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Aviation Continuation Pay (ACP - The Bonus)


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On 1/4/2022 at 9:45 PM, Standby said:

Serious question: are there any ejection-capable fighter or trainer aircraft in our inventory that recommend a landing with single MLG unsafe?

If you don’t have safety access, the AIB gives much of what you may need. I realize there are different seats, but one of the most important parts of this mishap (to me) is the failure of the seat. I think far too many people make go/no-go decisions without consideration for seat failure. I have seen people take too much unnecessary risk with a blind assumption that the seat will get them out of a bad spot if things go too far south.

If an approach end arrestment is available, the only configuration not recommended for landing the F-22 is one MLG down.  Naturally the checklist covers its own ass by saying "if conditions are not favorable for landing consider ejection."  Procedures are written for landing with any other gear configuration.

So, in the same circumstance as the Shaw accident the -1 would direct an approach-end arrestment as was attempted in that mishap; the Raptor also has the ACES II, which malfunctioned.  All the more reason to have a missed cable gameplan and discuss it with any mutual support available.  In this circumstance, that likely becomes going around and executing a go-around and executing a controlled bailout from an altitude that allows time to pull the manual override handle if necessary.

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On 1/7/2022 at 12:21 AM, FourFans130 said:

Because I haven't said it in a while...

I hereby reword my normal perennial statement: "Don't take the bonus!"

It now reads: Take the bonus.  The signing bonus from every airline hiring right now.

Seriously.  If money is a factor.  Leave right now.

So I was getting ready to get out and fly for an airline a few years ago. Then covid hit, I withdrew my separation, got a good follow on assignment, and stayed in while taking the 3 year 2020 bonus. After the bonus is up I have 2 years until retirement. I've thought many hours about both options. The uncertainty in March/ April of 2020 was just too great and I boiled it down to this:

Stay in and retire (5 years to go). Did a good job saving and investing (though market peaks make my performance/portfolio look good at the moment, who knows in a few years) and shouldn't have to work again after I retire as a Major. If airlines kick back up in a year or 2 oh well, I get a retirement and not having to work. 

Option 2: get out and hope for the best. If airlines pick up, I'm a genius and make a lot of money but gotta work a while. If things suck for 5 years or more it was a bad decision. Plus not a lot of guard/reserve options during the start of Covid. 

Option 1 made sense for me. Good assignment and 3 yr bonus. I'll be able to stay in my mws until retirement (God willing). 

Point is everyone has a different situation, though right now things are looking greener on the outside. 

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1 hour ago, QAZqaz said:

So I was getting ready to get out and fly for an airline a few years ago. Then covid hit, I withdrew my separation, got a good follow on assignment, and stayed in while taking the 3 year 2020 bonus. After the bonus is up I have 2 years until retirement. I've thought many hours about both options. The uncertainty in March/ April of 2020 was just too great and I boiled it down to this:

Stay in and retire (5 years to go). Did a good job saving and investing (though market peaks make my performance/portfolio look good at the moment, who knows in a few years) and shouldn't have to work again after I retire as a Major. If airlines kick back up in a year or 2 oh well, I get a retirement and not having to work. 

Option 2: get out and hope for the best. If airlines pick up, I'm a genius and make a lot of money but gotta work a while. If things suck for 5 years or more it was a bad decision. Plus not a lot of guard/reserve options during the start of Covid. 

Option 1 made sense for me. Good assignment and 3 yr bonus. I'll be able to stay in my mws until retirement (God willing). 

Point is everyone has a different situation, though right now things are looking greener on the outside. 

The Career Intermission Program (CIP) could be a third option.

Edited by Newb
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Read the recent airline thread?  My local union council entertained a proposal to attempt to increase the age 65 rule (it failed, no surprise).  One of the points, there is a "pilot shortage."  Really, its a shortage of specific kinds of people, but they will take what they can when the preferred category dries up.  A mil pilot is a well known quantity and usually produces well.  They also tend to be mission hacking oriented. 

That said, I know numerous people that got out at 16, 17, and even 18 yrs of service.  I know the check of the month club is very enticing, and it made being on min pay thru covid no big deal (thanks, Uncle Sugar!!).  No OPRs, no 1206s, no PT tests, no uni-nazis (yep, nobody cares if I'm hat-less) or whatever beef o' the day in the Wrong on the AF thread.  The job takes me to interesting places with breweries to try out. 

At United, there is need to hire 1100ish by this summer based on the last vacancy.  Anyone with min Capt requirements could have gotten it at SFO, LAX, EWR, and IAD.  I just heard Delta doesn't care about a degree.  These are called hiring signs.

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^^^ Option 3 - go to the airlines, then find a guard job to finish out the last couple years.  Get the check of the month and be an airline pilot.  Drop a trip a month since you have the check of the month and enjoy getting paid six figures (plus retirement) to "work" 10 days a month.

