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Merle Dixon

Degradation of SUPT

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Hello friends. 6 to 9 month ago, I retired as a T-38 IP reservist. Talking to friends that are still hacking the mish (cool pilot talk 🙂 ), they are seeing numerous problems in T-38 land. 1st, the reduction in T-6 syllabus flying time is noticeable in newbie skill level and SA. 2nd, flight room daily morning briefs and daily stand-up are a thing of the past due to.... 3rd, IP manning is terrible. Supposedly AETC needed 249 IPs in FY 2019, they got 150 - everyone is separating. 4th, there are not enough civilian simulator instructors.

Anyone else seeing the same stuff?

I am drinking Belgian beer in Belgium right now. I hope you all find your way off the sinking ship.

Merle

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Years ago the army had a program for the guard guys and gals to go instruct a Ft. Rucker on AD orders. Worked pretty well to fill the gaps . I’m sure some young ANG guys and gals might would bite .


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2 hours ago, Squawk7600 said:

Years ago the army had a program for the guard guys and gals to go instruct a Ft. Rucker on AD orders. Worked pretty well to fill the gaps . I’m sure some young ANG guys and gals might would bite .


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With as long as the guard guys are waiting to go to UPT maybe they could have FAIPed some of them instead of waiting for the B-Course.  I suppose it's a bit of a catch 22 though as you need IPs to get them rolling in the first place.

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6 hours ago, Merle Dixon said:

Hello friends. 6 to 9 month ago, I retired as a T-38 IP reservist. Talking to friends that are still hacking the mish (cool pilot talk 🙂 ), they are seeing numerous problems in T-38 land. 1st, the reduction in T-6 syllabus flying time is noticeable in newbie skill level and SA. 2nd, flight room daily morning briefs and daily stand-up are a thing of the past due to.... 3rd, IP manning is terrible. Supposedly AETC needed 249 IPs in FY 2019, they got 150 - everyone is separating. 4th, there are not enough civilian simulator instructors.

Anyone else seeing the same stuff?

I am drinking Belgian beer in Belgium right now. I hope you all find your way off the sinking ship.

Merle

AETC manning has been bad and will only get worse, as you referenced in those numbers. I’ve heard very similar figures.

With that, do you think the 38 reserves will finally start to hire non 11F/11Bs? With rare exceptions, they certainly won’t get any more coming in to the active duty squadrons in the foreseeable future...

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AETC manning has been bad and will only get worse, as you referenced in those numbers. I’ve heard very similar figures.
With that, do you think the 38 reserves will finally start to hire non 11F/11Bs? With rare exceptions, they certainly won’t get any more coming in to the active duty squadrons in the foreseeable future...
They already are hiring non 11F/11B.

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3 minutes ago, D-ron said:

They already are hiring non 11F/11B.

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Some bases are not yet. 

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Posted (edited)
11 minutes ago, WheelsOff said:

AETC manning has been bad and will only get worse, as you referenced in those numbers. I’ve heard very similar figures.

With that, do you think the 38 reserves will finally start to hire non 11F/11Bs? With rare exceptions, they certainly won’t get any more coming in to the active duty squadrons in the foreseeable future...

Why do you say “they certainly won’t get any more coming in to the active duty squadrons in the  foreseeable future”? I’ve heard recent rumors about T-38s trained MAF ACs/IPs requesting to teach T-38s being denied... 

Edited by Newb
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Posted (edited)
10 minutes ago, Newb said:

Why do you say “they certainly won’t get any more coming in to the active duty squadrons in the  foreseeable future”? I’ve heard recent rumors about T-38s trained MAF ACs/IPs requesting to teach T-38s being denied... 

I was talking about 11F/11B types. The only ones 38s will be getting are the MAF/AFSOC/heavy ISR backgrounds for the foreseeable future. And even then, as you alluded to, some of those communities won’t let them go back and instruct in AETC because they can’t afford to let them go either (reference the OP’s comment about 150 bodies to fill 249 billets).

Edited by WheelsOff

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What’s the story of the rumor I heard that a Bob at 19AF said only 11F/11B in 38’s?

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I've been told that's old news and they opened up the flood gates a couple months ago. It used to be that a certain percentage of IPs had to be 11F/B, now I'm hearing they'll take what they can get.

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That was valid, but I’m talking it’s back in effect as of a few days ago. Rumor only but I’ve heard from some reliable sources.

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Interesting. I had not heard that, but my intel might just not be current enough. It would not surprise me though, because UPT is hurting right now and we need more CAF guys to hold the line.

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1 minute ago, Danger41 said:

That was valid, but I’m talking it’s back in effect as of a few days ago. Rumor only but I’ve heard from some reliable sources.

Back in effect as in they still are only hiring 11F/B?

If so, that’s absolutely ridiculous. Last I checked the back of the Form 8 doesn’t say an 11F/B is more qualified than a dude who flew an E-8, for example. As stated, it’s not like they’ll be able to be picky based on the manning trends.

