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Changing/Switching airframes


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1 hour ago, Ant-man said:

Speaking of broken B-1s, last week, the OG at Dyess said it will take anywhere from 3-7 years to recover from all the maintenance issues. He said that the community will have to shrink, and that inevitably some people will finish MQT and be sent elsewhere. There are several pilots in the ops squadron on regression, and a few younger guys have been kicked to the OSS where they go unqualified. 

Wouldn’t it make more sense to send people to other airframes before pushing them through the FTU, only to send them elsewhere? For context, I have not flown a military aircraft since last year, and will not fly the B-1 until next spring at the earliest. 

My understanding is that General Ray wants to keep people in the aircraft that they dropped. I want to be clear that I am not ungrateful, I’m just concerned about the long-term impact on my flying career and don’t know how to bring it up to anyone with decision-making power.

Pretty sure some kid on here (or someone with a story of him/her) failed out of the B-1 FTU for academics and got sent to B-52s. I also remember someone in the FEB board who got booted from B-1 FTU and was being sent to scan IDs at the gate for the next 9.69 years. 

How lucky you feeling? 

Be patient, things might change, you might just have to fly that desk for awhile until things get fixed or you can get a white jet tour. 

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tl;dr summary, you'll probably get to stay and you'll probably get to fly a more normal amount, and you'll probably look back on it as being worth it

You're young. Have patience. I wasn't at that OG/CC call, but the previous WOM I'd heard was that brand new B-Course grads are *not* being sent off to do other things. The temporary crew force redux is hitting the middle tier of experience (broadly speaking), spread out across year groups. The whole point of drawing down manning is to ensure that those who stay can fly, gain experience, and upgrade on a more normal timeline (and not get bottlenecked as has happened a lot recently) given reduced sortie availability... While those that go elsewhere use their experience to add value elsewhere in the CAF, and learn things that will add value to the B-1 when they return.

The circumstances suck, but the community has weathered worse and bounced back to bigger and better things... e.g. the early 1990s trying to figure out if it still had a mission after the Cold War, and the early 2000s when the fleet and the crew force was permanently reduced by 1/3rd. You can look at this as "I missed the 18 fat years, and arrived just in time for the lean ones," or you can look at it as an opportunity to be on the ground floor of creating something great. I spent 8 years on the Octobomber, arriving a few years after the "Nukes Across America" incident when it was nuclear exercise after nuclear exercise occasionally punctuated by Guam. People that were short term thinkers looked for the first opportunity they could get to punch to something else (ALFA tours, green door assignments, rando non-flying staff gigs, etc.), and missed going to combat. Those of us who stuck around and tried to make our corner of the AF better eventually led the way when we went back to CENTCOM. Likewise, I suspect the B-1's finest hour is still ahead of us.

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4 hours ago, Disco_Nav963 said:

I suspect the B-1's finest hour is still ahead of us.

Cut up BOne parts roasting on the desert floor at DM as B-21s roar overhead...Thats the future. 

The crews are staying put for the most part because of assignment cycles (systemic reaction is slow), and because the initial AFGSC plan to take care of them was unrealistic - things that take a lot of time/money/approval/basing decisions and/or are competitive. It’ll likely be a mix of most of those options, but no one place will get all the BOne dudes - you’re not all going to school/staff/UPT.

That takes time to settle. And just because your airplane takes a dump doesn’t earn you any extra points in the eyes of big Air Force. 

Luck and timing. Make your choices appropriately and remember rule #1.

Chuck

Edited by Chuck17
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On 8/4/2019 at 6:50 PM, Ant-man said:

Speaking of broken B-1s, last week, the OG at Dyess said it will take anywhere from 3-7 years to recover from all the maintenance issues. He said that the community will have to shrink, and that inevitably some people will finish MQT and be sent elsewhere. There are several pilots in the ops squadron on regression, and a few younger guys have been kicked to the OSS where they go unqualified. 

Wouldn’t it make more sense to send people to other airframes before pushing them through the FTU, only to send them elsewhere? For context, I have not flown a military aircraft since last year, and will not fly the B-1 until next spring at the earliest. 

