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1 hour ago, panchbarnes said:

I mentioned it in the COVID thread but there is a HAF/A1 email circulating that says they are examining VSP options for FY21. No details on career fields or numbers though. FY20 had the second highest retention since 2000 (including the year after 9/11). 

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Throw in likely budget pressures with an administrator change and response to the pandemic, it's going to get interesting. Plus the AF likes to pay for new toys by cutting personnel costs.

If the pandemic is still going strong next summer, I have a feeling that VSP is going to turn into RIF, and it'll be 2014 all over again... May the odds ever be in your favor

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14 minutes ago, jazzdude said:

If the pandemic is still going strong next summer, I have a feeling that VSP is going to turn into RIF, and it'll be 2014 all over again... May the odds ever be in your favor

A RIF in 2021 would be politically disastrous for whoever okays that plan I would think.  Has the government furloughed during COVID?

I started game planning in my mind what I'd do if they offered TERA in 2021.  I'd be 2 years from 20 at that point and would lose 2 bonus payments.  I gotta say, there aren't many great options.

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4 minutes ago, Homestar said:

A RIF in 2021 would be politically disastrous for whoever okays that plan I would think.  Has the government furloughed during COVID?

I started game planning in my mind what I'd do if they offered TERA in 2021.  I'd be 2 years from 20 at that point and would lose 2 bonus payments.  I gotta say, there aren't many great options.

Can you take TERA if you have an ADSC remaining?  

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1 hour ago, Homestar said:

A RIF in 2021 would be politically disastrous for whoever okays that plan I would think.  Has the government furloughed during COVID?

I started game planning in my mind what I'd do if they offered TERA in 2021.  I'd be 2 years from 20 at that point and would lose 2 bonus payments.  I gotta say, there aren't many great options.

The RIF was set in motion when the USG decided to cut FY21 DoD budget in 2019.  Then in Summer 2020 we announced we are pulling out (STS) of Germany and sending some folks back to CONUS while starbursting then rest all over Europe.  We are also pulling chock on AFG.  With the AFG troops coming home, what will they be doing?  You factor in COVID, no one is leaving the military.  We don't have another war to replace AFG (yet) to keep everyone gainfully employed.

Also this:

https://www.eenews.net/stories/1063718995

https://federalnewsnetwork.com/defense-main/2020/11/focus-on-military-families-defense-strategy-changes-likely-coming-under-biden-administration/   

My bet is on Tammy Duckworth to be the next SecDef.

Edited by panchbarnes
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28 minutes ago, panchbarnes said:

The RIF was set in motion when the USG decided to cut FY21 DoD budget in 2019.  Then in Summer 2020 we announced we are pulling out (STS) of Germany and sending some folks back to CONUS while starbursting then rest all over Europe.  We are also pulling chock on AFG.  With the AFG troops coming home, what will they be doing?  You factor in COVID, no one is leaving the military.  We don't have another war to replace AFG (yet) to keep everyone gainfully employed.

Also this:

https://www.eenews.net/stories/1063718995

https://federalnewsnetwork.com/defense-main/2020/11/focus-on-military-families-defense-strategy-changes-likely-coming-under-biden-administration/   

My bet is on Tammy Duckworth to be the next SecDef.

She’s a bit of a zealot; that’ll get interesting. 

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53 minutes ago, panchbarnes said:

We don't have another war to replace AFG (yet) to keep everyone gainfully employed.

This is certainly how Congress will see it - but maybe we are better about arguing for steady manning even during non-war periods...I doubt it, but it sure would help the laundry list of things plaguing the services' morale.

54 minutes ago, panchbarnes said:

My bet is on Tammy Duckworth to be the next SecDef.

My bet is on Flournoy

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This is certainly how Congress will see it - but maybe we are better about arguing for steady manning even during non-war periods...I doubt it, but it sure would help the laundry list of things plaguing the services' morale.

More likely, big cuts to active duty to match commitments (and years of do more with less is going to make that more painful), while expanding the reserves (not guard, unless it's to buy off support of a senator or congressman).

That, or we find an excuse to fight elsewhere...
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On 11/25/2020 at 9:32 AM, celtic020 said:

Can you take TERA if you have an ADSC remaining?  

TERA expired a few years ago as an option for the services. Congress would have to put it in the NDAA again. That takes time. 

