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FourFans130 last won the day on July 1

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About FourFans130

  • Birthday 01/23/1981

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  1. I'm trying to remember if the pushback was this bad when they mandated the Anthrax vaccine a minute or two ago. I got 9 rounds of that burning hotness and never heard a peep about how experimental is was or not. Did guys quit the military over that thing too? I was too focused on flying and deploying to really care at the time.
  2. 74 the premier life...seriously. The rule on the 74 is that you are never more than 6 hours away from a nap (if you want it). Let me me paint some beautiful awesomeness, because it is NOT all mushrooms and bad management at Atlas...though I still do have my apps updated... (grain of salt) Pros to take advantage of and enjoy: - a pilot group that is ALL about protecting your rights. You will eventually meet MEN (I mean that with strong emphasis) like J. You'll know it when you meet J because that guy, is, awesome. You may not agree with him, but he will break management spins if they even think about bending the rules. We took off more than 2 hours late without even a second though because of catering rules. It sounds whiney and entitled (I'm a career herc dude...but yes, it's legit), but for a 16 hour flight, it's not joke, and he was serious about it, and got it fixed. Long story short: there are men and women in the pilot group here who will bend over backward to make sure you are taken care of. Moreover, those men and women do actually care about your personal situation, and they make sure, beyond a doubt, that you are taken care of if you bring a issue up...even if you were wildly ignorant on the subject (said from a former mil dude just finishing year 1) - Epic locations. That's not understating it. We stay in epic locations. TWA hotel in JFK (yeah that ritzy tony stark hotel AT the airport which is built around the legend of TWA that only lazy rich people stay because they don't like the 16 minute cab ride to the airport...yeah...that one). Incheon: wanna get a great scenic overlook of the bay that 'Merica brought freedom too?...or just an awesome Korean community build on completely reclaimed land? You're paid to do so. Kazakstan? Wait...what? Yeah. Kazakstan is a routine layover where our crews spend $40 to go skiing all day (full equipment rental). Quito Ecuador. Amsterdam. Anchorage (many will poopoo this, but for the uninitiated, ANC is really cool, especially in the summer). Hong Kong. Narita. Nagoya. Sydney. Hawaii. Leipzig. Ramstein. Frankfurt Hahn. MultipliemiddleeastlocationsasdeterminedbyAMC. This company takes you places that NOONE else goes to. It's a travel nerd's dream. - Epic aircraft. 747. 767. 777. (sorry 737 guys...but...not sorry) These are epic aircraft that pilots wait a full 20 year career to fly. We get in the left seat in 5 years or less. Seeing the way things are going...it'll likely be less. - International Perspective: We have men and women employed at Atlas who have either left their home countries...or who simply accept a long commute...simply to work in a US based company. I've personally flown with, and learned a great deal from, Peruvians, Columbians, Ukrainians, Finlanders(is that how you say it?), Mexicans, Canadians, Germans, Spaniards, Australians, and Brits....all who live in their home countries because the rules of this company allow it to happen. I think that is AWESOME. More importantly they bring a thankfulness about the job that most US grown pilots simply don't have. It's a basic fact I've come across in my travels: Non-US people appreciate the US more than Americans do. It's refreshing. - (for perspective...minor cons)...I've also flown with flat earthers, severe anti-vaxers (conspiracy theory dudes...I've got no problem with "it's new and untested" doubters), anti-400er (dudes that seriously miss their flight engineer), and dudes that don't believe in bathing...and I've enjoyed every minute of hearing perspectives that are not from my echo chamber...though sometimes the smells have hurt. Atlas could be the most epic destination airline for bored airline pilots. The only reason it isn't is because the senior management has no concept of what "leadership" really means. Who knows. Maybe they'll figure it out soon and plant Atlas in the 'amazing airlines' category for good. It could (and should) happen...just as soon as they replace those senior "leaders"...but who knows. FF
  3. For posterity sake: I complete year 1 in three days. I made GROSS $62,000 (including per diem and COVID pay) in the past 12 months with Atlas. No VX and only broke guarantee on 2 months (last two months of OE). I was scheduled to break it on 5 months, but the schedulers do a fantastic job of keeping you right at or below min. We planned for it and I'm also a reservist. Without that AFRC paycheck and a big savings buffer, we'd have been hosed. Plan accordingly, and keep your apps updated.