My understanding is that General Ray wants to keep people in the aircraft that they dropped. I want to be clear that I am not ungrateful, I’m just concerned about the long-term impact on my flying career and don’t know how to bring it up to anyone with decision-making power.

Ant-man,

To answer your question, leadership is already aware of your situation. You could raise your concerns again during the next all-call coming up, but expect to learn nothing new. In my limited perspective, they still don’t have a gameplan to fix the manning restructure.

The short term impact of your situation is you’ll complete MQT and upgrade to AC/SML significantly later than your peers in other airframes. However, since the whole B-1 community is affected, it won’t affect your AF career early on.

Don’t worry too much about flying for the airlines now, but acknowledge if B-1 production doesn’t improve significantly for the remaining duration of your ADSC, you’ll be less competitive for the major airlines. To mitigate that, you can volunteer to fly white jets and/or fly for a regional for a bit once you separate. 

Edited by Newb
Grammar
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2 hours ago, LoveDumpster said:

I met a F22 driver that was a patch in 135s and somehow worked a deal.

I was always told once you're heavies you're always heavies. I guess anything is possible.

It’s all luck and timing, with increased probability because he’s a great dude. 

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On 12/10/2019 at 12:26 PM, SurelySerious said:

It’s all luck and timing, with increased probability because he’s a great dude. 

He was one of 4 lucky heavy dudes that were part of a heavy to fighter crossflow “experiment”. They also sent 4 more to bombers. Know one of them personally. 
 

The version I heard was that AFPC was kept out of the loop on this crossflow good idea fairy, and it pissed them off, and subsequently shut down any future crossflow chances for the fat kids, unfortunately. 
 

Edit: spelling

Edited by WheelsOff
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1 hour ago, WheelsOff said:

He was one of 4 lucky heavy dudes that were part of a heavy to fighter crossflow “experiment”. They also sent 4 more to bombers. Know one of them personally. 
 

The version I heard was that AFPC was kept out of the loop on this crossflow good idea fairy, and it pissed them off, and subsequently shut down any future crossflow chances for the fat kids, unfortunately. 
 

Edit: spelling

It’s a good thing AFPC is so good at this talent management thing that they won’t consider anyone else’s ideas. 

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Believe it or not, I have an Atta-Boy for AFPC with a big personal victory. I dropped RPAs by choice out of UPT 9 years ago and re-categorized as an RPA dude in 2016. I've loved the mission and people I've worked with, but life/career/family priorities changed big time for me in 2018 (O-6+, progression, and box checking quit being the goal). In light of that, I've been pushing hard for 1.5 years to get back in the cockpit by any means possible to learn a new mission, breath some fresh air, have an adventure, and challenge myself as an aviator (while keeping family, health, and personal priorities higher than they'd been). I hit a lot of road blocks (and sacrificed what my military career had been if I'm honest), and I was in full on cards out Palace Chase job hunting mode.

After being told no for a year, AFPC and my SQ/OG leadership made me an offer to return to fly on AD with the other UPT Direct dudes who were 3 years out of UPT. I've kept it close hold because it's been word of mouth only for 6 months...but they sent me to SERE, I'm flying in a T-1 refresher course right now, and I have orders for PIQ in the -135.

I'm super stoked for the new opportunity and moving to Fairchild. Thanks to the bros here on Baseops that helped me navigate through Palace Chase options, cross-training, and AFPC stuff. School is out of the picture and making O-5 isn't likely (not sure promoting is the best option for me at this point anyway)....but I'll be taking a 3 year bonus along with the initial qual ADSC. And being a free agent taking it assignment by assignment is awesome so far. I have no idea what I'll be looking to do in 3-4 years, but I'm pumped to be flying again and there are ALOT of varied options I'm excited thinking about. :beer:

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On 12/26/2019 at 12:31 PM, GoodSplash9 said:

Believe it or not, I have an Atta-Boy for AFPC with a big personal victory. I dropped RPAs by choice out of UPT 9 years ago and re-categorized as an RPA dude in 2016. I've loved the mission and people I've worked with, but life/career/family priorities changed big time for me in 2018 (O-6+, progression, and box checking quit being the goal). In light of that, I've been pushing hard for 1.5 years to get back in the cockpit by any means possible to learn a new mission, breath some fresh air, have an adventure, and challenge myself as an aviator (while keeping family, health, and personal priorities higher than they'd been). I hit a lot of road blocks (and sacrificed what my military career had been if I'm honest), and I was in full on cards out Palace Chase job hunting mode.

