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There has always been a problem with some flying commanders who have never been A-Codes, due to being Navs and ABMs, second guessing and placing unrealistic expectations on those who have been A-Codes.

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7 hours ago, uhhello said:

 

Chief:

I can’t ever remember a time it wasn’t real. You know [inaudible] I’ve been sitting here thinking, [inaudible]. I’ve never seen a whole crew before sit down. [Inaudible]. And the bad things about it guys, this isn’t even the worst type of exercise you can ever see. [Inaudible] in 48 hours flying [inaudible] and spending the whole week and a half down there in MOPP 4, in and off the airplane. [Inaudible] in 10 degree weather — which is nothing [inaudible].

Is the time frames different from what you’re used to seeing? Yeah. It is. 48 versus 72 hours it was mentioned to me that way. It shifts. We got it in a [inaudible]. Before you got that [inaudible]. It looked like it was good, for real? That’s all the [inaudible] we had. There’s room to… you can’t ORM out. You have to walk up to the boss and say “yeah, I’m not going.”

Did you go? Alright.

And at some point — I think that’s what-what’s going through the most [inaudible] at some point I was reading you had time Friday at the squadron yet here you are, not to let you companions, not to let the rest of your flight crew down. This is the fastest way you get out the door. You fail. We fail. So when you [inaudible] these things after years of flying experience I can tell you’ve I’ve been there, I’ve done that.

If you come in at 7 in the morning and hey, you’ve gotta be back at 7 at night, you go home… you go home and you find a way to get that little nap and whatever it is. You pack a bag, you’re good to go, whether it’s [inaudible] resting your eyes, conserving your energy, cause the next 48 hours are gonna be hell. But you find a way to get through it. Every time.

 

Why is the E-9 lapdog opening his mouth at all about an aircraft commamders decision?  STFU.

Edited by aeroplanez
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I still see zero reason for E9 rank. They cause way more issues than they solve. But hey, at least they are DV’s even though everyone on this chat board likely has always outranked them for a large part or the entirety of their careers.

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1 minute ago, Guardian said:

I still see zero reason for E9 rank. They cause way more issues than they solve. But hey, at least they are DV’s even though everyone on this chat board likely has always outranked them for a large part or the entirety of their careers.

You can blame the officers who allow E-9s to act like E-9s. A true Chief is worth their weight in gold.

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7 hours ago, Sua Sponte said:

You can blame the officers who allow E-9s to act like E-9s. A true Chief is worth their weight in gold.

I’ve been fortunate enough to work with one, and having such a Chief makes all the difference in getting the unit to work as one (large mix of officers, enlisted, civilian, and contractors).

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OG is pissed because it’s his fault and he knows it. Or maybe he doesn’t. A 12-hour off-circadian slip combined with no-go denial is just a result of poor planning from the leadership.

And the Chief is an absolute fool. He keeps referring to “real world” but it isn’t. It’s some sort of IG-type exercise. “Directed by POTUS”, lol, sure. “Forget all that economy and G8 shit, what I really need to know is the readiness level of the 552 ACW!”

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Tinker AFB 552 ACW Update: 

Hitch kicks out Group level leadership (Donovan wasn’t present to start with)

Starts the conversation saying it will be a listening meeting versus a chatting meeting, with the intent to clarify the situation, and where the Gp/CC was coming from.

Makes some jokes about if anyone has seen the social media feeds, and says he’s seen the memes.  “I Don’t Mind Memes”, adds a comment along the lines of if that’s your means for expression go for it.

Starts with the misconception that ABMs don’t understand the struggles flight deck has, and says it’s not true, and that “We” trust you to make the decision/on safety.  “I expect you to tell us when things aren’t right”.

Jokes that he has good ideas, particularly like a 48 hour exercise.  Clarifies that his expectation was to launch within 48 hours, and didn’t expect the 12 hour swap from day to night lines to occur during the exercise.  He was expecting to stay within the same cycle, and seemed to also have been surprised as much as the crews were.

“Pills are not the answer”.  He explains that he doesn’t want a dependency on drugs to be our solution to getting the rest we need, and he expects “discipline” to fix our circadian rhythm without drugs. 7 minutes in, takes the first question for a “listening meeting”.

