Jump to content

Mobility Guardian 2021


Recommended Posts

On 6/5/2021 at 11:39 PM, jazzdude said:

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.

This, and with what little time you spend not doing the above, let’s also not forget about the desk jobs/queep that the Bobs have an eternal erection for, because “iT’s GoOd FoR yOuR cArEeR!!”

This has *always* been a heavy emphasis with MAF “leadership”. It really is a cultural problem. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I mean fighter guys can blame us for not caring more, but at the end of the day, MAF controls where our time and effort is spent. I'm not going to sit here and laser focus on your pet interest while blowing off the other 10 mission sets demanding my bandwidth.

Want my advice? Go around the MAF to get your AR support.

  • Upvote 1
  • Downvote 5
Link to comment
Share on other sites

6 hours ago, joe1234 said:

I mean fighter guys can blame us for not caring more, but at the end of the day, MAF controls where our time and effort is spent. I'm not going to sit here and laser focus on your pet interest while blowing off the other 10 mission sets demanding my bandwidth.

Want my advice? Go around the MAF to get your AR support.

Your primary mission is to aerial refuel aircraft and you’re telling someone who wants their aircraft to be aerial refueled to find someone else to do it? 

Stunning business model.

  • Haha 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

55 minutes ago, Sua Sponte said:

Your primary mission is to aerial refuel aircraft and you’re telling someone who wants their aircraft to be aerial refueled to find someone else to do it? 

Stunning business model.

He's not wrong though. This is a command and control issue and a systemic problem with everybody believing they are the #1 priority. His point stands, you can bitch at the tanker guys but you are bitching at the wrong people. Bitch at the HHQ who prioritize and assign their taskings. 

  • Like 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Your primary mission is to aerial refuel aircraft and you’re telling someone who wants their aircraft to be aerial refueled to find someone else to do it? 
Stunning business model.


There aren't enough tankers to meet everyone's needs, so yeah, stuff gets prioritized by big blue/TRANSCOM/COCOMs and requirements go unfilled, and operational missions generally get the priority over training or exercises. So yeah, if you don't meet the priority, go find someone else if you still want a tanker (your unit can always try for a business effort). Throwing spears at line tanker pilots does nothing to fix your problem; talk to your current ops or to your MAJCOM to fight better for your requirements.

I've been in C-17 squadrons that wanted to do DACT with fighters to actually practice how to self defend (particularly the high workloads and CRM required to keep an attacker in sight), but almost always it falls apart in early planning due to fighter availability (and even if the training executes, that gives one crew maybe a couple attempts at the task, so not likely to get to a proficient level). Why don't fighter units support heavy squadrons getting better tactically so they are ready for the near peer fight?
  • Upvote 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Stumbled across this article touting new awesome high intensity fight capabilities and this thread immediately put into perspective the complete disconnect between the right hand (future tactics and capes development) and the left hand (actual line units managing limited time to train what the other hand made).

https://www.thedrive.com/the-war-zone/40958/mc-130j-commando-ii-simulated-launching-a-pallet-of-cruise-missiles-in-mock-strike-mission

If there isn’t/aren’t enough tails, time, and aircrews to even support normal mission requirements while also training for the future high intensity conflict, what the hell is this except projecting a not real capability in the hopes it scares some Chinese intel guys into briefing it as real.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, Lawman said:

Stumbled across this article touting new awesome high intensity fight capabilities and this thread immediately put into perspective the complete disconnect between the right hand (future tactics and capes development) and the left hand (actual line units managing limited time to train what the other hand made).

https://www.thedrive.com/the-war-zone/40958/mc-130j-commando-ii-simulated-launching-a-pallet-of-cruise-missiles-in-mock-strike-mission

If there isn’t/aren’t enough tails, time, and aircrews to even support normal mission requirements while also training for the future high intensity conflict, what the hell is this except projecting a not real capability in the hopes it scares some Chinese intel guys into briefing it as real.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

Agree. The MC's rehearsed and test fit the MOAB drop for months before they did the thing. There already aren't enough hoses to go around in the AOR, I don't know how dynamic targeting and load planning will fit into the the MC-Js planning cycle.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Stumbled across this article touting new awesome high intensity fight capabilities and this thread immediately put into perspective the complete disconnect between the right hand (future tactics and capes development) and the left hand (actual line units managing limited time to train what the other hand made).

https://www.thedrive.com/the-war-zone/40958/mc-130j-commando-ii-simulated-launching-a-pallet-of-cruise-missiles-in-mock-strike-mission

If there isn’t/aren’t enough tails, time, and aircrews to even support normal mission requirements while also training for the future high intensity conflict, what the hell is this except projecting a not real capability in the hopes it scares some Chinese intel guys into briefing it as real.


