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Changing/Switching airframes


Guest whairdhugo?

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Guest whairdhugo?

I was just wondering if, barring the retirement or removal or your current platform, is it possible to change platforms during your career. Obviously, this applies to AD, but all input would be welcome!

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Originally posted by C-21 Pilot:

You'll come to love the term "needs of the AF."

Roger that. The AF just bent me over for the 1st time Friday night at assignment night... apparently I loved the tweet so much I get to fly it for 4 more years.
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For every UPT grad that was sweating a possible FAIP drop, I've met a Col or Gen prior FAIP who said it was not a big deal career-wise and were glad they did it.

I personally wouldn't mind it-- everyone says the tweet is a blast to fly (in a moped kind of way ;) ) and almost as much as I like tearin it up on my own, I kind of liked teaching, but I'm kind of twisted like that...

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Guest AirGuardian

Twiissted, very twisted and unique. You must enjoy having them try to kill you on a daily basis.

Guardwise it all depends on where you unit is heading of course(politically). Warner Robins bomber unit = F-15s in Atlanta, than Bone at Robins, now J-stars at Robins now. All subject to change at the whim of Congressman/AF needs! We have several former fighter guys (F-16s/A-10s), B-52/KC-10/HH-60's/Apache Drivers, and of course C-130/C-141 drivers since we were both of those back in the day! Nice conglomerate of skills and backgrounds - it's all good!

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Guest egghead
Originally posted by ENJJPT stud:

Roger that. The AF just bent me over for the 1st time Friday night at assignment night... apparently I loved the tweet so much I get to fly it for 4 more years.
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Originally posted by egghead:

Just bent you over?! I'm sweating the March selection board for a slot next month. I'd be happy if they said I got to fly Tweets for the next 20 years. But oh that's right I'm not an ENJJPT stud that was suposed to be the next raptor pilot. Dude, your getting paid to fly, what the hell else do you want?

Dude, best of luck in your upcoming board. I hope you get picked up to go to UPT... come here (sts) to ENJJPT and maybe I'll fly with you.. and you'll finish with really great scores and get your wings. But until then, until you've been through the whole process, you won't understand what its like to get FAIPed into an a/c that was...well, let's just say it wasn't in my top 3 on my dream sheet. Yes, I still get to fly and teach new dudes how to fly the Air Force's way... it will be a great job. But that doesn't change the fact that at the last minute, a couple of people in my class got a raw deal (a long story, and maybe I'll share it with you over a beer someday).
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Guest egghead

you'll finish with really great scores and get your wings. But until then, until you've been through the whole process, you won't understand what its like to get FAIPed into an a/c that was...well, let's just say it wasn't in my top 3 on my dream sheet.

Fair enough I can accept that point of view. A good friend of mine got FAIPed into T-6's at Moody and was down a bit for a day or two. He really wanted Bones but they were handed out to guys that were less than stellar compared to him. He's over it and happy. I noticed that your post was right after your drop, I really do hope it turns out to be a great experience for you. Who knows, maybe you'll be teacing me in six months. If you are, Killians on me. Best luck

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  • 6 months later...

Hi folks,

I was wondering, when ANG units change aircraft, what happens to the pilots?

Particularly when the change is fighter-to-heavy or heavy-to-fighter. Do the pilots get to cross-train? are they told to transfer to another state? ...¿?

Seems like it would be something that would depress some folks yet something that could also excite others very much.

Thanks and happy flying folks :cool:

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I have never heard of a heavy to figher transition, but if it has happened i would like to hear about it. From fighter to heavy what happens is all the pilots get the option of trying to find a new unit or cross training into heavies.

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So I take it that heavy to fighter conversions are nominally unheard of?

Is this an indication of a larger scale trend as it relates to the stability of the fighter airframe(s) job outlook? That is to say, would it be fair to suggest that one who sits on a, say Guard Viper gig, shouldn't take it for granted, he/she might not see a full 8 years of it?

Would like to hear some opinions about that point, I remember e-mailing a unit in Iowa for the usual UPT package info and in the e-mai they volunteered the intel that they were converting to KC-135's; also one unit which might prove to be the closest I have gotten to getting a slot underwent a Viper-to-Herc conversion...seems like a trend but it may just be commonplace.

Happy flying folks :cool:

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I'm not complaining about anything, I'm excited about the opportunity of getting a Herc slot, as a matter of fact all the units I've applied to have been either 16's or 130's... the thread wasn't meant to lead to that, I am putting out the question of whether or not the fighter mission is losing altitude to the point of not being that viable of a career choice anymore; you misunderstood me. :D

My original comment still stands for scrutiny of course, is this [the conversions] a trend or is it just another day at the ANG?

Happy flying folks :cool:

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ANG Fighters are still a viable guard position.

However, fighter units are closing or converting because we aren't expecting the hordes from Russia to come over the poles anymore. We are projecting our power, and we need more tankers and airlifters to do that. I think they will reach a balance and stop closing bases.

You mentioned Sioux City IA converting to KC-135s; Iowa had 2 Viper units. Why does Iowa need two F-16 units? It made sense to close one. A guy in my B-course was the last F-16 selectee from Suck City. I think he's flying KC-135's now.

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Guest AirGuardian

It all comes down to the VANGUARD initiative by the Director of the Air National Guard.

