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Mobility Guardian 2021


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10 hours ago, BroncoEN said:

Not at the level you’d consider proficient. Quite a stretch saying MAF only does instrument approaches, but the past twenty years we have focused on different skillsets… none of which is at the level of a near-peer integrated effort. 

While some exercises exist, when coupled with the current ops tempo, only a small percentage of the Squadrons get exposure.

CT will never replace integrated training and the opportunities are too small to make a dent. 

Your lifestyle is tactical integration… it will never be in the MAF until the ops tempo slows down, training opportunities exist, and we have reliable tactical hardware (with support). 

Even if folks want to work with the CAF, an OST currently requires a Wg/CC-approved CONOP, full itin, and DLOs (plus all the wickets to get there) and we wonder why why folks aren’t inclined to put in the effort?

How do we make the enterprise better?  Integrate in small volumes that doesn’t require 6-9 weeks to plan, because the DV visit isn’t going to plan itself. 

Second this.

I have been planning a small OST (2x C-130s) to meet up with some F-22s and a STS for some ACE and other training. In the 4 months of planning and coordinating I have had 2 versions of the CONOP and 5 versions of the itinerary/DLOs before it ever got above the SQ/DO because the DLOs planned "weren't enough" to warrant 2 tails offstation for 5 days when we have local beans to accomplish, let alone HHQ taskings.  OST is supposed to leave 6 Jun but Wing level approval is still standing by.

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I mean, there's already more demand for C-17s than what we have, even write augmentation from contact airlift. Especially as the Army's equipment gets larger, requiring outsize lift capacity.



There would be something to be said here about maybe scaling back the number of “Break glass in case of ____” packages that tie tails away from the actual fights/requirements we are in.

Watching the retrograde in Afghanistan tear a swath through all the “just put something on the calendar” training events that didn’t need to happen is pretty humorous.


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There would be something to be said here about maybe scaling back the number of “Break glass in case of ____” packages that tie tails away from the actual fights/requirements we are in.

Watching the retrograde in Afghanistan tear a swath through all the “just put something on the calendar” training events that didn’t need to happen is pretty humorous.


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There less of that than you would think. Sure, there's a training fence, but mainly because requirements could easily outstrip our ability to maintain basic currency.

It's funny when the army mobility guys start talking about "yeah, well need 10 dedicated C-17s for two weeks to do our movement. We aren't going to preplan our retrograde and associated load plans, we're just going to fill up the jet as we deem stuff ready to retrograde in execution." It's almost as ridiculous (but not quite) as CFACC wanting to do ACE exercises in theater and having AMD bump cargo (making it late) to do unilateral exercises, oh, and let's do it without dips for any of the jets (fighters included).

There's demand across all the COCOMs since everyone wants their stuff yesterday, and if the president or VP is traveling, well, it throws a wrench in capacity for operations.

This makes it hard for strat lift to train for the high end fight, because there's always demand for missions going out and no dedicated down time to train like jets that rotate in and out unless those tails and crews are fenced off.
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3 hours ago, jazzdude said:


 

 


There less of that than you would think. Sure, there's a training fence, but mainly because requirements could easily outstrip our ability to maintain basic currency.

It's funny when the army mobility guys start talking about "yeah, well need 10 dedicated C-17s for two weeks to do our movement. We aren't going to preplan our retrograde and associated load plans, we're just going to fill up the jet as we deem stuff ready to retrograde in execution." It's almost as ridiculous (but not quite) as CFACC wanting to do ACE exercises in theater and having AMD bump cargo (making it late) to do unilateral exercises, oh, and let's do it without dips for any of the jets (fighters included).

There's demand across all the COCOMs since everyone wants their stuff yesterday, and if the president or VP is traveling, well, it throws a wrench in capacity for operations.

This makes it hard for strat lift to train for the high end fight, because there's always demand for missions going out and no dedicated down time to train like jets that rotate in and out unless those tails and crews are fenced off.

