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On 8/7/2020 at 3:54 PM, Prosuper said:

Just trying to get smarter here, how many guys on here know MX officers and have conversations with them about about the dismal morale that their troops have stateside. Been on Facebook reading a new group called roll call, did not realize on how much the mental anguish of serving in a MX sq is now. My day we worked hard, played hard, got caught, disciplined,  but as long we got the job done our MX officers took care of us. What happened? In the 80's and 90's we never heard of guys committing suicide, do we not allow these guys to blow off steam? One mistake is a career ender? Towards the end of my career I tried to stay deployed so I wouldn't have to deal with my supervision stateside, not good for my family but great for my mental health and blood pressure. Do you guys notice it stepping to the jet or just say it's not my problem, Thank God? 

I was a maintainer for a year at Osan, 77-78, weapons loader. Work hard, play harder. If you fucked up by the time the OIC saw you they saw a bloody and bruised mess. The NCOs had taken care of bidness. No paperwork, just bandages and extra shit duties. That type of thing straightened out many an airman. The MX commander probably never heard of 90% of the shit that happened. Okay the bloody, bruised and bandage part was obviously exaggerated but you get the picture.

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3 hours ago, FLEA said:

Had a non-aircrew friend who told me as a 2d Lt she firmly rejected the whole "listen to your SNCO's" advice because of shit like this. She realized at the end of the day she was the one in charge and SNCO's are notorious for holding grudges and also trying to exert command when they aren't commanders. Its not to say she didn't seek their advice but she was incredibly wise and taught me a few things about navigating the landscape of enlisted politics as an officer. 

Enlisted are some of the biggest back stabbing politicians out there. I thought it was just the non-flying job I had for five years, but it was even worse when I became a flyer. 

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5 hours ago, magnetfreezer said:

The Navy model...

I’ve been in the Air Force now for a year, so still fairly ‘new’. The ops/Mx split has been the toughest to get used to. At one point in my time in the Navy, as a normal flying pilot, I was previously in charge of the entire squadron maintenance department involving 15 aircraft and roughly 200 people. At other times, even when I wasn’t working directly in Mx, I’d still interact with the maintainers daily because they were in the same halls, their shops were right next to mine. It helped to bridge the gap. Now, I’ve found it extremely difficult to get a maintainer to open up and talk other than ‘yes sir, no sir’ in the current AF construct. 

My takeaway is that the split hurts by-in by the maintainers. All they see are flyers when they come to brief/debrief, or at the bottle brief. When maintainers have to pull 12 hour shifts it can really help morale when they understand what the mission is, or when they actually know the aircrew more than just as another dude in a green bag. Pilots aren’t some mythical creatures, but we do think and approach situations a lot differently than maintenance officers do, and I think that variability and more frequent interaction would help morale. 
 

Combining ops/Mx wouldn’t cure all of the issues (here’s looking at you, OPSEC CBTs...) but it would help. 
 

 

 

 

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8 hours ago, Bigred said:

Combining ops/Mx wouldn’t cure all of the issues (here’s looking at you, OPSEC CBTs...) but it would help. 

They have been combined before, for all the reasons you state and more. With the cyclical nature of things, maybe it will happen again. 
I don’t believe it changed relationships for the better when MX was in the flying squadron. 

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5 minutes ago, HuggyU2 said:

They have been combined before, for all the reasons you state and more. With the cyclical nature of things, maybe it will happen again. 
I don’t believe it changed relationships for the better when MX was in the flying squadron. 

I was in a E-3 FSMU , it all depends on the CC, one CC understood we needed time to fix jets then another beat them like  rented mules. Coming home late on a Friday with a broke jet and then fly it early Monday morning type scheduling meant nobody was getting any days off.  But I preferred it over a huge MX sq, Ops sq CC had to fight with the AMXS CC to get Crew Chiefs to fly with the jets on off station sorties. The MX folks per diem was killing his budget and when we used commercial fleet service providers to take care of the lavs and staircase truck that came out of the AMXS budget. The only medals I ever got from my time with the E-3's were pushed by OP's guys making their job easier getting the mission done off station. MX sq guys who never leave home station were not big picture type guys.

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13 hours ago, FLEA said:

Had a non-aircrew friend who told me as a 2d Lt she firmly rejected the whole "listen to your SNCO's" advice because of shit like this. She realized at the end of the day she was the one in charge and SNCO's are notorious for holding grudges and also trying to exert command when they aren't commanders. Its not to say she didn't seek their advice but she was incredibly wise and taught me a few things about navigating the landscape of enlisted politics as an officer. 