From the crowd, former AMC pilot, explains how he used to swap circadian rhythms constantly, but that the use of no-go pills was a decision that should be left up to the individual and not taken away, since it is an approved option within regulations.  Real world, it’s not just showing up ready to fly, but being prepared to have a 20 to 22 hour duty day, and by removing an available tool you’re limiting our capability.  “Trust us to make the decision”.

No real response from Hitch here.

Wing staff Lt Col, suggested alternatives to running these exercises would be the utilization of pause ex in order to prove that the crews were able to show and maintenance was able to deliver the jets, and then restart the mission back on the same circadian rhythm or flight windows the crews were already having.  Especially for a self induced exercise.

Hitch, response was, “why do we do exercises, to show that we can do it”.  Defends with the the transition from day to night wasn’t expected and normally crews are given 48 hours to make that change (i.e. the weekend).  Mentions that it didn’t “compute” for the exercise, and it was an “unfair assumption”.  “You guys made the right choice, the Vice was right.” “We backed you up on that right call”.

Someone from the crowd mentions that wasn’t the tone they received from the Gp/CC during the berating session.

Hitch, “I think your Gp/CC is an emotional guy, and he is invested in you”.

Random Co-Pilot mentions that the biggest concern was if there was going to be changes to the AFI (11-202v3) due to the Gp/CC mentioning he would be making the cancel decisions for ACs.  

Hitches response, “the only changes that would occur would be to bring the Gp/CC in the loop, in order to assist with the notification process to HHQ”.  He blames the exercise plan again for issues with rest.

FE from one of the crews reiterate that the tone from the Gp/CC wasn’t simply disappointment or looking for answers to report up the chain, but had pushed a “No Fail” perception for the exercise, and the only reasons that the crews weren’t ready to execute could’ve been one of two things.  1). They were poor leaders, 2). Weren’t taking the exercise seriously.  FE continues to explain that he had zero doubt that was the case for anyone he worked with, and they were taking the exercise seriously.

Hitch responds, “I’m certainly not here to defend the Gp/CC”, “Disappointment is one thing, but there are some things that are not appropriate for the Gp/CC to let out”.  Later in the brief he equates this to questioning the leadership abilities of the crew members.

Hitch mentions, that sometimes stress and pressure is good, you need a fine amount of pressure. “I want to know if you were receiving good or bad pressure”.  No one really wanted to respond to this specifically.

Female AC from the crews, “No one questioned why?” Regarding why they were not well rested to execute the mission.  “What about the timeline”.  Explains the min turn times, and last minute changes during the exercise that left the crews blindsided and without time to adjust from day to night.  Reiterating the required 48 hours to change, and that no-go pills were needed.

Hitch responds, “I appreciate that, and that’s one of the many things we’re going to look at during our hot wash”.  

Copilot from the crews adds on that part of the concern that wasn’t addressed was his lack of currency.  That he was on this exercise flight to get current, and with that mix of tiredness and having not seen a jet for at least 30 days are factors.

Hitch responds, “we do need to address a FD currency issue, it’s a conversation we need to have”.

Someone from the crowd, “I want to know if he’s (Gp/CC) being told he was wrong”.

Hitch responds, “He is, and whether or not that leads to an apology I don’t know, but I can tell you he cares about you and trusts you.  He’s been texting me at all hours of the night, asking what should I do about this?”.  “I told him to be honest, and be humble with them, admit when you’ve made a mistake.  I’m not afraid to fail, I fail everyday.”

I wasn’t quick enough to get every bit of conversation.  Sorry some things seem disconnected.

Some other items discussed
- SOF program isn’t where it should be, and the decision for cancellations is a telephone game where the real story doesn’t seem to get translated accurately by the end
- Reiterates that leadership trusts their flight crews for the ORM assessments, but will ask questions, mostly because they need to report that further up the chain.  He didn’t get an exact reason why the 3 crews canceled from the Gp/CC.
- Mentioned the Gp/CC was interested in talking with everyone after the meeting, but left it up to us to bring him in or not.  He (Gp/CC) did not get a chance to address everyone.
- Mentioned multiple ways of addressing lack of flight crew currency.  Crowd member mentioned currency is not proficiency. Continued to talk about other options ranging from like-aircraft just for flight deck training (other 707s), dedicated tankers, moving people around and/or trickling down the PFT pipeline, even turning off a squadron.
- Mentions 4 + 2 on station timeline. 4 years on station, +2 more if you’re a “shiny penny” and are picked for the 966th.  Someone retorted with based on 50 - 100 hours a year for co-pilots at the moment, it would take 7+ years to have the hours for AC upgrade, let alone IP/EP.
- Tells us to ask COMACC some of these questions, since it is seriously being looked at for our platforms replacement, etc.