 

Haha, the Army in AFRICOM saw the SECDEF waiver for DIPS and just said F it, crisis response? = no DIPS needed.  The AOC played along.  Idiots. 

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On 5/25/2021 at 7:15 AM, ThreeHoler said:

 


From a KC-10 perspective:

Because simply being admin gas sucks and is mostly a waste of our time.

Because TACC doesn’t have the tail availability to do a flag and other TRANSCOM-validated things.

Because CENTCOM has too many of our jets.

Because we don’t have a weapons school to speak the same language and properly integrate into a planning team.

Because we don’t have anything to be on the net (yet).

Are they all excuses? Yes. But every time I’ve been involved in a flag, my job has been to sit fat, dumb, and happy in an anchor that is either off the range or outside the engagement area. It’s a self-licking ice cream cone…we don’t get valuable training (except boom fighter contacts) so we don’t value it so we stay admin gas because we don’t have the ability/care to integrate.

You sell yourself short, sitting in an MPC and getting the gist of what’s going on isn’t hard. And you’ll gain an immense understanding of why proactive tankers are critical.

Better than dry plugs on heavies.

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There less of that than you would think. Sure, there's a training fence, but mainly because requirements could easily outstrip our ability to maintain basic currency.

It's funny when the army mobility guys start talking about "yeah, well need 10 dedicated C-17s for two weeks to do our movement. We aren't going to preplan our retrograde and associated load plans, we're just going to fill up the jet as we deem stuff ready to retrograde in execution." It's almost as ridiculous (but not quite) as CFACC wanting to do ACE exercises in theater and having AMD bump cargo (making it late) to do unilateral exercises, oh, and let's do it without dips for any of the jets (fighters included).

There's demand across all the COCOMs since everyone wants their stuff yesterday, and if the president or VP is traveling, well, it throws a wrench in capacity for operations.

This makes it hard for strat lift to train for the high end fight, because there's always demand for missions going out and no dedicated down time to train like jets that rotate in and out unless those tails and crews are fenced off.

Yeah I’m saying an F load of reevaluation on what is a tangible and necessary mission for training and what is a particular COCOMs effort to present its self as important needs to occur. Having cool names attached to “_____ package” if scenario X were to pop off in every AO we could operate in briefs well, but it doesn’t resource it’s self just because some staff made a CONOP of a plan for the unlikeliest but scary contingency. Its not a sustainable concept. Outside of SECDEF or POTUS level movements, most of those fancy cool guy groups are historically a waste of efforts.

More to your point, continuing to resource those packages takes away from actual assets needed by units both in the fight or actively training for the peer conflict so they can support over employment of resources at a location because nobody is prepared to tell a 4 star, “make your contingency plan work within this given set of resources.”

We can’t keep pissing away resources like money, personnel, and tails grow on trees. It’s time to stop acting like every 11 hours there is a dirty bomb in location X that needs to be handled.


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You sell yourself short, sitting in an MPC and getting the gist of what’s going on isn’t hard. And you’ll gain an immense understanding of why proactive tankers are critical.
Better than dry plugs on heavies.


These are not my opinions. These are the tanker excuses/reasons.
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2 hours ago, Majestik Møøse said:

You sell yourself short, sitting in an MPC and getting the gist of what’s going on isn’t hard. And you’ll gain an immense understanding of why proactive tankers are critical.

Better than dry plugs on heavies.

It’s not hard, but I’ve sat in those MPCs and I’ve yet to see a fighter dude ask more than ‘what’s your max offload’. I can speak tactical stuff all day, did it for 14 years prior to flying the tanker, but it’s hard to integrate when you’re basically told to sit in the corner and color. 
 

That said, fault is also on the tanker side too. If you ask an average tanker guy what’s a max detect/max engage ring for an SA-whatever, they probably don’t have a clue. 

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As many have alluded to, tasking levels from the COCOMs tend to keep MAF assets maxed out on what they can commit to.  So when a flag exercise comes around, AMC will task and cancel and retask again.  The average tanker bubba will see yet another TDY pop up on their schedule a week prior or so.  