After being told no for a year, AFPC and my SQ/OG leadership made me an offer to return to fly on AD with the other UPT Direct dudes who were 3 years out of UPT. I've kept it close hold because it's been word of mouth only for 6 months...but they sent me to SERE, I'm flying in a T-1 refresher course right now, and I have orders for PIQ in the -135.

I'm super stoked for the new opportunity and moving to Fairchild. Thanks to the bros here on Baseops that helped me navigate through Palace Chase options, cross-training, and AFPC stuff. School is out of the picture and making O-5 isn't likely (not sure promoting is the best option for me at this point anyway)....but I'll be taking a 3 year bonus along with the initial qual ADSC. And being a free agent taking it assignment by assignment is awesome so far. I have no idea what I'll be looking to do in 3-4 years, but I'm pumped to be flying again and there are ALOT of varied options I'm excited thinking about. :beer:

Dude that is fantastic. I've totally noticed AFPC is a lot more willing to play ball in the last 2-3 years. I'm glad there is finally some direction that people having some control on their careers helps to retain them. 

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On 12/19/2019 at 8:03 PM, WheelsOff said:

He was one of 4 lucky heavy dudes that were part of a heavy to fighter crossflow “experiment”. They also sent 4 more to bombers. Know one of them personally. 
 

The version I heard was that AFPC was kept out of the loop on this crossflow good idea fairy, and it pissed them off, and subsequently shut down any future crossflow chances for the fat kids, unfortunately. 
 

Edit: spelling

someone significantly wiser than I recently said to me that there have always been paths to oddball crossflow and that; they exist as they are, amorphous and ephemeral, because it ensures only the most determined can successfully navigate the entire way. while i appreciate this deeply not cynical view of crossflow it's not really the best solution.

this isn't a new take but: there's an extremely reasonable case to be made that, for reasons ranging from leveraging individual potential to simply making people happy to retain them, a well-defined and regularly held cross flow process should be established. hell, the navy has one and it works pretty damn well from what i've heard. a flag officer came and spoke to some pilots in my community not too long ago and i left with the distinct impression that there is some awareness and potentially, willingness to push for that type of program.

 

Edited by 12xu2a3x3
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Just now, 12xu2a3x3 said:

. hell, the navy has one and it works pretty damn well from what i've heard. 

The Navy does have a process but the numbers are exceptionally small that do it. The irony is the Navy seems to make it easier to do (as compared to the AF) but less guys do it. From what I’ve seen it’s mainly because of how the officer career path is built and crossing from rotary to fixed, etc, can be difficult to recover from career wise. 

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1 minute ago, Bigred said:

The Navy does have a process but the numbers are exceptionally small that do it. The irony is the Navy seems to make it easier to do (as compared to the AF) but less guys do it. From what I’ve seen it’s mainly because of how the officer career path is built and crossing from rotary to fixed, etc, can be difficult to recover from career wise. 

my understanding is that, if you elect to do that switch, you unofficially give up any shot at command since you never have the same level of cred in the jet. i think people in the air force would take that deal, they can always punch to the guard/reserves if they truly want to command. this reminds me a bit of people i know coming out of UPT to C-17s fighting to go back to their previous base when they're told that they "need" to go to either a big or small base (whichever they weren't at previously) for career progression.

i don't believe that most people who are trying to crossflow are worried about box checking sts. in the U-2/B-2 communities it seems like carefully selecting self-actualized pilots who are nicely seasoned in various airframes is a net gain to the community. this is a bit in contrast to what i've heard from some 11Fs where FAIPs show up late and have all the associated hassle and the community gets what it gets, good or bad.