That’s great. I wish we had more young officers that could see through the BS. However, if every mx officer in the entire AF thought as the person in your example it wouldn’t be near enough to stem the tide of the toxic SNCOs that run mx (not saying all are toxic). This reality is due to the same reasons the CSAF can order the force to stop doing stupid crap that doesn’t make sense and yet we all inevitably see the stupidity continue. Those that have benefited and been successful in the current environment will continue to keep it alive unless they’re removed, and that won’t happen as long as the AF continues to treat senior enlisted like they’re equal to or above the CGOs that they report to. 

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1 hour ago, Boomer6 said:

That’s great. I wish we had more young officers that could see through the BS. However, if every mx officer in the entire AF thought as the person in your example it wouldn’t be near enough to stem the tide of the toxic SNCOs that run mx (not saying all are toxic). This reality is due to the same reasons the CSAF can order the force to stop doing stupid crap that doesn’t make sense and yet we all inevitably see the stupidity continue. Those that have benefited and been successful in the current environment will continue to keep it alive unless they’re removed, and that won’t happen as long as the AF continues to treat senior enlisted like they’re equal to or above the CGOs that they report to. 

CGOs? Shit man I'm a Major and I still get concerned with any confrontation with a SMSgt or above. 

But you are right, we do put SNCOs on inappropriate pedestals. The whole base will stop for a MAJCOM or NAF command chief to come visit, its insane to me. 

But I did become a heavy proponent fo her advice on taking the classic "listen to your SNCOs" with a grain of salt and it is now apart of every feedback/mentoring session I do. "Hear what they have to say but make the decision you think is right. Ask other sources as well, including your peers and your predecessors." 

One problem as well with the whole SNCO mentality is it alleviates other officers, especially the commander, of their major responsibility to be involved and mentor young Os. You should be getting your most sage advice from those that have been in your shoes, not someone on a completely different career path who isn't privy to the adversities you are facing. 

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When I did the COMBAT SHIELD EW Assessment program as my last assignment, it was disheartening to see how some (but most were not like this) SNCO MX types totally throw up roadblocks to the junior NCOs trying to make it happen.  For some reason, it seemed to be mostly the pod shops that bore the brunt of that.  'Course some of the MX Os threw up just as many roadblocks.

As an aside, for all you CSOs/EWs out there, COMBAT SHIELD is great assignment.  Getting to go out on the road with a team of MXers, dragging cables with them on a flightline as an O-5, and watching them coach and mentor the host unit MXers was one of the most rewarding things I did in the AF.  Wish I could have done it much sooner in my career instead of as a last assignment. 

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On 8/8/2020 at 7:24 AM, pbar said:

Back in the Stone Age when I was at Dyess, it would really piss me off to see every summer AFROTC and Academy cadets get rides in the B-1 but most of our own maintainers never got a ride.  Ought to be a rule that nobody else gets a flight until at least all the crew chiefs have flown.  

Hate to say it but this is often a mx issue not an ops one. I was offered rides on several occasions as a cadet but it took one of my buddies who was in AGE over a year before he finally got one for winning airman of the quarter (in an ACC T-38 no less). Its usually mx who drops the ball and doesn't submit for the rides, whereas cadets go straight to the ops side and typically get put in the front of the line whether they earned one or not.

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On 8/8/2020 at 9:09 PM, Sprkt69 said:

Ive seen a C-5 guy in charge of the flight line with A-10 and F-15 crew chiefs working on F-16s. You can imagine how well that was going. They’d work the crew something like 26+ days a month to try and get working aircraft CONUS.

 

When I was a crew chief, my 7-level CDCs covered A-10/F-15/F-16/U-2/MQ-9/Global Hawks, with the idea was that we'd universally assignable.  I've stayed in contact with a few AD guys from my crew chief training days.  One worked F-16s for a few assignments, now is now an NCO in A-10s, another was recently assigned to KC-135s. Every platform has quirks/intricacies that are relevant even when you're leadership, and retaining long term knowledge on the platform is huge.  There is a reason we have such awesome mx in the ANG.  

 

 

 

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My opinion: morale and operational efficiency are degraded when functions that must work together are in different commands.

U-2s at overseas locations are mostly organized as every function under one umbrella: ops, mx, intel, life support, supply, logistics, personnel, comm, and even security forces in some cases. There are always some bumps in the road, but everyone knows who they work for: their U-2 pilot commander that suits up and blasts off on a mission right in front of them.

