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Air Force to begin testing enlisted pilots

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2 hours ago, Hacker said:

So let's see just how many different possible solutions the AF can come up with to sidestep fixing the actual retention issues.

It's absurd.  The amount of time, money and energy going into ideas that will NOT fix the exodus is just staggering.

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Enlisted Pilots? We already have a program where motivated E's can become pilots, it's called OTS.  It works too. I know because I'm one of them.  

If an E thinks going to college while working is too tough....then pilot training will be impossible.  

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On 12/8/2017 at 8:36 AM, jonlbs said:

www.taskandpurpose.com/no-enlisted-pilots-air-force/

 

little more detailed info on the plan

If one believes per the article that a) there has just been poor communication about this aspect of the test and b) that they legitimately want data points on learning modes (and not trying to actually build an enlisted -> pilot program) then this is just a big flag that they are investing heavily in Instructional Design to optimize pilot production. In any case I think everyone is pretty clear that big AF has given up on the retention piece and is now in panic mode to make enough pilots fast enough to get us through what will be a very painful ripping of the bandaid as experiences guys continue to pull chocks. No matter how you slice it it's not a good signal.

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They say the E’s will be right out of basic and will not have a degree, and that when they are done, regardless of the outcome, they will go on to their previously assigned tech school. Because they just want to test their ability to do the program without having a degree.  Even if that is truly the legitimate reason for testing the E’s...why? We don’t have a shortage of degreed folks wanting to apply to UPT, applicants far exceed slots. So....why?  

Edited by RTB
Grammar not so good
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32 minutes ago, RTB said:

They say the E’s will be right out of basic and will not have a degree, and that when they are done, regardless of the outcome, they will go on to their previously assigned tech school. Because they just want to test their ability to do the program without having a degree.  Even if that is truly the legitimate reason for testing the E’s...why? We don’t have a shortage of degreed folks wanting to apply to UPT, applicants far exceed slots. So....why?  

So, train pilots and then send them to tech school to finish out their 4-6 year enlistment?

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47 minutes ago, HU&W said:

So, train pilots and then send them to tech school to finish out their 4-6 year enlistment?

Apparently.  According to one of the “test designers” posting on TPN. 

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If it was me, I'd offer them some sort of carrot.  What a waste if some 19 year old showed natural talent and a great attitude, and then got sent to Finance or some BS.

What's the incentive to try and succeed?  Such a program is undoubtedly reliant on self-motivation to study, chairfly, seek feedback, etc.  If Amn Snuffy thinks the outcome is the same regardless, he's just gonna chase girls and beer like the rest of us and not try to make it work.

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Without any insights to NCR's thinking...

To me this proposal along with other programs floated by HAF serve two purposes:

1.  Collect data now in case they need to quickly ramp up pilot production in case of a national emergency (draft?).

2.  Knowing these programs won't lead to any meaningful retention results, they can tell congress that they've exhausted their options to retain pilots, and the only choice left is stop loss (as mentioned previously by others on this forum).

Just a theory

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13 hours ago, panchbarnes said:

Without any insights to NCR's thinking...

To me this proposal along with other programs floated by HAF serve two purposes:

1.  Collect data now in case they need to quickly ramp up pilot production in case of a national emergency (draft?).

2.  Knowing these programs won't lead to any meaningful retention results, they can tell congress that they've exhausted their options to retain pilots, and the only choice left is stop loss (as mentioned previously by others on this forum).

Just a theory

Pilots and drafts don't go together anymore.  We'll be out of airframes long before the draft selects the first pilot for whatever training is left to be had.  

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On 12/9/2017 at 3:50 PM, RTB said:

They say the E’s will be right out of basic and will not have a degree, and that when they are done, regardless of the outcome, they will go on to their previously assigned tech school. Because they just want to test their ability to do the program without having a degree.  Even if that is truly the legitimate reason for testing the E’s...why? We don’t have a shortage of degreed folks wanting to apply to UPT, applicants far exceed slots. So....why?  

Hmmh, You must think getting an A&P is a piece of cake and it only takes a year of formal training to produce a fully qualified Crew Chief and or specialist.

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Hmmh, You must think getting an A&P is a piece of cake and it only takes a year of formal training to produce a fully qualified Crew Chief and or specialist.

