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Merle Dixon

Degradation of SUPT

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26 minutes ago, WheelsOff said:

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.

They haven’t paid their AETC bill because there’s no one their squadrons except LTs man. 

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9 minutes ago, SurelySerious said:

They haven’t paid their AETC bill because there’s no one their squadrons except LTs man. 

Reference my comment that nobody’s left. I get it dude. 

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chicken or the egg kinda thing ain't it?

 

In any event, from my experience doing this gig for the last 9 years, MAF guys end up fine but require non-insignificant extra time and mentorship on flight lead admin and tac proficiency, let alone debriefing to what the hell is going on, before they're in a position to be able to instruct and supervise to the same level when undertaking undergraduates. Problem is it's mostly MAF, and FAIPS on a heavily diluted UPT run, that we are getting to PIT. The syllabus was legitimately not built for this. It was built for alpha-track 11Fs doing a quick proficiency spin up and off we go. FAIPS also had the benefit of more proficiency in UPT phase III, so the extra time was devoted to the instructional skillset.

I've seen their evolution from both the UPT and PIT perspective. They end up fine for the most part. The problem is that we don't have the hours or the syllabi to provide that extra training.So predictably, the product suffers both on the UPT side and the IP development side. And the B-courses complain, it's not complicated. But senior leadership won't hear of it. IMO People have died already as a result of this greening up, but it won't be acknowledged. More will die as a direct consequence of this manning/quality issue, before the trend is reversed. 

As to the dismissal of the rigors of phase III to the degree that it proverbially doesn't matter and the ladies at the CDC can do it? That's just more of the same chasm that creates the animosity against 11Fs in the first place. The manning realities are here, the goal is to move forward and catch these guys up so they can provide a phase III product worth a damn. Currently we are not meeting standards, and the B-courses are paying the bill in the end. It's not an insurmountable problem, but cutting hours and syllabus events in the manner we're doing is not working. Senior AF is not interested in that answer, so we will continue failing the product. Nothing to see here. I digress. Everybody stay safe out there, not all the sea turtles will make it to the ocean on account of this, politically incorrect as it may be. G'luck.

 

 

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19 minutes ago, Merle Dixon said:

Any IFF IPs? How are IFF washout rates these days?

You assume big blue is still using IFF as a quality screen and cutting folks....

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A lot of emphasis here on SUPT T-38 training for future fighter pilots. You don't need a fighter or bomber pilot to teach T-38 rejoins or tactical. MIF is MIF. There is a reason why IFF exists. If the product after the FTU is shit, you have nobody to blame but the 11F community. Only 11Fs teach at IFF and FTU.

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Why don’t they combine this with the B-1 manning/airframe issues and reroute those dudes as FAIPs? Seems like that would make sense?

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8 minutes ago, war007afa said:

Why don’t they combine this with the B-1 manning/airframe issues and reroute those dudes as FAIPs? Seems like that would make sense?

Reference the discussion in the Changing/Switching Airframes thread, but it’s not that simple. 1) it’s not not flying, it’s reduced flying, B) you still need to grow your crew force or you’ll have a yuge gap eventually, and 3) you can do tactical development to a certain extent in the sim to supp the reduction in flights. 

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I have heard that they are pushing studs through who get airsick for much longer than before (talking like 6 some weeks).  Now we have studs getting sick while flying in the FTU.  Never heard of that happening before, but hey maybe they will be fine. I'm concerned that they will be a liability when things get nasty in the jet.  

 

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Posted (edited)
3 hours ago, Standby said:

A lot of emphasis here on SUPT T-38 training for future fighter pilots. You don't need a fighter or bomber pilot to teach T-38 rejoins or tactical. MIF is MIF. There is a reason why IFF exists. If the product after the FTU is shit, you have nobody to blame but the 11F community. Only 11Fs teach at IFF and FTU.

IFF has 5 busts and you’re out (well, at least that’s the way it used to be). The reality is current phase 3 likely sets a majority of studs up for IFF washout if IFF actually had the same standard as 10+ years ago. So, it’s not accurate to say it’s all IFF’s fault...at minimum it’s 50/50 between the two, and if you include the entire AETC spectrum, blame can probably be set about 75% towards UPT/IFF and 25% at the FTU. That’s one “customer’s” opinion of the AETC product. 