How I know that cross-functional team model is effective: the exact same people RTB home and start working for different commanders that report to group commanders who report to a wing commander, and everything slows down.

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On 8/9/2020 at 1:57 PM, FLEA said:

CGOs? Shit man I'm a Major and I still get concerned with any confrontation with a SMSgt or above. 

 

Hell, I was prior enlisted in the Army Reserve and retired from the USAF as an O-5 but when I go over to Ft Jackson once in a blue moon and see a smokey the bear hat (i.e. drill sergeant), still makes me nervous for a second.  🙂

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I wish they bring back Warrant Officers to be filled by the E-6 who is shit hot on the flight line, knows his job inside and out and makes the right decisions that produce sorties. The problem with the good troops is that a E-8/E-9 above him knows he is the go to guy and they keep him that position making money for the wing and move the has been's to other jobs that allow them to career progress and somehow get promoted to E-9. In the enlisted world job title counts more than war fighter when it comes to their board score, the more job titles the better it looks. Doesn't matter they fired you from all those positions and moved him somewhere else, and nobody wrote the guy a honest EPR. I'm used to be standing tall in front of the CC desk after writing honest EPR's for guys I moved to the snack bar, mops and brooms, and is assigned to every aircraft wash. I was foolishly thinking being honest would keep these disasters from ever getting into a slot that would make other good troops miserable. I was wrong.

This allows a TSgt a career path that a E-9 can't torpedo because if TSgt leaves his life gets harder. When I was in MSgt was tested for and I studied my butt off to make it, I hear it is now a board score and you got play the game. Being a WO1 these good troops would be where the AF needs them training and supervising young Airmen while forgoing the hyphenated American pray breakfast face time and backstabbing for the Senior Rater endorsement. But we all know the AF will not do it because enlisted Jesus doesn't want to salute these guys.

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On 8/10/2020 at 5:54 AM, SocialD said:

 

When I was a crew chief, my 7-level CDCs covered A-10/F-15/F-16/U-2/MQ-9/Global Hawks, with the idea was that we'd universally assignable.  I've stayed in contact with a few AD guys from my crew chief training days.  One worked F-16s for a few assignments, now is now an NCO in A-10s, another was recently assigned to KC-135s. Every platform has quirks/intricacies that are relevant even when you're leadership, and retaining long term knowledge on the platform is huge.  There is a reason we have such awesome mx in the ANG.  

 

 

 

i think F-117s too IIRC

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. It values bullet writing, bullshit leadership courses,.

Curious as to what these courses are. I agreed with most of what you said here, but I would like to know what you’re referring to here.

Outside of some flying training, the best course I ever did was the Leadership for Squadron Command Development Course. IMHO, this course should replace all others and happen much earlier in an AF O’s career. Throw away SOS and do this 2 week course a few times in your career. This course didn’t really deal with AF speak, it was literally just about how to lead people, something sorely lacking in the AF. I did it when it was brand new a few years back as an O-5, so maybe it’s different. This needs to be done for brand new O-3s. So many pilots think they are born leaders simply because they are effective in the jet. Leadership is just like any skill set out there, if you don’t actively practice that skill set, you will never develop it. If the AF is waiting until dude/dudettes are senior O-4s or young O-5s, we’re waiting too long to teach them about how to lead, and SOS didn’t really cover that...


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2 hours ago, slackline said:


Curious as to what these courses are. I agreed with most of what you said here, but I would like to know what you’re referring to here.

Outside of some flying training, the best course I ever did was the Leadership for Squadron Command Development Course. IMHO, this course should replace all others and happen much earlier in an AF O’s career. Throw away SOS and do this 2 week course a few times in your career. This course didn’t really deal with AF speak, it was literally just about how to lead people, something sorely lacking in the AF. I did it when it was brand new a few years back as an O-5, so maybe it’s different. This needs to be done for brand new O-3s. So many pilots think they are born leaders simply because they are effective in the jet. Leadership is just like any skill set out there, if you don’t actively practice that skill set, you will never develop it. If the AF is waiting until dude/dudettes are senior O-4s or young O-5s, we’re waiting too long to teach them about how to lead, and SOS didn’t really cover that...


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Are you talking about the MAJCOM course or the new AETC course. Because I've done the AETC one and it was phenomenal. It needs to be taught at ROTC, SOS and at least once or twice more in there. 

