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189Herk    5

Is there any accountability for who adds what to the NDAA?  For example, a small line was added in the Senate Armed Services committee to their version of the bill that has had some negative effect on ANG AGRs...how would I track where that came from?

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52 minutes ago, congressman said:

And, maybe different readiness levels for C-130 pilots etc.  I hear from those guys that its impossible to hold a civilian job while doing 10 days a month in the Guard.

As an ANG C-130H nav, there are definitely training events that could be reduced/eliminated from a pilot's current readiness requirements to allow them to maintain a fully mission ready status with less days required at their unit (given the current real world ops requirements).  Additionally, it would be an outright boon to morale and retention to eliminate the Afghan Air Advisor mission (or contract it out if it will continue).  If not entirely familiar with this, let me know and I can elaborate.  It could decimate the instructor force in the ANG the longer it goes. Guys will go to the desert for 60 or 120 days with their units but there are not many who will go for 180 to fly as Afghan Air Force crew members.         

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congressman    42
1 hour ago, Prozac said:

Is anyone in congress talking about the incessant use of the military as a foreign policy tool in recent decades?  There are a great many potential problems with this practice, many of which are no longer hypothetical.  We are using up an aging fleet at rates that were never anticipated and we cannot hope to recapitalize in a timely manner, even if the military budget is greatly increased (I have my doubts whether Increased defense spending is really in the cards).  Perhaps more ominously, we are doing the same with personnel. Most of the operators in recent conflicts whether they be spec ops, aircrew, maintainers, etc, are simply burnt out and taking their experience elsewhere.  Yet the only plan seems to be to continue to attempt to squeeze water out of the rock.  How about the monetary cost of these conflicts? I'm a big proponent of a strong military, but the fact is we have spent an astonishing amount of money with very little to show for it.  It amazes me that we've laid out the cash we have while actually shrinking personnel and aging the fleet. I don't care if you lean left or right, everyone in this country ought to be demanding more accountability when it comes to military spending. Don't expect me to support increased military budgets without telling me EXACTLY how that money will be spent.  So, what's the plan?  Throwing money at the problem is not sufficient. I expect my elected officials and my military leadership to work together to come up with a sustainable defense strategy. Forgive me if I have little confidence in either group to deliver. 

Understood.  we are in a new era in the world where everyone is super connected and the world is smaller, and challenges are different a greater.  In a cold war construct, it was easier.  In Low intensity and irregular warfare we are burning our fleet and people.  I think personally America is uniquely positioned to keep some world order (not in a new age govt conspiracy meaning) but its gonna take new thinking.  Do we need F-16s burning their hours flying holes in the sky and doing Gods work dropping bombs, or could a AT-6 do the job cheaper while we save the F-16s for the war on Russia or china?  We need to expand the number of people in the ranks and shrink the civilian force, so that rotations are less often.  WE NEED TO BURN REFLECTIVE BELTS TOO.

What it looks like ultimately will be up to the Commander in Chief and us here, but I think we need to reevaluate our equipment and personnel priorities daily.

Unfortunately with ass hats willing to blow up kids in a school or café, I think this war will continue for our lifetimes.  Military strength can also make war less likely as it strengthens diplomacy.

Just my opinion.

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congressman    42
29 minutes ago, 189Herk said:

Is there any accountability for who adds what to the NDAA?  For example, a small line was added in the Senate Armed Services committee to their version of the bill that has had some negative effect on ANG AGRs...how would I track where that came from?

That depends.  If it was added as an amendment its an issue of public record, if it was in the base bill that maybe harder to track down, whether it was a senator or military input.

If you have specifics DM me and ill see what I can find.  For those wondering why I have all this time, I can assure you this is a busy job, but the first couple weeks committees aren't formed yet and all attention is on the senate.