Juxtapose that with the fighter unit that has the exercise on the calendar for six months and actively planning for the last three.  They want to do secret squirrel stuff, so no one in the MPC without a read in.  The poor LT tasked as the planner gets a time, place and offload, and not much more.

That ends up with the tankers supporting the exercise without really playing in the exercise.  Sometimes we do it better than that.  Occasionally we even get something out of it.  But most of the time we're just retasked and back in the desert. 

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Tankers support like 20 different mission sets and 10 different bosses. Everybody wants a piece of us, and they also happens to think their particular mission is the most important thing everrrrr.

Newsflash: it's not. It's just another random TDY in a blur of other random TDYs, and all the tanker dude is worried about is the closest alligator to the boat, which is usually a deployment or a NORI, not pretend SAM rings in a pretend war.

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6 hours ago, joe1234 said:

Tankers support like 20 different mission sets and 10 different bosses. Everybody wants a piece of us, and they also happens to think their particular mission is the most important thing everrrrr.

Newsflash: it's not. It's just another random TDY in a blur of other random TDYs, and all the tanker dude is worried about is the closest alligator to the boat, which is usually a deployment or a NORI, not pretend SAM rings in a pretend war.

An expensive pretend war that has 100+ jets needing tanker gas or it’s all wasted. Less important than some “real world” missions, more important than others.

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An expensive pretend war that has 100+ jets needing tanker gas or it’s all wasted. Less important than some “real world” missions, more important than others.

The last 18 months or so the “real wars” have really been expensive 100+ plane pretend wars anyway so can we really call one a priority.


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17 hours ago, joe1234 said:

Tankers support like 20 different mission sets and 10 different bosses. Everybody wants a piece of us, and they also happens to think their particular mission is the most important thing everrrrr.

Newsflash: it's not. It's just another random TDY in a blur of other random TDYs, and all the tanker dude is worried about is the closest alligator to the boat, which is usually a deployment or a NORI, not pretend SAM rings in a pretend war.

 

What is your stance on guys seeking tanker support on FB?  By chance does your squadron support 4 school houses? 😁

 

9 hours ago, Lawman said:

The last 18 months or so the “real wars” have really been expensive 100+ plane pretend wars anyway so can we really call one a priority.

 

This!  Just got home within the last six months.  The gas I wasted flying "real missions," would have been much better spent flying pretend wars back home.  

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On 5/30/2021 at 1:06 AM, joe1234 said:

Tankers support like 20 different mission sets and 10 different bosses. Everybody wants a piece of us, and they also happens to think their particular mission is the most important thing everrrrr.

Newsflash: it's not. It's just another random TDY in a blur of other random TDYs, and all the tanker dude is worried about is the closest alligator to the boat, which is usually a deployment or a NORI, not pretend SAM rings in a pretend war.

The lack of care in regards to getting good major combat operations training versus going to the Deid for 3 months to do vanilla ARing with less threat than driving to work in the US is why crews with mentalities like that will be a smoking hole in the ground when the real war comes around. You and the AWACS are what everyone wants to kill. 

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The lack of care in regards to getting good major combat operations training versus going to the Deid for 3 months to do vanilla ARing with less threat than driving to work in the US is why crews with mentalities like that will be a smoking hole in the ground when the real war comes around. You and the AWACS are what everyone wants to kill. 


So what do you propose to fix the problem? Not like crews can say no to deploying so they can go to a flag exercise instead.

If we reduce the tanker demand in CENTCOM, that might free up time to train for the near peer fight. But that's on big AF to sell to the COCOMs; reducing sorry for operations now to prepare for the high end fight in the future.

The challenge with tankers and strat lift is that the mission never ends, there's always someone somewhere in the world who needs gas operationally (to include coronets), or cargo moved. The demand is there, and it's insatiable.

Plus, the simple fact of life in a heavy is that our choices are wait for the fighters to clear a path and continue to protect us as we push toward our objective in a contested environment, or run away/avoid (all while being much slower than adversaries).