Summary of the course: "How to be a better human being to people."

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Are you talking about the MAJCOM course or the new AETC course. Because I've done the AETC one and it was phenomenal. It needs to be taught at ROTC, SOS and at least once or twice more in there. 
Summary of the course: "How to be a better human being to people."

AETC course. Agreed on the summary.


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16 hours ago, slackline said:


Curious as to what these courses are. I agreed with most of what you said here, but I would like to know what you’re referring to here.

Outside of some flying training, the best course I ever did was the Leadership for Squadron Command Development Course. IMHO, this course should replace all others and happen much earlier in an AF O’s career. Throw away SOS and do this 2 week course a few times in your career. This course didn’t really deal with AF speak, it was literally just about how to lead people, something sorely lacking in the AF. I did it when it was brand new a few years back as an O-5, so maybe it’s different. This needs to be done for brand new O-3s. So many pilots think they are born leaders simply because they are effective in the jet. Leadership is just like any skill set out there, if you don’t actively practice that skill set, you will never develop it. If the AF is waiting until dude/dudettes are senior O-4s or young O-5s, we’re waiting too long to teach them about how to lead, and SOS didn’t really cover that...


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Was more referring to the E-side of things, don't got much experience yet on the other side of things. So stuff like ALS, NCOA, Course 15, and other random PME. Sounds like we could use some more of the courses you mentioned. Stuff on how to be a good person while throwing in some good leadership reminders to keep it fresh.

 

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1 hour ago, jonlbs said:

Was more referring to the E-side of things, don't got much experience yet on the other side of things. So stuff like ALS, NCOA, Course 15, and other random PME. Sounds like we could use some more of the courses you mentioned. Stuff on how to be a good person while throwing in some good leadership reminders to keep it fresh.

 

Enlisted PME is garbage. A bunch of people whining about that one shitty supervisor they had. If you’re a TSgt and still don’t have a clue how to supervise someone or give a briefing , find a new line of work. A lot of that is related to the instructors that have lost touch with the real USAF hiding out in PME world for eons, though I heard it’s harder now to do that. The Commandant of the NCOA I went to had been a PME instructor for 15 years. 

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5 hours ago, Sua Sponte said:

Enlisted PME is garbage. A bunch of people whining about that one shitty supervisor they had. If you’re a TSgt and still don’t have a clue how to supervise someone or give a briefing , find a new line of work. A lot of that is related to the instructors that have lost touch with the real USAF hiding out in PME world for eons, though I heard it’s harder now to do that. The Commandant of the NCOA I went to had been a PME instructor for 15 years. 

My NCOA was in Lackland, had to go just after week being home from Saudi, it was stupid easy and a 6 week vacation down in San Antonio. Wasn't enlisted Jesus a PME instructor? I wonder how many E's hide out in AETC not counting TI's, would never want that job. 

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21 minutes ago, Prosuper said:

My NCOA was in Lackland, had to go just after week being home from Saudi, it was stupid easy and a 6 week vacation down in San Antonio. Wasn't enlisted Jesus a PME instructor? I wonder how many E's hide out in AETC not counting TI's, would never want that job. 

I went to Lackland too. When I went back for NCOA I saw two TIs who were still there from when I was in BMT, nine years later.

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Enlisted PME is garbage. A bunch of people whining about that one shitty supervisor they had. If you’re a TSgt and still don’t have a clue how to supervise someone or give a briefing , find a new line of work. A lot of that is related to the instructors that have lost touch with the real USAF hiding out in PME world for eons, though I heard it’s harder now to do that. The Commandant of the NCOA I went to had been a PME instructor for 15 years. 

I taught ALS about a dozen years ago. Between OTS, ASBC, and SOS I have seen quite a bit of the curriculum regurgitated through the schools was what we taught at ALS to include some of the case studies.


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22 hours ago, Sua Sponte said:

Enlisted PME is garbage. A bunch of people whining about that one shitty supervisor they had. If you’re a TSgt and still don’t have a clue how to supervise someone or give a briefing , find a new line of work. A lot of that is related to the instructors that have lost touch with the real USAF hiding out in PME world for eons, though I heard it’s harder now to do that. The Commandant of the NCOA I went to had been a PME instructor for 15 years. 

I did NCOA at Tyndall. Hated it. A bunch of of guys that were out of touch telling me how the real Air Force works. I told them this was Red Flag for shoe clerks(a quote I stole from a crusty Ltc about SOS back in the 80s). I wasn't voted class president. 

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