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afaf

Queep Contractors, we got some, do you?

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Just looking to see if any one else has gotten contractors from Decypher to tackle additional duties? 

The background story is: my squadron's rumor mill said that there was a contract written and the Ops Group would get some contractors to take care of the unkillable additional duties.   Theory being this would free up bodies for the flying schedule.  Word was that if they actually showed up they would be parceled out among the OG and we might get 1, with no timeline given.  Well, 1 March rolls around and we get phone call at 0800 telling us all 3 rumored contractors are showing up today for our squadron, get ready.  These guys show up after lunch without anything.  No CAC's, no email accounts, hell 1 didn't even have base access.  The contract (we found it) specifies that all this was supposed to be set up before hand and they were to even show up with secret clearance through JPAS in order to begin helping the squadron.  Contract specifies a UDM, scheduler, and program manager as their duties.  But without any of their basics being taken care of we're now scrambling around trying to figure out what type of paperwork it takes to get someone a CAC card, plugging contractors into JPAS, and figuring out how to get someone base access despite the fact that they now have CACs (solved that one).  Wing info sec has had a fit that they are even in the building shadowing their offices, and we're talking 2-3 weeks before they could even begin to be cleared by them to do work.  That's if everything with JPAS and OPM goes perfectly.  Nevermind, OPM is more than a year behind on background checks.  

Basically these queep rangers have created a bunch of extra work.  I think the idea is good to provide some unflying continuity to the offices that need it, and to eat some additional duties.  However, its pretty bad that the air force is so over-queeped and undermanned that contractors were the solution.  What's more the knee jerk of throwing unqualified bodies into the gap would some how make less work, never mind the glaring breach of the contract.  I don't blame the 3 who showed up by any means they simply signed up to do a job (their all prior military).  This is textbook good idea, poor execution.  

Is anyone else's units experiencing this, or solved the issues already?  Thanks for the rant, and advice if anyone has it.      

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That sounds poorly handled compared to our wing. The only thing we had to wait on was the JPAS EAL for vault access. Everything else was good, and they were ready to work day 1. In fact, in one day my contractor learned what our LT struggled 6 months with. 

 

We have two scheduling, one training, and one stan/eval for the squadron through a different company, and they’re all outperforming expectations. 

 

I’m not the POC who has answers, but providing a data point that it can work with less hassle. I can figure out who our point man was, if needed. 

Edited by SurelySerious

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We've got a Stan/eval guy, a training guy, and a scheduler in our combat squadron. Unfortunately, our FTU, with half the manning, wasn't eligible for contact help because they're "not an operational unit".

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20 hours ago, afaf said:

"Words" ...

Thanks for the rant, and advice if anyone has it.      

Spend the time fixing the glitch, take care of them well until then, and hopefully they'll take even better care than you.  Show them what it means to bend over backwards to take care of things.  Push feedback to CCs and up.

I've had the pleasure and displeasure of working with non-mil and contractors are a mixed bag.  Nice thing is that a contractor can be easily replaced and saw it happen (very quickly too).  But a civ/cntr in training as the backbone, day to day guy... priceless.  A civ in scheduling, nice.  A civ doing all that other bullshit, like those dumbass 6-mo inspection checklists, that'll pay for itself. 

My idea, make all execs in all levels civs and you'll have mind numbing, glass breaking, career shattering, OMFG the world is ending, reactions!!!!

But who knows, if the AF sees itself paying more for queep, maybe they'll get rid of it.  HA!  There's my joke for the year, had you all going, huh.

Out

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Execs in all squadrons used to be non-flyers. There was a 97E and then the 1-2 “flying execs” that were really only there to make sure the 97E didn’t screw up the OPRs.

Then the exec “need” just kept growing and growing after they got rid of the 97Es.

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Don’t forget how great a civilian mobility guy is. And a civilian to open and close the vault. Add in a training, scheduling, front office, and stan/eval guy and that’s how a flying squadron can be utterly transformed by adding just 6 people.

Hopefully the era of the pilot-bureaucrat is waning.

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7 hours ago, ThreeHoler said:

Execs in all squadrons used to be non-flyers. There was a 97E and then the 1-2 “flying execs” that were really only there to make sure the 97E didn’t screw up the OPRs.

Then the exec “need” just kept growing and growing after they got rid of the 97Es.

