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F-16 Students skip Phase III

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Apparently this plan is being discussed on the CAF FB page, complete with confirmations from dudes on the Air Staff that it’s true?  So I’ve heard at least.  Can anyone confirm?  I just can’t believe this is real. 

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Not a single line IP should say the word time line. That's for DOs/CCs to argue about, maybe. If the line IPs aren't holding the standard,  we're all ed. There's a bar, either hold people to it or go get some remedial training on being an IP.


The problem with this is when we hold the standards on the students and send them to a board, we are told somehow we screwed their training away due to some asinine numbers problem, and boom. Dude that couldn’t cut it and had multiple 88 and 89 rides is back in UPT feeling untouchable. The flight commanders and line IPs on my side of AETC have been neutered which brings the thought process of “I’ll pass him because it doesn’t matter what I do, he’ll progress through upt anyway.”

It’s a shame and the student and product suffer in the end.

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Don't worry they are also trying to "suggest" aka force, more PA's in training as well.   So lets eliminate Phase III, PA more of Phase II and when they show up to PIT do the same thing.   I don't see a single problem with this at all...   It's okay its like my PT test, when times are FAT I have to slam my chest on the ground to get a push up counted, but now that times are lean they count any motion I make no matter how slight.   Training is being shaped to fill the body requirement, actual ability and skill level be damned.  Also if your an IP don't even dare open your mouth unless you have "Data" to back it up because you know we all sit around collecting ing data points in addition to our additional duties, and primary duty.  .... Yup winner winner.

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6 hours ago, Boomer6 said:

Apparently there is a push to evaluate moving all of UPT to virtual reality training, or so goes the rumor. KAUS wouldn't be bad for upt though..

There is an AETC Det.

My guess is they'll PCS studs after they bed down IPs and support equipment within 6 months.

It's not the only test bed. The SECAF, CSAF and AETC/CC have publically mentioned this potential COA to fix the production side of the pilot problem (Aka decrease pilot training length).

Change of AvB amount to business case analysis (NDAA FY18 mandated), changing pilot QoL through policy easing/protections, and increase of ACIP are meant to slow attrition. 

The =<1,000 pilot voluntary recall is meant to assist in fixing the absorption problem by keeping IPs in flying squadrons, not on staffs. Previously retired geezers coming back get staff work or schoolhouse flying. 

Best of luck USAF,  you're going to need it. Luck (or lack thereof via previously self-inflicted policies) and timing (economy) are everything...you taught me that...it's still true now. Now bloom where you're planted! What kind of desert rose might we get!?

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Here's my take:  AETC wants to evaluate whether or not UPT in its current form can withstand a change when it comes to CAF-bound pilots.  Maybe it'll be a paradigm shift.

Data points:
- The T-38 replacement decision was recently delayed by at least one year

- Pilot shortage

- Changes in how fighter aviation is going to look in the future (think: how the F-35/F-22 are employed vice traditional "VMS 2/4-ships")

- Budget constraints

 

I wouldn't be surprised if they're hoping to go to a one-airframe UPT that's bolstered by sims to transition CAF inbounds to "fast jet" flying.

 

I don't think it's a good idea, but we shall see.

 

Hopefully the IPs for the "test case" students (4 Tucson F-16 B-coursers, from what I hear) will HOOK THE SHIT OUT OF THEM and this will end.

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Why the hell are they not at least pulling all the 16 drivers instructing in 38s, in droids back at least first?

Don't FAIP any 38 studs to the 38 (or 6) but offer to capable and motivated heavy drivers, T-1 grads, a chance to qual and then instruct in the 38 (to include a chance to attend IFF if it is in the needs of the AF) with the understanding the devil will get his pound of flesh for this crossflow.  

Another idea that could work (also would be no fun for those having to do it) would be to shift work schedules, some dudes fly & work weekends and Monday/Tuesday are there weekends.  Would boost your output, needs more manpower (mil and contract) but could be done with $$$ but keeps the aircraft and training maximized.  

And if you really wanted to get jiggy with it, look for a short / medium term lease option for a common fast jet trainer, L-39 or similar, and set up a 3 year program to produce some studs in another training program.  Get 30 aircraft, set up 3 flights in one super det at a SW base (DM, Kirtland, etc...) and fly 7 days a week.  Need about 50 ARC instructors, 3 year ADOS orders (no loss of ARC affiliation) and a great bonus (50K per year).  No sim, extra flight hours, make it work.  Not run thru a BCA and would cost some serious $$$ but would clear at least part of the problem.  Probably about 500 mil for the whole program (over 3 years).

