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Test group to Skip the T6?

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I’d say that’s a valid overall observation. But in this particular case, leaders are ignoring or at least not addressing the myriad of reasons there is a pilot exodus, and have instead chosen to alter a training program and methodology that is proven and has been highly successful for over 50 years. These COAs are offering up a cheap solution to the wrong problem.  

Agreed

They want to treat the symptoms not the disease

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24 minutes ago, Clark Griswold said:


Agreed

They want to treat the symptoms not the disease

The AF has clearly decided that persistent blood transfusions are the proper treatment for the arterial bleeding that they're experiencing.  Sounds like a good plan to me.

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It’s all about the near rocks and far rocks. Right now we NEED to generate new pilots. The retention issue, to me, is a different problem but obviously related because we’re talking manpower.

I can only speak for myself (off-topic) but the AF has treated me and my family very well so I might be a skewed data point. Despite this fact, I’ve had periods of time where I thought...as soon as my commitment is up I’m punching. The weird part is that it wasn’t caused by: the amount of time I was deployed, the nearly twice-yearly visits to CATM, the unpredictable homestation flying schedule, or even the bullshit language CBTs for a culture I could give two hoots about. It was the pervasive fundamental under appreciation and lack of emphasis placed on aviation. The AF does a lot of great things, but pilots/aircrew are the fking life blood of this service. The moment the rest of this enterprise stopped looking up to the people who deliver hate to our enemies is the day we lost. It’s the daily attitude of “you’re all the tip of the spear” that ruined things for me. Example: quiet hours at the airfield for an outdoor change of command for the MSG. Guess what motherfkrs...airplanes can be loud. Guess what again...we need to train because there are soft pink bodies on the other side of the ocean that need to be reduced to hair, teeth and eyeballs. 

/rant_off. 

As mentioned: we are hemorrhaging as a force but sometimes you need to put some quikclot in that wound before you make it to the OR.  

Edited by Standby
Phone grammar blows
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When everyone is the tip of the spear, you realize you are fighting with a frisbee.

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13 minutes ago, Duck said:

When everyone is the tip of the spear, you realize you are fighting with a frisbee.

Exactly. Some people should just be content being the base of the shaft...at least you still get to play. 

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1 hour ago, Standby said:

It’s all about the near rocks and far rocks. Right now we NEED to generate new pilots. The retention issue, to me, is a different problem but obviously related because we’re talking manpower.

Have to disagree, we don't need a flood of new pilots, in some ways that will make the situation worse.  The dismal and sinking retention rate means we will be short seasoned combat pilots.  The last thing we need is a flood of inexperienced greenhorns flying in combat.

I know what you are trying to say but you kind of sound like Big Blue when they say we are going to "grow our way out of this."

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2 minutes ago, ClearedHot said:

The dismal and sinking retention rate means we will be short seasoned combat pilots. 

That's a point that doesn't get much play.  Beyond the raw numbers game, the guys who are leaving are all the high time combat vets who carried OIF/OEF in the mid-late 2000s

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I’m not implying that simply making more pilots will solve the problem, but if everybody gets out and you don’t replace them...then where does that leave the force? This problem is about production. Retention is a different beast. I get that the AF is losing highly qualified pilots but when they are gone, you can’t stop producing because the retention issue still exists. It’s kicking the can but until the gubment figures out how to keep the worlds best in service, alternate ways to generate more human capital should be explored. 

Edited by Standby
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The problem is not about production, it is CLEARLY a retention issue. 

If the AF produced 2,000 pilots next year, they would still be massively foooked.  Look at the timeline, after a year of UPT (maybe less with the insane ideas floating around), Survival School, IFF, RTU...best case you get a crap ton of green barely qualified folks in 22-24 months from start date.  How long to get them MR, seasoned...or would you just start throwing them into the fight like Kamikaze pilots in WWII.  

Retention is the issue up and down the timeline, you need seasoned folks to stay around at warfighters, instructors, and LEADERS.

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9 hours ago, Duck said:

When everyone is the tip of the spear, you realize you are fighting with a frisbee.

Sounds like a title for a book you should write. Oh and lets throw in an age waiver to 70 to get 5 years from retiring airline pilots

Edited by fire4effect
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Terrible idea. Making it through the challenge of UPT is a badge of honor for every Air Force pilot and a bright spot in our hertigage. Letting some people skip the hardest parts delegitimizes all of us. My friends teaching at UPT say it’s hard enough to wash out a kid who shouldn’t pass, as they are passed off to the heavy community where they enter the crew force and become a liability for an entire airplane full of people. Now we want to take half the initial training away? We’re not a regional airline trying to fill FO seats for our next round of regional jet orders, were the US Air Force and having the title of Air Force pilot needs to mean something. 