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On 11/25/2020 at 6:13 AM, FLEA said:

I mentioned it in the COVID thread but there is a HAF/A1 email circulating that says they are examining VSP options for FY21. No details on career fields or numbers though. FY20 had the second highest retention since 2000 (including the year after 9/11). 

https://www.airforcemag.com/air-force-retention-soars-amid-covid-19-uncertainty/

Edited by Swizzle
BLAB: expect news mid Dec
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"“Some of that probably reflects the economic challenges and things associated with COVID,” Kelly told reporters Dec. 1. “But it also hopefully reflects a little bit of our ability to start to provide that kind of culture and environment where Airmen and families want to stay with us, and want to be part of what the mission of the United States Air Force is.”

 

Fucking hell is this guy clueless? 

 

 

Anyway, doesn't sound like he's in a hurry to let pilots out. Wonder what changes hes looking at to change assignment night though? 

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14 minutes ago, FLEA said:

[autocensored]ing hell is this guy clueless? 

He’s clueless enough to say that cutting recruitment might be a good idea, plus it presents opportunities for challenges in the future.

He’s spouting buzzwords without concern for reality, merely for the sake of being quotable for future PME...

”If the future Air Force force structure can’t afford bread, let them eat cake!”

Edited by PAWS
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From the article:

"The Air Force is about 2,000 pilots short of where it needs to be, about the same as before the pandemic, Kelly said. It’s still gathering data, but had hoped that the airline hiring slowdown would stop pilots from leaving.
'At some point in time, that will recover, and airline industries will come back,' he said. 'A lot of what we’ll be focused on is how do we produce more, and make sure that we can close the gap by being able to produce more pilots on the early end.' ”

So yeah, COVID hasn't really affected overall pilot retention rates, and it still looks like the AF solution is to produce it's way out of the shortage. So I wouldn't hold my breath for a more generous pilot bonus next year.
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1 hour ago, jazzdude said:

From the article:

"The Air Force is about 2,000 pilots short of where it needs to be, about the same as before the pandemic, Kelly said. It’s still gathering data, but had hoped that the airline hiring slowdown would stop pilots from leaving.
'At some point in time, that will recover, and airline industries will come back,' he said. 'A lot of what we’ll be focused on is how do we produce more, and make sure that we can close the gap by being able to produce more pilots on the early end.' ”

So yeah, COVID hasn't really affected overall pilot retention rates, and it still looks like the AF solution is to produce it's way out of the shortage. So I wouldn't hold my breath for a more generous pilot bonus next year.

Honestly I could care less about the AvB since I don't plant on staying but the VSP would be a nice chunk of change to leave on. What I don't want is to get stuck in some weird middle where we get no VSP but are some how not needed to stay either. 

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Preaching to the choir, but it blows me away that the solution to an exodus is to produce more. It’s like fixing a busted pipe, you don’t fix the leak by pumping more water in, you patch the pipe. 
 

There’d be no need for UPT 2.0/next/etc and to make pilots faster if that ‘pipe’ was patched.

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3 hours ago, Bigred said:

Preaching to the choir, but it blows me away that the solution to an exodus is to produce more. It’s like fixing a busted pipe, you don’t fix the leak by pumping more water in, you patch the pipe. 
 

There’d be no need for UPT 2.0/next/etc and to make pilots faster if that ‘pipe’ was patched.

Well, part of the problem, I think, is the AF doesn't really want more Lt Col pilot types hanging around. Militaries are a tiered hierarchy and it sort of makes sense you want less O-5s than O-2 through O-4. There isn't enough to do with O-5s as it is, so many of them get sent back to the squadron level which is an absolute waste for anything other than a DO or CC. From a strictly force Management perspective this could actually yield a better looking force. 

However, that system fails to recognize the depth that comes with airmenship, and the loss of expereince you get by letting people go at the 12-13 year point. Those people have the best potential to be your core instructors and have the most expereince to share.

I think a lot of the problems we have are caused by the fact that the traditional military structure isn't meant to uphold a body of talent that is both technically proficient and strategically proficient like the AF has done. 

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37 minutes ago, FLEA said:

There isn't enough to do with O-5s as it is, so many of them get sent back to the squadron level which is an absolute waste for anything other than a DO or CC.

With all the young dudes they are planning to flood the CAF with, I'd say we need a few more 'under utilized' O-5s to give some lessons learned.

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With all the young dudes they are planning to flood the CAF with, I'd say we need a few more 'under utilized' O-5s to give some lessons learned.
You don't need an O-5, you need someone with experience. With a 5-year promotion window, that could be a really old captain or major.

I'm guessing that shooting for a larger pool of young pilots (producing our way out of the shortage) is based on the assumption that retention percentages will stay the same. If the percentages stay the same with more pilots, you'd get more pilots to start filling back the staffs, as well as a bigger pool to draw from when selecting commanders. Not sure what the crossover is for paying for extra pilots vs increasing the bonus or flight pay.

