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Everything posted by Gravedigger

  1. Just closed on our second house with Jim Schneider at NBKC. 3.25% VA loan, and Jim got us $2,000 for being Costco members. Also used USAA movers advantage to get another $2,000 for using the USAA-provided realtor. If you are seeking a home loan, keep these extra income sources in mind. It's easy money.
  2. That's a shitty situation. You have every reason to not want to go. A week before I left Afghanistan (I was not an air advisor), three contractors were gunned down at NKAIA on the airfield by an Afghan student. It's definitely a more clear and present danger than most Airmen (outside of SOF) face. That said, they really need our help and the majority of Afghans are grateful for what we are doing, fwiw. You'll definitely experience things that will change your life, both good a bad things. You'll have perspective and credibility that most of your coworkers will not have. You will see some remarkable scenery and you'll gain an incredible appreciation for everything we have in America. Yes it is terrible, and nobody could blame you for not going. However, if you do go, there are at least some slightly positive aspects. Always be ready to defend yourself, and hope your luck doesn't run out.
  3. Well shit. So, things are not going to get better anytime soon then? My classmates were thinking it would be a great job, because you get to fly real missions without having to be gone all the time. I guess that seems good in theory but not in practice. Thanks for the updates.
  4. I'm in a class right now with some Naval aviator and Army helo types, and they asked me why dudes hated RPAs so much. It's clear why people that went through UPT would be miserable, but I don't know any 18Xs so I don't know how they feel. Are straight RPA officers equally miserable, considering that's what they signed up for? Are there just not enough volunteers? Seems strange that we are having to use UPT-trained aircrew still, so many years into RPA ops.
  5. The simple truth is that in aviation, sometimes accidents happen despite the best intentions/efforts of the pilots involved. Flight following is a pain in the ass, and growing up flying in KATL's Class B, it was typically the last thing any controller wanted to help with. My home airport was 8 miles north of KMGE and we had F-22s, F-16s and C-130s, combined with the busiest airport in the world, and two of the busiest GA airports in the country. In spite of that, there we never any middairs. Maybe the congestion kept everyone's head on a swivel.
  6. Saw Trainwreck yesterday. It's an excellent date movie and overall very entertaining.
  7. Comm support should be "outsourced" to organizations that are better equipped to handle bulk IT infrastructure. Offensive and defensive Cyber operations should be treated as an MWS and organized like any other ops unit. The problem is, what gets called operations in cyber varies greatly based on background. Installing mcafee and monitoring the local network, to some, is defensive cyber ops. That is basic comm support, not cyber ops. When people go out and represent comm support as cyber operations, it creates a lot of confusion and the real ops units lose credibility. Someone who has the right mindset, in my opinion, is focused on advancing our operational capabilities in the cyber domain. ETA: What's wrong with many leaders across the Air Force is a fundamental lack of understanding of the domains in which we operate. Air, space, and cyber are as unique as land and sea, or sea and air. Yes, they are very much integrated, but they also have very different challenges and threats. There are campaigns being waged in space and cyber every day that have nothing to do with air. We could lose air superiority by losing space or cyber. We could lose space superiority by losing air or cyber. I know that sounds cheesy, but it's true. The mindset that everyone in the Air Force exists to generate sorties is ridiculous. Space wings have mission support groups that enable the space ops groups to do their business. Same with cyber. Space and cyber wings are not mission support to air wings. That mindset needs to change.
  8. Nope, they're not rated anymore. Although, missileers do still wear flight suits. Both space (13S) and missiles (13N) fall under non-rated ops.
  9. The next HAF/A3 will be the first non-rated ops chief for the Air Force. Thoughts? Does it matter what the A3's background is? As a space guy, I'm happy. I imagine there are some aircrew in the Pentagon that are not as thrilled. New A3 Gen Raymond Bio
  10. I don't want to discuss specific organizations and systems, but I think you'll find that most agencies outside the AF have stacked or side-by-side boxes as the norm. I honestly think the Air Force just uses blanket overly restrictive policies because they are accounting for the lowest common denominator, and worst case scenario. Maybe that's a good strategy, maybe not.
  11. Yeah, I don't understand the Air Force and their ridiculous EMSEC and wireless device policies. Where I work now, we have multiple boxes from multiple agencies spanning all classifications (unclass through SAP) sitting next to each other. They are all hooked up to switch boxes and use the same monitors, mice, keyboards, etc. They also all use the same wireless clicker. It's been the same setup in joint deployed environments, from what I've seen. At my last duty station, which was an Air Force base, we had red tape all over the desks to show you the line you couldn't cross with your mouse or any other equipment. People literally got written up for moving an optical mouse hooked up to NIPR over the SIPR red line. Not only is that too stupid for me to process, they actually employed people who went around checking/monitoring this shit.
  12. If you are using a USAA credit card, I recommend going to creditcards.com or creditkarma.com and finding something that will work in your favor. USAA's cards are basically the worst in all categories.
  13. It's not made in 40+ Congressional districts, capability is irrelevant. I like that CENTCOM goes out and rapidly fields/acquires systems to fill gaps the services and national agencies are not adequately filling. Same thing happened when they bought their own satellite, ORS-1.
  14. You need to download the priority pass app. Then you can easily view all available lounges while traveling. Domestic options are somewhat limited (ATL and LAX have good PP eligible lounges), so I usually head for the USO. OCONUS airports typically have at least 2-3 lounges that take priority pass and are really nice.