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Fellas, it's a complete buyers market right now.  Due to every swinging dick Major and their mother punching out, Big Blue is getting desperate to keep dudes in.  I came from the C-130J community, and I've heard from bros that Sq/CCs are telling dudes to put down their wildest dreams on their ADP or whatever the fuck it's called now and they will fight to make it happen.  The chips are in your stack; time to bet big and make them fold.  You're a heavy driver and want to fly bombers?  Ask.  If they say no, give them both fingers as you walk out the door and walk straight into a ANG/AFRC unit of your choice and apply.  Don't want to fly after AD?  You're in luck, because every major is hiring anyone with a pulse right now.  You've never had more power.  Use it wisely.

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15 hours ago, 12xu2a3x3 said:

they can always punch to the guard/reserves if they truly want to command.

Why do you think this is the case?  Do you think the ARC is such a second string option that you don't need cred to be a commander?  C'mon man, you can't be that far under a rock?  

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15 hours ago, BADFNZ said:

Fellas, it's a complete buyers market right now.  Due to every swinging dick Major and their mother punching out, Big Blue is getting desperate to keep dudes in.  I came from the C-130J community, and I've heard from bros that Sq/CCs are telling dudes to put down their wildest dreams on their ADP or whatever the it's called now and they will fight to make it happen.  The chips are in your stack; time to bet big and make them fold.  You're a heavy driver and want to fly bombers?  Ask.  If they say no, give them both fingers as you walk out the door and walk straight into a ANG/AFRC unit of your choice and apply.  Don't want to fly after AD?  You're in luck, because every major is hiring anyone with a pulse right now.  You've never had more power.  Use it wisely.

I love the enthusiasm and the positive attitude, but I haven't really seen this on the tanker side. Unless you're picked up for some special program like Phoenix, you're not being released unless it's to pay UPT bills. I'd love to go fly a strike aircraft or something more tactical, especially after watching those guys rain hate in the sandbox. But from what I understand, if you didn't fly a T-38 in UPT that isn't happening - unless you somehow work a board like said ex-135 driver did. 

I'd love to be proven wrong, though.

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7 hours ago, EvilEagle said:

Why do you think this is the case?  Do you think the ARC is such a second string option that you don't need cred to be a commander?  C'mon man, you can't be that far under a rock?  

I hope he’s giving the ARC the benefit of the doubt, that they would be more open-minded and sensible then active duty.

Some of the best pilots I’ve seen have been mechanical crossflow guys and some of the best commanders I’ve seen have been Phoenix guys. Hard to beat the experience of seeing the world from different perspectives, in aviation or elsewhere. 

I’ve also seen terrible crossflow guys from both avenues, so YMMV. 

Crossflows have the opportunity to be real value added... instead of just reading other aircrafts 3-1s/3s they’ve been there and done that... and they ought to be pretty good sticks. They can make the communities they touch better by sharing lessons-learned and teaching the young guys about the bigger picture.

On the other hand there are always those who manage to stay inside the box and remain narrow in their thinking no matter how many opportunities they’ve been given.

BL is that folks should not be pre-judged and maybe in the ARC they’d get the chance to be looked at as individuals and less as numbers. Or maybe not.

The airlines seems to be the only good place to be just a number.

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7 hours ago, EvilEagle said:

Why do you think this is the case?  Do you think the ARC is such a second string option that you don't need cred to be a commander?  C'mon man, you can't be that far under a rock?  

No, not at all, in fact I think the opposite. To clarify, the ANG/AFRC seem to have a slightly broader aperture for evaluating who they put in leadership positions.To that end, I don’t think having flown a jet outside the one the squadron does is a non-starter, which outside of Phoenix Reach or the like seems to be the case sometimes.

(I came from the guard)

Edited by 12xu2a3x3
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Fair enough.  The way you phrased it sounded like you were saying if you aren't credible in the jet you can just go be a commander in the ARC because it won't matter.  Just caught me funny.  