It buys options for strike planning if this capacity pans out. But I'd bet the capability likely will sit on a shelf and crews spun up as required. That being said, cargo aircraft generally enjoy easier access/basing/overflight than bombers or fighters, and could help ease political concerns from other countries, again buying flexibility for planners.

But COCOMs do this all the time (trade requirements and prioritization of missions). If something is important enough to move, it'll get a tail, particularly if it truly is a COCOM/CC priority. Look at Aeromedical Evacuation-often times priority cargo/pax movements will get bumped to support an AE mission when necessary. That bumped cargo gets reshuffled onto other missions, or missions replanned to add stops to move the cargo/pax. It's a huge house of cards. Coincidentally, that house of cards is what makes things like ACE challenging. And why sometimes you get stuck at the pax terminal for days trying to fly in theater, or a large MICAP part gets delayed.
Link to comment
Share on other sites

11 hours ago, joe1234 said:

I mean fighter guys can blame us for not caring more, but at the end of the day, MAF controls where our time and effort is spent. I'm not going to sit here and laser focus on your pet interest while blowing off the other 10 mission sets demanding my bandwidth.

Want my advice? Go around the MAF to get your AR support.

It’s not just fighter guys, it’s the rest of the Air Force flying community that understands MAF is a laughing stock because of attitudes exhibited in your post.  Look, no offense, I’m sure you’re a great dude and pilot but we will never advance as a community if we don’t be honest brokers and push back against some of the queep in place of real training and readiness.  If you are nearing retirement, I can understand it is not your battle anymore and thanks for your service. To the young guys, it’s not okay to just be box checkers, build airline hours and roll over and say “well nothing I can do about it.”  What are you doing within your shop, organization, unit etc to make us more effective as a MAF and by extension the shooters more lethal?

  • Upvote 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites



It buys options for strike planning if this capacity pans out. But I'd bet the capability likely will sit on a shelf and crews spun up as required. That being said, cargo aircraft generally enjoy easier access/basing/overflight than bombers or fighters, and could help ease political concerns from other countries, again buying flexibility for planners.

But COCOMs do this all the time (trade requirements and prioritization of missions). If something is important enough to move, it'll get a tail, particularly if it truly is a COCOM/CC priority. Look at Aeromedical Evacuation-often times priority cargo/pax movements will get bumped to support an AE mission when necessary. That bumped cargo gets reshuffled onto other missions, or missions replanned to add stops to move the cargo/pax. It's a huge house of cards. Coincidentally, that house of cards is what makes things like ACE challenging. And why sometimes you get stuck at the pax terminal for days trying to fly in theater, or a large MICAP part gets delayed.

I’m just laughing because it’s obvious communities aren’t really talking to each other to build a cohesive strategy of support…

The guys going deep (STS) need all those big theat rings to go away…

How many times have you heard a SEAD/DEAD guy make the comment of “don’t send me… send a SEAL team and slit that SA-XX operators throat….”

Those SEALs get there in Black Helicopters…..

Those Black Helicopters are gonna need those MC’s to be doing something other than futzing around as the 5th string of JASSM shooters, especially in a conflict where the Tyranny of distance is more in effect either because a whole lot of Ocean, hostile ability to target your support zones with SRBMs, or combo of the 2.


Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
Link to comment
Share on other sites

3 hours ago, dream big said:

It’s not just fighter guys, it’s the rest of the Air Force flying community that understands MAF is a laughing stock because of attitudes exhibited in your post.  Look, no offense, I’m sure you’re a great dude and pilot but we will never advance as a community if we don’t be honest brokers and push back against some of the queep in place of real training and readiness.  If you are nearing retirement, I can understand it is not your battle anymore and thanks for your service. To the young guys, it’s not okay to just be box checkers, build airline hours and roll over and say “well nothing I can do about it.”  What are you doing within your shop, organization, unit etc to make us more effective as a MAF and by extension the shooters more lethal?