The push for the guard/reserve is also a push to keep the experience at far less cost than AD. And that checks with how we've been using the reserves for the last few decades: rather than only keeping basic currencies to stay warm and do just in time spin up going into conflict, we've had our flying reserve maintain the same level of readiness as the AD, but at a fraction of the cost.

Not saying I necessarily agree with the approach, but that's what it looks like the AF is doing
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1 hour ago, jazzdude said:

You don't need an O-5, you need someone with experience. With a 5-year promotion window, that could be a really old captain or major.

I'm guessing that shooting for a larger pool of young pilots (producing our way out of the shortage) is based on the assumption that retention percentages will stay the same. If the percentages stay the same with more pilots, you'd get more pilots to start filling back the staffs, as well as a bigger pool to draw from when selecting commanders. Not sure what the crossover is for paying for extra pilots vs increasing the bonus or flight pay.

The push for the guard/reserve is also a push to keep the experience at far less cost than AD. And that checks with how we've been using the reserves for the last few decades: rather than only keeping basic currencies to stay warm and do just in time spin up going into conflict, we've had our flying reserve maintain the same level of readiness as the AD, but at a fraction of the cost.

Not saying I necessarily agree with the approach, but that's what it looks like the AF is doing

One issue is on paper there is no difference between an O-5 line IP and an O-3 line IP. There is nothing to credentialize any value added by an IP with an additional 5-6 years of experience. 

Really there is a good case for a non flying track but the AF needs to look at several angles on it, not just making non promotable O-4s who still deploy and take staff jobs. 

1.) How do you continue to develop and broaden a line IP who is no longer promotable? What will you do to make him more lethal, more valuable to the AF? 

2.) How do you compensate people on a fly only track to be competitive with the airlines, while recognizing they are never going to advance beyond technical/tactical experts in the AF. 

3.) How many pilots do you REALLY need on a fly only track? 1-3 of these types per a squadron is probably the max neccessary. 

So really there needs to be 3 career tracks at hitting FGO. A fly only track, a command track, but then also a staff track that continues to develop you as an officer and puts you in a position to protect the fly only track types from non flying gigs. How do you incentivize that though? 

The key problem in all of this is unless you are on the command track the AF has no means to continue developing you. So you flatten out and lose appeal. 

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9 minutes ago, FLEA said:

One issue is on paper there is no difference between an O-5 line IP and an O-3 line IP. There is nothing to credentialize any value added by an IP with an additional 5-6 years of experience. 

Really there is a good case for a non flying track but the AF needs to look at several angles on it, not just making non promotable O-4s who still deploy and take staff jobs. 

1.) How do you continue to develop and broaden a line IP who is no longer promotable? What will you do to make him more lethal, more valuable to the AF? 

2.) How do you compensate people on a fly only track to be competitive with the airlines, while recognizing they are never going to advance beyond technical/tactical experts in the AF. 

3.) How many pilots do you REALLY need on a fly only track? 1-3 of these types per a squadron is probably the max neccessary. 

So really there needs to be 3 career tracks at hitting FGO. A fly only track, a command track, but then also a staff track that continues to develop you as an officer and puts you in a position to protect the fly only track types from non flying gigs. How do you incentivize that though? 

The key problem in all of this is unless you are on the command track the AF has no means to continue developing you. So you flatten out and lose appeal. 

Honestly the "fly only" track should include some direct support (A3) staff gigs. Having competent people on staff that can intelligently speak to the problems and issues at the units so the crap gets filtered is important. It's not (or shouldn't be) the squadrons who are writing all of the V1/2/3 and other regs. Now there's a difference between going to staff to be a CAG and being the A3V guy but the distinction needs to be there. 

Edited by Breckey
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Honestly the "fly only" track should include some direct support (A3) staff gigs. Having competent people on staff that can intelligently speak to the problems and issues at the units so the crap gets filtered is important. It's not (or shouldn't be) the squadrons who are writing all of the V1/2/3 and other regs. Now there's a difference between going to staff to be a CAG and being the A3V guy but the distinction needs to be there. 


I think that's just getting good/competent people up to staff, which has been undermanned for most of my career and has been getting worse every year. And you need good representation from the crew force across the staff, at least A1/5/8 as well needs some level of rated experience to provide good COAs recommendations to the GOs within those lanes as well.

So the fly only guys in my mind would be just that- they'll live at the sq or group level and be the technical expert. Otherwise, what's the point out having that track if they are going to go to staff anyways?
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