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congressman    42
16 minutes ago, VigilanteNav said:

As an ANG C-130H nav, there are definitely training events that could be reduced/eliminated from a pilot's current readiness requirements to allow them to maintain a fully mission ready status with less days required at their unit (given the current real world ops requirements).  Additionally, it would be an outright boon to morale and retention to eliminate the Afghan Air Advisor mission (or contract it out if it will continue).  If not entirely familiar with this, let me know and I can elaborate.  It could decimate the instructor force in the ANG the longer it goes. Guys will go to the desert for 60 or 120 days with their units but there are not many who will go for 180 to fly as Afghan Air Force crew members.         

Interesting.  Ya the broader requirements issue is important, and lets see if addressed with new leadership.  From my position the question can be asked.

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ImNotARobot    54

Keep up the good work bro. Unless I'm mixed up, I saw you speak at a Laughlin UPT graduation where my unit had a couple Lts graduating last year. You're uniquely qualified to help our various causes from your pulpit. Don't let these bastards keep promoting each other...it's a cancer that's eating our organization from the inside out. 

https://www.airforcetimes.com/articles/mileygate-commander-promotion-letter

I was stationed with/flew with/went to college with one of these guys that got wrongly burned in this fiasco. He's a great dude, and is still dealing with the after effects while Hastings is jockeying for his own promotion. I realize many things are probably out of your control, even at your level. 

Keep on keeping on my friend. 

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congressman    42
5 minutes ago, ImNotARobot said:

Keep up the good work bro. Unless I'm mixed up, I saw you speak at a Laughlin UPT graduation where my unit had a couple Lts graduating last year. You're uniquely qualified to help our various causes from your pulpit. Don't let these bastards keep promoting each other...it's a cancer that's eating our organization from the inside out. 

https://www.airforcetimes.com/articles/mileygate-commander-promotion-letter

I was stationed with/flew with/went to college with one of these guys that got wrongly burned in this fiasco. He's a great dude, and is still dealing with the after effects while Hastings is jockeying for his own promotion. I realize many things are probably out of your control, even at your level. 

Keep on keeping on my friend. 

Yep that was me.  I have the propeller they gave me hanging in my office. 

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Hacker    674

The "indefinite detention" language needs to come out of the NDAA.  It amazes me that anyone who has taken the oath to the Constitution that we all do could possibly vote for such a thing.  It is one of the most repulsive things to come out of Congress in decades (that is unclassified, at least).

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yankeetango    3

A friend of mine is at some training where an O-5 from a UPT base was discussing the pilot retention problem. It was said that the idea is to triple training throughout, but jets are broken and have been for awhile, and there aren't enough IP's to go around. He said that there is no way the Air Force can recover from the pilot shortfall with the UPT pipeline being broken/slow, to which end he used the words "stop loss."

What kind of picture has been painted for congressional leadership on how bad the impending pilot shortage is, and what is actually being proposed to counter it? Is stop loss actually on the table as a "fix" to this problem?


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Hey, an easy way to talk to a Congress Man, I'll bite.  And this one can't be too hard to tack on to a Defense bill.

Did you know that when any of us has a pay issue that results in over payment, DFAS will start charging the member 5% interest until its paid.  This occurs even if the amount is in dispute/wrong.  And to get any of that interest back takes a very long time (I'm at a year).  The red tape is soooooooooooooo excruciating in that department.  So, I propose that DFAS can't charge interest any higher than my checking account, currently less than 1%.  Tie it to the Fed rate, no more.  BTW, if anyone here is making 5% on a savings or checking account, please tell me know; DFAS isn't into banking yet.

So there, an easy line item change to current law. Reduce the interest rate DFAS can charge on debts.

Out

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First, thanks for your service, both mil and gov - I've seen your interviews on CNN, and I find your opinions well-balanced, nuanced, and reasoned.

From a mil perspective, I'd like to see up-and-out promotions go away, with a repeal of DOPMA.  I believe this would help stop the hemorrhaging of talent and address the manning issues at the grassroots level.

I would also like to see a bigger push to allow members to take breaks in service without mortgaging their futures with huge ADSCs.

From a national perspective, our foreign policy needs a major vector check.  Threatening to withhold support from NATO is massively destablizing.  We are on our heels trying to figure out how to respond to Putin.  Russia is not as strong as many perceive, but that actually makes them more dangerous.

Please don't support more conflict intervention without clearly defined, attainable goals and articulated end-states (not accusing you of this, rather our adventures in nation-building since 9/11).

Thanks for your time.

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tac airlifter    521

Thanks for the opportunity to chat.  My question: when will congress debate and authorize (or disapprove and bring us home) any of the current OCOs?  We are using lethal authorities of the AUMF still, for enemies not listed there.  Why has congresss absconded it's role in authorizing military force, and what can be done about it?  

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11F    73

Thanks so much for this opportunity and insight. Your desire to slash the civilian behemoth within the DoD fires me up! I'll be watching that one.

If sequestration is rolled back as you expect and military spending increases, where will we get some savings? It can't just come from DoD civilians. What social programs will get cut? What would you cut? Any prognostication from you on this issue would be a good read.

The cuts to BAH down to 95% feel like a break in faith and I would appreciate it if this would get repealed.

As some of the bros and I approach 20 years of service and we look at what would keep us in the 11F ranks, here was one proposal: pay one year of the ARP bonus for every year the pilot will stay on AD. This would be a year to year bonus contract so as to not make us feel like we are locked into something that is crazy long term, but would pay for the experience we bring. This won't keep everyone, but anecdotally, it will keep those who love serving their country, but are simply too enticed by the airline pay.

I grew up an Illinoisan in what is now the 13th district, and I appreciate who you represent and how you represent them. I wonder as the population of IL continues to dwindle if there will be fewer districts after the 2020 census? There are fewer and fewer reasons for my family members to stay.

Thanks again.

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Jaded    387
4 hours ago, disgruntledemployee said:

Hey, an easy way to talk to a Congress Man, I'll bite.  And this one can't be too hard to tack on to a Defense bill.

Did you know that when any of us has a pay issue that results in over payment, DFAS will start charging the member 5% interest until its paid.  This occurs even if the amount is in dispute/wrong.  And to get any of that interest back takes a very long time (I'm at a year).  The red tape is soooooooooooooo excruciating in that department.  So, I propose that DFAS can't charge interest any higher than my checking account, currently less than 1%.  Tie it to the Fed rate, no more.  BTW, if anyone here is making 5% on a savings or checking account, please tell me know; DFAS isn't into banking yet.

So there, an easy line item change to current law. Reduce the interest rate DFAS can charge on debts.

Out

I'll echo this - DFAS debt collections are super fucked up. My debt was easily shown to be incorrect and it still took 6 months to get it back. You pay or they send you to collections. Their communications take 150 days from when you send in an issue and when they answer.

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HU&W    603

I'm loving some of the ideas being presented by individual congressmen to limit the power and increase the transparency of government.  One in particular that's caught my attention is being pushed by Mia Love from Utah.  It involves setting rules that all legislation be single subject, with clear titles, effectively preventing sneaky riders.  Do you see any potential of a caucus forming around such an idea, or is the current paradigm too deeply entrenched in the culture of both sides of the aisle?

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congressman    42
15 hours ago, 11F said:

Thanks so much for this opportunity and insight. Your desire to slash the civilian behemoth within the DoD fires me up! I'll be watching that one.

If sequestration is rolled back as you expect and military spending increases, where will we get some savings? It can't just come from DoD civilians. What social programs will get cut? What would you cut? Any prognostication from you on this issue would be a good read.

The cuts to BAH down to 95% feel like a break in faith and I would appreciate it if this would get repealed.

As some of the bros and I approach 20 years of service and we look at what would keep us in the 11F ranks, here was one proposal: pay one year of the ARP bonus for every year the pilot will stay on AD. This would be a year to year bonus contract so as to not make us feel like we are locked into something that is crazy long term, but would pay for the experience we bring. This won't keep everyone, but anecdotally, it will keep those who love serving their country, but are simply too enticed by the airline pay.

I grew up an Illinoisan in what is now the 13th district, and I appreciate who you represent and how you represent them. I wonder as the population of IL continues to dwindle if there will be fewer districts after the 2020 census? There are fewer and fewer reasons for my family members to stay.

Thanks again.

I think we really have to talk about entitlement reform.  Im not optomistic it will happen but it needs to for us younger types.  Tax reform will help grow the economy too which is the best way to close budget gaps.  In a hurry so that is a quick response.

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congressman    42
14 hours ago, HU&W said:

I'm loving some of the ideas being presented by individual congressmen to limit the power and increase the transparency of government.  One in particular that's caught my attention is being pushed by Mia Love from Utah.  It involves setting rules that all legislation be single subject, with clear titles, effectively preventing sneaky riders.  Do you see any potential of a caucus forming around such an idea, or is the current paradigm too deeply entrenched in the culture of both sides of the aisle?

I like it, though legislating is messy so not sure how feasible.  Like watching sausage being made

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Fuzz    446
19 hours ago, Jaded said:

I'll echo this - DFAS debt collections are super fucked up. My debt was easily shown to be incorrect and it still took 6 months to get it back. You pay or they send you to collections. Their communications take 150 days from when you send in an issue and when they answer.

Not to mention the Department of Treasury tacks on a 25% fee to collect the debt which is outrageous in its own regard not mention when the debt is incorrect to begin with.

Edited by Fuzz

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Homestar    360
6 hours ago, congressman said:

I think we really have to talk about entitlement reform.  

Just print more money.  

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Prosuper    221

Will there be anymore threats to retired veterans who work now as a Federal civil servant over pension issues? Active duty for 23 years and the last two as an WG employee. I came in the VEAP era and was never allowed to join the Montgomery GI bill and barely eligible for the 9/11 bill. Thank God for Tricare!! Always hear leadership trying to come up with plans to degrade our retirements to save a buck. What is the reason my service comp date is only the day  I started as a civilian instead of the first day I enlisted in 1980 since I retired? 

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congressman    42
1 hour ago, Homestar said:

Just print more money.  

Ya unfortunately there's been way too much of that.  We have to get serious about growth and reforming govt.  for instance, why do all these bureaucracies have to be in dc?  Maybe spread them out and reduce personnel thru attrition.  While I'm not hugest trump fan due to his tone and russia, I think he can really do some major reform here.  But again, the real issue is entitlements

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congressman    42
29 minutes ago, Prosuper said:

Will there be anymore threats to retired veterans who work now as a Federal civil servant over pension issues? Active duty for 23 years and the last two as an WG employee. I came in the VEAP era and was never allowed to join the Montgomery GI bill and barely eligible for the 9/11 bill. Thank God for Tricare!! Always hear leadership trying to come up with plans to degrade our retirements to save a buck. What is the reason my service comp date is only the day  I started as a civilian instead of the first day I enlisted in 1980 since I retired? 

I can't make promises there.  A lot of these changes come from the leadership from these agencies and are recommended to congress.  So can't promise attempts won't be made there. We can be aware and react tho if it happens.  It's obvious that if we are gonna keep a volunteer military in the current environment patriotism alone isn't enough to keep people in, they need to be paid well too.  We want top talent and top talent needs compensated fairly.

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caseylf    4
Will there be anymore threats to retired veterans who work now as a Federal civil servant over pension issues? Active duty for 23 years and the last two as an WG employee. I came in the VEAP era and was never allowed to join the Montgomery GI bill and barely eligible for the 9/11 bill. Thank God for Tricare!! Always hear leadership trying to come up with plans to degrade our retirements to save a buck. What is the reason my service comp date is only the day  I started as a civilian instead of the first day I enlisted in 1980 since I retired? 


Federal employees can use Tricare now?

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nsplayr    599

He's retired from AD, now a fed civilian I believe.  Thus, griping about benefit cuts to fed civilians who are veterans but still glad to have tricare from his AD days.  That check @Prosuper?

 

Edited by nsplayr

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Prosuper    221
4 minutes ago, nsplayr said:

He's retired from AD, now a fed civilian I believe.  Thus, griping about benefit cuts to fed civilians who are veterans but still glad to have tricare from his AD days.  That check @Prosuper?

 

affirmative

 

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