Where muh airmen gone?

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Jericho941
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Where muh airmen gone?

Postby Jericho941 » Thu Dec 03, 2015 2:33 am

In Total Reversal, Welsh Admits Air Force is On Verge of Manpower Collapse

The writing's been on the wall for years. You can't be at war for over two decades, tackle an exponentially increasing number of overall missions ("Air, Space and Cyberspace") and whittle your numbers down to 30 pilots, 2 cops, a PJ and a mechanic without there being consequences.

Of particular interest to me was this observation:

Airmen who have raised issues of manning and overstretch have been reminded that things are tough all over. Airmen who have warned that they can’t get the mission done without more people and resources have been told no help is on the way. Airmen who have warned that they’d vote with their feet have been told they’re replaceable and invited to essentially not let the door hit them on the way out. Media outlets that have written about the unfolding crisis have been mocked and marginalized, even and especially those outlets CSAF claims he doesn’t read.


Just before my last Christmas in the Air Force, the MXG CC gave a powerpoint presentation to the group about how much harder everything was going to get, and that we'd better get our shit together or we'd be out, as they were looking to fire people who'd failed a PT test years ago regardless of present performance, among other things. He then started making comparisons between himself and Curtis LeMay ("I don't mind being called tough, because in this racket, it's tough guys who lead the survivors") and quoted his own change-of-command speech from a year or two prior, and went on about how "the weak will be left behind."

It did not have the desired effect.

Now in the face of disaster, the Air Force is all "BABY COME BACK PLEEEEASE," really trying to get people to stay, get reservists to go active, and get serious about bringing prior service guys back in. That brings to mind a certain line:

"I'm not gonna drive you to the hospital because you won't learn anything if I do."

Or perhaps a certain song by Taylor Swift. :lol:

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Re: Where muh airmen gone?

Postby First Shirt » Thu Dec 03, 2015 3:02 am

There is a hard limit to how long you can piss on someone's leg, and still convince them that it's just raining. Apparently, the zipper-suited sun gods are discovering that limit.

It almost makes the argument for a requirement that officers serve a term as enlisted personnel before they are commissioned. It might make them appreciate the people who have to get their hands dirty a little more.

But what the hell do I know? I was an intel geek, and everyone knows the we don't EVER get our hands dirty! Right, Randy?
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Re: Where muh airmen gone?

Postby Netpackrat » Thu Dec 03, 2015 3:10 am

Airmen who have warned that they’d vote with their feet have been told they’re replaceable and invited to essentially not let the door hit them on the way out.


I had figured my boss (former E-8) had to have learned that attitude from the Air Force, given that he went straight from their uniform to ours.
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Re: Where muh airmen gone?

Postby slowpoke » Thu Dec 03, 2015 3:21 am

We'll Know they've gotten serious if they bring warrants back.

In the mean time ill leave this link here for how screwed they are
http://www.popularmechanics.com/military/weapons/news/a18377/the-us-air-force-is-using-civilians-to-fly-drones/
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Re: Where muh airmen gone?

Postby First Shirt » Thu Dec 03, 2015 3:58 am

slowpoke wrote:We'll Know they've gotten serious if they bring warrants back.

In the mean time ill leave this link here for how screwed they are
http://www.popularmechanics.com/military/weapons/news/a18377/the-us-air-force-is-using-civilians-to-fly-drones/

Even if they didn't have enough people to fly the planes they have, they won't ever bring warrants back. After all, the Army, Navy and Marines use warrant officers, and obviously, the Air Force is better than that.
Last edited by First Shirt on Thu Dec 03, 2015 3:39 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Where muh airmen gone?

Postby TheArmsman » Thu Dec 03, 2015 4:19 am

First Shirt wrote:There is a hard limit to how long you can piss on someone's leg, and still convince them that it's just raining.