Also, word on the former-Comm side is a lot of the execs were Comm O's as well.  I remember my first assignment (still an E) the Wing King's Exec was Mx.  Wasn't until mid-2000's it started looking like a "promotion opportunity."

But I may be mis-remembering when it happened.

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I like how the solution is not, "eliminate the queep." It's "spend an extra $300,000 a year per squadron to do the queep."  

  • Upvote 2

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On 3/2/2018 at 10:32 PM, SurelySerious said:

That sounds poorly handled compared to our wing. The only thing we had to wait on was the JPAS EAL for vault access. Everything else was good, and they were ready to work day 1. In fact, in one day my contractor learned what our LT struggled 6 months with. 

 

We have two scheduling, one training, and one stan/eval for the squadron through a different company, and they’re all outperforming expectations. 

 

I’m not the POC who has answers, but providing a data point that it can work with less hassle. I can figure out who our point man was, if needed. 

Yeah, I spent most of my Friday working with a contracting officer at USAFE working on forms and some contracting computer system.  Thinking that a CAC would equal base access.  Now I'm trying to figure out what forms SF is telling me they need to send back to their corporate headquarters in TX to be sent to some German office in Stuttgart to come back here to finally give them base access.  While our security manager bends over backwards to figure out how to get their company to load information that should have been in JPAS already.  

I get if they these are fully up to speed the potential is to make our lives much easier, but in the meantime its me learning more about contracting than I ever needed to know.  

3 hours ago, Jaded said:

I like how the solution is not, "eliminate the queep." It's "spend an extra $300,000 a year per squadron to do the queep."  

This exactly, the one contractor is about to get shackled with so many additional duties theres no way in hell they'll ever get them all done.  Remember those records management and ITEC additional duties that were supposed to die...c

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12 hours ago, Jaded said:

I like how the solution is not, "eliminate the queep." It's "spend an extra $300,000 a year per squadron to do the queep."  

And that was my last point.  If the AF sees the money it has to pay to lick itself, maybe they'll stop doing it.  Nah, they'll just make the sq do it again (free labor).

Out

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On 3/3/2018 at 12:26 PM, ThreeHoler said:

Execs in all squadrons used to be non-flyers. There was a 97E and then the 1-2 “flying execs” that were really only there to make sure the 97E didn’t screw up the OPRs.

Then the exec “need” just kept growing and growing after they got rid of the 97Es.

Doesn't help that the system now views "exec" as a stepping stone to promotion, so there's incentive for guys to take it (and incentive for commanders to pick their best people for it, which is how you end up with patches double-checking OPRs at the group and wing level instead of doing patch stuff)

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On 3/4/2018 at 9:53 PM, pawnman said:

Doesn't help that the system now views "exec" as a stepping stone to promotion, so there's incentive for guys to take it (and incentive for commanders to pick their best people for it, which is how you end up with patches double-checking OPRs at the group and wing level instead of doing patch stuff)

It’s a never ending, frustrating cycle.  Those who rose up the ranks by serving multiple tours as an exec will foster the same system that allowed them to get ahead.  Glad to see it’s not just AMC that has no clue how to use their patches.

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We have 3 GS Civilians now, one SARM, one Support (Handles all our programs like Sec. Manager, AT, etc) and a UDM. They have made a world of difference being able to offload all sorts of programs that require continuity on.

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On 3/6/2018 at 7:15 PM, matmacwc said:

We are.

Like, "we are going to have your flight pay fixed by then end of the month (4 months ago)," kinda fixed...or we are actually going to get them?  Zero talk of them at our base.  

Edited by SocialD

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On 3/3/2018 at 10:00 PM, Jaded said:

I like how the solution is not, "eliminate the queep." It's "spend an extra $300,000 a year per squadron to do the queep."  

But we can’t manage to put that money in the pockets of the aviators who were doing said queep. Got it. 🖕

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5 hours ago, SocialD said:

Like, "we are going to have your flight pay fixed by then end of the month (4 months ago)," kinda fixed...or we are actually going to get them?  Zero talk of them at our base.  

Hiring currently, no bodies on base yet but getting there.  Remember we have AETC, ANG, ACC money and 80 some jets, so it's a bit different. 

Edited by matmacwc

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2 hours ago, war007afa said:

But we can’t manage to put that money in the pockets of the aviators who were doing said queep. Got it. 🖕

I'll take the contractors.

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