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20 minutes ago, WheelsOff said:

Back in effect as in they still are only hiring 11F/B?

If so, that’s absolutely ridiculous. Last I checked the back of the Form 8 doesn’t say an 11F/B is more qualified than a dude who flew an E-8, for example. As stated, it’s not like they’ll be able to be picky based on the manning trends.

Different qualification?  No. Different aptitude to teach guys going to fighters?  Yes. I know, hurt feelings and all...but the feedback I got after leaving that world was overwhelmingly that the 135 and C-17 peeps just didn’t have the same skillset in tactical, LL, FM and getting kids ready for IFF.  It’s not an insult, it’s a recognition of reality. 

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Posted (edited)
26 minutes ago, ViperStud said:

Different qualification?  No. Different aptitude to teach guys going to fighters?  Yes. I know, hurt feelings and all...but the feedback I got after leaving that world was overwhelmingly that the 135 and C-17 peeps just didn’t have the same skillset in tactical, LL, FM and getting kids ready for IFF.  It’s not an insult, it’s a recognition of reality. 

In some cases I’m sure that’s an accurate statement. However, also realize that in this era of “everyone gets a fighter”, most of these kids graduating today need to understand they’re lucky to be in that position (many would have been flying RPAs 8-10 years ago!), and many were gonna struggle in IFF regardless. It’s a challenging program even for the students who did very well in UPT. UPT has been so watered down compared to what it once was. And it’s not these students’ fault; it’s just a byproduct of bad choices made by subpar leadership cutting corners to create pilots faster.

Edit for emphasis on #pilotshortage

Edited by WheelsOff
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1 hour ago, Danger41 said:

What’s the story of the rumor I heard that a Bob at 19AF said only 11F/11B in 38’s?

Yes. They are denying waivers for non-fighter/bomber now. It's happened to at least one person who was pulled after starting sims 

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1 hour ago, ViperStud said:

Different qualification?  No. Different aptitude to teach guys going to fighters?  Yes. I know, hurt feelings and all...but the feedback I got after leaving that world was overwhelmingly that the 135 and C-17 peeps just didn’t have the same skillset in tactical, LL, FM and getting kids ready for IFF.  It’s not an insult, it’s a recognition of reality. 

Whatever did they do before the T-1s when everyone went 38s? Nothing you do in 38s is remotely tactical or relevant to the skills required to fly any tactical platform in combat.  Pilot training is about teaching kids to land and build airmanship, skills relevant to any community.  The only reason they split tracks was to extend the service life of the 38.  That being said, I’m sure it is important to have your share of 11Bs and 11Fs in 38s to make sure you are getting guys ready for IFF / the B course but there is no reason not to have 11Ms considering the manning crisis. 

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Posted (edited)

I know a handful of 11M's that got orders cancelled to T-38 assignments last week because of the previously discussed 2-star's decision.

[obligatory]"And they wonder why people are bailing at record rates"[/obligatory]

 

Edited by BADFNZ
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3 hours ago, WheelsOff said:

Back in effect as in they still are only hiring 11F/B?

If so, that’s absolutely ridiculous. Last I checked the back of the Form 8 doesn’t say an 11F/B is more qualified than a dude who flew an E-8, for example. As stated, it’s not like they’ll be able to be picky based on the manning trends.

They most certainly are more qualified for the 38 job. I’m not saying that someone who didn’t fly fighters can’t do the job, they obviously can and have been for a while now. However, the skills you develop in a fighter community apply much more to 38s than the heavy world. The pilots who have thousands of hours flying at 100agl in tac formations, or maneuvering air to air, while managing everything else that goes into flying a fighter will have a much easier time teaching the fighter centric aspects of UPT. Tactical formations, low level flying, single seat CRM, etc is all second nature, whereas other communities will have to spend the time it requires developing the skills to effectively fly it, and then experiencing it enough to accurately debrief what they’re doing wrong. Developing the geometry sight pictures of multiple maneuvering aircraft, and assessing what is going wrong with it, is one of the hardest parts to do well. I don’t think it should be limited to only 11F, but there is a definite return on investment if they aren’t required in the CAF.

Then there’s the guys who care about instilling the douchey “fighter mindset” and all that BS that I don’t believe in. 

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Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, dream big said:

Nothing you do in 38s is remotely tactical or relevant to the skills required to fly any tactical platform in combat.  

Tactical formation is the most basic fundamental of employing any MWS in combat, and something that will drain all your SA if you have to struggle with it. If you don’t hold in briefed position you won’t be able to visually look for threats, plot the target, tally the target, fence in for the proper attack, be in position for the attack geometry, and possibly affect lead’s ability to provide mutual support off target. All of which will then screw up attack timing and possibly exceed run in restrictions, weapons parameters, or just waste time while guys are getting shot on the ground. Oh, and if 3 and 4 are flying everything properly, you just screwed it up for them as well.

