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Everything posted by Toro

  1. Having sat on both sides of this, I can give a little perspective from the instructors. As Ryan said, your flight commander should give you a mid-mass rank where he ranks you as top, middle, or bottom third. I don't believe it's mandatory, though, because we skipped it several times just due to being so busy. On the final ranking, he should give you your actual position in the class (if not, it will go on your 1122 as Ryan said). And like PAB and Bergman mentioned, the top and bottom are usually obvious with the middle being the difficult ones to decide. The rankings usually involve all the instructors in the flight and start with the easy choices - picking the top one or two, then picking the bottom one or two. On occassion, we'd argue for over an hour trying to rank order the last four or five guys. This is where your attittude and 'officership' comes into play. Neal and Bob may be running neck and neck until IP #1 says, "Yeah, well what about when Neal aced his formation checkride and didn't pass the info to any of his buds, and somebody hooked for the same EP." Wham, Neal goes to the bottom. Also, IPs are very aware of things you may not realize - I couldn't stand dudes who brown nosed us, then were dicks to their classmates. Straight to the bottom of the pile. Also, we've ranked people in that middle portion based on what type of aircraft it would get them. If a guy was good enough to graduate, but we really didn't think he belonged in a fighter, we'd rank him so he'd get a bomber.
  2. I've got 1400+ hours since I graduated UPT in '97, but about 1000 of that is T-38 IP time. I've accumulated the 400+ hours of F-15E time since '01. The average will depend on whether you're deployed or not. I talked with some Seymour Johnson guys who we replaced for OIF last year - they had been there since the war kicked off five months earlier and flew 6-9 hour sorties nearly every day. Like Beaver, dudes with just over a year operational in the Strike Eagle had nearly 500 hours. During non-combat ops, I'd say we average around 200 hours a year. That gets pretty difficult with a two seater - no way we can spare 16 bodies for one dude. We'll generally combine it with instructor or some other type of upgrades. [ 10 January 2004, 23:21: Message edited by: Toro ]
  3. It'll depend on what you're flying, your previous experience and other concurrent upgrades. Here's a rough wag at F-15E upgrades where I'm at. MQ (Mission Qualification) - This is your Ops checkout - always the #1 priority of upgrades. There are 10 rides in our syllabus and you need to be through them within 90 days. 2FLUG - You need 300 hours to start (can be waived to 200 if you're a FAIP), which usually corresponds to about 1.5 years into the assignment. There are seven rides which are supposed to be completed in two months. 4 FLUG - The only prerequisite to start this is that you're complete with 2FLUG. Some guys will go straight into it, but most take a break for 6-9 months and gain 2FL experience. Four rides in this program, expected to be done in one month. IPUG - 500 hours and 4FL required to start. Most pilots don't start this upgrade within three years (the average length of an Ops assignment). There are 12 rides in this program and it's expected to be done in three months. No, just like UPT, there is a syllabus for every single upgrade we have that dictates what is done and what items we need to demonstrate proficiency (Demo Pro) on. The only upgrade that has a mandatory time limit is MQ (90 days). For the rest, there is a suggested time limit, but it all depends on which upgrades have priority at the time. If you're upgrading you can usually expect to be scheduled for 1-2 upgrade flights a week. If you're not upgrading, you may be support for an upgrade (red air, for example). With Strike Eagles, you could (in theory, though we don't do it often) have a 4-ship with eight people dedicated to the upgrade of one person. If you're not involved in an upgrade, you'll fly CT (Continuation Training), which is basically where you go out and do something to practice with little to no instructor involvement.
  4. They don't do any X-rays during the FCI, it will be more of a matter of your range of movement of the arm. I went into my first FCI with three broken bones in my hand from three days prior. I didn't cast the hand (wasn't sure it was broken at the time), but it was wrapped in an Ace bandage. When I showed up to the physical, one of the techs told me I wouldn't pass wearing the bandage, so I took it off. The doc did a couple tests on my hands - pushing, pulling, having me squeeze his arms, etc. It hurt like hell, but I pulled it off and passed the FCI.
