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Air Force is hiring for civilian T-6 IPs


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Because you like to oversimplify my arguments into black and white, lib and conservative, whatever. I think my opinions are more nuanced than you would ever give me credit for, and often I don’t align with the bucket you try to put me in (sts).

Also, I don’t believe that serving on active duty provides an iota more feeling of service to the nation than serving in the guard or in the civil service. I believe that if the military wants people on active duty, then they have to compete.

As a young fighter pilot, i realized that TR guardsmen got to fly 6-9 times a month working 3 days and one weekend a month. I also realized that’s how much I was flying as a CMR wingman. On top of that I realized that flying was what I actually enjoyed in the Air Force, and it’s where I felt I was actually accomplishing something. 

The military/gov is type one spatial D’d (unrecognized) when it comes to retention. They know active duty is the most important for military health and they need folks on active duty to accomplish their mission. But every single incentive other than slightly increased chances to become an O-6 🤮 goes to the advantage of the guard or GS.

You let me fly fighters, pay me twice as much, don’t force me to move, can’t deploy me if I don’t accept, and have to keep me to 40 hour weeks - thats better in literally every single way.

Edited by Negatory
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Of course this is XL only. Copy and paste details from TPN:

the USAF PAQ T6 Instructor email came out today. 

just wanted to share it for people who were curious about the details of what the position looked like and what the details of the position were:

here are the big points: 
1. 8 year total commitment 
2. 3 year training pipeline, 5 years as an instructor. 
3. Pay starts at GS-7 and progresses to GS-9 while in training 
4. Instructor duties and ground will be a requirement and but most of the training will conducted in the aircraft. 
5. You will be based out of Del Rio AFB 
6. Pay, one as an instructor tops out at GS13. 
7.  6 total hires,  3 fall 22, 3 spring 23. 

Here is the body of the email, I left off the section from the program manager PoC information.  If you want it, and it's okay with Admins, i can share the email with you.  I just want to make sure this post is allowed, if not, please delete. 

from the USAF PAQ AFPC: 

"As you can see in the handshake announcement, the Air Force is looking to hire a total of Six (6) candidate into this program starting with Three (3) in Nov 22 and concluding with an additional Three (3) in March to April of 2023.  All of these positions will be based at Laughlin AFB, Del Rio TX and once the training portion of this program is complete, the incumbent will be based out of Laughlin AFB for the duration of their term of service.

    The overall program is broken down into a three year training phase beginning with T-6A Only Undergraduate Pilot Training in the T-6 and a Five (5) year term of service as a Civilian Flight Instructor that follows.  Upon completion of that course, you will be evaluated on your progress and if nominated by the hiring unit squadron commander you will attend T-6A Pilot Instructor Training on a temporary duty assignment to Randolph AFB. Successful completion of both of these courses is a required training event and failure to complete these courses will result in removal from the program.

    When these two courses are complete, the incumbent will return to Laughlin AFB where he or she will complete the Mission Qualification Certification and then will begin teaching USAF student pilots in the aircraft.  Instructional work will include all phases of the current AETC Syllabus to include Contact, Aerobatic, Formation, Low Level, Instrument and Cross Country work.  The goal is to accumulate the required Total, Pic, Instructor, Night and Instrument flight hours to be outplaced into the full performance position.  In addition to the in-flight instructor certification, the incumbent will also become certified to teach in the T-6A Flight Simulator and to serve as an Academic Platform Instructor however the focus of the majority of the work to be performed is in the aircraft.

 Upon completion of this Three (3) year program, the incumbent will be required to serve a Five (5) year term of service as an instructor pilot in the T-6A Aircraft.

    Each candidate will have an Individual Developmental Plan which outlines all of the required training objectives and each person will be assessed at various gates to ensure you are making satisfactory progress towards the end goals of the developmental program.  Each incumbent will be assessed annually at a minimum.  Successful completion of each year's training plan will result in a grade level promotion.  The incumbent begins their service as a GS-07 then progresses to GS-09 and GS-11 during the training phase. Upon outplacement to the full performance position, the incumbent will promote to a GS-12 until obtaining 52 weeks (1 year) time in grade and then be promoted to a GS-13 grade level.

    Pay and benefits are set by the OPM pay tables but beginning at the GS-11 grade those tables are governed by a Special Salary Rate based on work performed while actively flying.  Additional incentives are outlined in the handshake agreement attached to this document.

    The attached PDF document is the "Handshake" agreement that went out to multiple universities who offer a Part 141 Professional Pilot Bachelor's Degree.  Within that document you will find details on the program and the links to apply either through the Handshake link ( https://app.joinhandshake.com/emp/jobs/6600656 )  or by submitting the required documentation directly to the Operations Career Field
Organizational Email address ([afpc.operations.cft@us.af.mil](mailto:afpc.operations.cft@us.af.mil) ).  It is imperative that you provide ALL the required documentation to prove that you meet the program requirements with your initial response as there is little opportunity to reach back and track down anything you may have missed.  In short those required documents include:

1. Your College Transcript (can be unofficial) showing GPA (2.95 Minimum) and Major:  Must be a Bachelor's, professional pilot Degree from a Part 141 flight training program.

