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Hey everyone,

I'm a newly minted civilian thanks to the RIF and I had a question about the lifestyle of the ANG C-130 units out there. Obviously it varies by unit, but my understanding is that the reserve units deploy 6 on 6 off. Having just come off AD I have spent, what I feel, is plenty of time in the middle east. Thus I'm not really looking to go back to a 1:1 dwell. Are the ANG units doing this sort of thing? I don't mind going to the sandpit, I just don't want to live there. So what are the trips like, and how long are the activations (on average)?

Thanks!

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I'm near 5 years in the Guard after quitting AD. I ######ing love going to work. Pay aside, it's everything I wish my AD years were.

That's the feeling I've gotten from all the former AD guys in my Guard squadron... I have become very glad and highly aware that I made the right decision to pull my package out of the AD hole (sts).

As far as the pay comment, I've read through all the threads I could find looking for some hint as to what to expect in the financial area as a young C-130 pilot. Most of those threads concerned ALL airframes, so usually the answer was "it varies greatly".

With this being a Herc thread, would some of you seasoned guys be able to speak to your experience with money as a new Guard pilot, or maybe even have some insight as to what I/we might expect on the frontside of this curve of "downsizing" and what that might mean?

I can tell you that my wing expects new guys to bum for awhile out of school, if that makes a difference in someone's reply...

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  • 3 weeks later...

I second gearpig. I left AD in October and fly with Cheyenne now, and its everything you wished AD was.

Fly as much/little as you want. Deployments are sparse (AEF cycle, and requirements are only falling).

A single Captain makes about $125/man day take-home. Working about 4-6 days a month, you can make $1000-1500. There's ALOT more available if you can commute/fly regularly. I try to do drill plus a trip or 2-3 days of extra flying every month, and it pays the bills so I can focus on my civi job.

Oh, and I finally live exactly where I fucking want, aren't slated to PCS to a shit-hole ever again, and aren't subject to the REMFs and rules of AD. Its a blast.

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I second gearpig. I left AD in October and fly with Cheyenne now, and its everything you wished AD was.

Fly as much/little as you want. Deployments are sparse (AEF cycle, and requirements are only falling).

A single Captain makes about $125/man day take-home. Working about 4-6 days a month, you can make $1000-1500. There's ALOT more available if you can commute/fly regularly. I try to do drill plus a trip or 2-3 days of extra flying every month, and it pays the bills so I can focus on my civi job.

Oh, and I finally live exactly where I ######ing want, aren't slated to PCS to a shit-hole ever again, and aren't subject to the REMFs and rules of AD. Its a blast.

I've been told by Captain types at C Springs that they aim to make about $60k a year without deploying, just by bumming. Does this match up with what you see in the Guard?

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I've been told by Captain types at C Springs that they aim to make about $60k a year without deploying, just by bumming. Does this match up with what you see in the Guard?

If you want to make just as much in the Guard as you did on AD, you can. But you have to work for it. To make $60k, I'd guess you'd have to log at least 2.5 weeks a month in the squadron doing doubles.

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  • 2 years later...

Looks like it's been right at two years... Anyone able to give a re-hack on the "bummability" of the 130-side of the Guard?

I'll be home and spun-up off seasoning days by December, so I'm trying to get an idea of what a 1Lt can reasonably expect in an average monthly take-home pay situation. Currently debating the whole "bum vs. civ job option", but my real desire is to bum. Just a little worried about the feasibility of supporting a wife and kid on bum pay...

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Looks like it's been right at two years... Anyone able to give a re-hack on the "bummability" of the 130-side of the Guard?

I'll be home and spun-up off seasoning days by December, so I'm trying to get an idea of what a 1Lt can reasonably expect in an average monthly take-home pay situation. Currently debating the whole "bum vs. civ job option", but my real desire is to bum. Just a little worried about the feasibility of supporting a wife and kid on bum pay...

Everything I wrote 2 years ago still applies. Bumming on 1Lt pay with a family will be difficult- we have one guy doing that, but he was enlisted for a bunch of years.

Each double day you do (ie flying) will be about $200 take-home. Trips are only single pay days, but you make per diem. Day availability will be unit dependent- we have a lot of weekend duties (Sunday ops desk for a double, drills, weekend Guard lifts) that make balancing with a civilian job easier, and a ton of flying throughout the week that the unit will help you out with if you need more man days.

You can do the math yourself- you get 12 UTA (all-purpose) man days per quarter, plus 12 AFTP (ie flying/training) days per quarter, plus 30 (unit dependent) squadron funded days each year. Any time you do on Title 10/32 is bonus, and doesn't count towards your allotment. So theoretically, if you use all of your days, you'll get 96 (UTA/AFTP) + 30 (Sq funded) + x (active duty days). It's up to you to make it work.

Here's what I've done so far this year (4 year Captain): 16 UTA periods (4 makeup), 7 AFTPs, 4 Active duty days, 8 Squadron days. 35 total days. My take home has been about $6000, which is exactly what one month of pay would net me on active duty as a Captain. I'm expecting to do somewhere in the neighborhood of $15-25k this year, as a true part-timer who flies about twice a month plus drills and the occasional Sunday desk duty.

But I have a full time civilian job. If you have more time available, you can fly a lot more. I think $60k as a 1Lt is a big stretch (you'll be flying/on duty nearly as much as an active duty guy). Expecting $30-40k take home is more realistic if you're working your butt off.