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10 hours ago, ClearedHot said:

Have to disagree, we don't need a flood of new pilots, in some ways that will make the situation worse.  The dismal and sinking retention rate means we will be short seasoned combat pilots.  The last thing we need is a flood of inexperienced greenhorns flying in combat.

I know what you are trying to say but you kind of sound like Big Blue when they say we are going to "grow our way out of this."

Yes. It blows me away that the aircrew crisis TF is trying all these accession experiments that will get people killed when the problem is retention.  The root cause of the retention problem is the credibility gap with leadership and personnel management (A1/AFPC).  Not the only problem, but it's the most painful for them to address.

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Anyone have any insight into this?

 

Edit:

"A total of 15 officers and 5 enlisted airmen will be selected to participate in a 6 month pilot training program which will leverage technologies such as virtual reality, advanced biometrics, modernized learning techniques, artificial intelligence, and flight training in the T-6A trainer aircraft."

Edited by LookieRookie

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58 minutes ago, drumkitwes said:

We’re not a regional airline trying to fill FO seats for our next round of regional jet orders, were the US Air Force and having the title of Air Force pilot needs to mean something. 

Shack

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1 hour ago, LookieRookie said:

Edit:

"A total of 15 officers and 5 enlisted airmen will be selected to participate in a 6 month pilot training program which will leverage technologies such as virtual reality, advanced biometrics, modernized learning techniques, artificial intelligence, and flight training in the T-6A trainer aircraft."

"Virtual reality" = Sims

"Advanced biometrics"  = A flight physical

"Modernized learning techniques" = Death by cbt

"Artificial intelligence" = We paid a contractor to write software. You aren't actually a pilot, the plane flies itself just monitor it.

"Flight training in a T6" = Someone thinks this will fix all the issues and is an idea worth throwing more money at.

Sounds like testing for an rpa pipeline shakeup for whatever reason. 

Edited by LiquidSky

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The AF is putting all of its efforts into “fixing” non-problems, while doing absolutely nothing to fix the actual problems.

The actual problems: crappy QoL, excessive queep, useless non-flying 179/365 deployments, an asinine performance and promotion system, PC culture replacing aviation culture, and non-competitive pay. The AF has made only token efforts, at best, to address any of this issues that are crippling the AF.

The fake problem: UPT. We don’t need a UPT overhaul.  We don’t need a watered down UPT.  Of course UPT could use some tinkering and updating, but you don’t throw the baby out with the bath water.  Pilot training, IMO, is one of the few things we are getting right.  

So of course the AF’s “solution” is to make UPT a cluster-F and destroy the best undergrad flight program in the world, all so they can churn out hordes of chickshits to replace their best pilots.  These kind of changes will only hurt retention even more and the AF will continue to hemorrhage its experienced pilots while replacing them with masses of off-brand fake pilots who will get people killed.

Edited by flyusaf83
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3 hours ago, fire4effect said:

Sounds like a title for a book you should write. Oh and lets throw in an age waiver to 70 to get 5 years from retiring airline pilots

I can barely read, much less write a book. I have come to the conclusion that they no longer care about retention and are instead going to try and fix this by shoving $#it through the back end of the pipe. No STS.

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9 hours ago, fire4effect said:

Sounds like a title for a book you should write. Oh and lets throw in an age waiver to 70 to get 5 years from retiring airline pilots

You know, I’m actually more comfortable with an age 70 than a 19-YO watered-down  UPT grad. At least in the former there’s a great experience base to pull from. 

i agree the UPT overhaul isn’t the answer to this, either. This Task Force is lost in the weeds on total pilot numbers, and they forgot the key premise we all touted when this shit started: the funny thing about 10 years of experience is it takes 10 years to replace. 

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1 hour ago, war007afa said:

You know, I’m actually more comfortable with an age 70 than a 19-YO watered-down  UPT grad. At least in the former there’s a great experience base to pull from.

 HuggyU2 Agrees, a pic from his recent inprocessing after returning to active duty.

images?q=tbn:ANd9GcTLdl3ec7OpmjYqX1XReq1

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10 hours ago, LookieRookie said:

Anyone have any insight into this?

 

Edit:

"A total of 15 officers and 5 enlisted airmen will be selected to participate in a 6 month pilot training program which will leverage technologies such as virtual reality, advanced biometrics, modernized learning techniques, artificial intelligence, and flight training in the T-6A trainer aircraft."

The AF problem solving and thought processes are simple to understand.

Problem: AF needs an enormous amount of drone pilots. Solution: Pull actual pilots out of actual cockpits. Problem: Actual pilots don't want to be drone pilots and quit. Solution: Make E's drone pilots. Problem: There aren't enough T-6s for UPT and drone pilots. Solution: Stop training pilots who already know how to fly. Problem: "Civilian trained pilots are low quality!" Solution: Accept lower quality pilots over not enough pilots.

