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Showing content with the highest reputation on 06/06/2021 in all areas

  1. Part of the problem is that the "training" between MAF deployments is normally operational requirements. You can't say no to an HHQ order to move a fighter squadron's DDF to their exercise or moving some broke MRAPs back stateside. So you might be leaving end of August on a deployment, you are required to get your Vol 1 beans prior to departure, you also want to take some family leave prior to deployment, and you have to fly tasked lines. The only one you have a choice in is choosing to give up your family time for a week to head out to a Flag exercise. For a long time I was an advocate for crewdogs to do exactly that. "It'll be your pink butt on the line in that fight..." But now that I'm approaching 20, the Lt Cols who were Lts when I told them that have flown their entire career in CENTCOM and AFRICOM against low end threats. And along the way we've been out on the ramp to admire the small arm holes in our airframes, or watched the SIPR porn of unsuccessful SA-7 shots due to our tactics. And it gets harder and harder to convince guys that they need to give up their family time to focus on the high end fight even though not one of us has ever been looked at in anger by a near peer. Instead they've seen the only "danger" come from shots in CENTCOM and AFRICOM. And that's what our local training focuses on the most. We'd all love to reduce our CENTCOM and AFRICOM commitments to focus on EUCOM and INDOPACOM. But the Pentagon actively fights back against that. So it gets very hard to say with a straight face to the young guys that "No, I promise, this will save your life in the next major conflict. When you receive a laydown with double digit threats in it are you going to be happy you skipped a Flag to see a few tee ball games?" Especially when they ask if myself or anyone who was an FGO when I was a CGO ever flew in that scenario. And if the Flag is going to help them on their next deployment to Africa this fall. I've also signed up for COCOM exercises and taken a group of young copilots along to get them some "OPLAN integration experience". Only to fly an uncontested airdrop on the first day because no one wanted to take away from the partner flying to provide a scenario for the airdroppers. And the Army didn't want anything complicated because they just wanted troops and equipment on the ground ASAP with 100% success so they could begin the maneuvers portion of the exercise. Then the rest of the "exercise" is just moving DDFs and JMRS around theater. We were only invited to shuffle equipment around major airfields with 10,000'+ runways. And the host nations won't allow you to do more than high altitude IFR to an IFR approach and landing. Nobody in leadership within 3 levels of a flying squadron has the ability to push back against COCOM taskings. So until you actually see Pentagon and COCOM leadership commit to EUCOM and INDOPACOM, you will continue to see people focusing on what will realistically get them killed or their wings taken during their 20 year careers. And that'll be in CENTCOM and AFRICOM until we are allowed to actually retrograde. Not just reposition it to another corner. Which of course increases airlift demand building new bases to get out of a named country without actually leaving the theater.
    6 points
  2. The lack of care in regards to getting good major combat operations training versus going to the Deid for 3 months to do vanilla ARing with less threat than driving to work in the US is why crews with mentalities like that will be a smoking hole in the ground when the real war comes around. You and the AWACS are what everyone wants to kill.
    4 points
  3. Here’s a controversial opinion: I don’t care about near peer/GPC. If it happens, I’ll have time to get smart because other taskings will be zero. If it happens and I don’t have time to get smart, I’m screwed anyway because I can’t keep that level of proficiency concurrent with maintaining my CVEO specific skill set. Also I don’t think it will happen. We have an almost zero percent accuracy record predicting future conflicts (seriously, look it up, the US has been awful at this).
    2 points
  4. Finally. https://www.timesunion.com/news/article/U-S-judge-overturns-California-s-ban-on-16226551.php
    1 point
  5. I don’t deny the amount of work the majcoms and cocoms place on the MAF, my issue is with the mentality that apparently some tanker dudes have according to joes post below. It’s up to big blue and the bobs to fix their overuse shit show of CENTCOM and the poor scheduling of both MAF and CAF assets. It’s up to the aircrew to stay in the proper mindset of being the best pilots possible and not getting killed in war, even though what we do in CENTCOM isn’t very tactically challenging 95% of the time. The post above makes it seem like they can’t even manage that. COIN deployments aren’t very demanding from a flying standpoint outside of a few TICs every now and then. I can’t imagine what someone is worried about, outside of personal life matters, when meeting receivers in a totally permissive environment. I can probably count on one hand how many TDYs I wanted to be on, however I didn’t half ass my training/participation in it because I was going to the desert, rather than Russia or China, in a few months.
    1 point
  6. So what do you propose to fix the problem? Not like crews can say no to deploying so they can go to a flag exercise instead. If we reduce the tanker demand in CENTCOM, that might free up time to train for the near peer fight. But that's on big AF to sell to the COCOMs; reducing sorry for operations now to prepare for the high end fight in the future. The challenge with tankers and strat lift is that the mission never ends, there's always someone somewhere in the world who needs gas operationally (to include coronets), or cargo moved. The demand is there, and it's insatiable. Plus, the simple fact of life in a heavy is that our choices are wait for the fighters to clear a path and continue to protect us as we push toward our objective in a contested environment, or run away/avoid (all while being much slower than adversaries). That being said, I've always encouraged my crew to do some tactics study while at cruise (even if it's only on a couple legs during a 2 week trip), it's a great time to study and learn, and talk through scenarios, especially when you've got tactically minded people on the crew who do want to get better for that future fight. Not like there's much else to do during that ocean crossing.
    1 point
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