  5. Toro

    Dos Gringos

    Hoser, send a copy to my global address as well. Thanks.
  6. I'd have to read the reg to be sure of the exact wording, but if it says total time, then that would include FAIP time. Being solo doesn't matter - in FTU you're still the A/C with an instructor in your pit. I don't know about this one. Again, I'd have to read the reg to be sure of the wording, but I imagine you'd need 12 months of operational experience in your MWS. In theory it's quicker for FAIPs. The F-15 regs say that to upgrade to 2FL you need 300 hours in the aircraft, or 200 hours if you were a FAIP. I heard this from a C model bud of mine and tried to tell the chief of training, but he ignorantly said it wasn't true (I didn't know exactly what reg said this). Several months later, the new chief asked me if I was a FAIP and why I hadn't started my upgrade yet, then pulled open the reg right to the page that explained the pre-reqs. At that point I was right at 300 hours, but there were already four dudes ahead of me who had started and I had to get in line. The experience and airmanship may help you in 4FLUG - the only prereq for that is having completed 2FLUG, but most guys are given several months to a year between the two.
  7. Difference in the type of missile you've fired. Fox 1 means you've just launched an semi-active radar missile (AIM-7). Fox 2 means you've just launched a heat-seeker (AIM-9). Fox 3 means you've just launched an active radar missile (AIM-120).
  8. Being a FAIP in and of itself doesn't hurt your chances, but the time spent on your FAIP tour bites into the Ops time and experience you need to accumulate before being eligible for either of these assignments. Retired AF mentioned it's a factor for heavies - it's just as much a factor for the fighters. I've never heard a FAIP doing either, but that's not to say it hasn't happened. I'll use weapon school as an example of why; I don't know the rank cut-off for entering WIC, but I know they like mid-range captains (definitely no majors). If you were to have a FAIP tour followed by an Ops tour, you're going to be pinning on major (or close to it) by the end of that Ops tour. The one way around this is to only take a two-year Ops tour, but you need a minimum of 50 hours of instructor time in your aircraft to apply for WIC. I don't see anyway somebody could upgrade through 2-ship flight lead, 4-ship, and instructor in two years. Most guys aren't even able to do it in three years.
  9. Oh....don't even get me started on that.
  10. I made the mistake of having one on when I showed up at the NAS Oceana O'Club. It wasn't a frisky hand, but a very sharp knife held by a very drunk pilot that tore it off. Fortunately, the only mishap from that incident was a small hole in the leg of my flight suit...
  11. I've never heard anything specfic to polarized sunglasses, the only two things I've heard regarding sunglass wear were- 1) You can't wear 'reflective' type sunglasses (like the Oakley glasses) in uniform. This is for all AF personnel in uniform, it's in the AF clothing uniform/dress appearance reg I believe. 2) When I was at Columbus, something came out (I believe it may have been an FCIF - probably an AETC-ism) saying you couldn't wear glasses while flying that had plastic frames (due to melting in the event of a fire).