The leadership's reasoning is to pre-empt the BRAC. If we can consolidate and become more efficient, then we can save our flags(state units) before BRAC forces closures upon us. As said before, no sense having two like airframes in the same state. Kansas has four flying units vs Mississippi's two - it's more likely that Kansas will be looked at to close one before MS depending upon the weapon system and it's usage rate of course. Right now, the ANG has a vast amount of F-16 units and many of them are under the microscope to become UAV hosting units. It's just technology and current demands that are catching up with us. Nice to have 27 or so F-16 units lying around the country, but how many were called up for the last desert sequel. Average cost to run an ANG unit is about $33 million vs $300 million for an active duty base. Our wings are smaller, but we have no infrastructure for our people such as bowling alleys, BX's, Commissaries, Hobby Shops, Libraries, etc. - we rely on the local community; therefore our cost is more benefical. We do need Active Duty, Reserves, and the Guard - but keeping our forces equipped with the correct amount of firepower/capability in the right areas has always proved to be a challenge. As far as conversions. We are at the tail end of our conversion from C-141's to C-17's and our pilots have made the transition to the newer bird. We hired plenty of active duty talent to help assist this process since the ANG did not have any experience in this airframe. Working conversions and mods to aircraft was my work at the Guard Bureau long ago. To answer your specific question, yes we did convert a C-130 unit to an F-16 unit awhile back - not a normal thing and you won't see that happen again any time soon I'm guessing. Airlift/Tankers seem to be on the highest profile and need right now. Everthing fluctuates so who knows. Our Richmond F-16 unit is now posting its flag at Langley and will help out with the first F/A-22 basing and support. Only seems right to consolidate units with the active folks if they're nearby with like weapon systems. No sense creating another Pope AFB F-16/C-130 incident again either! Things are changing, so ask your intended fighter unit where they think they are headed in the future - always good to know. Godspeed!

Note: Yes it does bite. Just ask the poor group at Warner Robins who are flying J-Stars now. They came from their awesome B-1's, and before that they were located in Atlanta, GA flying F-15s. The worst part of it is that while operating the B-1's with the best maintenance record, they were shut down after having a new facility built. Guard lost a total of 16 B-1's, and now after the latest war in Iraq, AF is trying to bring back 25-30 B-1's back on line from the Bone yard since they did an awesome job. Why send 5 fighters for an hour mission if you can send one B-1 with more payload and a 5 hour plus loiter time... What makes sense, doesn't make sense and it goes round and round. Too bad we feel the reprecussions of such hasty judgments. Just me complaining for the former 116th Bomber Group!

[ 06. September 2004, 13:09: Message edited by: AirGuardian ]

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Amen, AG! VANGUARD is definitely the buzzword in the ANG right now. The Air Force times has done some articles recently (July/Aug) that shed some light on the subject. Something about the AF wanting to cut 50% of its fighters by 2007. Hmmm...combine that with the stated policy of wanting to move more airlift/tanker activity to the ANG/AFRES side of the house (guessing due to less proficiency/training requirements...i.e. easier to maintain CMR status for less $$) and it's not a good time to be an ANG fighter pilot, IMHO. The slides I've seen call for 50% redux in F-16 wings (24 to 12?) and going from 7 to 3 F-15 wings. As stated, states with multiple fighter units will probably "get it" first. Indiana and Ohio come to mind. Some states have been proactive...TX and OH switching one unit each to an FTU probably saved them from closing.

As for The Bats in Sioux City...it's been a painful process. 80% of our guys flew A-7s then F-16s for 15-20 years. The -135 can't really compare! At least they did the right thing by the new guys...if you were in F-16 FTU they let you finish. They also gave all the F-16 guys an open invitation to switch units. About 3 or 4 took them up on it.

The interesting thing to me is that the 185th started converting from F-16s in roughly 4th quarter CY 2002. The story I've heard is that the Kansas guys didn't even know they were converting until sometime after we had already lost our -16s. They are already done with their conversion to R-models while we are still not complete with ours (and we got the E-model!). Just goes to show what your political delegation can do for ya!

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Guest dmc1557

Political delgation and state guard leadership can make the transition much faster. Although many here in the 116th wish we still had the BONE, the JSTARS mission is much better than being unemployed. Once our leadership decided JSTARS was the plan, the transition went extrmemly fast...OIF had a lot to do that as well, didn't really have too much time to sit back and reflect.

As Airguardian mentioned, we were no stranger to change having received the B-1 mission and having to move two hours south to Robins only six years before. I don't think anyone expected it to happen again so soon. I've heard many of my guard bretheren at AMS, ASBC, and UPT say that there is no way that there state/unit would tolerate a forced transition/active duty blending, but when facing a possible unit closure, don't be surprised that leadership will do whatever to keep eveyone employed...UAV, JSTARS, blended wing, etc. As the toys get more expensive, the money gets tighter, and everyone's gotta be creative.

As far as the original question, the unit will try their best to get people trained. Weapons mechanics becoming avaionics mechanics, bomb loaders becoming flight engineers, nav to pilot, etc. And just as we lost people when we lost the F-15, we lost people with the B-1. That's part of the beauty of the Guard, most can leave if they so desire.

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Guest waggonman

Think the most interesting changeover had to be the New York Guys at White plains, who lost their

O-2As, as the 137th TASS, 105th TASG, early 80s,

and moved to Stewart-Newburgh, and re-equipped with C-5As as the 137th MAS, 105th MAG !!!,

theres a change of mission, wag.

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Guest C-130 Nav

My guard unit changed from F-16s to C-130s about seven years ago. Before the change, my unit had been flying fighters for nearly 50 years. I was in active duty at the time, but from what I've heard, the change was good and bad for different people. Some pilots transfer to other units, while others stayed and retrained. In my case (being a former F-16 maintenance guy), I wasn't able to get a job in the same career field, but I was able to get one as a navigator. Many of us benefit with the change, although many others were forced to find other units or retrain into the C-130. From the unit's perspective, we became more efficient and many more opportunities for training, TDY's, and deployments were made available. In my opinion, it was a fair trade.

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