  4. Wasn't last month something above 60 resignations? In any case, you're spot on. I will point out that "3-4 AM consistent alarms" would be preferable to sleeping for 10 hours (because I'm exhausted from crossing large bodies of water over and over again) only to get a wake-up phone call resetting me to get called to fly in 10 hours. That's happened to me at least 5 times in the last 6 months. Consistency in the scheduling department has a draw all it's own...and our Atlas schedulers leave a LOT to be desired...a cross-eyed lab rat could randomly build a schedule better than some of the buffoonery I've been subjected to this past year. Couple better schedule with a better pay and work rules, and it's no mystery why people are leaving Atlas as soon as possible. I love the adventure. Sadly the complete lack of integrity in the company is destroying the experience for me.
  5. In case it hasn't been posted, here are Marx's communist tenets. Notice how many of them have already begun in our country, with significant roots in our legal systems: Karl Marx's "10 Planks" to seize power and destroy freedom:
  6. Not to worry, when something big blows up in the US during the next administration, it won't be this administration's fault that the instigators came in this year. That's tomorrow's problem. The short-sightedness of the radically liberal agenda as this administration is letting it play out is painful to behold.
  7. Agreed. However, having gone through the process. 6 months was a good min required to get everything ram-jamed through the AF's incredibly archaic and convoluted systems.
  8. They sit at RAND. Big Blue and Congress decided not to listen. https://www.rand.org/pubs/research_reports/RR2415.html
  9. Multiple thoughts on this topic. I'll go objective to subjective. Financially: the 'bonus' is still 25,000 to 35,000 dollars. It was introduced in the 1990s, yet has not substantially changed since then. in 2015 when I took mine (25,000 for 5 years), it should have been at least 37,000 to account for inflation alone. I didn't do my homework. I recommend others do theirs before deciding. By comparison, if you separate at 12 years of service and join an airline, a part 135 operator (think flying twin otters or -8's in hot places), a cargo carrier, or even a cargo carrier feeder to a major cargo carrier, you will make more money in the following 8 years than you would have in the Air Force. Moreover, the Air Force continues to insult their pilots with the need for a bonus and the option to take it...and sometimes no bonus at all...while GIVING doctors, surgeons, and dentists professional pay that exceeds the aviation bonus while not requiring a "take"...in the AIR FORCE. Not the dental force, or the medical force, the Air Force. This year, as a reservist pilot, I will not get an aviation bonus because it was not offered to pilots in my air frame at my base, because clearly the air force is good on pilots...while medical professionals get an automatic bump to account for the money they aren't making on the outside. Objectively the USAF demonstrates that it does not value it's pilots and is unwilling to truly push for retention improvements. The fellas at RAND have routinely updated their data that shows retaining a USAF pilot at 12-15 years for another 3 years using a $100,000 per year bonus is more cost effective than producing new pilots. Just like big blue, we'll completely ignore the safety improvements of retaining experienced pilots in one of the most complicated and dangerous corners of the aviation world. No, the USAF simply continues to accept the shackles that congress places on it regarding the restricted pilot bonus instead of pushing HARD for a professional pay similar to the medical career fields. That lack of effort shows me all I need to see. However that financial analysis ignores the quality of life items, right? Unfortunately a QoL analysis only puts more nails in the coffin. For example, pilots are likely to marry spouses in a like-status, like-education-level, and like-earning potential bracket. In short, we choose to partner within our peer group. Yet the Air Force completely ignores this fact and continues to move us every three years, thereby negating our life partners the opportunity to professionally put down roots and create a career, thereby stifling their earning potential. Yes, the air force has claimed new programs to improve this problem by letting pilot homestead, but they are largely lip service programs that have shown to kill career progression. Take a look at how well the career pilot program went...for the four individuals that got accepted. Or perhaps AFPAK HANDS, which I watched get used as a "force shaping tool" to force 8 senior MAF MWS IPs decide to separate instead of taking that as their next assignment (circa 2016). That trend has not changed. The senior leaders of the USAF refuse to force the middle leadership to abide by the simple rules of organizational excellence: Train and equip and prepare your people so well that they could leave and be hired by any other organization immediately, and treat them in such a manner that they don't want to. My own story included an advisory