 

I was a squadron CC in the ANG and looked at the guys that were CC's on AD in my community.  From many conversations with them it's a hell of a lot harder to be a CC in the ANG due to all the additional stuff that doesn't automatically happen (orders, recruiting, OTS, pipeline, etc).  If you don't have cred you won't get jack done for your guys - which is why you are a commander in the first place.  

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Fair enough.  The way you phrased it sounded like you were saying if you aren't credible in the jet you can just go be a commander in the ARC because it won't matter.  Just caught me funny.  
 
I was a squadron CC in the ANG and looked at the guys that were CC's on AD in my community.  From many conversations with them it's a hell of a lot harder to be a CC in the ANG due to all the additional stuff that doesn't automatically happen (orders, recruiting, OTS, pipeline, etc).  If you don't have cred you won't get jack done for your guys - which is why you are a commander in the first place.  


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44 minutes ago, EvilEagle said:

Fair enough.  The way you phrased it sounded like you were saying if you aren't credible in the jet you can just go be a commander in the ARC because it won't matter.  Just caught me funny.

Yeah, I'm not the most articulate person, sorry.

45 minutes ago, EvilEagle said:

I was a squadron CC in the ANG and looked at the guys that were CC's on AD in my community.  From many conversations with them it's a hell of a lot harder to be a CC in the ANG due to all the additional stuff that doesn't automatically happen (orders, recruiting, OTS, pipeline, etc).  If you don't have cred you won't get jack done for your guys - which is why you are a commander in the first place.  

100% valid. i was a crew chief for an ANG fighter SQ/CC and heard pretty regularly about all those woes. he was a great guy who came from a long-ish active duty career. truly don't know if he could have been a commander in the active duty or not, but ultimately it's irrelevant because he excelled in the guard.

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4 hours ago, LoveDumpster said:

I love the enthusiasm and the positive attitude, but I haven't really seen this on the tanker side. Unless you're picked up for some special program like Phoenix, you're not being released unless it's to pay UPT bills. I'd love to go fly a strike aircraft or something more tactical, especially after watching those guys rain hate in the sandbox. But from what I understand, if you didn't fly a T-38 in UPT that isn't happening - unless you somehow work a board like said ex-135 driver did. 

I'd love to be proven wrong, though.

 I’m currently in a B course after a RPA tour, over the  last 6-9 months I have met probably 6-9 other crossflows dudes, some from RPAs, couple mil to mils, couple dudes just wanted to do something different and asked, couple were voluntold. 

Not saying you can move from C-5s to F-22s (easily) but I would say there are more opportunities to move airframes than 6-9 years ago.  
 

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5 hours ago, LoveDumpster said:

I love the enthusiasm and the positive attitude, but I haven't really seen this on the tanker side. Unless you're picked up for some special program like Phoenix, you're not being released unless it's to pay UPT bills. I'd love to go fly a strike aircraft or something more tactical, especially after watching those guys rain hate in the sandbox. But from what I understand, if you didn't fly a T-38 in UPT that isn't happening - unless you somehow work a board like said ex-135 driver did. 

I'd love to be proven wrong, though.

I left AD this year so I can't give you an up-to-the-minute update on what's happening in any community, but if it were me, and I was a herbivore wanting to fly something that can blow shit up, my conversation would go like this:

Sq/CC:  Hey Maj Snuffy, I know you're coming up on your ADSC.  What are your plans?

Me:  Well sir, I've always wanted to drop bombs and I also love chasing high school girls around the dance floor at country bars, so I'm thinking a B-1 to Dyess would be fun

Sq/CC:  Well, you know I can't get you that.  How about ACSC?  We've run through the primaries, alternates, and the alternates to the alternates, and everyone is declining school.  You'd make a great Sq/CC one day...{checks notes}....Kevin. 

Me:  I'm good sir.  I heard AA is hiring literally 1500 pilots this year and Delta somewhere close to that.  Do they have country bars in Atlanta?

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