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AF enlisted "pilots" - rank doesn't matter, only ability


torqued

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12 hours ago, war007afa said:

Based on years of watching the clown show, I’d bet in less than 5 years the initiative to start placing enlisted pilots into rated staff billets comes up (provided the whole think doesn’t go down the shitter, as per Chuck’s prediction)

SNCO pilots would be able to “only fly planes” just like like SNCO maintainers get to “only fix planes”.

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23 hours ago, war007afa said:

Based on years of watching the clown show, I’d bet in less than 5 years the initiative to start placing enlisted pilots into rated staff billets comes up (provided the whole think doesn’t go down the shitter, as per Chuck’s prediction)

Part of TAMI was to convert some rated staff jobs into enlisted billets. There are plenty of Career Enlisted Aviators hidings out in staff because they suck at flying, etc.

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On 11/3/2019 at 8:03 AM, HossHarris said:

I can almost guarantee there’s a pilot in now that will face a RIF in the future. The only constant is change ....

Reminded me of a recent trip with a former Soviet fighter pilot. The commander showed up one day and told everyone "Go home and don't come back."  They were shocked.  "What do we do?"  "Whatever you want."

There's zero chance of that happening here. Just an interesting story about pilots who didn't expect it to happen.

Edited by torqued
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  • 2 years later...

Just found this topic out of the blue. If anyone wants to know anything about the absolute cluster the enlisted pilot program has been, let me know. Currently applying for palace chase to get away from it before I'm forced into third enlisted career field. Allegedly, our program was an idea from then SECAF Deborah James that was forced upon ACC before it was really figured out. It's been an insane four years. Am I glad I did it? Yeah, but 96 of us did it for a lot of different reasons and there's a lot of disappointed NCOs and SNCOs right now. 

The next few months are going to really solidify how I feel it as a whole. So much time spent wondering and a lot of unknowns, especially with a majority of the RQ-4 fleet being divested/pending divestment this year. What a time to be alive

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i think a lot of us forgot about the program to be honest. sorry it's working out so badly.

also, i dig your username, have been told to take a NAP by an erstwhile NotAPilot (different kind, different sentiment)

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14 hours ago, NotApilot said:

Just found this topic out of the blue. If anyone wants to know anything about the absolute cluster the enlisted pilot program has been, let me know. Currently applying for palace chase to get away from it before I'm forced into third enlisted career field. Allegedly, our program was an idea from then SECAF Deborah James that was forced upon ACC before it was really figured out. It's been an insane four years. Am I glad I did it? Yeah, but 96 of us did it for a lot of different reasons and there's a lot of disappointed NCOs and SNCOs right now. 

The next few months are going to really solidify how I feel it as a whole. So much time spent wondering and a lot of unknowns, especially with a majority of the RQ-4 fleet being divested/pending divestment this year. What a time to be alive

Either get a degree + OTS for a rated slot or become a Career Enlisted Aviator.

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On 11/27/2021 at 1:06 AM, HuggyU2 said:

Would you tell us more about what is happening?  Many of us have no clue about this subject. 

RQ-4 Block 30 will most likely be retired with the upcoming NDAA. So only one MOB flying RQ-4s outside of test remaining, Grand Forks. Further, the NDAA still requires the enlisted pilot program to exist and actually requires more to be produced. But to go where you might ask? Nowhere! They are not allowing us to fly other platforms and that's not changing anytime soon.

So we're in limbo waiting for congress like we have been since 2019 when we first knew it would be coming to an end. Most of us are trying to figure out things for ourselves. Its why I started rushing Guard units in the first place and put together an OTS package if the Guard didn't work out. Everything presented to us as far as options is a "maybe", since we aren't officially done. Just like the Block 30 isn't officially retired. It's a big mess and I hope they release me from AD so I can be doing my own thing by the time they make a decision. 

Originally, they just figured everyone would commission. But most of us are past 10 years with many beyond 15, not everyone wants to take on another ADSC and go past 20. I'll keep this updated when we find out more in the next few months if anyone is interested. 

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Honestly there's been plenty of jerking around and years of unknown at this point, but its the AF and we're all active duty so it's not like we're about to end up on the street or anything. In the grand scheme of things, it could be much worse. I like flying Global Hawk a lot more than being maintenance and the doors it has opened have been great. Long term I'll look back at it all positively. I just hope our dudes get taken care of. 

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Understood on the concerns about RQ-4 retirements, NDAAs, etc.

Putting all that aside, how have things been from your initial selection up until now?  Productive and rewarding?  Any specific things you've seen that you thought were done well, or things you wish would have been different?  

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3 hours ago, Blue said:

Understood on the concerns about RQ-4 retirements, NDAAs, etc.

Putting all that aside, how have things been from your initial selection up until now?  Productive and rewarding?  Any specific things you've seen that you thought were done well, or things you wish would have been different?  