As much as I don’t want to underestimate the power of a ambitious captain to “accelerate change.”  What we really need is the MAF to get on board to give us the tools to actually participate in the high end fight.   You know what the next C-17 block adds to the jet?  Better VNAV to help comply with STARs, a HUD whose primary addition is to make those ILSs even easier, a software improvement to eek out a little more efficiency in the autothrottles.   You know what it doesn’t have? the ability to build a threat ring on the glass with less than 36 keystrokes, the ability to display the jets bullseye location without mental gymnastics.  RWR? Pleaze.  Any datalink? Forget about it. So I have to tell our enterprising young copilots that training to fight near peer adversary means improving techniques to mark up their crappy bullseye chart.  I can understand why some get skeptical and want to primarily train in the jets core competency that AMC actually invests in. 

  • Like 1
  • Upvote 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

You know what the next C-17 block adds to the jet?...a HUD whose primary addition is to make finding the right runway easier


Fixed it for you :)

In all seriousness, those investments are being made because AMC has to fund it to continue it's core mission, whether it's to comply with airspace requirements, or to address diminishing sources for replacement parts, in order to keep the jets flying. You'll also get other minor (cheap/easy) improvements that piggy back on a bigger effort like replacing the HUD.

While RWR gear or being on the link would be great, that costs money, and AMC/big AF is spending that money elsewhere. The budget is essentially a zero sum game: if there's no money for an effort, well, unfortunately that tells you what the priority is (or isn't).

ETA: For the copilots, just remind them regardless what the AF's or AMC's priorities are, it's still their butt out on the line. And that the WOs will probably be in the planning cells, and not flying in the threat environment, so learn what you can from them to maximize your (and your crew's) survival if you have to fly in a threat environment
  • Haha 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

11 hours ago, jazzdude said:

Why don't fighter units support heavy squadrons getting better tactically so they are ready for the near peer fight?

We actually do try, that’s why 3 fighter squadrons participated in mobility guardian. Our biggest limfac is we don’t have the range to fly to the airspace frequented by heavies, train, and rtb. We need AR support, a plan to justify a TDY, or you to fly to us. Mx makes out and backs very difficult because jet rescues aren’t easy for them. That’s why there’s still a diverted A-10 stranded in the middle of nowhere from the MG21 RTB. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Posted (edited)
16 hours ago, Sua Sponte said:

Your primary mission is to aerial refuel aircraft and you’re telling someone who wants their aircraft to be aerial refueled to find someone else to do it? 

Stunning business model.

Yes, I am telling him that. Congrats on getting the point. Moral of the story -- there is nobody else, he just has to deal. Maybe give Omega or those other dudes a call, idk. Is that a bad business model? Probably.

11 hours ago, dream big said:

It’s not just fighter guys, it’s the rest of the Air Force flying community that understands MAF is a laughing stock because of attitudes exhibited in your post.  Look, no offense, I’m sure you’re a great dude and pilot but we will never advance as a community if we don’t be honest brokers and push back against some of the queep in place of real training and readiness.

My attitude? You have no clue what my personal attitude is, I'm simply relaying the truth that there is a huge disconnect in what the priorities are for line tanker crews vs. what the priorities are for customers. And I explained why things are the way they are. You don't have to like the truth, but you do have to live with it.

My logic is simply this; if you, the customer, were that important, the people who decide where our time and effort is spent, would allocate it to supporting you. Ergo, if you are not getting the support you want, you weren't considered by those people to be that important to begin with. It's not like the MAF runs the Air Force, go take it up with the pointy nosed generals -- it's their show, not ours.

11 hours ago, dream big said:

To the young guys, it’s not okay to just be box checkers, build airline hours and roll over and say “well nothing I can do about it.”  What are you doing within your shop, organization, unit etc to make us more effective as a MAF and by extension the shooters more lethal?

See, this is the part that is bullshit. How can you sit there with a straight face, take an impossible situation with structural issues that's caused at the absolute highest levels of government, and then pass the buck to the young guys to make it better? There's not enough fucking airplanes and crews to go around, dude.

I mean, seriously, WTF do you want these young guys to do? Work 16 hour days trying to manifest jets into reality and achieve higher mission capable rates through the power of positive thinking? Tanker crews for the most part do their honest to god best to work with customers and give them the best support they can, but at the end of the day, you get what you get.

Edited by joe1234
  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

18 hours ago, dream big said:

To the young guys, it’s not okay to just be box checkers, build airline hours and roll over and say “well nothing I can do about it.”  What are you doing within your shop, organization, unit etc to make us more effective as a MAF and by extension the shooters more lethal?