that my last three years before hitting 20 would include a PCS (I'd been in my API-6 'flying' non-flying desk job for 2 years) and a 1 year deployment...because 2.5 years in the desert and 4.5 years total gone from home in 17 years wasn't enough. When I asked for special consideration as the job I was filling is difficult to fill, I was flatly told no. So I voted with my feet. Then the USAF promoted me 3 months before my separation date...and I still separated (promotion carries no ADSC). But let's shift gears and assume I decided to apply to be commander a staffer or whatever career progression track big blue would advise me to take. The peek behind that curtain reveals nothing but another curtain. I've been close personal friends with enough commanders to have learned that becoming a commander, an aide de camp, or attaining some other advancement position does not actually allow you access to change, fix, or improve the system as we all secretly hope to do if given that opportunity. Instead, you are rewarded with a PCS, school, or lateral move every 1-2 years. Moreover, you get the exposure to discover that the senior GS and SES community as well as the bad O-7s (there are good ones, but the bad ones abuse their influence and tend to poison the well far beyond the abilities of the good ones to fix) and their staff sycophants continue to perpetuate the self-promoting trend of the USAF. That leaves the hard working 'good guy' O-6s and O-7s swimming very much upstream if they want to institute sincere and good changes. I know several of these excellent men and women, and I pray their influence changes the USAF. I realized that fighting that battle was not in my blood, so I couldn't continue on that road. What's that have to do with the bonus? In short, those who were going to stay would have done so anyways. Those taking it for the money factor only may not have done their homework to realize they could make much more elsewhere. So it's not really a retention bonus, it's a 'thanks for staying, we want to lock you in and take away your power to say "no" pay'. Hence I say, unless you know you and your family want to stay at the whim of the you-are-nothing-but-a-number AFPC assignment process until the end of whatever commitment you are 'offered', don't take the bonus.
  10. Train our tactical leaders to prepare wisely, be team players, and act like adults...waiting...I see the flaw. My bad.
  11. This is the problem set, but the sad part is that it already happens on occasion these days in the C-130 world. I watched a single Det run by a detco, a sup, a duty load, and an arms troop run airlift for four months at a time supporting multiple users at multiple bases without so much as a single complaint. Heck, I think their MX section was all of 20 people total. All they needed was reliable periodic comms with the users. No-one hears about it because they got the job done. But C-17s are involved so clearly it's not really happening or worthy of acknowledging. Granted that's on a small scale, but ACE, distributed ops, or whatever else you want to call it can work great if we identify the mission, the users, and let the tactical leaders on the line sort out the best way to meet user requirements. The most important step is making sure TACC/AMD provides support (not C2) and is not involved in daily operations. The second is localizing the operation and providing a clear scope, and objectives.
  12. You could be living a different dream...
  13. Yup. Because I had a concurrent running ADSC because AFPC incorrectly dated my GI bill transfer and refused to fix it. Regardless, having seen behind the curtain now, I can speak with authority when I say "don't take the bonus". ...and I did. I got out as soon as I could...right in the middle of a global pandemic, at 17 years of service, while non-current in an airplane, and I haven't regretted that decision even once. So I say again: don't take the bonus.
  14. All true words. I personally believe that senior USAF officials who want to maximize retention intentionally (if not consciously) hope to keep service members from understanding the real power of that word: "no" by trying to keep us focused on the money aspect, instead of the quality of life as a civilian, TR, or guardsman. But even there they fail. The 25k bonus from the 1990s should be a bare minimum of 37-40k to account for based on inflation alone. It's a barehanded slap to our intelligence.
  15. Any "renegotiation" will come with a longer commitment. For example in 2015 I took a 5 year $25k bonus. The next year I was offered a "renegotiation" option where the only option was up 20 YAS...which I flatly rejected. Weight all options heavily. When you are committed, you lose all power of "no". In the current environment, recognize that pilots are about to start abandoning ship again with airline hiring, leaving a massive hole in the population that is eligible for 180, 365, and non-desirable taskings to all AFSCs...and if you're committed, you have no say in the matter. Make sure that little 1990's level bonus is really worth it to you. If in doubt, don't take it and wait a year.
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