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How do you feel about your airframe and mission?

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My editing fu is weak. It's early, no coffee yet and j don't understand what my phone is telling me. Here's my comment:

Unfortunately people who know nothing about what your comment means get to make the decision about where the tails live. The people who had the pull to get Raptors in Hawaii are not going to easily let go of "their" 17's

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1.  Ops Tempo/Deployment

      2.  Lifestyle/ Family Stability

      3. Community morale

      4. Advancements & Future of the airframe

      5. Preferred PCS locations 

HHH-60Gs

11. Depends on the squadron. Currently deployed to a few locations worldwide.

22. Depends on the base, deployment tasking, etc... Certain bases have better travel opportunities due to their locations, (Kadena and Lakenheath)

  3. The Hawk is getting old, thus she flies less and breaks more. The young pups are flying less and less every year and it's not getting better. It's really killing morale at the bro level when the copilots fly ~4-8 hrs a month when there in dire need of experience. The mission is rewarding overall, yet Big Blue seems to still not know the proper use of its rotary-wing assets, which is frustrating considering it has employed helicopters for 50+ years. Lot of hurry up-and-wait, with knee jerk reactions in the midst.

   4. We are supposed to get the HH-60W (modified MH-60M) in FY19, I'll believe it when I see her rotors turning on a ramp somewhere.

   5. Lakenheath, Kadena, Tuscon, Nellis, Moody (in that order).

3

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KC-135

1. Ops Tempo/Deployment- New pilots can expect 2 months on, 2 months off for deployments with various TDYs, exercises, alert mixed in. As you grow up in the community the deployments will slow a little. We do not deploy as a squadron but as crews. Because of this there is a lot more fluidity to the schedule with some people getting as little notice as a couple weeks.

2. Lifestyle/ family stability- As you would expect from the above. Squadrons are not as tight knit as the fighter guys. People tend to have their own social circles or just spend time with their family when they are home. Usually day jobs only last 7:30 to 4:30 so you do get a little more time outside of work when not on the road compared to some airframes.

3. Community Morale- Tanker guys pride themselves in being a pretty relaxed community. Most guys/gals are awesome people who won't get wrapped around the axle over little things that don't matter in the long run.

4. Advancements & future of the airframe- For being a 60 year old airframe she's been through a lot of modernization. The latest, Block 45, replaces the last of our steam gauges and replaces our cruddy autopilot, coming to a tanker base near you. The KC-46 is a long way out still and it will probably replace the KC-10 before it replaces the 135. In summary, expect to see the 135 around for a long time to come.

5. Preferred PCS Locations- Two overseas options, Kadena and Mildenhall (or somewhere else in EUCOM in the next few years). MacDill is popular, Fairchild is a hidden gem. Then add in TFA units and you have lots of great options with a couple not so great ones.

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1 hour ago, baileynme said:

KC-135

1. Ops Tempo/Deployment- New pilots can expect 2 months on, 2 months off for deployments with various TDYs, exercises, alert mixed in. As you grow up in the community the deployments will slow a little. We do not deploy as a squadron but as crews. Because of this there is a lot more fluidity to the schedule with some people getting as little notice as a couple weeks.

2. Lifestyle/ family stability- As you would expect from the above. Squadrons are not as tight knit as the fighter guys. People tend to have their own social circles or just spend time with their family when they are home. Usually day jobs only last 7:30 to 4:30 so you do get a little more time outside of work when not on the road compared to some airframes.

3. Community Morale- Tanker guys pride themselves in being a pretty relaxed community. Most guys/gals are awesome people who won't get wrapped around the axle over little things that don't matter in the long run.

4. Advancements & future of the airframe- For being a 60 year old airframe she's been through a lot of modernization. The latest, Block 45, replaces the last of our steam gauges and replaces our cruddy autopilot, coming to a tanker base near you. The KC-46 is a long way out still and it will probably replace the KC-10 before it replaces the 135. In summary, expect to see the 135 around for a long time to come.

5. Preferred PCS Locations- Two overseas options, Kadena and Mildenhall (or somewhere else in EUCOM in the next few years). MacDill is popular, Fairchild is a hidden gem. Then add in TFA units and you have lots of great options with a couple not so great ones.

Thanks Baileynme!