Lastly, big ticket item.  Someone mentions how he’s going to handle social media, and whether or not the Gp/CC will get fired, saying it may not be the best decision since it will prove to people that social media has that kind of power.

Hitch responds with, “How do you think I should do it?” *laughs from the crowd* “I think I gave it a shot, and it didn’t quite work out”. *more laughs*.  Leaves it up in the air on his decision whether the Gp/CC will still be around the next day or later on.  Says he will not be addressing social media on this matter any longer.  “I’ve got plenty of positive stories to tell, and I ask you to do the same”.

Closes out with we’ve open the flood gates of communication, and asks for help to make the Wg better.  Says to make sure to talk to your Sq/CC first, and then we can talk to him.

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4 hours ago, Sua Sponte said:

Tinker AFB 552 ACW Update: 

Hitch kicks out Group level leadership (Donovan wasn’t present to start with)

...

Thanks for sharing. I have no idea what the actual tone was in the meeting but, at least from 1000 miles away, it sounds like it might have been an honest conversation and maybe a wake up call to Hitch and the rest of leadership. Again, I have no idea if the crews thought it was just feeding them more BS or if they perceived it as a legitimate and fruitful discussion.

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Well trogdor. Ask them. Do they say they are pilots? Kinda in the name. RPA. And there are RPA guys in charge of RPA. Not SO’s. Although some of the chiefs think they are in charge.

There are former Nav’s etc that transitioned. But they became RPA pilots in the end. And they are the A code for their aircraft.

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1 minute ago, Guardian said:

Well trogdor. Ask them. Do they say they are pilots? Kinda in the name. RPA. And there are RPA guys in charge of RPA. Not SO’s. Although some of the chiefs think they are in charge.

Where did the Bad Chief touch you?

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3 hours ago, Guardian said:

Well trogdor. Ask them. Do they say they are pilots? Kinda in the name. RPA. And there are RPA guys in charge of RPA. Not SO’s. Although some of the chiefs think they are in charge.

There are former Nav’s etc that transitioned. But they became RPA pilots in the end. And they are the A code for their aircraft.

I know how that  community feels. But perception is reality, and the public's perception is pretty obvious.

I only ask because 14 CFR § 61.73 is very specific that 18x are not to be counted as pilots, and if RPA drivers were trained to the same standard as UPT, there would be no need to differentiate them from the 11x community.

Being A coded, Its good its to know that theres always a future in the Air Force for drone operators, as long as its at the only RPA wing, out of the active duty force, or Canon.

The RPA community was an unwanted child that was dropped on its head by allegedly qualified leaders of a flying organization. Its been suffering ever since. Its one of several communities suffering.

The Air Force has other obligations outside of manned flying and the leadership crisis certainly extends to manned pilots.

Edited by theoriginalturk
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23 hours ago, Guardian said:

A true chief then is a unicorn.

Sure did not used to be that way.

I'm fortunate that in my first AF gig as a 21A1 MX Officer I had a CMSgt who grabbed me by my scrawny neck and showed me the ways of the AF.

Certainly not like the soy boy E-9s hunting for hurt feelings and missing glow belts by the time I was ready to retire.

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I gotta say I have a lot of complaints about the modern Air Force but this isn't one of them. It's pretty cool that commanders can be held accountable by the people with nothing more than a few memes and a cell phone recording. This is what accountability looks like. 
 

And I especially like that the wing cc is having to address it rather than being able to sweep it under the rug like what could have easily happened in the past. 
 

 

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And I was shocked that new Cos are only getting 100 hours a year in the jet. WTH, how are they ever going to get proficient, much less good at their job, with those type of hours? Talk about needing an ACE program. I flew more tweet hours than that my first year as a -135 Co.

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On 7/18/2021 at 8:21 AM, tac airlifter said:

As a philosophical matter:  How can you know where the real edges are in combat if you never explore them in training?

Yes, combat ORM is a skill that takes a lot of time to develop and requires actual experiences (e.g. it can't be taught in a classroom), just like airmanship and judgment.