None of these calculations include deployments, because they're so infrequent. I've been in the Guard for 3 years, and haven't deployed yet.

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Thanks for all that, I really appreciate it.

I kind of felt like that $30-40k range was what I could expect/hope for if working/flying my butt off, and a deployment may be imminent for me as well.

I have a full-time civ gig waiting for me too, but it's a solid 1.5 hour drive from my unit, so I'm torn about how to handle that as a new guy coming back. I don't want to burn a good job with benefits, but I also don't want to be the guy min-running the unit from the beginning, not getting better at flying, and not getting face time around the squadron.

If I was single it would be a no-brainer, but, with the family, guaranteed money is hard to give up.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Any pro/con's of a guard C-130 vs a Reserve C-130?

Pay wise?

Lets assume you find a reserve unit who will let you bum as much as you want...will it be just like a guard unit it terms of pay?

Pay is the same. There are those who will say Guard is better, others will say the Reserve is better (Ford vs Chevy). I've seen good and bad units in both the Guard and Reserve. There are pros and cons to both but those are mostly insignificant. Find a unit that fits your needs (probably the one closest to home). Personally, I wouldn't drive past one to get to another JUST because of its upper command structure. I would visit each and get a feel for them and go from there. Where in GA are you located? I did my 130 time at the Reserve unit at Maxwell. Spent some time around Dobbins. Heard good things about Savannah.

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  • 3 weeks later...

What is the low and high side flying hours wise at a Herc unit? Obviously dependent on the unit, but overall curious.

Depends on how much you want to fly, and if you deploy. Deployed, Herk guys typically do a bit over 300hrs in 120 days. Home station, on the low side you'll do 100-200hrs a year, up to 400-500 if you're busy and volunteering for missions. Just up to you. If you're time building, you could fly 2-3 a week, plus a trip or two a month no problem.

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But I have a full time civilian job. If you have more time available, you can fly a lot more. I think $60k as a 1Lt is a big stretch (you'll be flying/on duty nearly as much as an active duty guy). Expecting $30-40k take home is more realistic if you're working your butt off.

60k as a 1LT bum in the C-5 was possible in years past. Add another 10-15k for per diem. Yes, that's a lot of TDY. Those days appear to be gone at my squadron, unfortunately. I'll now turn the thread back over to the tac airlifters

Edited by dontshavemyhead
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Depends on how much you want to fly, and if you deploy. Deployed, Herk guys typically do a bit over 300hrs in 120 days...

This is not the case anymore. As ridiculously overmanned as the Hercs are in theater, 100-120 hours in 4 months is more likely. Both places that currently host ARC -130 units are not doing much flying. I don't think the ARC will have anyone based in Afghanistan before we leave there "permanently", so unless things change drastically in the Gulf, you'll spend the vast majority of your deployment shelf checking and pool creeping.

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That's for the guys deploying to the Gulf, which is both -H and -J right now (AD and ARC), but I don't think the ARC is going back to Afghanistan. No clue what kind of hours the guys deploying to AFG are flying right now, but last I heard is that it will be AD crews only going there until we leave next year.

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  • 8 months later...

Hey Toasty, I have some questions about flying C130s in Cheyenne since they're hiring now. I tried sending you a PM, but it said you're "Unable to receive messages". What's it like flying in Cheyenne? How many guys are "full time guard bums"? Or do most pilots have civilian jobs?

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I know this may sound naive, but my only experience with C-130 is with Marine Corps KC-130 squadrons in which for the most part the only local area training sortie are aerial refueling sorties. Seeing as guard C-130's generally don't have that mission if you aren't going on trips are there local flights to be had? The reason I ask is that I'm considering squadron that has the potential to become a C-130 squadron in the future and I'm trying to understand whether I could make that transition and still being employed in my civilian job. If the only option is 4-5 day trips I may struggle. Thanks

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Yes, there's local flying. Usually 1-4 locals/day. Maybe nothing on Monday or Friday, and maybe less if your tails are deployed or on trips.

Either way, you'll need to fly a good bit to get all your currencies done. We have more beans than some (all?) other heavies. It's work to keep current and mission ready, especially if you're new (and therefore have more requirements) and non-airline. Only you know how much you can do without causing issues with your civ employer.

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Nunya, would you say it's possible to make a decent living guard bumming flying C130s? I'm from a tanker unit, and I know a lot of pilots there guard bum, and the tankers are always going on trips. Whether it be 1 day, 3 days, 1 week, all the way to 3 months. I'm also looking at a couple C130 units, but I think I'd rather be full time guard bum than have a civ job (if it's even possible).

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Depends. I'm doing it. Lots of others do, too. I don't plan to do it for years, but many do and even get an active retirement doing it.

My opinion: If you can be happy driving a 10 year old truck, eating at home more than out, and not paying hundreds a month for gyms, HBO, and pedicures, then you'll be ok.

Edited by nunya
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  • 1 year later...

With most of this info several years old and pre dating our efforts on fighting ISIS on a larger scale, I'm wondering if the tempo of flying when you want and deploying only if you want to remains? Considering leaving AD and trying to become a pilot. Not sure on the air frame or location but leaning toward heavies.

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  • 2 months later...

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