That being said, I've always encouraged my crew to do some tactics study while at cruise (even if it's only on a couple legs during a 2 week trip), it's a great time to study and learn, and talk through scenarios, especially when you've got tactically minded people on the crew who do want to get better for that future fight. Not like there's much else to do during that ocean crossing.
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If we reduce the tanker demand in CENTCOM, that might free up time to train for the near peer fight. But that's on big AF to sell to the COCOMs; reducing sorry for operations now to prepare for the high end fight in the future.

The challenge with tankers and strat lift is that the mission never ends, there's always someone somewhere in the world who needs gas operationally (to include coronets), or cargo moved. The demand is there, and it's insatiable.


Let us not forget our PACOM footprint and last, but not least, our no-fail nuke mission.
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49 minutes ago, jazzdude said:


 

 


So what do you propose to fix the problem? Not like crews can say no to deploying so they can go to a flag exercise instead.

If we reduce the tanker demand in CENTCOM, that might free up time to train for the near peer fight. But that's on big AF to sell to the COCOMs; reducing sorry for operations now to prepare for the high end fight in the future.

The challenge with tankers and strat lift is that the mission never ends, there's always someone somewhere in the world who needs gas operationally (to include coronets), or cargo moved. The demand is there, and it's insatiable.

Plus, the simple fact of life in a heavy is that our choices are wait for the fighters to clear a path and continue to protect us as we push toward our objective in a contested environment, or run away/avoid (all while being much slower than adversaries).

That being said, I've always encouraged my crew to do some tactics study while at cruise (even if it's only on a couple legs during a 2 week trip), it's a great time to study and learn, and talk through scenarios, especially when you've got tactically minded people on the crew who do want to get better for that future fight. Not like there's much else to do during that ocean crossing.

 

I don’t deny the amount of work the majcoms and cocoms place on the MAF, my issue is with the mentality that apparently some tanker dudes have according to joes post below. It’s up to big blue and the bobs to fix their overuse shit show of CENTCOM and the poor scheduling of both MAF and CAF assets. It’s up to the aircrew to stay in the proper mindset of being the best pilots possible and not getting killed in war, even though what we do in CENTCOM isn’t very tactically challenging 95% of the time. 
 

The post above makes it seem like they can’t even manage that. COIN deployments aren’t very demanding from a flying standpoint outside of a few TICs every now and then. I can’t imagine what someone is worried about, outside of personal life matters, when meeting receivers in a totally permissive environment. I can probably count on one hand how many TDYs I wanted to be on, however I didn’t half ass my training/participation in it because I was going to the desert, rather than Russia or China, in a few months. 

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I'll admit there's a mindset problem in MAF, with a good amount of people just not caring. There's plenty of airline mentality in strat lift. There's no real excuse for that.

We in MAF don't really get the deploy, reconstitute, train, exercise, deploy cycles. So there's no dedicated time to train for different fights built into our ops schedules, which is essentially continuous. AFSOC seems to do better than AMC despite a similar ops tempo, but they already have that culture ingrained into their ethos, and the ability to offload their slackers elsewhere.

The hard part is that even if you do care, it's hard to get training for the high end fight in when you've got to get your currency beans because you're needed to go on the road later that week. Especially when you may only get one training sortie a month, and be on the road for a majority of the month.

Even after deployments in the C-17, we'd get our 2 weeks of downtime, 2 weeks to get recurrent, and then we're back out on the road passing through Germany on the way back to the sandbox. None of that TDY time counts against deployment dwell time either. And it doesn't help that crew ratios were lowered to fix the manning problem on paper.

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Posted (edited)
On 6/5/2021 at 10:55 PM, Hawg15 said:

I don’t deny the amount of work the majcoms and cocoms place on the MAF, my issue is with the mentality that apparently some tanker dudes have according to joes post below. It’s up to big blue and the bobs to fix their overuse shit show of CENTCOM and the poor scheduling of both MAF and CAF assets. It’s up to the aircrew to stay in the proper mindset of being the best pilots possible and not getting killed in war, even though what we do in CENTCOM isn’t very tactically challenging 95% of the time. 
 