Guys are struggling to fly tactical in IFF and coming into the CAF. B-Course doesn’t have the time or sorties to teach the basics that were covered in the year of UPT. Does it need to be an 11F teaching it? Not necessarily, but it definitely needs to be someone who doesn’t think 38s teach no relevant skills for the CAF. 

Edited by Hawg15

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2 hours ago, dream big said:

Whatever did they do before the T-1s when everyone went 38s? Nothing you do in 38s is remotely tactical or relevant to the skills required to fly any tactical platform in combat.  Pilot training is about teaching kids to land and build airmanship, skills relevant to any community.  The only reason they split tracks was to extend the service life of the 38.  That being said, I’m sure it is important to have your share of 11Bs and 11Fs in 38s to make sure you are getting guys ready for IFF / the B course but there is no reason not to have 11Ms considering the manning crisis. 

Still doesn’t mean everyone can teach it all equally. Plenty of 11M guys can figure it out, and there are some 11F/B shitbag IPs. Always have been. Overall though, the trend holds true. 

What did we do before the T-1?  Gave kids about an extra hundred hours and actually washed out the shitty ones. Don’t do either anymore because...numbers. IFF isn’t the nut-cutter it used to be, either. The whole pipeline is fvcked because of poor personnel management for over a decade. These are all just symptoms of an illness. 

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I started to go soft on my opinion of this a while ago because honestly I don’t want to see my wingman until initial...don’t really care about tac formation, etc. I said.  Well, that was an easy opinion to have when I’d spent over 3 years flying with only weapons officers and highly experienced IPs. I went back to the CAF and couldn’t believe the lack of capability I saw in the young guys...not their fault, as I quickly realized how shitty AETC was doing at producing a quality product. I then spent months of my time teaching basic fighter pilot shit to these guys, including just calling off tactical training for 15 min as I did tac turns and rejoins with a kid who was struggling...great dude, but what the fuck is going on when I had to prioritize basic flying training over tac training in MQT? Talked to a couple of my counterparts around the CAF, and they had literally the exact same story to tell.

The reduction of fighter IPs in UPT combined with reduced syllabi and UPT/IFF/FTU not washing out studs has created a significant safety and combat capability problem. So 11Ms aren’t the root cause, but it is one of the more significant contributing factors. 

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Posted (edited)
4 hours ago, brabus said:

I started to go soft on my opinion of this a while ago because honestly I don’t want to see my wingman until initial...don’t really care about tac formation, etc. I said.  Well, that was an easy opinion to have when I’d spent over 3 years flying with only weapons officers and highly experienced IPs. I went back to the CAF and couldn’t believe the lack of capability I saw in the young guys...not their fault, as I quickly realized how shitty AETC was doing at producing a quality product. I then spent months of my time teaching basic fighter pilot shit to these guys, including just calling off tactical training for 15 min as I did tac turns and rejoins with a kid who was struggling...great dude, but what the fuck is going on when I had to prioritize basic flying training over tac training in MQT? Talked to a couple of my counterparts around the CAF, and they had literally the exact same story to tell.

The reduction of fighter IPs in UPT combined with reduced syllabi and UPT/IFF/FTU not washing out studs has created a significant safety and combat capability problem. So 11Ms aren’t the root cause, but it is one of the more significant contributing factors. 

I think you are close but I think the 2 real problems with 11Ms (I’m a pimply faced herbivore herk driver) are 1, they don't understanding it’s a different flying in the fighter world with different skill sets. There is some overlap with some heavies but not all and it’s hard to teach from that perspective but you can overcome it with some extra hours. 2, and I think the bigger problem is who is considered a good pilot in the heavy world. Guys that have the -1 memorized and are good office workers but have hands of 2 ton bricks are considered great pilots on most platforms. Hand skill almost doesn’t matter based on the type of flying being accomplished. This means you send your “best” pilots to go fly planes that actually take some SA and hand skill and the reason they sucked in UPT comes right back to the forefront. Also it seems everyone is getting a fighter now, which means who is getting the heavies? The bottom of the class, even more so than it used to be. 10 years ago # 3 of 27 is going heavies and adding to those platforms. (While also contributing to the current fighter woes). Not the same today (also contributing to some of the perceived lack of talent. Not every fighter pilot is 1 or 2 in his class, he may have been 7 or 8 now)

Edited by MCO

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Are we talking the new 19AF/CC that has started turning away non 11F/B guys in the 38 PIT pipeline? 

The hard truth is that they haven’t paid their fair share of the AETC bill in years, so while on the one hand I feel their pain/frustration, the cynical side of me doesn’t feel bad when they all bitch about the quality of their wingmen. I know, I know, #pilotshortage #nobodysleft. It’s obviously a symptom of a much larger AF problem.

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