  12. This is exactly what I figured would happen. I think most of you are missing the point I made and we’re arguing over semantics. Nowhere did I make any reference to the C-17s (or any heavy) capabilities or value as a combat asset. I am simply saying that it does not employ weapons and therefore is not a weapons system. Semantics. The fact that it does not employ weapons. Yes, and according to that slide, "Battlefield Digitization" is a weapon system. I never said C-17 missions aren't tactical, and I don't discount it's importance - I said it's not a weapon system. I agree wholeheartedly with your spite at those who discount C-21 combat time and the fact that the AF had to be forced to allow you to log it. I don’t brag about my combat time because it was all spent in ONW and OIF drilling holes in the sky - you were surely at greater risk than I was while flying your missions. But like the C-17, a C-21 is not a weapon system – put a Gatling gun on that bad Johnny, then we’ll talk. You bet. Not employing in one theater doesn’t mean the jet isn’t capable (though the Strike Eagles have dropped on every theater they’ve been in as far as I know). Because we have the potential to employ our WEAPONS and are therefore a WEAPONS system. It’s completely different. As a C-17 pilot, you do not employ those troops, you drop them off. When I employ my weapons, I mission plan. I study target imagery. I check weather to factor in winds and visibility for laser guided bombs. I check terrain to factor in potential for targeting pod masking. Airborne, my WSO hunts for the target in the radar and pod and when we’re sure we’ve got it, I release. The mission planning, weaponeering and radar scope interpretation are just some of the skills that are perfected at weapons school. This makes us a weapons system – WE employ the weapons. Okay, I’ll take a step back while you beat your chest. Then I’ll stroke your ego and tell you that you’re correct – the war wouldn’t happen without airlift. But you were a means to an end – you had no direct connection with death and destruction, you dropped off the killing machines. Shack. That’s why I was pissed when C17Heavy told me that “There is plenty of information out there that explains the capabilities of the C-17 "Major Weapons System", so I will not even address that” I don’t want to hear guys stomping around in a huff saying that their airframe is a tactical monster, I want examples. Tell me what the C-17 guys do at their weapons school. Tell me what type of training they do to prepare for combat sorties. I flat out admitted that I don’t know the tactical capabilities of a C-17…enlighten me. Out of context. Flying into a combat environment in and of itself does not qualify your MDS as a Weapons system – the fact that your MDS employs weapons does. That aside, I’d lay good money that Hacker released some metal when he was over Iraq in the opening days of the war, so your point is null anyway.
  13. Okay, I will preface this with the same statement I made before - the C-17 is not a Major WEAPON system. I do not discount it's importance, or the fact that aircrew put themselves in harms way completing their mission just as fighter aircrew do. Don't get me wrong - I specified C-17s not belonging at WIC and not a broad generalization. 130s are combat proven, and I have no problem with one of those dudes wearing a Weapons School patch. Wrong. It's not a MWS, it's an MDS (Mission Design Series). This redesignation is the same reason that Weapons School is now called WIC (Weapons Instructor Course) with no reference to fighters. WTF?!?!?! I obviously don't know what the "tactical capabilities" of a C-17 are, so why don't you enlighten me instead of just saying that they exist. That's great - straight out of 11-2C-17 Vol 1? I work in wing training, I can quote the regs, too. CMR simply means that you perform your required duties enough times in a year to be able to go to war...on paper. Doing what? Just flying into a combat environment does not qualify you as a "Weapons System". First off, just because you haven’t heard about it doesn’t mean it hasn’t happened. Second, you want to declassify the Eagle as a fighter because it hasn’t claimed a kill in ten years? YGBSM! This has nothing to do with the capabilities of the aircraft or pilots, it’s because the enemy hasn’t been stupid enough to put up somebody willing to go face-to-face with these guys. Wouldn’t bother me one bit – then I could concentrate on putting bombs on target and not have to worry about all this silliness with pulling Gs. But you’re missing the point just like the statement above – the F-15E doesn’t have any A/A kills because we haven’t truly had the opposition. Read “Strike Eagle” by William Smallwood and you’ll see of not only the passed-up opportunity for an A/A kill, but also the only A/A kill claimed by a laser guided bomb – let’s see a C model do that! I’ll end this with the same way I started – the C-17 is not a Weapon System. It is an asset to the military and operations we conduct, but dodging bullets does not make you a tactical aircraft. As such (until somebody chooses to enlighten me), I scoff at the idea of a C-17 pilot wearing a weapons school patch. [ 20 December 2003, 01:37: Message edited by: Toro ]
  14. I hadn't heard of it until a buddy of mine sent me the clip a couple days ago, but only because Brian Wald (in the article) was in my UPT class. Not to get in a fighter/heavy pissing contest, but I don't see how a C-17 is a "Major Weapon System" - it's a cargo aircraft. I don't dispute the fact that they fly into hostile territory, but I'd be interested to see exactly how their WIC syllabus compares to that of the fighters. I can see this exercise working for a large force exercise where you've got troop and cargo drops, but I wouldn't see this incorporated into a Red Flag, which is primarily an attack/fighter/bomber weapons and tactics exercise.