 

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1 hour ago, RTB said:

Apparently this plan is being discussed on the CAF FB page, complete with confirmations from dudes on the Air Staff that it’s true?  So I’ve heard at least.  Can anyone confirm?  I just can’t believe this is real. 

I can confirm. 

My favorite quote:

Pilot 1: "Who thinks this is a good idea?" 

Pilot 2: "Dipshits on the staff, that's who." 

Staff monkey: "Pilot 2, as a member of the staff, please look me up on Global and give me a call. This is a complex problem and bumper stickers do not work." 

Edited by Jaded
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13 minutes ago, Jaded said:

I can confirm. 

My favorite quote:

Pilot 1: "Who thinks this is a good idea?" 

Pilot 2: "Dipshits on the staff, that's who." 

Staff monkey: "Pilot 2, as a member of the staff, please look me up on Global and give me a call. This is a complex problem and bumper stickers do not work." 

Unbelievable.  This is one for the record books, under all time stupid ideas

 

 

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33 minutes ago, Clark Griswold said:

Why the hell are they not at least pulling all the 16 drivers instructing in 38s, in droids back at least first?

Don't FAIP any 38 studs to the 38 (or 6) but offer to capable and motivated heavy drivers, T-1 grads, a chance to qual and then instruct in the 38 (to include a chance to attend IFF if it is in the needs of the AF) with the understanding the devil will get his pound of flesh for this crossflow.  

Another idea that could work (also would be no fun for those having to do it) would be to shift work schedules, some dudes fly & work weekends and Monday/Tuesday are there weekends.  Would boost your output, needs more manpower (mil and contract) but could be done with $$$ but keeps the aircraft and training maximized.  

And if you really wanted to get jiggy with it, look for a short / medium term lease option for a common fast jet trainer, L-39 or similar, and set up a 3 year program to produce some studs in another training program.  Get 30 aircraft, set up 3 flights in one super det at a SW base (DM, Kirtland, etc...) and fly 7 days a week.  Need about 50 ARC instructors, 3 year ADOS orders (no loss of ARC affiliation) and a great bonus (50K per year).  No sim, extra flight hours, make it work.  Not run thru a BCA and would cost some serious $$$ but would clear at least part of the problem.  Probably about 500 mil for the whole program (over 3 years).

 

Really, REALLY want to get jiggy with it? How bout we let dudes flying trash operate "single seat"? That'll fix MAFs problem overnight. Slides = GREEN. I mean that is the lowest hanging fruit with ultra-high payoff, right?

Edited by ViperMan

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2 hours ago, B.L said:

 


The problem with this is when we hold the standards on the students and send them to a board, we are told somehow we screwed their training away due to some asinine numbers problem, and boom. Dude that couldn’t cut it and had multiple 88 and 89 rides is back in UPT feeling untouchable. The flight commanders and line IPs on my side of AETC have been neutered which brings the thought process of “I’ll pass him because it doesn’t matter what I do, he’ll progress through upt anyway.”

It’s a shame and the student and product suffer in the end.

 

Yup-- the system is self perpetuating and fucked from top to bottom.  

MX doesn't produce jets so Stan doesn't fly as frequently as necessary to build required skills

Stan hooks the rides he does get to fly

Stan goes to CR

Stan points at frequent breaks in training as the reason he hooked rides

Stan gets reinstated

Stan graduates with sub-par skills

 

I can't really fault Stan too much in this scenario.  Maybe Stan was a weak-ish swimmer, but that is why the UPT syllabus is structured in the way that it is.  Frequency of repetition is key to acquiring the skills necessary to graduate UPT.  The half-life on flying skills is REALLY short at that stage in a dude's flying career, so if Stan sits for a week or two between flights, or flies the BARE minimum to avoid a syllabus defined break in training it becomes unreasonable to expect Stan to gain/maintain the expected proficiency.  All these half cooked "increase UPT throughput" seem to be based on an assumption of iron the simply isn't there.  MX is on their ass, and the jets that ARE able to fly are gaining hours so fast that as soon as MX produces a new jet, one of the beaten mule jets that has been carrying a disproportionate share of the flight hours vs what it was programmed to fly goes down and the cycle repeats.  There are a LOT of chickens coming home to roost at the same time with the pilot issue.

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5 hours ago, Clark Griswold said:

Why the hell are they not at least pulling all the 16 drivers instructing in 38s, in droids back at least first?

Because there is an INCREDIBLE demand signal in the middle of a war and the seniors have tried MULTIPLE times to reduce RPA ops only to be told to pound sand.

The entire system is in crisis and they did it to themselves.