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4 hours ago, Smokin said:

^^^ Option 3 - go to the airlines, then find a guard job to finish out the last couple years.  Get the check of the month and be an airline pilot.  Drop a trip a month since you have the check of the month and enjoy getting paid six figures (plus retirement) to "work" 10 days a month.

I have almost identical timing but will be out at 15. I’ve struck out on a bunch of ANG units as “too old”. Thoughts?

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5 hours ago, Danger41 said:

I have almost identical timing but will be out at 15. I’ve struck out on a bunch of ANG units as “too old”. Thoughts?

Yeah man see that’s the thing. Everyone says just go to a guard unit but some are highly competitive. Sure if I was willing to commute to one in a place I didn’t want to live (if they even hire me) and probably commute to my airline job, I might have had a chance with that route, but at what cost? The units in the place I will retire and want to live basically told me they had one or 2 slots and every major on active duty at the base, plus a lot of other bases, was rushing it (pre Covid). So that didn’t leave me with many options other than cross train or do IMA/ Cat E reserves which I wasn’t getting much traction with either. After 15 years when I made the decision I didn’t want to completely throw away my retirement and be forced to work for an airline for the following 20. 

there’s always gonna be hindsight bias but the truth is even now I feel like I did the right thing at the time and don’t regret it. Had I reached my ADSC today, or reached an ADSC with 12 years TAFMS, it would be a different story. Lots of variables to consider. 

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Interesting hearing your pre-Covid experiences with guard units as mine was completely opposite. I was rushing tanker units and they were basically giving slots to any previously qualified military pilot with a pulse. I was offered a job at two different units.

The irony though, for similar reasons I ended up going the same route as you on the active duty side of things.

Edited by Bigred
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4 hours ago, Bigred said:

Interesting hearing your pre-Covid experiences with guard units as mine was completely opposite. I was rushing tanker units and they were basically giving slots to any previously qualified military pilot with a pulse. I was offered a job at two different units.

The irony though, for similar reasons I ended up going the same route as you on the active duty side of things.

Part of it was self inflicted. I didn't want to leave where I was living unless it was to commute to an IMA job (which all got bought up by the time I figured out what that was). Had I been open to moving which I wasn't due to my wife's job and me not wanting to leave, I probably could have done that as well. Point is hopefully this works out and hopefully I won't have to deploy again after a short tour I'm on, though it doesn't give me dwell time and technically I'm not protected. 

Wonder if they will offer me a 2 year bonus when this one is up to get to retirement? My guess is they won't. I think when I signed mine you could do single years at a time? Or maybe 3 years was the min I can't remember. Either way I'm planning on getting no bonus my last 2 years and I also think there's a 98% chance it won't go above the 2020 AVB. 

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16 hours ago, Danger41 said:

I have almost identical timing but will be out at 15. I’ve struck out on a bunch of ANG units as “too old”. Thoughts?

Are you only looking at flying units?

 

If you can get hired at an airline with your AD service, a non-flying guard/reserve gig will be much less work for the same retirement.

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Agreed.  If you are looking at getting into a flying unit, it might be tough with the relatively bad timing of post-covid, especially if you are picky.  Some units are obviously easier to get into than others, but there is also generally a reason for that.  Usually either location or squadron reputation/culture or a combination of the two. 

There are multiple retirement options in the guard.  If you just want a paycheck of the month at some point, you can do a min run non-flying guard job and still retire at 20 years total.  But you won't get a paycheck until you hit civilian retirement age and it'll be roughly 75% of what your retirement check would be for active duty.  Or you can try to do the airline thing for a year and then go on mil leave and finish out your 20 year active duty retirement, but in the guard.  Timeline and paycheck is about the same as if you had stayed, minus the year with the airlines.  That being said, many guys are trying to do that now, so that is probably the most difficult path to find. 

Overall, your guard opportunities open up drastically the less picky you are about your job and your status (DSG vs AGR).  NGB (the Pentagon for the guard) is almost always short staffed and looking for people.  Sounds miserable to me, but if you live near the beltway or can find one that is telecommute-able, that would be a feasible option.  Get your foot in the door somewhere and once you do I think you'll be surprised at the variety of random guard jobs there are for someone willing to move or just not fly.

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22 minutes ago, Smokin said:

Agreed.  If you are looking at getting into a flying unit, it might be tough with the relatively bad timing of post-covid, especially if you are picky.  Some units are obviously easier to get into than others, but there is also generally a reason for that.  Usually either location or squadron reputation/culture or a combination of the two. 

There are multiple retirement options in the guard.  If you just want a paycheck of the month at some point, you can do a min run non-flying guard job and still retire at 20 years total.  But you won't get a paycheck until you hit civilian retirement age and it'll be roughly 75% of what your retirement check would be for active duty.  Or you can try to do the airline thing for a year and then go on mil leave and finish out your 20 year active duty retirement, but in the guard.  Timeline and paycheck is about the same as if you had stayed, minus the year with the airlines.  That being said, many guys are trying to do that now, so that is probably the most difficult path to find. 