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On 7/30/2016 at 2:00 PM, norskman said:

   4. We are supposed to get the HH-60W (modified MH-60M) in FY19, I'll believe it when I see her rotors turning on a ramp somewhere

By "we" you mean the 413 FLTS/88 TES, not any of the operational.  Moody and Kirtland are getting the first birds, in FY21 (4 to each location).  FY21 is IOC.

ETA: You forgot to list Kirtland in your order of PCS locations.  Here's what I'll say about Kirtland...you're back in AETC, so getting tapped for a deployment is much diminished.  However, it's AETC.  At a minimum I would put it above Moody in rank order.  After that, it really depends on your priorities (aka teaching the noobs, family vs hacking the mish at least four months out of the year).  Most of my career I had zero interest in being a schoolhouse IP, but I eventually hit my fill of deployments (7), and that assignment started looking pretty good.

Edited by stract
more info

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thanks all, would love to hear from someone in Strikes.

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Email Toro. Not only will he fill you in (sts), but you'll also get a backseat ride.

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18 minutes ago, Ram said:

Email Toro. Not only will he fill you in (sts), but you'll also get a backseat ride.

We will get that email.

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F-15E

1.  High, you'll be busy, whether you're at home or away

2.  Reasonably stable, but busy.  Expect 1-2 AEFs per assignment plus numerous exercises/TDYs

3.  Pretty darn good

4.  Around until at least 2035, good upgrades planned

5.  Mountain Home, Lakenheath - amazing / Seymour Johnson - not so much

We bring some capabilities no one else does, but we also have our limitations compared to the 5th gen guys.  We're popular right now due to our load out, comms and long legs (for a fighter.)

I suspect the reason you haven't heard a ton from the fighter guys is that if you aren't 100% sure this is for you, it probably isn't, as you'll quickly burn out.  Deployments are fun, but the 12hr+ days for years on end at home will wear you out if you don't love it.  If I have to talk you into a fighter, it isn't for you.  That isn't meant to say that you can't make it, but that you may not want to.  If you've always dreamed of flying fighters, you will have zero regrets and kick yourself when you look back for even thinking of another option.  

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5 hours ago, Longhorn15 said:

F-15E

1.  High, you'll be busy, whether you're at home or away

2.  Reasonably stable, but busy.  Expect 1-2 AEFs per assignment plus numerous exercises/TDYs

3.  Pretty darn good

4.  Around until at least 2035, good upgrades planned

5.  Mountain Home, Lakenheath - amazing / Seymour Johnson - not so much

We bring some capabilities no one else does, but we also have our limitations compared to the 5th gen guys.  We're popular right now due to our load out, comms and long legs (for a fighter.)

I suspect the reason you haven't heard a ton from the fighter guys is that if you aren't 100% sure this is for you, it probably isn't, as you'll quickly burn out.  Deployments are fun, but the 12hr+ days for years on end at home will wear you out if you don't love it.  If I have to talk you into a fighter, it isn't for you.  That isn't meant to say that you can't make it, but that you may not want to.  If you've always dreamed of flying fighters, you will have zero regrets and kick yourself when you look back for even thinking of another option.  

Thanks Longhorn!

Do you guys still do 6months at ADAB?

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On 8/1/2016 at 7:45 PM, Ram said:

Email Toro. Not only will he fill you in (sts), but you'll also get a backseat ride.

wow, for a maintainer?!

Edited by 12xu2a3x3

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C-130J

1.Ops Tempo/Deployment

goodtimes are 3 day tdy once a month and 4 month deployments every two years

badtimes are no off stations, one local a week and a deployment every year

      2.  Lifestyle/ Family Stability

nno problem at all. Some night flights but not too terrible

      3. Community morale

highly dependent on squadron...make it good and it will be good

      4. Advancements & Future of the airframe

sSlow progression compared to other AMC assets, not a good hours builder for the airlines.  That being said, the flying is more fun than other heavies...cause you are not preparing for the airlines  

      5. Preferred PCS locations 

Ramstein, Yokota, Dyess, Little Rock in that order

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8 hours ago, iowa said:

C-130J

1.Ops Tempo/Deployment

goodtimes are 3 day tdy once a month and 4 month deployments every two years

badtimes are no off stations, one local a week and a deployment every year

      2.  Lifestyle/ Family Stability

nno problem at all. Some night flights but not too terrible

      3. Community morale

highly dependent on squadron...make it good and it will be good

      4. Advancements & Future of the airframe

sSlow progression compared to other AMC assets, not a good hours builder for the airlines.  That being said, the flying is more fun than other heavies...cause you are not preparing for the airlines  

      5. Preferred PCS locations 

Ramstein, Yokota, Dyess, Little Rock in that order

Iowa,

Thanks for the reply. For the ops tempo and deployments, what locations are the "good" and "bad times" based on?