  15. As much of a pain as it might be, there just isn't a good way to balance speed/efficiency with control/security on the Air Force network. There have been decisions (ESD) that have made things worse, but it's never going to be as good as your personal systems. It can't be. The Air Force network has to be set up to account for the lowest common denominator. While everyone on this forum might be somewhat tech savvy, most people are not. The federal government also has a lot more restrictions than the private sector because of the nature of the information we deal with. As sad as it might be, outside of the IC, the Air Force has the best network in the DoD. From the cyber ops side, none of this applies, and the work is getting done by people that drink way too much energy drink and eat way too many hot pockets and pop tarts...which is exactly how it should be.
  16. I punched before phase 1, EABOD. I decided to free up my class seat for another stud instead of waste people's time and money staying when I knew I was going to leave. You are exactly right in the first sentence. Your second sentence is a baseless cheap shot, but your holiness has been called into question, so I can understand why you feel the need to attack. I'm not all that familiar with "support" units, as I've never been in anything other than an ops squadron in an ops group, but I'm also not part of the flying world, so to everyone with wings I'm support. It's just too difficult to understand ops outside of flying. I get it. Thanks for the support 17D.
  17. Couldn't hack it? Puss'd out? GMAFB. I have not complained about my decision to leave UPT, ever. I asked my leadership for advice and guidance, and the consensus was that "making it work" between two married pilots that are not in the same year group or airframe is incredibly difficult. While people do it successfully, it frequently ends badly. Flying in the Air Force wasn't that important to me, it was more important to me to serve as an officer first and be stationed with my wife. I was fortunate in that I was assigned to a career field that I find very rewarding, but had I not been, it would have been because I chose to leave UPT, and that was a pill I was willing to swallow. There is absolutely nothing wrong with pilots (or anyone else) deciding to get out of the Air Force. I have never said I had anything against pilots choosing to leave; and I hope those that do find a better life in another career. What I am trying to convey is that AF pilots are some of the best paid and best taken care of service members in the entire DoD, so the complaining seems a lot like Saudi princes at UPT complaining about having to park their M3s with the rest of the studs, whereas in Saudi Arabia, they drive a Maserati, and they get to park wherever they want. I hope that BODN represents the vocal minority on this issue and these discussions don't happen in front of the maintainers or AFE folks you guys work with. We are clearly not going to find common ground here, so we'll just have to go with I'm right on this one, trust me.
  18. Ironically enough, my wife and I decided the QoL wasn't going to be right for us as pilots, so we reclassed into jobs that were better suited for join-spouse/families. It was a tough decision, but the years have proven it was the right one.
  19. LOL, the reason many "support" AFSCs (11X) need ATOs/Vul/ToT/SOF Desk is to define their work hours otherwise they'd only work approx 69 minutes a day, most of that bitching and posting on BODN. You keep saying support, as if you aren't aware there are many other OGs and ops squadrons in the Air Force that don't involve aircraft. We don't need to get into a supporting vs. supported debate here, but depending on the mission, air supports ground/sea, ground/sea supports air, space supports air/ground/sea, air/ground/sea support space, cyber supports air/ground/sea/space, air/ground/sea/space support cyber...you get the point. Air is one operational domain. It is the primary domain of Air Force operations, but not the only domain. An F-16 taking out a GPS jamming site is supporting air/ground/space domains simultaneously. A GPS operator is supporting all domains as well. At some level, everyone is supporting someone else. I think that is a concept that is often lost, and leads to the pervasive "it's all about me" attitude in the Air Force.
  20. I agree that we should not be handcuffed by time-in-grade restrictions and the current promotion structure we have now (across all AFSCs), but I also don't think pilots have nearly the irreplaceable value as is being claimed in this thread. There will always be people willing to take what the DoD provides, because they are excited by the mission and called to serve. I have worked with plenty of AF pilots that feel they are very well compensated for what they do. I think we will be just fine with what's "left behind." Sure there will be fewer pilots in staff jobs, and smaller staffs in general, so what. When I was in Afghanistan, I preferred to fly with civilian and Army crews to get around the country, because there was a lot more flexibility and a lot less bitching involved. You don't think the other services' aviators have just as much "value" on the outside? Why do I only ever hear about how pilots aren't being appreciated/paid enough in the Air Force? A service that is entirely run by, and completely focused on pilots. I've worked with enough happy pilots to know that Baseops doesn't represent the entire community, but Jesus, this whining is something else. There is not a single enlisted Airman in space operations that makes more money in the Air Force than they could on the outside, and most officers below the rank of Major are the same way. Why do people stay? There are a lot of reasons; for one, the missions inside the Air Force are more exciting than those outside the Air Force. Operating DirecTV satellites or commercial SATCOM is boring for most people. That should be the case for most pilots as well; I'm sorry that it's not. LOL, pilots are the only ones that work 12+ hour shifts 24/7/365, right. It's ok, you don't need to know what other AFSCs do, we'll just be over here accomplishing the mission quietly, professionally, and for less money than you.
  21. What a bunch of fucking whiners. You're so poor, your life is so difficult, airlines are so much better...GTFO. Aircrew does get paid more. When you consider the tax advantages, incentive pays, and retention bonuses it's significantly more. Maybe the issue isn't pay at all, maybe you're entitled and forgot the point of military service. Clue, it wasn't to get rich. I've served with officers and enlisted from each service and many career fields, and I've never heard as much complaining as I do from AF pilots. Are your lives that much shittier than everyone else's? Or are you just that much more entitled?
  22. If you fail an SOS assignment, and English is one of your top 4 languages, I honestly have some concerns over your status as a Captain in the Air Force and college graduate.
  23. Want to keep all of those planes, and solve a bunch of personnel problems at the same time? Axe ICBMs. The F-15C is pretty damn irrelevant though...
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