Overall, your guard opportunities open up drastically the less picky you are about your job and your status (DSG vs AGR).  NGB (the Pentagon for the guard) is almost always short staffed and looking for people.  Sounds miserable to me, but if you live near the beltway or can find one that is telecommute-able, that would be a feasible option.  Get your foot in the door somewhere and once you do I think you'll be surprised at the variety of random guard jobs there are for someone willing to move or just not fly.

Had a really good buddy take this route.  He punched at 13 years for the airlines.  He didn't get hired by the flying unit at his airline domicile (tough unit to get into) and he didn't want to commute to a Guard/Reserve job.  He ended up taking a non-flying Exec position at a Guard Mx Group (think it was Guard) at his airline domicile location.  He said the job/work is boring but it was his insurance in case the airlines went tits up.  Low and behold, COVID happens; he was able to pickup a year of orders while waiting the his airline to sort itself out.  

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Update: Back up to $35k.

"Additionally, the Air Force is working diligently to further improve the AvB program to meet the needs of both the Air Force and those of its Airmen as the defense and civilian aviation environments continue to evolve. Some significant and positive changes are on the table starting in FY23."

Not sure what that means...it's capped at $35k...or at least that is all they are willing to ask for.

FY22 AvB Update Letter_final.pdf

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1 hour ago, di1630 said:

I can’t open the letter…can you post the text?

Your gain: more promises of milk and honey in the future (i.e. free drinks tomorrow)...gov't issue M&H that is...think powdered milk, not Manas chow hall whole milk that every Bagram crew would hoard

Meanwhile, the "outside" offers any milk you chose, all with the cream...

BLAB: capped at $35k, AF looking to better $ and contract term lengths...in the future...all contingent upon when govt $$ is appropriated by congress

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‘Restricted to airmen within 365 days of UFT expiration’. I read that as +/- 365 from UFT expiration, but that also reads as leaving out contract expired/no-contract post UFT ADSC folks. 

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Does congress have to approve reenlistment bonuses and other career pays?

Covered in the NDAA they pass yearly. Which is part of the problem since we seem to slip further and further right as far as date the thing gets passed through Congress and signed by the President.

Lines of funding are worked out afterward, so although a bonus may be authorized to say 35k, the total allotted funding for the program may only exist to pay a portion of the available service members.

The last two years the Army aviation bonus has run out of funding around the start of Q4. It pays to be in the front of the line if you’re going to pull the trigger on it.


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On 1/10/2022 at 3:22 PM, Smokin said:

Overall, your guard opportunities open up drastically the less picky you are about your job and your status (DSG vs AGR).  NGB (the Pentagon for the guard) is almost always short staffed and looking for people.  Sounds miserable to me, but if you live near the beltway or can find one that is telecommute-able, that would be a feasible option.  Get your foot in the door somewhere and once you do I think you'll be surprised at the variety of random guard jobs there are for someone willing to move or just not fly.

Apologies for derailing the bonus talk again, but anybody know where to find a list of openings at NGB HQ? No issues tracking down most state ANG openings, reserve IMA opportunities, etc., but I can't find anything at NGB (which I suspect is operator error). Closest thing I've seen is https://www.ang.af.mil/Careers/ which contains a link to a CAC-enabled careers site, but I don't actually see anything on there that fits the bill. Is this just something where you've got to start making phone calls?

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10 minutes ago, Guardian said:

“The improvement was due to a slight increase in production coupled with successful retention efforts,” Air Force spokesperson Capt. Patrick Gargan told FLYING. “FY21 undergraduate pilot training production was 1,381, up from 1,263 in FY20, despite COVID-19 continuing to impact production. The Air Force is working diligently to meet the needs of both its Airmen and those of the Air Force.”

 

 

Man, apparently COVID was a successful retention effort. 

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For having 7 paragraphs, that letter didn't have much information.  

Though I'm sure they meant to say that 11R's were on track for a retro-bonus to make up for being forgotten in 2021.  

Edit:  $35,000 is equivalent to $26,000 in 2007.  And the take-home after taxes won't buy you a used car.  Is that the best the "Aircrew Task Force" can do?  The bonus was $25,000 in 1992 when I took it.  That $25k is worth about $49,700 today.  

Edited by HuggyU2
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On 1/17/2022 at 6:10 PM, goingkinetic said:

I’m going to have 5.5 yrs of bonus @35k in the reserves. 

Step 1. Go Reserves/ANG

Step 2. Get airline job

Step 3. Mil leave/AGR

Step 4. Reserve Bonus

Step 5. Make fun of all the AD suckers that took the bonus

 

 

Scratch steps 3, 4 and 5 and you have the best gig known to man...going on mloa and back full time just ruins that.  For step 1, go ANG (preferably a unit on its own base) over Reserves if at all possible.  If you can't do that, avoid a reserve wing that's embedded in an AD wing, because all you'll get is a slightly different flavor of bullshit.  

Edited by SocialD
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