Edited by brabus

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Posted (edited)
3 hours ago, Standby said:

A lot of emphasis here on SUPT T-38 training for future fighter pilots. You don't need a fighter or bomber pilot to teach T-38 rejoins or tactical. MIF is MIF. There is a reason why IFF exists. If the product after the FTU is shit, you have nobody to blame but the 11F community. Only 11Fs teach at IFF and FTU.

The point of IFF and FTU isn’t teaching the  basics that UPT was supposed to spend a year teaching students. It’s employing an aircraft as a weapons system. IFF is ~15 .9 flights at Shep. Neither IFF or FTU have the sorties or time to carry the load for inept UPT instruction. They spend about 2 weeks with 6 flights to get you a form 8 and should never have to touch on that stuff again. It’s weapons and tactics from then on. 

Edited by Hawg15
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Posted (edited)
26 minutes ago, Hawg15 said:

... inept UPT instruction.

The past UPT instructors I've known were good, and their instruction was far from inept.  They worked very hard to produce the best product they could within the constraints of the syllabus...  despite poor "management" from the leadership... and operating in a system where their hands may not be tied, but are often restricted.

 

26 minutes ago, Hawg15 said:

They spend about 2 weeks with 6 flights to get you a form 8 and should never have to touch on that stuff again. 

I'm no fighter pilot by any stretch of the imagination, and simply do not know what basic "stuff" you are referring to.  

However, in all facets of flying I've done... as well as a myriad of other non-aviation hobbies... "the basics" need to be revisited.  The fundamental skills will atrophy and it affects the more advanced skills.  

I would imagine that a graduating IFF pilot needs to apply "those basics" to their initial training (and even continuation training) in the F-16/F-22/F-15/etc, and adapt them from what they did in the short T-38 IFF course.  

Edited by HuggyU2
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I get what you’re saying huggy, but as one example, me having to bust a guy on an MQT ride because he literally can’t fly his jet safely AND employ it, and this is after he has passed UPT, IFF, and FTU. That is an epic systemic failure. I don’t think any of us blame the bros on the line, it’s the SQ/CCs on up who prioritize green slides over product quality, who refuse to acknowledge the problem, who ultimately are responsible for the bullshit product they churn out today (and its not that young guys suck, it’s that they are not getting the instruction and learning opportunity they need). I’m not saying all new guys are terrible, but there’s an alarmingly high rate of new guys who absolutely would not have made it to the CAF years ago,

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No argument, Brabus. 

Sad to hear, but your comments continue validate the scuttlebutt I've heard through my aviation circles.  

 

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IFF is not about employing an airplane as a weapons system. It’s an admin course that teaches you how to speak/do the basics of being a fighter wingman. Hell, it’s right in the title of the course (fundamentals). Even the end of block sorties are demonstration of proficiency, not expertise. I agree the FTU shouldn’t be spending time on that. I vehemently agree that Brabus shouldn’t have to do that during MQT in a Viper.

And also, if you think the basics aren’t important in a fighter, I’ve got 2 friends that were great fighter pilots that are no longer with us after making a simple mistake flying instruments. I don’t know anyone who has been shot down in the last decade and a half.

To me, if a guy drops a fighter and makes it to the FTU, that’s more on IFF if they don’t like the product. Blaming UPT and scapegoating non 11F for a bad product at FTU and/or in the CAF is off-base IMO. 

Lastly, how on God’s green earth is a B-52/B-2 guy droning around in the bozosphere dropping BOC or launching SOW “good enough” to teach in a T-38 but some 11M/11S that’s been doing tons of actual hand flying in challenging environments not? No offense to the BUFF community, but I don’t get it.

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35 minutes ago, Danger41 said:

Lastly, how on God’s green earth is a B-52/B-2 guy droning around in the bozosphere dropping BOC or launching SOW “good enough” to teach in a T-38 but some 11M/11S that’s been doing tons of actual hand flying in challenging environments not? No offense to the BUFF community, but I don’t get it.

Because despite not getting into high-g dogfights, those bomber guys have spent a career flying the aircraft as a weapon, integrated into a package, studying air threats and learning how to prioritize tasks in the cockpit to fly and release weapons.

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Posted (edited)

Danger,

Disagree. If our major issues are basic aviation skills like maneuvering in formation or instrument procedures (moreso), then I don’t think we can put the blame on a follow-on course. If UPT produces the equivalent of a Commercial MEL, then I think it’s fair to have standards in mind. In your mind, is UPT meeting that? I don’t have the IFF syllabus handy, but I doubt it includes the resources for building instrument proficiency to a passable level so FTU doesn’t have to; those aren’t Fighter Fundamentals, those are pilot fundamentals we should probably expect from Pilot Training. 