How long are typical assignments at places like Dyess?

Thanks again.

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It rotates based on which unit is doing the "large" centcom deployment, but realistically that only applies to LR and Dyess and both share the good and bad times. Who knows about Yokota cause it is new and Ramestein is a different animal with their longer TDYs and no centcom deployments. 

PCS lengths are similar to other airframes, no differences.  Call it 3-4 years currently.

Disclaimer: I left the Herk a year ago to fly the RQ-4 cause California and Italy deployments while sleeping in my own bed every night was more appealing than Texas, Afghanistan and overnights to Pope.  I'm giving you the honest truth about the Herk and I bet there is someone with rose colored glasses that will sexy up all these opinions for you.  Bottom line is if tactical flying in an aircraft that actually executes its primary mission in combat TODAY is appealing...and you track T-1, fly the Herk.

and for copilot development Dyess is probably better than LR, but then again Texas...

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5 hours ago, scoobs said:

How do you like the RQ4?

I enjoy it. It is not a pilot's aircraft, you don't fly anything, you are a mission manager. That mission is way more important and valuable than what I did in the Herk, and for me that satisfies my pilot machismo.  Any unhappy global hawk pilot either misses being in the air or is frustrated by the air frame's newness and lack of standards and doesn't enjoy getting to establish the future of high altitude ISR. I start defensive because I recognize it is unpopular to not love flying here. 

For anyone who is tired of the grind deploying to CENTCOM, the RQ-4 won't be giving the good deals to the e's for another year or so so get in while you still can.

And to answer a standard follow on question, the -4 doesn't have sensor parity with the U2 yet but when it does it will clearly surpass the U2 in capability and the spooks can ride into the sunset having served faithfully.  I only hope they will let me take joy rides in the -38s and Dodge Chargers before they get rid of them or send them to the bored -35 pilots.

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And to answer a standard follow on question, the -4 doesn't have sensor parity with the U2 yet but when it does it will clearly surpass the U2 in capability and the spooks can ride into the sunset having served faithfully.  I only hope they will let me take joy rides in the -38s and Dodge Chargers before they get rid of them or send them to the bored -35 pilots.

There's about 0% chance of either of those things happening, but keep being optimistic.

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21 minutes ago, scoobs said:

Sounds a lot different than reapers.

 

Confirm quals?!!?!

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Once e pilots start coming in will they push out the O's?  I'm a reaper pilot (18x) but actually wouldn't mind trying something new and going to California instead of angrily punching out like the rest.

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Yes, but not immediately. They will start off as BACN bitches to make sure they are smart enough to fly the all-mighty Global Chicken.(Because we look at them as lesser beings for some reason) After enough show up to the squadrons, you are looking at RQ-4s being manned approximately 10% Officer//90% Enlisted pilot. Wont be a thing until around 2022 ish? maybe? It's not a bad gig, i mean the deployments are all Kush except the centcom locations obviously. 

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No, a limited basis for RPA's but nothing manned.  I'm a but surprised at the RPA possibility actually.  The genius of American airpower rests in the bro's in the squadron debriefing each other to the Nth degree on their screw ups and how to improve.  It also relies on the fact a Captain can tell a LtCol to F off if he is wrong, I've done it and seen it.  Adding E's to the mix complicates this dynamic and may bring USAF airpower to a point where we have a bunch of "yes sir" drones flying planes.  The E community is also very good with regulations, for which the pilot O community is very good at stretching to a breaking point, sometimes for the good of the mission.  I don't see that with E's becoming pilots.  I could be wrong, I hope I am, but in my time in service observing many different cultures, I don't think I am.  My lens is the fighter community, which would be the last to integrate if it ever happens, and I don't think its a good idea.  

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