Cobra Gold 1988, Utapao, Thailand. Was outside drinking a beer at the end of the 2-story barracks, where the outdoor stairwell was. Suddenly heard the 1stSgt bellowing at somebody. Turns out someone was outside taking a piss off the 2nd story, right on top of the XO and 1stSgt. There was a very light rain going, so it took a few seconds for them to realize what was happening. The three disappeared for awhile, and the dude would never speak of what happened to him.
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Re: Where muh airmen gone?

Postby g-man » Thu Dec 03, 2015 4:46 am

This is one of the main reasons I cut slingload and put in my Blue to Green paperwork back in '07. We turned enlistments completely off for the entire second half of FY06 to make the endstrength numbers, all to foot the bill for the glorious F-35. And you wonder why I'm so vitriolic over in the F-35 vs ISIS thread. They mortgaged the entire manpower budget for that flying turd, and now they're reaping their just rewards. Moseley was right that we needed more F-22's, yet Gates shuffled the deck in favor of the still-not-operational shitshow.
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Re: Where muh airmen gone?

Postby Jericho941 » Thu Dec 03, 2015 4:57 am

First Shirt wrote:
slowpoke wrote:We'll Know they've gotten serious if they bring warrants back.

In the mean time ill leave this link here for how screwed they are
http://www.popularmechanics.com/military/weapons/news/a18377/the-us-air-force-is-using-civilians-to-fly-drones/


If they don't have enough people to fly the planes they have, they won't ever bring warrants back. After all, the Army, Navy and Marines use warrant officers, and obviously, the Air Force is better than that.

Yup. The funny thing about it is the only shortage the Air Force has been acknowledging before now was a pilot one.

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Re: Where muh airmen gone?

Postby Rod » Thu Dec 03, 2015 6:27 am

My nephew was a Major flying right seat in MC-130s. He crashed on a landing where 40 of the runway was removed without anyone being notified. The bird was totaled and some special operators of very high rank were hurt. He went back in to get three injured people out. AAR put NO blame on the pilot or co-pilot but strange things happened in rapid succession. A general and some other high ranks were relieved. Shortly after the incident, he was relieved of flying duty, then given command of a drone unit in the states, then was told the Air Force didn't need his services any more after 10 years. Thinking someone, somewhere is saying, "Boy did we fuck up by the numbers on that one."
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Re: Where muh airmen gone?

Postby JustinR » Thu Dec 03, 2015 9:17 am

slowpoke wrote:We'll Know they've gotten serious if they bring warrants back.

In the mean time ill leave this link here for how screwed they are
http://www.popularmechanics.com/military/weapons/news/a18377/the-us-air-force-is-using-civilians-to-fly-drones/


When I saw the LA Times article the other day, my first comment to my friend was, "Bruce! I found our side job!" His response was, "you had me at 'critics question legality.'"
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Re: Where muh airmen gone?

Postby Aesop » Thu Dec 03, 2015 10:43 am

"U.S. Air Force is using civilians to fly drones..."


I keep going back to "How could they tell the difference?" :P
(I kid, I kid.)

Besides, the USAF is missing a golden opportunity by not developing a game called Drone Pilot, and secretly using it as a live controller for that very thing, a la Robert Preston in The Last Starfighter. Plus they'd get the money from game sales and commercials for strike videos posted to YouTube, which might someday pay for the F-35 Thunderjug. Then again, it would be kinder and quicker to simply declare in-house that the entire F-35 program is a threat to national security, and quietly start knocking off Lockheed execs and senior project officers, and blowing up the bare few flying examples, until it simply ceases to exist. Which is ten kinds of 1950's-elegant.


But worse than that, between two Dumbocrat regimes intent on screwing the entire military more, harder, faster, interspersed with an eight year stretch of "Do everything with even less! Fuck yeah!", I can't see why anyone there stays, unless you're hanging at 18-years-in-and-almost-out, or just plain 18-and-believe-your-recruiter-as-if-he-lactates-single-malt.