I’m tracking what Joe’s saying, and he’s right for the most part, our frustration mostly lies with entities well above an ARW level. But, dream’s quote above is still very applicable. I am rightly frustrated with tanker crews when they show negative desire to make the mission happen...not flexible at all, outright don’t want to be “tactically” involved in a mission (because excuses), flip out at the smallest of changes airborne (I guess that’s a double hit on inflexibility), etc. In general, the perception is those crews are checking the box for the airlines/can’t or aren’t willing to do something outside of their super low-risk comfort zone driven by a career of CENTCOM ALR low. I’m not talking scheduling at all, but the planning and execution part. Now, I also know some of that is because some OG’s are giant pussies and the FGOs/CGOs can’t do anything about that. If that’s your case in life right now, then at least resolve to not throw in the towel, wait that guy out, and be ready to win harder when the next guy (who hopefully isn’t a pussy) takes command.

Now, I have also worked with phenomenal tanker crews, both AD and ARC. Same MWS as the shitty ones, but a whole new world attitude-wise. One real world example...Niagara lost their -130s, but they clearly brought the more tactical mindset to the -135 world. Those guys have their shit together and are willing to “push the envelope” to make the mission not only happen, but be more effective. I appreciate their openness to “non-standard” things and their flexibility. My perception is they care about the bigger picture and doing their damndest to make the team more effective within their means. There are other great units in the region as well, but I think the Niagara example is one that shows perspective/attitude can be the sole thing that makes a tanker unit awesome, or dog shit.

But that’s just one fighter guy’s opinion. I do truly feel for all my AMC bros who have to deal with monumental bullshit and candy-ass leadership on a daily basis. I know many of you would be doing things a whole lot differently if the careerist weren’t on your backs 24/7.

  • Like 3
  • Upvote 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Doesn't surprise me in the least w/ the Niagara dudes.  A unit culture derived from operating in the -130 mindset for decades is hard to purge.  Kudos to those guys to still make it happen!

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

As much as I don’t want to underestimate the power of a ambitious captain to “accelerate change.”  What we really need is the MAF to get on board to give us the tools to actually participate in the high end fight.   You know what the next C-17 block adds to the jet?  Better VNAV to help comply with STARs, a HUD whose primary addition is to make those ILSs even easier, a software improvement to eek out a little more efficiency in the autothrottles.   You know what it doesn’t have? the ability to build a threat ring on the glass with less than 36 keystrokes, the ability to display the jets bullseye location without mental gymnastics.  RWR? Pleaze.  Any datalink? Forget about it. So I have to tell our enterprising young copilots that training to fight near peer adversary means improving techniques to mark up their crappy bullseye chart.  I can understand why some get skeptical and want to primarily train in the jets core competency that AMC actually invests in. 
Attend your Cockpit Working Group (CWG) and bitch about what you need in your airplane.
Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, slc said:

Doesn't surprise me in the least w/ the Niagara dudes.  A unit culture derived from operating in the -130 mindset for decades is hard to purge.  Kudos to those guys to still make it happen!

The old Guard unit there used to fly -135s until 2008.

https://www.niagara.afrc.af.mil/News/Article-Display/Article/1074910/niagara-welcomes-back-familiar-sight/

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I have worked in the tanker cell and AMD in PACAF and TACC.  I don’t know how or why any of the AMC crews would stay in or care about “tactics.”  AMC leadership does not care. It’s not a priority.  Countless times telling the line units “yhea we got a waiver to go into your training fence . . . . no I don’t care it’s a 3/4 day weekend or 4th July/Christmas/pick a holiday” 
 

The  AF should just outsource everything mobility.  It’s way cheaper, and the ol Russians will do anything. I’ll never forget the time I was at Shemya falls in 2003 watching the Pinkos  land with an entire F15 squadrons maintenance package. They stopped for gas  and vodka break on the way back to Elmo.  No shit.

  • Downvote 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Love all this near peer talk from the C-17 guys. Spoiler alert: even if ya had the link, the radar warning, and all the other tactical gear the patches and airdroppers think they need to push into a dense threat area, it aint gonna happen. These “high speed” individuals in the community truly do have an identity complex that pushes them to somehow think they’ll be a night one train just behind a strike train and need all that gear to survive - any knowledge of current “near peer” threat would tell ya you won’t be. It hurts to hear it, but the money is absolutely better invested in equipment and upgrades that allow the jet to be more safe in hauling the mail worldwide in a permissive area where you’re not a liability to other assets trying to protect a miles long train flying 130 knots to drop jumpers.