2. Your Resume

3. A scanned, Signed copy of the last page(s) of your log book showing that you have a minimum of 50 hours of Dual Given as a CFII.

4. Scanned Copies (Front and Back) of your FAA Certificates (Commercial, CFI, CFII and FAA Flying Class I OR II Medical):  These must be current through the anticipated onboarding date (Nov 22 - Apr 23)

    The basic requirements to be eligible for this program include:
- U.S. citizenship
- Recent/graduating student (Sep 20 - Dec 22), with a Professional Pilot degree from an accredited
university with a Part 141 program
- Possession of a FAA Commercial Pilot Certificate, a Certified Flight
Instructor-Instrument rating, and
an Airplane Single-Engine Land and/or Multi-Engine Land rating
- A minimum of 50 hours of dual given flight instruction
- A FAA Flying Class I or II medical certificate current up to the time of
appointment (November 2022 to
April 2023)
- In good academic standing with a GPA greater than or equal to 2.95 on a 4.0 scale
- Ability to obtain a Security Clearance (Air Force funded)
- Meet T-6 ejection seat height and weight requirements (Safe operating
limits for ejection)
  -- Nude Body Weight - 103 to 245 Lbs
  -- In addition to the weight requirements, other anthropomorphic measurements will be required during the screening process which include standing height, sitting height, buttock to knee length.  These will be assessed for those who are tentatively selected and you will be notified on how to accomplish these measurements at that time.

    When we receive your application and documents, you will be notified that we have received them and are awaiting a final selection notification. At the close of the application window, all applicants will be sent to a central selection panel who will select those moving forward.  When that decision is made, those selected will be notified by AFPC and given a Tentative Job Offer to continue.  Ultimately those selected will be given a formal job offer and an entrance onto duty date to report to Laughlin AFB for in-processing and UPT 2.5 training start dates.

 Throughout the training program, the Operations Career Field PAQ program manager will continue to support your administrative actions while the gaining unit commander (or delegated officer) will become your immediate supervisor."

--

 

Edited by LiquidSky
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Wow.

Who wouldn't sign up for starting out as GS-7 with an 8 year commitment at Del Rio? Especially young CFIs in the current aviation job market?

As expected, USAF screws up a potentially successful venture.

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Why does it take a current civilian CFII 3 years of training to become a T-6 instructor but a FAIP can be made in, what, 18 months?

A bunch of morons must have written the requirements for this...same with anyone who signs up. If you wanna fly T-6s that bad just, IDK, join the Air Force!

Edited by nsplayr
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How would that commitment be enforced? I don't believe GS employment has anything that looks like an ADSC. Do FAA ATC controllers incur a service obligation for going to their academy/training? (I don't think they do)

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1 hour ago, jazzdude said:

How would that commitment be enforced? I don't believe GS employment has anything that looks like an ADSC. 

I was wondering that too. When I left my Tech/GS position, there was nothing about a commitment of any sort.

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This program seems tailor-made for someone who's been trying to get picked up by a Guard/Reserve fighter unit for a couple years without any luck. I'd have to imagine anybody who made it through this program's initial training would be exceptionally qualified compared to almost anyone else off the street. And whatever civilian commitment you put on paper gets trumped by USERRA.

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2 hours ago, jazzdude said:

How would that commitment be enforced? I don't believe GS employment has anything that looks like an ADSC. Do FAA ATC controllers incur a service obligation for going to their academy/training? (I don't think they do)

I expect they'd have to pay back training costs.  Paying off UPT would be a whole next level of student debt.

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I expect they'd have to pay back training costs.  Paying off UPT would be a whole next level of student debt.
Copy, so the industry's worst training bond that doesn't even get you a type rating. I'm sure that will attract a lot of young CFIs
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4 hours ago, BrightNeptune said:

Holy crap, 8 years? Just commission. I'd sure like to talk to anyone that signed up for that and find out why they did it.

What they should have done was made it a pipeline to for the multiple people who want a commission and to fly, but maybe can't get there due to med stuff that makes them perhaps "not deployable". I've talked to a few in the pipeline who got picked up guard units but bounced in medical. A lot of these people get written off for stupid BS, talk about a loss to the AF. You could even make it pre-req that they have tried to commission/would be willing to accept one if offered? Here's one, how about they get to fly the T-6 as a civilian like a guard pilot but also must commissioned or enlisted in the guard doing something non flying. 

I would do a lot to get into the T-6 but this offer seems soft. Flying a Citabria above the beach and looking at the pretty girls may be the way to go to get to 1500. 

Edited by hockeydork
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I’m very curious if anyone who wrote these requirements actually knows a damn thing about aviation. Anyone meeting these requirements is gonna be eligible for the R-ATP at 1000 hours, coming out of a university 141 program. They’re gonna go right to a regional, do three years with 1000 turbine PIC and then get picked up at a major. At the same time, our erstwhile “CAIPs” will have just now begun actually instructing in the T-6, while their college bro is an FO at Delta or Southwest or FedEx. 