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1 hour ago, ClearedHot said:

The entire system is in crisis and they did it to themselves.

Yup.  Top to bottom, every side.  They can no longer rob Peter to pay Paul because Peter is flat broke too.  

Now if we were to cut down on dubious "war" requirements, that would help a lot, but so long as half or more of the AF population uses (or has used) "combat leadership" as a springboard to career progression that will never change.

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Another rumor to add to the pile, I’m hearing 11Fs will no long be going to T-38 PIT. T-38 White Jet tours will be open to anyone, with or without 38 experience in UPT. Obviously doesn’t apply to IFF... yet lol.

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Also they are looking at throwing U.S. studs through foreign pilot training which is VERY different than our system.

But hey, the Arabs pay for their guys to go through and learn to loop in fingertip so why not the U.S.

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49 minutes ago, Duck said:

Another rumor to add to the pile, I’m hearing 11Fs will no long be going to T-38 PIT. T-38 White Jet tours will be open to anyone, with or without 38 experience in UPT. Obviously doesn’t apply to IFF... yet lol.

Perhaps just me but not very earth shattering.  It was only 10-15 years ago that we went to the 11F or 11B only folks in the T-38 model. 

The vast majority of my T-38 IPs were from heavies.

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7 hours ago, ViperMan said:

Really, REALLY want to get jiggy with it? How bout we let dudes flying trash operate "single seat"? That'll fix MAFs problem overnight. Slides = GREEN. I mean that is the lowest hanging fruit with ultra-high payoff, right?

Not exactly what I was saying and I don't doubt there are some unintended consequences.

Will every heavy or multi-crew pilot be able to be an IP in the 38?  Of course not but some can and would, that would alleviate some pressure.  Probably not much but I were CSAF, any help would be appreciated. 

I am not suggesting in this discussion for a direct heavy to viper program (via 38s), although I don't have a problem with it, I am suggesting that an official, established program to recruit capable heavy pilots to first instruct in the T-38 is a good idea, IMO.

2 hours ago, ClearedHot said:

Because there is an INCREDIBLE demand signal in the middle of a war and the seniors have tried MULTIPLE times to reduce RPA ops only to be told to pound sand.

The entire system is in crisis and they did it to themselves.

Yup, so let's do the opposite of what they have been doing the past 15 years.

7 minutes ago, ClearedHot said:

Perhaps just me but not very earth shattering.  It was only 10-15 years ago that we went to the 11F or 11B only folks in the T-38 model. 

The vast majority of my T-38 IPs were from heavies.

Were they that bad? (Rhetorical)

You've hung up your jersey and your on the issue from the other side now,  I am passing mile marker 18 this year so I have a tad bit of perspective also, there are heavy pilots who hold to high standards, can handle stressful situations, multi-task and prioritize.  

I think that it has become canon in the modern AF that only dudes who went 38s out of SUPT Phase II can do that, I beg to differ and request your two cents on the matter.

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4 hours ago, ClearedHot said:

Because there is an INCREDIBLE demand signal in the middle of a war and the seniors have tried MULTIPLE times to reduce RPA ops only to be told to pound sand.

The entire system is in crisis and they did it to themselves.

Lol, right!

They could start by not sending ARC Fighter squadrons on these bullshit TSPs, to go sit and do ABSOLUTELY NOTHING.  Use us to supplement the AD on deployments to actual combat ops and give the AD squadrons a break/spread out their deployments.  

Edited by SocialD

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11 hours ago, Ram said:

Hopefully the IPs for the "test case" students (4 Tucson F-16 B-coursers, from what I hear) will HOOK THE SHIT OUT OF THEM and this will end.

Challenge accepted. Where’d you hear this?  Tucson guys heard the rumor it’s a Kelly thing. I think we may all be getting ahead of ourselves here. 

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2 hours ago, Clark Griswold said:

 I think that it has become canon in the modern AF that only dudes who went 38s out of SUPT Phase II can do that, I beg to differ and request your two cents on the matter.

Yes, a none CAF guy can teach an SP to land and keep them from hurting themselves. As several posters above have pointed out studs are getting to IFF/B-course and they can't think or even fly tactical. This isn't a pissing contest. It's a matter of experience. Can a heavy guy go learn to fly a -38, yes. Have there been successful cross flows before, yes. Is it more likely a stud will be better at thinking/flying tactical if he flies with IPs who have been doing it for the last at least 4+ years, or from someone that did it for 5 months at PIT (rhetorical)? On top of that there is a different mentality from students when they're taught by CAF vs. non CAF IPs. If you doubt this ask any -38 IP, or SP for that matter, the kind of growing pains studs go through after moving from 99.69% non CAF IPs in T-6s over to the -38 side. Also, the majority of heavy guys coming back as -38 IPs right now are being given additional rides/instruction in TI because it's very much needed in some cases.