The post above makes it seem like they can’t even manage that. COIN deployments aren’t very demanding from a flying standpoint outside of a few TICs every now and then. I can’t imagine what someone is worried about, outside of personal life matters, when meeting receivers in a totally permissive environment. I can probably count on one hand how many TDYs I wanted to be on, however I didn’t half ass my training/participation in it because I was going to the desert, rather than Russia or China, in a few months. 

 

Part of the problem is that the "training" between MAF deployments is normally operational requirements.  You can't say no to an HHQ order to move a fighter squadron's DDF to their exercise or moving some broke MRAPs back stateside.  So you might be leaving end of August on a deployment, you are required to get your Vol 1 beans prior to departure, you also want to take some family leave prior to deployment, and you have to fly tasked lines.  The only one you have a choice in is choosing to give up your family time for a week to head out to a Flag exercise.

For a long time I was an advocate for crewdogs to do exactly that.  "It'll be your pink butt on the line in that fight..."  But now that I'm approaching 20, the Lt Cols who were Lts when I told them that have flown their entire career in CENTCOM and AFRICOM against low end threats.  And along the way we've been out on the ramp to admire the small arm holes in our airframes, or watched the SIPR porn of unsuccessful SA-7 shots due to our tactics.  And it gets harder and harder to convince guys that they need to give up their family time to focus on the high end fight even though not one of us has ever been looked at in anger by a near peer.  Instead they've seen the only "danger" come from shots in CENTCOM and AFRICOM.  And that's what our local training focuses on the most.

We'd all love to reduce our CENTCOM and AFRICOM commitments to focus on EUCOM and INDOPACOM.  But the Pentagon actively fights back against that.  So it gets very hard to say with a straight face to the young guys that "No, I promise, this will save your life in the next major conflict.  When you receive a laydown with double digit threats in it are you going to be happy you skipped a Flag to see a few tee ball games?"  Especially when they ask if myself or anyone who was an FGO when I was a CGO ever flew in that scenario.  And if the Flag is going to help them on their next deployment to Africa this fall.

I've also signed up for COCOM exercises and taken a group of young copilots along to get them some "OPLAN integration experience".  Only to fly an uncontested airdrop on the first day because no one wanted to take away from the partner flying to provide a scenario for the airdroppers.  And the Army didn't want anything complicated because they just wanted troops and equipment on the ground ASAP with 100% success so they could begin the maneuvers portion of the exercise.  Then the rest of the "exercise" is just moving DDFs and JMRS around theater.  We were only invited to shuffle equipment around major airfields with 10,000'+ runways.  And the host nations won't allow you to do more than high altitude IFR to an IFR approach and landing.

Nobody in leadership within 3 levels of a flying squadron has the ability to push back against COCOM taskings.  So until you actually see Pentagon and COCOM leadership commit to EUCOM and INDOPACOM, you will continue to see people focusing on what will realistically get them killed or their wings taken during their 20 year careers.  And that'll be in CENTCOM and AFRICOM until we are allowed to actually retrograde.  Not just reposition it to another corner.  Which of course increases airlift demand building new bases to get out of a named country without actually leaving the theater.

Edited by Fausto
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Here’s a controversial opinion: I don’t care about near peer/GPC.  If it happens, I’ll have time to get smart because other taskings will be zero.  If it happens and I don’t have time to get smart, I’m screwed anyway because I can’t keep that level of proficiency concurrent with maintaining my CVEO specific skill set.  
 

Also I don’t think it will happen.  We have an almost zero percent accuracy record predicting future conflicts (seriously, look it up, the US has been awful at this).  

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Spend your 5 hour locals refueling fighters instead of heavies. Scoff the C-5 and non-airdrop C-17 receivers.


We beg fighter units for refueling. Especially night refueling. We couldn’t care less about heavy receiver work when we can just go swap spit.
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