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sizzo19

Any RC-135 CSOs?

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I was recently selected for OTS with a CSO slot. I’m still unsure about which airframe I’d like to work on, but ISR seems like one of the more interesting jobs you can do as a CSO. Plus, location is among my top, if not my top priorities when choosing an airframe, and RC-135’s have some great bases.

Anyone here who has experience on the RC-135 and can speak to what the daily life of an EWO is, your deployment schedule, and the base options for the RC-135? 

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The RC-135 has one base (Offutt).  Now where they deploy too can be pretty nice, but home station is Offutt FYI.

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Yes, all RC-135s are assigned to the 55th Wing at Offutt; but they also have a permanent presence at RAF Mildenhall in the UK and Kadena AB in Japan (95th and 82d Reconnaissance Squadrons respectively).  They also end up at other places as well.

Here's a pretty good open source article on the jet and its mission, if you haven't seen it already...

https://www.thedrive.com/the-war-zone/26522/that-usaf-rc-135-rivet-joint-caribbean-spy-flight-was-far-more-common-than-most-think

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Are those bases fully manned or are they setup in a manner similar to the U-2?  i.e. minimal manning with personnel continuously rotating in/out?

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Similar to the U-2 dudes. The 82d & 95th have 8-10 permanent party flyers on 3 year gigs plus MX in the squadron. Deployers rotate everyday 60-90 days. 

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On 6/3/2020 at 10:34 AM, sizzo19 said:

I was recently selected for OTS with a CSO slot. I’m still unsure about which airframe I’d like to work on, but ISR seems like one of the more interesting jobs you can do as a CSO. Plus, location is among my top, if not my top priorities when choosing an airframe, and RC-135’s have some great bases.

Anyone here who has experience on the RC-135 and can speak to what the daily life of an EWO is, your deployment schedule, and the base options for the RC-135? 

Ref: page 5 on the second link. Data is mostly still valid. Still no concrete words on getting a new airframe and dudes are seeing a lot more EUCOM/PACOM/others instead of the desert which is nice. 

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When you are at CSO school you will interact with and get face time with instructors from all the platforms that CSOs can get on. There usually is several career days where these platforms come down to Pcola. Make sure to pick everyone’s brain about their platform. As the top dawg in the class there is always the chance you get something different from what you want. I went ISR (E-8C) and loved it. All my friends who went to the RC-135 seem to really enjoy it as well, NAV or EWO. It’s not a sexy bomb dropping platform but it is strategically important. These guys/gals “deploy” to many locations that ppppaayyy. My buddy is a Cobra Ball EWO and seems to make ~$6-$9k from all the per diem in their Gucci locations on a 60 day rotation. Granted they do deploy often. Bottom line... talk to all your instructors.

 

 

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On 6/6/2020 at 7:49 AM, M2 said:

Yes, all RC-135s are assigned to the 55th Wing at Offutt; but they also have a permanent presence at RAF Mildenhall in the UK and Kadena AB in Japan (95th and 82d Reconnaissance Squadrons respectively).  They also end up at other places as well.

Here's a pretty good open source article on the jet and its mission, if you haven't seen it already...

https://www.thedrive.com/the-war-zone/26522/that-usaf-rc-135-rivet-joint-caribbean-spy-flight-was-far-more-common-than-most-think

Thats accurate but getting a chance to PCS to those oversea squadrons is limited. Chances are you'll spend 10 years at Offutt. 

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My info's about 5 years old, but we rented a house from a dude that had been there for 7 years, went overseas...and came back.

Omaha is great though.

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I did RJs from 2013-2017 at Offutt (non-EWO). Omaha was a surprisingly great town to live in. The winters were cold and its a long drive to get away. But otherwise the wife and I enjoyed it. Cost of living wasn't bad. Nice downtown scene. The area around base was decent compared to a lot of bases.

I felt like there was a lot of politics in the Wing, with the "front end" and "back end" crew members being split into different units. The RJ has three officer AFSCs on its crew, and there were elements in each "tribe" jockeying for relevance. But that seemed to go away during deployments. I really enjoyed the mission.

From the EWOs I worked with, the theme was that guys who preferred a stable family life went RJ. The single dudes who loved travel and per diem went CB and CS. The more high speed EWOs were always being groomed for WIC. But if I remember right, they also had opportunities to do JOCCP, which is a much more rare and interesting track IMO.

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