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3 hours ago, Duck said:

Another rumor to add to the pile, I’m hearing 11Fs will no long be going to T-38 PIT. T-38 White Jet tours will be open to anyone, with or without 38 experience in UPT. Obviously doesn’t apply to IFF... yet lol.

If they make it through PIT then what does it matter?  Heavy guys go onto to fly T-38s at TPS/with the U-2 and I'm sure some become IPs.  If you're a good instructor then you can learn to teach anything you've been qual'd in.  

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4 hours ago, Duck said:

Another rumor to add to the pile, I’m hearing 11Fs will no long be going to T-38 PIT. T-38 White Jet tours will be open to anyone, with or without 38 experience in UPT. Obviously doesn’t apply to IFF... yet lol.

So an 11F will PCS straight to a white jet base and go into IQT/MQT?  Meh...probably more doable than skipping Phase III

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1 hour ago, Boomer6 said:

Yes, a none CAF guy can teach an SP to land and keep them from hurting themselves. As several posters above have pointed out studs are getting to IFF/B-course and they can't think or even fly tactical. This isn't a pissing contest. It's a matter of experience. Can a heavy guy go learn to fly a -38, yes. Have there been successful cross flows before, yes. Is it more likely a stud will be better at thinking/flying tactical if he flies with IPs who have been doing it for the last at least 4+ years, or from someone that did it for 5 months at PIT (rhetorical)? On top of that there is a different mentality from students when they're taught by CAF vs. non CAF IPs. If you doubt this ask any -38 IP, or SP for that matter, the kind of growing pains studs go through after moving from 99.69% non CAF IPs in T-6s over to the -38 side. Also, the majority of heavy guys coming back as -38 IPs right now are being given additional rides/instruction in TI because it's very much needed in some cases.

I guess I wasn't able to snuff out calling line formation tactical when I was in white jet world, too bad.  It's a term I have only heard at white jet bases, which tells me it needs to go.

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2 hours ago, Boomer6 said:

Yes, a none CAF guy can teach an SP to land and keep them from hurting themselves. As several posters above have pointed out studs are getting to IFF/B-course and they can't think or even fly tactical. This isn't a pissing contest. It's a matter of experience. Can a heavy guy go learn to fly a -38, yes. Have there been successful cross flows before, yes. Is it more likely a stud will be better at thinking/flying tactical if he flies with IPs who have been doing it for the last at least 4+ years, or from someone that did it for 5 months at PIT (rhetorical)? On top of that there is a different mentality from students when they're taught by CAF vs. non CAF IPs. If you doubt this ask any -38 IP, or SP for that matter, the kind of growing pains studs go through after moving from 99.69% non CAF IPs in T-6s over to the -38 side. Also, the majority of heavy guys coming back as -38 IPs right now are being given additional rides/instruction in TI because it's very much needed in some cases.

I'm not doubting there would be or are growing pains (in cycling non-CAF pilots to T-38 IP positions) nor am I doubting there is a cultural difference that is imbued in students when their instructors have a CAF / pointy nose background, my point is to say that this is a tactic that can be used to deal with this immediate, particular problem (F-16 pilot shortage requiring new approaches to manning) not as a wholesale change in policy.  

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Forgive me if I don't have this correct, but the premise is that high performing dudes in T-6s will go straight to F-15/16/22/35?

What about the dudes who perform well in initial flight training only because they have a ton of flight time? I know countless dudes who selected tailhook (T-45) based on that premise and attrited because they didn't have the capacity to do the basics required in fighter aviation.

I can see all sorts of issues with this approach if it comes to fruition. We're already seeing a decline in capacity of our average Cat 1 Hornet pilot showing up to the RAG compared with five years ago. I couldn't imagine what it may look like for you guys with this implemented.

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3 minutes ago, Clark Griswold said:

I'm not doubting there would be or are growing pains (in cycling non-CAF pilots to T-38 IP positions) nor am I doubting there is a cultural difference that is imbued in students when their instructors have a CAF / pointy nose background, my point is to say that this is a tactic that can be used to deal with this immediate, particular problem (F-16 pilot shortage requiring new approaches to manning) not as a wholesale change in policy.  

It'd probably be cheaper, easier, and more effective to give the CAF dudes more incentive to stay. The result of this, if implemented, will have a terrible effect on the fleet gun squadrons (or whatever you guys call them).

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