  15. I got a dollar from every student whose first 38 ride I gave, and I've still got all them. Most students finished them within a few days after the ride, but some slackers required threats from IPs - I remember one in IP in particular who threatened not to send a guy to his navigation check (the last check in the program) if the guy didn't provide a dollar from the ride five months earlier. The next day the IP had a dollar with the students name chicken-scratched onto the back side with a crayon. As to what to put on there, it all depends on your IP. I've gotten dollars with T&A - always good, but it means they have to be hidden, or it needs to go 'offensive' side down under the glass of your IPs desk. I've had dollars cut into the shapes of 38s, dollars with pictures of 38s and/or desired aircraft, and of course dollars with boobies (one strange kid gave me a dollar with hermaprodite weight lifters on the back). I think the most creative was a centerfold that was carefully folded up and taped inside two single dollar bills. It looked like a normal dollar, then the whole thing unfolded to reveal a good amount of flesh. The one thing that most have in common is your name, your IPs name, your class number, and the date of your flight.
  16. You are exactly the reason why the AF fitness tests are ridiculous (though getting better). You can't measure a person's fitness strictly by how tall and heavy he is, and the bike test they used was ridiculous - daily runners were failing it, and couch potatoes were passing it. Okay, rant aside- The fitness test is AF wide - it was implemented by CSAF General Jumper. I don't know about other commands, but it has been a huge spotlight under the USAFE commander. This new fitness test takes effect on 1 Jan 04. The policy here is that if you were due for your ergo (bike) test prior to that time, you could delay and do the new fitness test (but if you're out of shape it acutally behooves you to do the bike test since it's easier). Anybody due after the first will do the new test. As to the weight issue, there may still be some clauses associated with AMS, but once you're doing this on an annual basis, the Max Allowable Weight is not an issue.
  17. The Air Force is changing their fitness standards. The bike test (an absolute joke) is gone, replaced by a less-of-a-joke test that has you doing timed push ups, sit ups, a 1.5 mile run, and having your waist measured. Along with this, they've done away with the 'Fat Boy Program' which gave everybody a Max Allowable Weight based off your height. If you were over your MAW, you'd be put on the Fat Boy program (I think it was called weight monitoring or something) were they basically would continue to monitor you for a couple months, then tell you again that you were too fat. I guess the idea now is that if you can pass the fitness test, it doesn't matter what your weight is. Personally, I think using weight as a measure of fitness is ridiculous. I could be 6'2" and 230 pounds of pure muscle and in outstanding shape, but the AF would say I was overweighed. Or I could be a rail thin dude at 160 and they'd think I was in great shape. Good they dropped it.
  18. The wash out rate for the T-38 was extremely low when I was in AETC - we had one guy wash out of my UPT class for not being able to fly formation, and that was the only one I heard of while I was going through at Laughlin. From 1997 - 2001, only one guy washed out at Columbus. He had trouble during the contact phase and flying in general, but in the end it was his formation checkride that did him in. I've seen plenty of guys go to elimination checks, but they all pulled through. In general, the reasons for failed checkrides resulting in Prog Checks or ECs were landings (in contact) rejoins or tactical formation (in formation), and navigation/timing procedures (low level).
  19. It's because the wings are so small which causes the stall speed to be relatively higher than other aircraft, which causes it to land fast (if I remember correctly, it's 130 knots plus your fuel weight for a normal landing). Basically, there's a small region for error - too slow and you'll stall, too fast and you'll land long. While most guys have trouble getting landings down, I don't know of anybody who washed out of T-38s because of landings (in UPT or three years as an instructor).
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