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2 hours ago, Stoker said:

This program seems tailor-made for someone who's been trying to get picked up by a Guard/Reserve fighter unit for a couple years without any luck. I'd have to imagine anybody who made it through this program's initial training would be exceptionally qualified compared to almost anyone else off the street. And whatever civilian commitment you put on paper gets trumped by USERRA.

I wonder what percentage of the people picked up for this cost saving measure will end up doing just that… only to be forced by Air Force idiocy to go back through the UPT pipeline from the beginning. 

“Sorry, says it in the rules.”

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2 hours ago, guineapigfury said:

I expect they'd have to pay back training costs.  Paying off UPT would be a whole next level of student debt.

Pay back? Just get hired by a Guard unit and drop 7-8 years of mil leave on this job. Commissioning through MEST is all USERRA exempt. That alone is at least 5-6 years. Then you still have 5 years of USERRA time to burn through.

Meanwhile, you gain your pay increases, steps, and really, after being gone for 10 years who’s going to remember you still have an 8 year commitment? (btw, I suspect there’s no such thing as a GS “commitment.” Military, yes.  GS, no.)

Edited by Pancake
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I think the reason AETC is going the GS route vs commissioning is that it doesn't affect AD end strength, and they were able to find a wedge of money to fund extra GS positions using discretionary funds (ie the program can be killed at any point, and those GS pilots would be without a job). Basically getting an IP for "free" using budgetary peanuts and enabling an officer position elsewhere in the AF. GS also likely makes it cheaper than going the contractor route since there's no contractor management overhead or profit costs.

So that brings us back to how to retain those GS employees. Unless there's an aggressive training bond ($200-300k for T-6 training?), there's not much to keep them in the T-6 if they want to leave "early." It'll be harder to keep them than a young major at the end of their UPT commitment so long as airline hiring stays strong. This will be even more true if the sqs treat them as second class IPs since they aren't military.

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This reminds me of the pilot only track AMC experimented with a few years ago.  Came with a mandatory ADSC taking you to 20 years of service.  1 applicant…one! It is clear to me the Air Force isn’t nor has ever been serious about the pilot retention crisis. “Good enough” and optics seems to drive most staffs these days.  The Chinese are laughing at us, the Russians would be too if they weren’t so inept at actually waging conventional war. 

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Pay back? Just get hired by a Guard unit and drop 7-8 years of mil leave on this job. Commissioning through MEST is all USERRA exempt. That alone is at least 5-6 years. Then you still have 5 years of USERRA time to burn through.
Meanwhile, you gain your pay increases, steps, and really, after being gone for 10 years who’s going to remember you still have an 8 year commitment? (btw, I suspect there’s no such thing as a GS “commitment.” Military, yes.  GS, no.)

This the the play…and the irony here is so sweet. Dropping mil on a GS job while accruing seniority at a major.

Although no type rating, all flying time after initial qual is PIC/IP, in a mil aircraft selectable on every major airline app.

All the USAF could say…”Thank you for your service”
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On 6/20/2022 at 4:13 PM, Negatory said:

You let me fly fighters, pay me twice as much, don’t force me to move, can’t deploy me if I don’t accept, and have to keep me to 40 hour

Agree to most of your post. But having the choice as to opt out of any deployment/tasking/mission kinda defeats the purpose of a chain of command.

 

That being said deployment taskings need a better vetting process on whats required.

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3 hours ago, icohftb said:

Agree to most of your post. But having the choice as to opt out of any deployment/tasking/mission kinda defeats the purpose of a chain of command.

 

That being said deployment taskings need a better vetting process on whats required.

The chain of command that said we were winning for 20+ years?

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13 minutes ago, icohftb said:

Unfortunately yes. What else crowdsurf policy?

Yes actually.  People should have a say in how war is waged on their behalf.  Would have been better off doing it that way than letting the egghead pretend-academics/pretend-warriors try the same thing harder for 2 decades while promoting themselves and laughing at common sense proposals.

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2 hours ago, tac airlifter said:

Yes actually.  People should have a say in how war is waged on their behalf.  Would have been better off doing it that way than letting the egghead pretend-academics/pretend-warriors try the same thing harder for 2 decades while promoting themselves and laughing at common sense proposals.

That's called voting. Too bad the system is rotten.

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I've said it before and I'll say it again: base locations are the largest barrier to Air Force retention. 

Laughlin can't even retain geriatric sim instructors reliving their 80's glory days.. never mind young CFII candidates wanting to travel, make money, and maybe even have a social life.  This will crash and burn just like countless other efforts have, because they continually fail to address the root cause.

location

location

location

I'd love to see a study done on the 7 day opt rate for active duty guys getting assignments to places like Laughlin, cannon, holloman etc... But I doubt we'll ever see that. It might actually make the Air Force confront a real cause for the retention issue: the Air Force has systematically closed bases in good locations, and no matter how cool the job, people do not want to live in shitholes. 

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