 

But that’s just my 25,000 ft perspective from my damn gold plated bomber throne as I wait to program the FMS to fly the CATIII ILS and never touch the controls. Kidding aside, all communities I’ve interacted with have to push more fundamentals further into training as each formal training syllabus is cut. The problem is at the undergraduate aviation training level across the Air Force. 

Edited by SurelySerious
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1 hour ago, Hawg15 said:

The point of IFF and FTU isn’t teaching the  basics that UPT was supposed to spend a year teaching students. It’s employing an aircraft as a weapons system. IFF is ~15 .9 flights at Shep. Neither IFF or FTU have the sorties or time to carry the load for inept UPT instruction. They spend about 2 weeks with 6 flights to get you a form 8 and should never have to touch on that stuff again. It’s weapons and tactics from then on. 

When a T-38 student graduates from SUPT, he can fly instruments and formation per CTS as directed in syllabus. If said student magically forgets how to do these things at IFF, they should be washed out. Don't make this into an argument regarding the quality of instruction because a fucking monkey could develop these skills even in the shortened syllabus using YouTube and some words of encouragement. The burden of training FIGHTER pilots rests soundly on the shoulders of the IFF and FTU courses. The commanders of those units are also fighter pilots. You (11Fs in training command) are the gatekeepers of your community, choke yourself if your wingman can't figure out how to fly wings level parallel to flight lead in the ops squadrons because the buck was passed by your peers several times over.

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Posted (edited)
6 hours ago, Standby said:

A lot of emphasis here on SUPT T-38 training for future fighter pilots. You don't need a fighter or bomber pilot to teach T-38 rejoins or tactical. MIF is MIF. There is a reason why IFF exists. If the product after the FTU is shit, you have nobody to blame but the 11F community. Only 11Fs teach at IFF and FTU.

 

35 minutes ago, Standby said:

When a T-38 student graduates from SUPT, he can fly instruments and formation per CTS as directed in syllabus. If said student magically forgets how to do these things at IFF, they should be washed out. Don't make this into an argument regarding the quality of instruction because a fucking monkey could develop these skills even in the shortened syllabus using YouTube and some words of encouragement. The burden of training FIGHTER pilots rests soundly on the shoulders of the IFF and FTU courses. The commanders of those units are also fighter pilots. You (11Fs in training command) are the gatekeepers of your community, choke yourself if your wingman can't figure out how to fly wings level parallel to flight lead in the ops squadrons because the buck was passed by your peers several times over.

What’s the IFF syllabus with respect to Instrument flying?

Edited by SurelySerious
This is an honest, but obviously leading, question.

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Posted (edited)
41 minutes ago, Standby said:

When a T-38 student graduates from SUPT, he can fly instruments and formation per CTS as directed in syllabus. 

You’re clueless. This is precisely what is NOT happening. I left white jet world 5 years ago and kids at CRs were regularly getting reinstated. Ones who should be washed out are simply given more training and the can is kicked down the road. In order to washout, they’re just not falling short of MIF. They’re falling short of safe. Above safe but below MIF - congrats, here are your wings. 

At follow-on training, we don’t have time to re-teach them basics like cross check and tac form. There’s simply not enough room in the syllabus. If they can multitask, employ, stay visual and be OK at form, they’ll pass. Still, the skillset we’re seeing now is below where it has been in the past. My unit is Guard - we’re not under the “graduate them” mandate of AD and we are washing kids out. The last one had no business even making it to FTU. He created dangerous situations every other flight. I reached back to some bros at IFF and they reluctantly admitted he was a problem child and there was debate on washing him out. They also admit that if they washed out everyone they would have 10 years ago, the grad rates would be abysmal due to what they’re getting. 

 If you thing UPT is holding the line and follow-on training is where the ball is getting dropped, you live in a dream world. 

Edited by ViperStud
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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, pawnman said:

Because despite not getting into high-g dogfights, those bomber guys have spent a career flying the aircraft as a weapon, integrated into a package, studying air threats and learning how to prioritize tasks in the cockpit to fly and release weapons.

Meh. Replace release weapon with airdrop and it sounds like a local herk sortie minus the 4 ship formation low levels and formation tac arrivals.

A better argument is they flew 38s in UPT and therefor have relevant experience.