I couldn't seriously counsel anyone to embark upon the career until the entire current generation of general officers die off, and probably not until this entire generation is out of the business. Whatever thin, hard cadre there is tending the eternal flame, it's got to be getting to be a pretty damned small core.
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Re: Where muh airmen gone?

Postby Netpackrat » Thu Dec 03, 2015 11:26 am

From the article about civilians flying drones:

It's an important differentiation because the use of civilians in combat operations is technically illegal.


I guess that will matter if at some point we find ourselves once again at war against an adversary who observes the laws of war.
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Re: Where muh airmen gone?

Postby randy » Thu Dec 03, 2015 12:45 pm

First Shirt wrote:But what the hell do I know? I was an intel geek, and everyone knows the we don't EVER get our hands dirty! Right, Randy?


Well, as an Occifer, I certainly didn't!
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Re: Where muh airmen gone?

Postby Denis » Thu Dec 03, 2015 3:39 pm

randy wrote:
First Shirt wrote:But what the hell do I know? I was an intel geek, and everyone knows the we don't EVER get our hands dirty! Right, Randy?


Well, as an Occifer, I certainly didn't!


There is an old story about the Irish army... Officers were dining in the mess, being waited upon by NCOs, as tradition dictated. The officers were talking over the port about their marital "duties", but couldn't decide whether those were properly regarded as work or as fun.

One of the officers called on the senior NCO present to adjudicate - "Sergeant, do you think that satisfying officers' wives is work or is it fun?"

NCO: "Sir, without a doubt, that's one hundred percent fun".

Officer: "Why do you say that?"

NCO: "Well Sir, if there were any work at all involved, you'd have ordered me to do it for you!"

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Re: Where muh airmen gone?

Postby Weetabix » Thu Dec 03, 2015 3:50 pm

Netpackrat wrote:From the article about civilians flying drones:

It's an important differentiation because the use of civilians in combat operations is technically illegal.


I guess that will matter if at some point we find ourselves once again at war against an adversary who observes the laws of war.

I know a guy who's involved in that, but he's reserve. I've assumed they use that status more than reporters realize.
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Re: Where muh airmen gone?

Postby MarkD » Thu Dec 03, 2015 4:27 pm

Oh, stories of enlisted men serving at officers mess you say?

Dad story-time!

Dad was a Marine in WW II, and one time he and other Marine enlisted men were given the task of serving as waiters in the officers mess. From what I recall they were fairly junior enlisted.

Well apparently the day before the enlisted mess served something that....didn't agree with the men's digestive systems, and was coming out in a manner both gaseous and noxious (albeit quietly). They made a point of discharging at a distance from the dining officers, but air currents being what they are the effects wafted throughout the room. He said it was amusing to see officers give each other the hairy eyeball, trying to determine who'd befouled the air. I don't think they ever determined that their waiters were the offending parties.

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Re: Where muh airmen gone?

Postby Weetabix » Thu Dec 03, 2015 7:18 pm

When I used to travel more by air, I'd eat stuff guaranteed to cause anterior distress and save the discharge for nearby TSA agents. Petty, I know, but it made me laugh.
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Re: Where muh airmen gone?

Postby Jericho941 » Thu Dec 03, 2015 11:24 pm

MarkD wrote:Oh, stories of enlisted men serving at officers mess you say?

Dad story-time!

Dad was a Marine in WW II, and one time he and other Marine enlisted men were given the task of serving as waiters in the officers mess. From what I recall they were fairly junior enlisted.

Well apparently the day before the enlisted mess served something that....didn't agree with the men's digestive systems, and was coming out in a manner both gaseous and noxious (albeit quietly). They made a point of discharging at a distance from the dining officers, but air currents being what they are the effects wafted throughout the room. He said it was amusing to see officers give each other the hairy eyeball, trying to determine who'd befouled the air. I don't think they ever determined that their waiters were the offending parties.


Almost certainly eggs.

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Re: Where muh airmen gone?

Postby Wrenchbender1 » