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Clark Griswold

What should the Air Force be if it is so broken now?

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Clark Griswold    506

The forum has been particularly active lately with several of the threads talking about the same, similar or tangents of the same topic:  the current version of the Air Force is broken and getting worse.  

Symptoms of this are being discussed: pilot retention being abysmal, anecdotes of oblivious attitudes to operational support from different nonner shops, the somewhat desperate move(s) to change conditions outside of the AF or close off opportunities outside the AF to "encourage" retention, the threat of Stop Loss being publicly (if mistakenly) discussed and the indifference expressed by previous leadership, not really rebuked by current leadership, etc...

If the AF is broken now, what would fix the current structure / concept or what would a new successful design / concept be?

I'm not talking about what aircraft or systems but the structure itself, its philosophy, personnel organization, etc...

We all know of or see the problem(s) with the Air Force as it is now but what should it be?  

Trying to return to a previous version won't work because the times and conditions that AF thrived in no longer exist, the form it is in now doesn't work evidenced by its recent problems of the last 15-20 years reaching a fevered pitch recently. so what should it change to? 

All the problems we have as officers and aviators with the shoe clerk AF are part of a larger organizational cultural problem, how do you fix that?  Who the hell could do it?  Someone in the AF or from outside?

We can discuss the fact that it sucks the AF is in a deep stall below 500' AGL or we can discuss WTF can be done to recover the jet in the hope that someone on this forum might be in a position to do something about it... congressman and possibly others... or try to influence those that could.  

I'm not naive, this will take years if it even happens and it will not be just because of this one thread start in the august chambers of BO.net but you have to start somewhere...

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Flaco    94

The only thing that will fix the Air Force is a no-shit shooting match. Within a very short period of time, the weenies will be fired because they can't lead in combat, and the warriors will rise back to their rightful place at the top. The American public has become fat, dumb, and happy and that's why the Air Force is in the state it's in. Excellence is borne of strife, not prosperity.

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The-osu    3
3 minutes ago, Flaco said:

The only thing that will fix the Air Force is a no-shit shooting match. Within a very short period of time, the weenies will be fired because they can't lead in combat, and the warriors will rise back to their rightful place at the top. The American public has become fat, dumb, and happy and that's why the Air Force is in the state it's in. Excellence is borne of strife, not prosperity.

I hope not with Air Force M9's, those things are so bent and beat that nothing goes straight.

 

Are you looking for solutions to the problem that will most likely never happen? Or just what everyone hates about the Air Force? I feel like this post could get way too long

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nsplayr    599

Implement the things in Bleeding Talent would be a good start.

Also based priority for all support based on proximity to the fight. For example:

Personnelist or finance dude works overtime to get the queep right for the MX troop who's working nights to fix jets. MX troop busts his hump because pilots need the jets to launch on time. Pilots double turn and stretch their min fuel to get a bomb down supporting the JTAC on the ground. JTAC stands exposed on a rooftop to get in comms so that his guys don't get overrun.

Find your approximate place in that workflow and demand excellence from those behind you in priority and provide excellence serving those ahead of you.

Edited by nsplayr
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Sprkt69    83

You need to just start firing people, and while a shooting war might accomplish that (and I have thought that too) too many of the warriors would perish while breaking everything.

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FlyinGrunt    163

This is complicated, and I don't claim to have the full picture, but here is what I think it really takes.  TL;DR: Congress, the Joint Staff, and the USAF all have a role to play.  All must take unprecedented steps to fix this, but the potential gain is beyond anything we've ever known.

Congress:

1.   Eliminate the vast majority of queep driven by federal law.

2.  Bring pilot pay up to 75% of airline pilot pay with similar seniority/qualification.

3.  BRAC Cannon yesterday, everywhere else tomorrow, and mass forces at superbases near major metro areas.  Build a DFW-worth of runways to support and make the airspace Class B if needed.

JCOS:

1.  Inform COCOMs that their staff requirements will be combined (Navy flyer for USA/USAF/USMC/USN rated job, etc) or eliminated, to the scale or 50-75% or more.

2.  Annihilate 179s as a thing.  One fvcking day?  Are you kidding me?  Give people the credit for their service.  This is one example, but i think the trend is clear: shorter deployments, where the service pays a premium to get people home to their families, and if not credits the time served, rather than allowing a cowardly bureaucrat to steal that credit.

USAF:

1.  Divorce rated promotions from non-rated.   Separate boards, with separate quotas.  To make a long story short: you can replace an MPF 0-3 with about 30 grand.  To replace a (good) pilot is 100 times that amount.  Time to recognize return on investment, kids.

2.  Make the non-verbal signals clear: stop the anti-ops "you're all officers and equal" jihad.  I won't rant about why.

3.  Man the queep positions so that pilots/rated only do DOT, DOV, etc jobs aside from flying, aka those that require their expertise.

4.  In Robin Olds' words: "If I can order a man to combat 24 hours a day, he can get paid 24 hours a day."  I truly do not care if MSG folks have to work 12 hours shifts; they will support.  If they quit, I do not care; I will replace them for the cost of a single aircrew TDY.  Run the numbers and tell me I am wrong.  However, I will also massively increase incentive flights and the like to connect Ops to MX to MSG and MDG.  I would unite the factions so that they would SEE what their worth ethic empowers.

5.  Inform COCOMs that their "rated requirements" will be manned at about the 10% level or lower.  And see [JCOS] part.

6.  Start researching how to finally quit the AEF and move to a better, more cohesive, more predictable model.  Don't go full Army, because that is just retarded, but find a way for families to know that "this" deployment is just the one in 4 years, or whatever.

7.  Most important: CSAF has to get out there, to every base, and every squadron bar, with nametags off and interview the pilots/CSOs/STS dudes with beer in hand and no entourage.  This is the hardest part.  He/She MUST establish credibility by allowing the rank and file to speak truth to power at the risk of being disrespectful.  This will be a self-sustaining process; if the CSAF showed up here, paid my bar tab and got me a DD, I would whiteboard out the cycle of factors, at the FGO level, that are ensuring our mission failure - but only if I trusted him.

8.  I'd overhaul Lackland to look more like an Army basic training unit than the clown show it is now.  Kill the "but the queep reg says" buffoonery, and make 50% or more personal combat skills.  I could go on on this point, but this is the essence of "expenditionary skills" and would motivate people that want to be part of a warfighting organization.  Those who don't: quit.  They will be replaced at their least expensive point.  Folks, it's time to steal from the USMC model and challenge our people to be part of an elite combat unit, not an office camo welfare unit.

 

And the take-away, folks: trust.  This will require huge risks by leadership to change the paradigm, but if they can restore trust, then the rest will follow.  Their biggest challenge now is that no one trusts the leadership, even if they make valid arguments and really want to change the culture.

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HeyWatchThis    29

It would also help to nip the mindset that everyone is equal (IE a warrior) in the bud by overhauling PME.  Ensure the courses/mindset being taught starting at Basic/commissioning sources reflects that of "if you aren't shooting you are still important but bottom line you exist to support the guy/gals who do shoot".  Make sure it's presented in a way that they can take pride in what they do but don't convince them from day one that their spreadsheet abilities are akin to putting a bomb on target.  

Then overhaul the abortion of a process(s) that they teach at AU PME to reflect the same.  I honestly believe that is one of the central locations that bread this type of thinking.....

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HeloDude    587

Yeah...never going to happen.  The military is a reflection of our culture/society, and in a country where now everyone gets to play a victim, have safe spaces, be offended at everything and anything, etc...the military is just following suit.  

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Vimix22    7
8 hours ago, FlyinGrunt said:

2.  Make the non-verbal signals clear: stop the anti-ops "you're all officers and equal" jihad.  I won't rant about why.

3.  Man the queep positions so that pilots/rated only do DOT, DOV, etc jobs aside from flying, aka those that require their expertise.

7.  Most important: CSAF has to get out there, to every base, and every squadron bar, with nametags off and interview the pilots/CSOs/STS dudes with beer in hand and no entourage.  This is the hardest part.  He/She MUST establish credibility by allowing the rank and file to speak truth to power at the risk of being disrespectful.  This will be a self-sustaining process; if the CSAF showed up here, paid my bar tab and got me a DD, I would whiteboard out the cycle of factors, at the FGO level, that are ensuring our mission failure - but only if I trusted him.

8.  I'd overhaul Lackland to look more like an Army basic training unit than the clown show it is now.  Kill the "but the queep reg says" buffoonery, and make 50% or more personal combat skills.  I could go on on this point, but this is the essence of "expenditionary skills" and would motivate people that want to be part of a warfighting organization.  Those who don't: quit.  They will be replaced at their least expensive point.  Folks, it's time to steal from the USMC model and challenge our people to be part of an elite combat unit, not an office camo welfare unit.

These four points make the most sense to me. I would also add that the Air Force is too bureaucratic. We have countless AFIs that govern what we can and cannot do and half the time I read these things they do not make sense. Oh, I need to complete these 10 admin documents, with approvals from these 3 people, to get one simple account of some system that is mandated by an agency that could probably be dismantled tomorrow and no one would care. Coming from the support side myself, I can also see why the two communities need to be treated separately.

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Chuck17    211

Great aircrew bitchfest question (because we aren't talking about fixing the USAF at large, we are talking about what it will take to fix our slice of that heaven).

Good points above. The law of unintended consequences says that they need a lot of investigation, but there's merit here.

I'd add:

1. Up the $ and make it progressive. Sign the bonus? Great. The five year standard bonus goes to yr 1: 25k, yr 2: 30k, yr3: 40k, yr4: 45k, yr 5: 50k. Or keep it within the 48k or whatever originally authorized, however you so choose.

2. Add progressive options (think MLB contracts) after that: 2 more years: 35k a year, 4 yrs: 40k, 6 yrs: 45-55k. That way you're at least competing with the airlines and you're not crushed by a long commitment unless you chose to be.

3. Break the "Line" category out for promotions - flyers compete with flyers, and quotas be damned. Understand this will drive us toward an army style rating system change where you are placed Avove, Below or in the Center of Mass, and those ratings have quotas too. So be it.

4. Technician vs Leadership track. This, along with the increased bonus, has I believe the best chance of implementation. It works elsewhere. Caveat: it is possible to breed egomaniacs this way, so we have to not be afraid to outright fire those self-serving poor examples of leadership who merely want to "command" and not lead. This is a problem. Also, you're gonna have to create a method to cross from technician to leadership, otherwise it becomes a Warrant Officer corps in all but name and the mouthbreathers who suck at the jet but have the big offices will only breed more poor leadership in their own image.

Just some thoughts...

Chuck

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tk1313    241
59 minutes ago, No2bonus said:

A certain community was spinning up a different branch to fly their platform. Someone thought passing around a dildo and placing it into flight bags was hilarious. Reach for your thermos only to pull out a dildo. Well, those professional officers of a different branch didn't think it was funny and filed a complaint.

Fvck it, I'll be the jackass... What was up their asses? Oh wait...

Edited by tk1313

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Prozac    229

Summarily fire anyone who gives the slightest fuck about straight or curly quotation marks. Seriously, if we have time to worry about that shit we must have way too many chiefs and not enough Indians. Time to start pruning 0-6s and above in a major way. In my experience, senior officers do more to impede the Capts, Majors, SSgts, and TSgts than to empower them. The AF needs a culture of far fewer senior officers who understand that it's the mid level talent who gets shit done. 

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12xu2a3x3    24
9 hours ago, FlyinGrunt said:

Congress:

3.   mass forces at superbases near major metro areas.

right on

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SocialD    385
23 minutes ago, Prozac said:

Summarily fire anyone who gives the slightest fuck about straight or curly quotation marks. 

Does your squadron use PEX to process your form 8s?  You know, open it up, click sign, it's fired off to the next person for signature, and eventually works it's way back to OGV...AUTOMATICALLY!  Works great and is done within a day most times.  Well some overworked pilot in OGV at an unnamed base in PACAF, had (I hope it changed) to pull all the data, rebuild the form 8 in PDF.  Attach and e-mail it to the first signer.  Of course they had to download it, sign it, save it and attach it to another email to send back to OGV.  Then the process started over again for the next signer, until all the signature blocks were done.  He then would email it up to PACAF.  Here is the best part, this was because someone up at the PACAF staff (a civilian if I remember correctly) didn't like the way the PEX form 8, formatted the squadron identifier (ie...669FS vs 669 FS)!  I wish I was making that up. 

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VMFA187    79
11 minutes ago, No2bonus said:

You change that dynamic to more of a physical aspect and we might as well merge with the Army. I don't see a reason for group PT. I am glad he AF at times treats us like adults.

The Air Force is a war fighting organization. Combat, regardless of whether hand-to-hand, or from the cockpit of a single seat fighter, is a physical endeavor. If all the members of an organization don't have some basis of that, then you're not going to be an effective, cohesive, organization able to deal in war.

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Kiloalpha    207
17 minutes ago, No2bonus said:

#1. You haven't been through BMT.

#2. They are required to qualify on the M16 at AF BMT.

#3. The last week was Warrior Week which covered the aspects of being deployed in a combat environment, carrying orange weapons, and a bunch of other crap I don't remember.

#4. Whatever they have been doing is working. When Bagram was attacked it was the airmen who repelled the Taliban inside the gates, Special Forces who went outside the gate in PT gear mind you, and the Army providing air cover. 

#5. You're the type of leader that rolls in and shits all over everything because you think you know everything. That's what I'm tired of. STFU and listen.

#1 Nope, he hasn't. I'd assume that he's been through OCS/TBS considering his username... and that shit puts "BMT" to shame, no matter what you think.

#2 The coast guard qualifies on the M16. Some real warriors there.

#3 Sounds like an airsoft tournament. Not a military exercise.

#4 I'll assume that you meant Security Forces, not Special Forces. Regardless, that's their job. They're trained for that. I highly doubt the personnelists were running to the armory, itching to f-stuff up. The USMC, despite its crayon addiction... would have everyone on base wanting to get in on the action, because they take warfighting seriously

#5 Pot, meet tea kettle.

Since you added points:

#6 Google MCMAP. It's not the tumbling you learned in preschool.

#7 Fail to see how that's relevant.

Edited by Kiloalpha
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VMFA187    79
1 hour ago, No2bonus said:

#1. You haven't been through AF BMT. When I went through officer field training at Lackland it was a copy of the AF BMT program...lol. I did the same dumb obstacle course at Lackland.

#2. They are required to qualify on the M16 at AF BMT. At officer field training at Lackland we shot the M9.

#3. The last week was Warrior Week which covered the aspects of being deployed in a combat environment, carrying orange weapons, and a bunch of other crap I don't remember.

#4. Whatever they have been doing is working. When Bagram was attacked it was the airmen who repelled the Taliban inside the gates, Special Forces who went outside the gate in PT gear mind you, and the Army providing air cover. Point is the enlisted guys don't need your 10 cents.

#5. You're the type of leader that rolls in and shits all over everything because you think you know everything. I want to change it because I can. Those are the types of officers that I'm tired of and why people are leaving. STFU and listen.

#6. I don't even know hand to hand combat. But at my height and weight and the amount I workout with weights I'm 100% for sure you wouldn't overpower me in a ring at my age. I don't even look my old ass age. 

#7. Who are you an exec for?

Kiloalpha hit 1-3, so I'll address 4-6, 7 doesn't warrant a response. And in truth, none of these points do, but I'm standing duty while our planes are out so I have some time to entertain this.

4 - Special Forces are Army only. I assume you mean "Special Operations Forces"? Yes, self preservation tends to take over when your life and fellow Marines/Sailors/Airmen/Soldiers lives are at stake. That being said, the "exercises" you participated in, doesn't sounds like incredibly adequate training for those of America's 21st century warrior class. And I am by no means an incredibly motivated service member, I simply see the value in all of our uniformed members experiencing training that reminds of what we can face.

5 - You have no idea what type of leader I am. To be perfectly honest, I'd prefer to only lead in a brief, debrief, and my 4-ship airborne. I have no desire for any other leadership opportunities.

6 - Ok? This isn't even worth entertaining.

1 hour ago, No2bonus said:

I dislike AF people who don't know anything about the other services we support. I guess that is what happens when you receive a deployment where you work 9-5, getting all your gym time in, and drinking all the damn cold drinks in the DFAC. 

Where did you deploy? Deploying to the UAE doesn't count despite the combat pay.

Deployments working 9-5? Was that your experience? Regardless, have you led other aircraft >1,000 miles from where your squadron is based, logged 8 hours in a single seat fighter aircraft, and prosecuted terrorist targets? Several on this board have, and it's asinine to think that you know what people have, or have not, done.

Edited by VMFA187
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raimius    50

1. Read and implement some of Bleeding Talent's recommendations.

2. Tech/leadership tracks for appropriate AFSCs.

3. Tracks will likely necessitate ending "up or out."

4. Properly man, train, equip, and fund support functions.

5. Move support activities to support organizations.

6. Try to breed professional pride and competency in both ops and support.  (AKA finance doesn't win the war, but we still expect professional work and pride in a job well done.)

7. Empower JOs/NCOs to make decisions--both in the regs and in practice.

8. Fire/reassign people who do not contribute or work to make things work.

Edited by raimius
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raimius    50
8 minutes ago, No2bonus said:

 

If he was Army then he is Special Forces. If you want to come correct if they are all combined from different services its a Spec Ops Task Force. Thanks..try again. 

Lol... Logged 8 hrs in one sortie are you kidding me? You could call me in the stack bruh every single night. Got to love when the SnapChat and Instagram kids join base ops while supposedly sitting at work making jalapeno popcorn. Your corn is burning bruh. Unless you got Bin Laden I would STFU. Those guys on the ground get the credit for killing and capturing terrorists.

Did you really come to Baseops just to tell everyone that only guys on the ground do work?

 

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VMFA187    79
1 minute ago, No2bonus said:

When one individual attempts to take credit for killing terrorists, I have a problem with that because the guys on the ground deserve some of that credit. When you kill and capture the masterminds behind 911, you have earned a lot of credit. Terrorists have to be located. They are either killed or captured and I'm not the person on the ground every single night going after them. Nobody is setting aerial traps for pilots, but the guys on the ground have been setup and ambushed going after the kill or capture list.

Last time I checked, you can bomb a dude from the air. They never saw it coming. You snatch their ass up at night while they are in their bed sends a huge message. I'm not the guy kicking in Bin Ladens door and taking him out in front of his wife and kids. You have to give respect to the guys who do this a lot.

I have as much, if not more, respect for our ground guys than most. We have to spend six months training to be rifle platoon commanders before we transition to our individual MOS - Many of my friends are infantry officers. Where did you think I was taking sole credit? I simply stated a fact. No one believes they are out there winning by themselves. Relax dude.

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Guest No2bonus   
Guest No2bonus
1 minute ago, VMFA187 said:

I have as much, if not more, respect for our ground guys than most. We have to spend six months training to be rifle platoon commanders before we transition to our individual MOS - Many of my friends are infantry officers. Where did you think I was taking sole credit? I simply stated a fact. No one believes they are out there winning by themselves. Relax dude.

Copy...lets put the forum back on topic now. We can now resume our normal programming.

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tk1313    241
1 hour ago, No2bonus said:

Copy...lets put the forum back on topic now. We can now resume our normal programming.

7 posts too late... Unless you're an insanely hot chick, you shouldn't be acting this crazy. Chill :jd:

Edited by tk1313
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