, especially on that contractor interview!"

Yes, I'm sure Delta will be very interested in my drone checkrides and hours.

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

We also had a similar thing uttered when they rolled out the Striker Vista program.  Then I had to chat with the students about why getting a Q-3 on their initial check ride was a bad idea, even if it did protect them from flying the B-52 in the future.

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On ‎5‎/‎31‎/‎2016 at 6:33 PM, Chuck Noland said:

Thinking worst case scenario and AFPC backpedals completely on releasing us, anyone have knowledge of folks that got out and got picked up for a manned guard/reserve slot or went to the regionals? Curious as to how long it takes to get recurrent...or jump to the majors.

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Yep, my SQ hired a former -10 guy out of Global Chickens a year or so ago.  Whatever the standard requal course is for -10 pilots is what he flew in the sim and at FTU (I don't know what that timeline is, and I wasn't around the SQ much during that timeframe).  Not sure if he has since hired on with an airline or not, but he IS flying a manned aircraft again.

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4 hours ago, JarheadBoom said:

Yep, my SQ hired a former -10 guy out of Global Chickens a year or so ago.  Whatever the standard requal course is for -10 pilots is what he flew in the sim and at FTU (I don't know what that timeline is, and I wasn't around the SQ much during that timeframe).  Not sure if he has since hired on with an airline or not, but he IS flying a manned aircraft again.

Then there is hope.  I can't tell you how happy this post makes me.

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13 hours ago, JarheadBoom said:

Yep, my SQ hired a former -10 guy out of Global Chickens a year or so ago.  Whatever the standard requal course is for -10 pilots is what he flew in the sim and at FTU (I don't know what that timeline is, and I wasn't around the SQ much during that timeframe).  Not sure if he has since hired on with an airline or not, but he IS flying a manned aircraft again.

Friend of mine is a -135/Global Chicken to KSUU -10 Reserves/Southwest. There is hope.

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Yep, my SQ hired a former -10 guy out of Global Chickens...

Nice. Any idea on how long he was in RPAs before he was hired?

Again thinking worst case for those of us stuck with a 3-4 year rpa tour...with the threat of a non-vol to holloman for another 3 years...

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11 hours ago, Chuck Noland said:

Nice. Any idea on how long he was in RPAs before he was hired?

I know that he was a previously-qualified -10 guy that did time in the GH.

I don't know if he volunteered or was voluntold to the GH. I don't know whether he Palace Chased, or ran his ADSC down to the last day.  Sorry, that's the best I can tell you - I wasn't around the SQ much when he was hired, and I never had a chance to fly with him.

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