I don’t think he’s saying that. Why are we wasting 6-9 months of these test subjects’ time with no upside to them or the Air Force?
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3 hours ago, Prosuper said:

Hmmh, You must think getting an A&P is a piece of cake and it only takes a year of formal training to produce a fully qualified Crew Chief and or specialist.

Easy killer, not at all.  I have huge respect for crew chiefs.  Always amazed me that no matter whether it was 100 degrees out or 5, blazing sun or freezing rain, they were out working and getting code 1 jets ready.  I still keep in contact with my crew chief from the first jet I had my name on.  Not meant as a dig on them at all.  My point is exactly what ihtfp06 says below.  What is the point of testing them if there is no plan to start using HS grads for pilots?  If you just want to test the way a HS grad learns (as they have said), why do it as part of a pilot training program?  Aren't there other training pipelines that could test such things?  

1 hour ago, ihtfp06 said:


I don’t think he’s saying that. Why are we wasting 6-9 months of these test subjects’ time with no upside to them or the Air Force?

Exactly!  Seems like a complete waste of time.  For them and and AF.  Unless there are actually unspoken plans to dramatically expand the pool of eligible UPT candidates.

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My ops group has stiff-armed the majority of bullshit additional duties out there.  The officers are all concentrated on primarily mission-related duties as well as flying. There is so much (worthwhile) work to be done to improve our platform and way of doing business. We couldn't afford to have a "flying-only" guy that doesn't help out with that.

Pilots don't just pilot. Flying a plane is hard, but regular Joes can be taught. Learning all the technical shit is doable. Handling EPs is tougher. Formation is tougher. Doing all that in a jet is tougher. Doing that in the middle of the Pacific is tougher. Being responsible for multiple aircraft doing so is tougher. Add in weather. Add in GBAD and air threats and their intent to employ against you. Oh yeah, employment, that's why we're here. What, where, why, when and how will we use the thing? Meld that with everybody else's plan in real time. Who figures all that out and takes the responsibility for doing so? Who figures out how we're going to do that tomorrow and in ten years? The pilots (and navs)It sure isn't some mystical puppet master, and if it is, he's a pilot.

So yeah, I want somebody with the ability to graduate fucking college first.

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24 minutes ago, Majestik Møøse said:

My ops group has stiff-armed the majority of bullshit additional duties out there.  The officers are all concentrated on primarily mission-related duties as well as flying. There is so much (worthwhile) work to be done to improve our platform and way of doing business. We couldn't afford to have a "flying-only" guy that doesn't help out with that.

Pilots don't just pilot. Flying a plane is hard, but regular Joes can be taught. Learning all the technical shit is doable. Handling EPs is tougher. Formation is tougher. Doing all that in a jet is tougher. Doing that in the middle of the Pacific is tougher. Being responsible for multiple aircraft doing so is tougher. Add in weather. Add in GBAD and air threats and their intent to employ against you. Oh yeah, employment, that's why we're here. What, where, why, when and how will we use the thing? Meld that with everybody else's plan in real time. Who figures all that out and takes the responsibility for doing so? Who figures out how we're going to do that tomorrow and in ten years? The pilots (and navs)It sure isn't some mystical puppet master, and if it is, he's a pilot.

So yeah, I want somebody with the ability to graduate fucking college first.

Nailed it, some of the snowflakes on JQP’s  article on this matter stand to benefit by reading what you just said.

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18 hours ago, RTB said:

Easy killer, not at all.  I have huge respect for crew chiefs.  Always amazed me that no matter whether it was 100 degrees out or 5, blazing sun or freezing rain, they were out working and getting code 1 jets ready.  I still keep in contact with my crew chief from the first jet I had my name on.  Not meant as a dig on them at all.  My point is exactly what ihtfp06 says below.  What is the point of testing them if there is no plan to start using HS grads for pilots?  If you just want to test the way a HS grad learns (as they have said), why do it as part of a pilot training program?  Aren't there other training pipelines that could test such things?  

Exactly!  Seems like a complete waste of time.  For them and and AF.  Unless there are actually unspoken plans to dramatically expand the pool of eligible UPT candidates.

Then why are they taking kids straight out of basic, most just left High School and we all know the public school system does not get kids ready for college level work. Will they freeze out 7 level folks who most already have some college or a degree to just to make sure the young 18 year old are set up to fail so they can back to Congress and say we tried it and it doesn't work. Maybe we should look at the Israeli system of pilot selection where they look at the whole countries age specific population , service is mandatory, pick the best ones even though they only had 2 years in the infantry and get it over with mentality. The ASVAB would be a good metric to use like it is used for every other AFSC. 