 

Edited by torqued

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I had a legit reply, but ClearedHot beat me to it, and took all of the air out of my balloon.

That said, my T-38 rear cockpit landing currency is good... rehacked 2 weeks ago.  Put me in, coach!

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13 hours ago, LiquidSky said:

Sounds like testing for an rpa pipeline shakeup for whatever reason. 

Because they need it. 3 months doing T-6 instrument sims in a cardboard box made to look like a cockpit and Microsoft Flight sim 1998 software is not doing the job, especially when the follow on aircraft has no actual IFR instruments. (Mil hud and moving VFR map). Most these kids are smart,  some have some stick skills and probably would have made it through regular UPT, but the quality of airmanship of the new guys is god awful. Hardware has been smashed and many of shots missed because of it. Q3, requaled in 2 or 3 days, put em back in the seat. Any other plane the knee jerk reactions would have happened years ago, but the generals need their pred porn and no flag covered coffins, so we brush it under the carpet and move along. Nothing to see here 

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On 11/30/2017 at 6:38 PM, drumkitwes said:

Terrible idea. Making it through the challenge of UPT is a badge of honor for every Air Force pilot and a bright spot in our hertigage. Letting some people skip the hardest parts delegitimizes all of us. My friends teaching at UPT say it’s hard enough to wash out a kid who shouldn’t pass, as they are passed off to the heavy community where they enter the crew force and become a liability for an entire airplane full of people. Now we want to take half the initial training away? We’re not a regional airline trying to fill FO seats for our next round of regional jet orders, were the US Air Force and having the title of Air Force pilot needs to mean something. 

Concur we are seeing a downward trend of the quality of new pilots, historically some variation of the bell curve has applied and is manageable. However, that middle ground is slowly disappearing and weighting heavily towards the lower end of the spectrum. 

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On 11/30/2017 at 5:31 PM, Standby said:

It’s all about the near rocks and far rocks. Right now we NEED to generate new pilots. The retention issue, to me, is a different problem but obviously related because we’re talking manpower.

I can only speak for myself (off-topic) but the AF has treated me and my family very well so I might be a skewed data point. Despite this fact, I’ve had periods of time where I thought...as soon as my commitment is up I’m punching. The weird part is that it wasn’t caused by: the amount of time I was deployed, the nearly twice-yearly visits to CATM, the unpredictable homestation flying schedule, or even the bullshit language CBTs for a culture I could give two hoots about. It was the pervasive fundamental under appreciation and lack of emphasis placed on aviation. The AF does a lot of great things, but pilots/aircrew are the fking life blood of this service. The moment the rest of this enterprise stopped looking up to the people who deliver hate to our enemies is the day we lost. It’s the daily attitude of “you’re all the tip of the spear” that ruined things for me. Example: quiet hours at the airfield for an outdoor change of command for the MSG. Guess what motherfkrs...airplanes can be loud. Guess what again...we need to train because there are soft pink bodies on the other side of the ocean that need to be reduced to hair, teeth and eyeballs. 

/rant_off. 

As mentioned: we are hemorrhaging as a force but sometimes you need to put some quikclot in that wound before you make it to the OR.  

Shack! Also, it’s a combination of these things that’s driving people out.  0-6 walked into our deployed squadron today and brought the mustache hammer.  My buddy insists that at least 3 people made the decision to punch after that (hint: it’s not about moustaches, it’s the fact that you as an 0-6 seem to care more about that than combat missions.)

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  My son is a CFI, has all the required quals  to enter into this program, and he's currently flying as an F/O in a regional jet.  After spending the last 5 years following his progress I can tell you that there is a clear difference in the way civilians are trained versus the Military.  I witness the differences every year at my airline job when it's checkride time.  The difference is, civilian training is low threat,  train to proficiency.  Unless your a real flight safety threat, they will give a student many chances to pass a phase, or checkride. If you screw up your V-1 cut, "let's try that again, and this time remember to step on the correct rudder". Each year at my airline, I am 110% prepared for my checkride, I have all the gouge, intel, and scenarios.  Yet every year I'll run into a  civilian  guy and I'll offer my gouge, and his response is, "I don't want to know what's on the checkride, I rather see how I'd do without ithe intel" My reaction is always, "What alternate universe did you grow up in!"  Many of them were trained to proficiency, so check rides are considered a non-threat event.  This breeds a more lax,  less prepared, less aware , mindset  in my opinion.  If this program succeeds the civvy pilots that succeed will have to be very good,  highly prepared, and the type who goes above and beyond what's normally expected.  It myay be an eye opener for many of them when they find out you don't get 4 or 5 strikes before you strike out. 

Edited by Vito
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