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TDART speculation / troughing


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Well, I've heard about the feast / famine nature of the Reserves and with the recent hiring freeze of the TDART program, full time employment might be a little harder to find for younger reserve guys like myself for a little bit. I am still cautiously optimistic about getting some type of stable full time employment with my sqn, and would strongly like to do so if able, it seems like a great way to get plugged in to how it all works etc. If required I'll either take my shot at making a living troughing (bumming), or go get an RJ job once eligible for stable income and to keep stacking the flight hours, but for a variety of reasons I want to focus on just learning the airframe and the mission until sometime into AC (probably the next couple years...) and to really get to dive into learning one airplane instead of two.  Any speculation out there on the return of the program? And for anyone who troughs / bums and makes a living at it...how do you do it? Can you make a living if longer TDY's are not super abundant (realistically, maybe a week long TDY every 6 weeks or so)? I am learning all of the pay statuses etc for a while yet, still on MCT. 

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Guard tanker guy here... fresh out of PIQ. For the longest young guard guys thought the reserves bros had it good with the TDART program. Brings financial stability and continuity in the jet at a time that is critical in a young co’s career. Anyway, before I left for UPT back in 2019, it seem that post MCT the way to get paid or build time was to pretty much whore yourself out to the rainbow deployment lines. Stateside trips and TDYs aren’t that stable. The alert lines might cover some paydays but aren’t stable for just one person to hold for a long time. The rainbow deployments was the way to get paid and build time.
Now that the rainbow is gone and everyone is back in the bucket, I’m not sure what the new thing is gona be for young bum copilots to get paid and build time.

I also tried calling random units looking for a deployment... but everyone is co heavy...

At least in my unit we have way to many pilots, some that got furlough by the airlines. Everyone is looking for hours and trips which only leaves the young bums at the bottom of the food chain.

Perhaps if the airlines pick up again and the optstempo picks up as well, things might improve for us young bums. Until then, the struggle is real...


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This is the first I heard about the TDART hiring freeze. Does the freeze only apply to applicants or for everyone who are currently in the pipeline? I am currently finishing up the T-1s right now and was counting heavily on TDART to provide stable income for my family once I get to my unit... 

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1 hour ago, Jetpower said:

This is the first I heard about the TDART hiring freeze. Does the freeze only apply to applicants or for everyone who are currently in the pipeline? I am currently finishing up the T-1s right now and was counting heavily on TDART to provide stable income for my family once I get to my unit... 

Frozen for everyone without a tentative job offer from OPM. A lot of people have been screwed, but that’s the Air Force and you can’t count on anything that’s not in writing.

 

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So apparently it's a funding issue. I just confirmed with my Reserve LNO. I was directed to reach out to the individual who is in charge of the TDART program so I will report back when he responds.  

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On 7/3/2021 at 8:19 PM, CharlieHotel47 said:

Guard tanker guy here... fresh out of PIQ. For the longest young guard guys thought the reserves bros had it good with the TDART program. Brings financial stability and continuity in the jet at a time that is critical in a young co’s career. Anyway, before I left for UPT back in 2019, it seem that post MCT the way to get paid or build time was to pretty much whore yourself out to the rainbow deployment lines. Stateside trips and TDYs aren’t that stable. The alert lines might cover some paydays but aren’t stable for just one person to hold for a long time. The rainbow deployments was the way to get paid and build time.
Now that the rainbow is gone and everyone is back in the bucket, I’m not sure what the new thing is gona be for young bum copilots to get paid and build time.

I also tried calling random units looking for a deployment... but everyone is co heavy...

At least in my unit we have way to many pilots, some that got furlough by the airlines. Everyone is looking for hours and trips which only leaves the young bums at the bottom of the food chain.

Perhaps if the airlines pick up again and the optstempo picks up as well, things might improve for us young bums. Until then, the struggle is real...


Sent from my iPhone using Baseops Network mobile app

Ha, I would probably recognize you seeing as I am pretty freshly through PIQ myself. I’ve heard about these rainbows you speak of. A few guys from my sqn just got picked up by to fly RJ’s, so that is a possibility although not great for continuity with the jet. 

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4 hours ago, Jetpower said:

So apparently it's a funding issue. I just confirmed with my Reserve LNO. I was directed to reach out to the individual who is in charge of the TDART program so I will report back when he responds.  

Sounds good! I’ve heard that too.

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Posted (edited)
On 7/4/2021 at 7:23 PM, Stoker said:

I've heard of a guy who was one week from his TDART start date when the rug was pulled out from under him.

 

This is my shocked face...

 

On 7/4/2021 at 8:26 PM, Finch said:

Frozen for everyone without a tentative job offer from OPM. A lot of people have been screwed, but that’s the Air Force and you can’t count on anything that’s not in writing.

 

Even if it is in writing, you can't always count on it...  That whole "core values" thing, that's more for you to follow and doesn't necessarily pertain to big AF.  Also, no one care more about you (and your career) than you do.  Just keep this all in mind as you make family/career/life decisions throughout your time in the military.  

Edited by SocialD
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  • 4 weeks later...

Can confirm the TDART program is dead, at least for the time being. I am 2 months from finishing up my seasoning and had already applied and been accepted to the TDART program. Then a few days ago I was told unless you have begun your 4 years as a TDART you no longer have it. There was talk about taking it from the guys are already in the TDART program, but that seems to passed. The retention bonus that those early dude were getting was terminated, however. There is a meeting set to happen in August with AFRC to figure out a path forward but who knows how long it will be before we hear an answer. 

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  • 2 weeks later...

Sounds like we are entering into a famine cycle. Just bought a house so timing on this couldn’t be any worse but we’ll see what happens I guess. My unit used to have the 900 days of seasoning orders when I was hired but that ended shortly after. 

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On 8/11/2021 at 6:55 AM, LostNav said:

Sounds like we are entering into a famine cycle. Just bought a house so timing on this couldn’t be any worse but we’ll see what happens I guess. My unit used to have the 900 days of seasoning orders when I was hired but that ended shortly after. 

I'm in the same boat. Got a house thinking the TDART was a sure thing. I'm hoping it comes back or is replaced with man days/extended seasoning orders. Hopefully we find out sooner rather than later. 

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  • 1 month later...
  • 3 weeks later...
On 9/12/2021 at 6:59 PM, thoma015 said:

Anyone hear anything about a replacement to the TDART? It's coming up on the end of the fiscal year. Last I heard was too "keep the faith" for long term employment, but that was a month or so ago.

BLUF: Those of your waiting to start the pipeline might wanna keep the bridge intact to your current civilian job and not hold onto getting a guaranteed 4-year, AFRC-funded GS job with your squadrons to build up those airline app hours. Anything can change between now and the end of the pipeline by the time you get there, but things don’t look great for this program continuing.

I’m still at fingerpaint-level in this world, so my view is just from what I'm seeing down here and things could certainly change after the new FY budget in a couple days. 

They rescinded all offers that hadn’t started citing AFRC funding issues. Does seem like they’ve kept folks already working in those positions, but they’re not taking any new ones; even ones with offers/start dates coming up.

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  • 3 weeks later...
On 7/4/2021 at 7:23 PM, Stoker said:

I've heard of a guy who was one week from his TDART start date when the rug was pulled out from under him. Don't worry, the Air Force has solved the pilot shortage. /s

This happened to me too, 2 weeks from my start date. Fortunately I decided not to buy a house until I started getting paychecks from the TDART job. Glad to hear they solved the pilot shortage, that must be why they shutdown the program to get new guys to stay full-time longer 👍

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