Also would it be a total waste of money to send students through the training and completion of it just to say we changed our minds your going back to finance? What happens if they find the kid is exceptional, will he be regulated to the right seat his whole career? Will the AF make them Warrants? Can they transfer to the Army if the AF kills whole thing so their flight training does not go waste? What is the cost now per student?  

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most people have issue with this because the AF isn't solving a defined problem set.

problem: pilot retention

AF solution: enlisted pilots

huh?

i think a lot of us are skeptical that the AF is shooting for angles behind the scenes and not showing all the cards they're wanting to play and a lot of us are calling bull shit on their actions. big blue has a history of bluffing with 7 2 and now they're getting called by senior pilots holding A A.

which makes me think this isn’t about enlisted pilots but something else. 

Edited by BashiChuni
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I am wondering why the promotion rate for Majors has slowed to 191 per month when we are supposedly jettisoning Majors for the Airlines at record pace. Could it be that Big Blue is expecting a backlog of O-4s due to an impending Stop-Loss?

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2 hours ago, Duck said:

I am wondering why the promotion rate for Majors has slowed to 191 per month when we are supposedly jettisoning Majors for the Airlines at record pace. Could it be that Big Blue is expecting a backlog of O-4s due to an impending Stop-Loss?

That’s actually a quicker pace than average.  My year group was something like 113 per month till the last two months of the year, when the last 900 or so numbers were pickled off in mass chunks.

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That’s actually a quicker pace than average.  My year group was something like 113 per month till the last two months of the year, when the last 900 or so numbers were pickled off in mass chunks.

I thought I remember last years group being like 260ish a month, but maybe I am just not remembering correctly.

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I thought I remember last years group being like 260ish a month, but maybe I am just not remembering correctly.

You’re remembering correctly.

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On December 13, 2017 at 2:35 PM, Prosuper said:

Then why are they taking kids straight out of basic, most just left High School and we all know the public school system does not get kids ready for college level work. Will they freeze out 7 level folks who most already have some college or a degree to just to make sure the young 18 year old are set up to fail so they can back to Congress and say we tried it and it doesn't work. Maybe we should look at the Israeli system of pilot selection where they look at the whole countries age specific population , service is mandatory, pick the best ones even though they only had 2 years in the infantry and get it over with mentality. The ASVAB would be a good metric to use like it is used for every other AFSC. 

Also would it be a total waste of money to send students through the training and completion of it just to say we changed our minds your going back to finance? What happens if they find the kid is exceptional, will he be regulated to the right seat his whole career? Will the AF make them Warrants? Can they transfer to the Army if the AF kills whole thing so their flight training does not go waste? What is the cost now per student?  

The following valid reasons have already been stated:

1. We can always get thousands of college grads so sign up to be officers and pilots. We can't retain the experienced ones because we don't pay them enough / they're assigned too much queep.

2. We love it when enlisted guys are motivated enough to become pilots. We've been rewarding hundreds per year with pilot slots and commissions for the past 50 years. This new enlisted pilot program shows neither an appreciation to enlisted guys (because we're not paying them) nor an understanding of #1.

3. There is a lot more required of being a pilot (ref my previous post) than a good ASVAB score, especially since that test is focused on nuts and bolts. High school doesn't measure anything but GPA.  We don't pick officers based solely on GPA, or for anything other single measure. Some other country does it differently? IDGAF. European and Israeli "high school" grads are different than ours. They also go to a multi-year academy-like officer training school. The Dutch one is 1.5 years, IDK about the others.

 

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IMHO this is just the next step of senior leadership telling flyers to quit because they will be replaced.

It makes sense bringing fresh from basic trainees because it will give data on what is necessary/how far we can cut to produce some sort of pilot.

I think a lot of people here are looking at this the wrong way.  The AF won't say it but the  question is how much can UPT be shortened to make 1600 pilots per year number the new normal. That's what this experiment is for.

In other words, this will enable the AF to care even less about retention and maintain the status quo, because faces in spaces, you're replaceable, red line/blue line, yadda yadda yadda.

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If a bachelors isnt needed then will they stop pushing a masters degree in the future? Or will these guys have to do a BS by correspondence to make 1Lt...

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