How could you possibly think this is still a good idea to entertain?  

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58 minutes ago, uhhello said:

How could you possibly think this is still a good idea to entertain?  

Never said it was (or wasn't) a good idea.

That said, the Air Force has dumped a bunch of money and resources into the effort, and folks like @NotApilot have dedicated a portion of their careers to it.

I'm curious as to how it worked out for the Air Force, and how it worked out for the individuals.

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1 hour ago, Blue said:

Never said it was (or wasn't) a good idea.

That said, the Air Force has dumped a bunch of money and resources into the effort, and folks like @NotApilot have dedicated a portion of their careers to it.

I'm curious as to how it worked out for the Air Force, and how it worked out for the individuals.

Sorry, took your post as you attempting to get into the program.  

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Overall, a lot of things have been good. A lot has been tough. Overall, very rewarding. I was a dude locked in a 2A career field doing maintenance shit. Couldn't retrain, BOP denied, coded to stay at my base due to an aircraft transition. Half way through a degree as well, too burned out on midshift to want to continue school.

This opportunity comes out of nowhere while I was deployed and here we are five years later. I'm an IP "deployed" to a vacation spot living the dream. If i was staying in the career field (and my model wasn't being divested) I'd probably be up for evaluator at some point. Maybe go to the FTU, maybe go  test. Maybe go to ACC or the pentagon to work for HAF.

It is perfect? Hell no. Tons of growing pains. Still going through lots of them. It has been frustrating at times to watch the career path and opportunities when we literally do the same jobs (flying and admin). But it's gotten continuously better since I became CMR in 2019. I'm thankful as shit for this program, without it I doubt I would have been offered this slot in the guard im gunning for.

The ugly: the amount of unknown due to HAF being so back and forth on the program as a whole has wrecked us. Everyone is exhausted and just wants to know what's going to happen. We have the possibility of other aircraft brought up, only to be shot down. CSAF told us at a Q&A in 2020 that we were done and going back to our old career fields. It was shot down by congress, so we had to stay. Right now we are mandated per the NDAA until that is changed. On top of it all, that memo just came down, which has some awesome stuff that we've been hoping for. The problem? "Should the RQ-4 program sunset". The aircraft isn't sunsetting. The block 30 most likely will, not the whole thing. So everyone is waiting to find out what is going to happen here shortly. 

Further, promotions have been frustrating. We're incredibly top heavy and have Staff Sergeants that would have made Tech years ago in other career fields. 

 

Lots of people are pissed. Tired of it and want out. A lot of us are still happy to be here, we just want to know what's happening. Everyone has their opinion, I'm still happy in general while being frustrated for the last few years. 

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5 hours ago, NotApilot said:

Overall, a lot of things have been good. A lot has been tough. Overall, very rewarding. I was a dude locked in a 2A career field doing maintenance shit. Couldn't retrain, BOP denied, coded to stay at my base due to an aircraft transition. Half way through a degree as well, too burned out on midshift to want to continue school.

This opportunity comes out of nowhere while I was deployed and here we are five years later. I'm an IP "deployed" to a vacation spot living the dream. If i was staying in the career field (and my model wasn't being divested) I'd probably be up for evaluator at some point. Maybe go to the FTU, maybe go  test. Maybe go to ACC or the pentagon to work for HAF.

It is perfect? Hell no. Tons of growing pains. Still going through lots of them. It has been frustrating at times to watch the career path and opportunities when we literally do the same jobs (flying and admin). But it's gotten continuously better since I became CMR in 2019. I'm thankful as shit for this program, without it I doubt I would have been offered this slot in the guard im gunning for.

The ugly: the amount of unknown due to HAF being so back and forth on the program as a whole has wrecked us. Everyone is exhausted and just wants to know what's going to happen. We have the possibility of other aircraft brought up, only to be shot down. CSAF told us at a Q&A in 2020 that we were done and going back to our old career fields. It was shot down by congress, so we had to stay. Right now we are mandated per the NDAA until that is changed. On top of it all, that memo just came down, which has some awesome stuff that we've been hoping for. The problem? "Should the RQ-4 program sunset". The aircraft isn't sunsetting. The block 30 most likely will, not the whole thing. So everyone is waiting to find out what is going to happen here shortly. 

Further, promotions have been frustrating. We're incredibly top heavy and have Staff Sergeants that would have made Tech years ago in other career fields. 

 

Lots of people are pissed. Tired of it and want out. A lot of us are still happy to be here, we just want to know what's happening. Everyone has their opinion, I'm still happy in general while being frustrated for the last few years. 

Sorry that the AF isn't being straight with you guys but good on you for volunteering and swinging with the punches.

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I appreciate it Dirk, hopefully my palace chase is approved and my path will be set here soon. I hate it for everyone else, though. My dudes just want to know what's going on and what they can expect. The letter from CSAF and Chief Bass is something at least

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