That said - I do agree, pretty bullshit all the steps you have to take to plot a ring on the display or trouble needed to find your bullseye.


Sent from my iPhone using Baseops Network mobile app

  • Like 1
  • Upvote 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Love all this near peer talk from the C-17 guys. Spoiler alert: even if ya had the link, the radar warning, and all the other tactical gear the patches and airdroppers think they need to push into a dense threat area, it aint gonna happen. These “high speed” individuals in the community truly do have an identity complex that pushes them to somehow think they’ll be a night one train just behind a strike train and need all that gear to survive - any knowledge of current “near peer” threat would tell ya you won’t be. It hurts to hear it, but the money is absolutely better invested in equipment and upgrades that allow the jet to be more safe in hauling the mail worldwide in a permissive area where you’re not a liability to other assets trying to protect a miles long train flying 130 knots to drop jumpers.

That said - I do agree, pretty bullshit all the steps you have to take to plot a ring on the display or trouble needed to find your bullseye.


Sent from my iPhone using Baseops Network mobile app



And then the fighter guys turnaround and complain about not being supported in things like ACE, or that mobility lacks a tactical mindset.

Yeah, some dudes they carried away, we're probably not going to be on the day 1 push. But someone has to seize/set up that forward base for fighters to operate out of. Or for the army to stage out of.

I'd rather have my community leaning forward to try and get better tactically (even if some of the ideas or reasonable are laughable at best), rather than take the mentality that our job is just to haul trash, collect per diem, and only expect to fly in a permissive environment.

If we're flying the miles long train dropping paratroopers, we're not a liability, we're the mission...inserting the army to go do their thing. We're generally not doing it just because we can (except for that one time we did exactly that, which was a boondoggle). We're just asking for tools so we don't have to suck SA from C2 or escorts because we are blundering blindly into threats.

Also don't forget that RWR was a capability the C-17 lost during the transition from C-141 (partial fleet had RWR previously).
  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

15 hours ago, brabus said:

I’m tracking what Joe’s saying, and he’s right for the most part, our frustration mostly lies with entities well above an ARW level. But, dream’s quote above is still very applicable. I am rightly frustrated with tanker crews when they show negative desire to make the mission happen...not flexible at all, outright don’t want to be “tactically” involved in a mission (because excuses), flip out at the smallest of changes airborne (I guess that’s a double hit on inflexibility), etc. In general, the perception is those crews are checking the box for the airlines/can’t or aren’t willing to do something outside of their super low-risk comfort zone driven by a career of CENTCOM ALR low. I’m not talking scheduling at all, but the planning and execution part. Now, I also know some of that is because some OG’s are giant pussies and the FGOs/CGOs can’t do anything about that. If that’s your case in life right now, then at least resolve to not throw in the towel, wait that guy out, and be ready to win harder when the next guy (who hopefully isn’t a pussy) takes command.

Now, I have also worked with phenomenal tanker crews, both AD and ARC. Same MWS as the shitty ones, but a whole new world attitude-wise. One real world example...Niagara lost their -130s, but they clearly brought the more tactical mindset to the -135 world. Those guys have their shit together and are willing to “push the envelope” to make the mission not only happen, but be more effective. I appreciate their openness to “non-standard” things and their flexibility. My perception is they care about the bigger picture and doing their damndest to make the team more effective within their means. There are other great units in the region as well, but I think the Niagara example is one that shows perspective/attitude can be the sole thing that makes a tanker unit awesome, or dog shit.

But that’s just one fighter guy’s opinion. I do truly feel for all my AMC bros who have to deal with monumental bullshit and candy-ass leadership on a daily basis. I know many of you would be doing things a whole lot differently if the careerist weren’t on your backs 24/7.

To your point, most of the tanker crossovers I’ve seen come into the Herk are usually surprised/terrified by the Herk culture of pushing the envelope to make the mission happen. Especially deployed making decisions on the fly without C2 blessing because you can’t get ahold of them.
 

For the most part, you adopt the culture you grow up in, and a lot of the MAF culture is more of an airline business model than a fighting force.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

×
×
  • Create New...