But just like airmanship and judgment, combat ORM it does not require intentionally violating rules or doing something unsafe to see and understand where those boundaries are. Generally the boundaries of the black and white are gently touched during peacetime training, and it is only in no-shit combat ops (and with that combat ORM already seasoned) that you can "live in the gray area" to get the mission done.

I say that as someone who had the special opportunity to wear my blues and describe my operating in the gray area to a board of rated officers.

Edited by Hacker
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7 minutes ago, Hacker said:

Yes, combat ORM is a skill that takes a lot of time to develop and requires actual experiences (e.g. it can't be taught in a classroom), just like airmanship and judgment.

But just like airmanship and judgment, combat ORM it does not require intentionally violating rules or doing something unsafe to see and understand where those boundaries are. Generally the boundaries of the black and white are gently touched during peacetime training, and it is only in no-shit combat ops (and with that combat ORM already seasoned) that you can "live in the gray area" to get the mission done.

I say that as someone who had the special opportunity to wear my blues and describe my operating in the gray area to a board of rated officers.

Valid.  Good discussion.

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I know how that  community feels. But perception is reality, and the public's perception is pretty obvious.

I only ask because 14 CFR § 61.73 is very specific that 18x are not to be counted as pilots, and if RPA drivers were trained to the same standard as UPT, there would be no need to differentiate them from the 11x community.

Being A coded, Its good its to know that theres always a future in the Air Force for drone operators, as long as its at the only RPA wing, out of the active duty force, or Canon.

The RPA community was an unwanted child that was dropped on its head by allegedly qualified leaders of a flying organization. Its been suffering ever since. Its one of several communities suffering.

The Air Force has other obligations outside of manned flying and the leadership crisis certainly extends to manned pilots.

FAA doesn’t give you your wings. They just give you rules to follow when not using those wings in the manner the Air Force winged you for.

RPA mantra sucks to be sure. The Air Force however treats you the same as 11’s for all intensive purposes. 11-202v3 applies to you. And you have to have an instrument qual even though most RPA have no ability to navigate, take off, or land legally in the weather.

There is a significant difference between in cockpit flying and RPA.

RPA does have people / leaders who want to be there and are trying to make it better. become one of them and figure out how to make it better. Unwanted or not that child is here and needs loved.

There are very good reasons for 11 & 18’s being different. Although I don’t know about the same standards argument. Are you saying 18’s go through the same process that 11’s do to get their wings? I’m not familiar with that program. Having the same standards doesn’t mean you ended your program with the same experiences or ability.

I feel for you man. I do. There are lots of drone opportunities in the civilian world and a lot of them do better than some airline pilots.
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3 hours ago, Guardian said:

There are lots of drone opportunities in the civilian world and a lot of them do better than some airline pilots.

Yeah that is coming to a screeching halt here soon.  GOCO/COCO contracts are all drying up as we pull out of the Stan and you will see the NGB Title 10 money dry up pretty soon as well.  That only leaves a handful of contractor jobs left, tons of qualified experienced contractors with no jobs, and lots of folks that were feeding their family's off of Guard/Reserve pay checks whose missions will dry up and be shifted back to AD units.  There may be a few hold outs on the NGB side if certain units commands get in bed with the right customers, but there isn't enough of that to go around.

Interesting times...

The other civilian opportunities that aren't contractor flying have always been there, but people had to really network, polish their resume, and be able to crush an interview or know someone who could pull you in to land them.

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On 7/19/2021 at 9:13 AM, Majestik Møøse said:

OG is pissed because it’s his fault and he knows it. Or maybe he doesn’t. A 12-hour off-circadian slip combined with no-go denial is just a result of poor planning from the leadership.

And the Chief is an absolute fool. He keeps referring to “real world” but it isn’t. It’s some sort of IG-type exercise. “Directed by POTUS”, lol, sure. “Forget all that economy and G8 shit, what I really need to know is the readiness level of the 552 ACW!”

On 9/11 we didn't have a problem generating 24 hour coverage as we shutdown CONUS airspace but that was 20 years ago and the 552 ACW had ongoing deployments to PSAB and Incirlik plus every Red Flag. Only seeing 4 acft on the flightline because all others being used or in PDM. What happened? I was resigned to the fact I would be deployed 9 months a year, What happened? 

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