Edited by MCO
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Posted (edited)

Whatever you say dude. You left the white jet world 5 years ago and it sounds like you did so with a chip on your shoulder.  Of the T-38 CRs I have loose knowledge about, all but the internationals were eliminated or deferred to other training pipelines. I can't speak for all of UPT but I know at our base the standard is just that.

You clearly believe that a large portion of recent T-38 graduates did so without meeting CTS. Maybe it's time to re-blue and show us how to actually grade these kids and demonstrate what honest CTS looks like.

Side note: since when did IFF students get Form 8s?

Edited by Standby
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55 minutes ago, ViperStud said:

You’re clueless. This is precisely what is NOT happening. I left white jet world 5 years ago and kids at CRs were regularly getting reinstated. Ones who should be washed out are simply given more training and the can is kicked down the road. In order to washout, they’re just not falling short of MIF. They’re falling short of safe. Above safe but below MIF - congrats, here are your wings. 

 

so how is that a function of 11F/11B/11S/11M?

that's big leadership's choice to reinstate those kids. the bros on the line are doing their job sending them to a CR.

folks its not rocket science. cut T-6 flying, cut T-38 flying...of course you're getting a worse product than 10 years ago! more with less is meeting the breaking point. OH WAIT WE'RE OK WE HAVE VIRTUAL REALITY TO REPLACE FLYING HOUR SYLLABUS CUTS!

 

 

 

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Posted (edited)

No disagreement from me Bashi. I’m simply saying the large reduction in actual flying is affecting all stages of the pipeline. I left Luke back in the day with almost 100 hours and no TGP qual. Now, we give them TGP, NVG, introduce more weapons (PW3, 39, 54, etc) and kick them out the door with about 69 hours. Flying has been cut everywhere and the basic airmanship at all levels of training suffers as a result? 

Different backgrounds of IPs are far less important than the reduction of flying. There’s no doubt 11Fs have some basics like Form and FM down as second nature, and 11Ms do not. Unfortunately there just aren’t enough 11Fs to go around. I was teaching at Luke when the BRAC & POM 10 shit went down - closing FTU squadrons all over. We joked about how 11Fs would be screwed in 6-9 years. I’ve heard our F-16 manning in the 07 year group is something like 17 peeps due to the FTU backup of ‘09-‘12, with 08 and 09 only marginally better. It’s weird what happens when you screw with pipelines and drop hardly any vipers for a few years. Who could have seen it coming?  We all did, but the crap leadership didn’t care about that nearly as much as pinning on their next star. 

Edit to add: good on IPs for sending kids that deserve it to CRs, but that’s pointless if there’s a 99% chance of reinstatement. Even if it’s the WG/CC’s call to not wash people out, he’s still part of UPT as a whole...which is graduating a degraded product. 

Edited by ViperStud
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1 hour ago, MCO said:

Meh. Replace release weapon with airdrop and it sounds like a local herk sortie minus the 4 ship formation low levels and formation tac arrivals.

A better argument is they flew 38s in UPT and therefor have relevant experience.

The airdroppers in the different communities do a fair amount large, multi-ship (often dissimilar aircraft) formations to an objective area, via a LL, threat react/get the giant gaggle back together, to mass drop on DZ then min close an LZ. I think a lot of CAF guys discredit the MAF since they simply don’t have a good understanding of what some of them truly do. Sure, the physical flying is different, but there is a big picture/airmanship/SA skillset that is developed and is transferable when teaching a student in UPT, regardless of airframe (T-6, T-1, T-38). I think heavy guys get a bad wrap when it comes to “aptitude” to teach as compared to fighter dudes, and that’s because the MAF as an institution largely doesn’t value good instructional ability (even flying skill in general) in their pilots. They care more about winning quarterly awards and your next PRF than any sort of proficiency in an airplane, and it’s sad. 

19 minutes ago, ViperStud said:

It’s weird what happens when you screw with pipelines and drop hardly any vipers for a few years. Who could have seen it coming?  We all did, but the crap leadership didn’t care about that nearly as much as pinning on their next star. 

All of the non 11Fs that are instructing these days came from the 2010-13 year timeframe when most fighter FTUs were backed up. The fact is most of them would have flown fighters too if the AF hadn’t screwed the pooch on fighter manning. It’s not these guys’ fault. I’m thoroughly convinced that when someone pins on their first star (and arguably the chicken for some), all common sense in decision making goes out the window in favor of self-preservation when trying to chase that next star. 

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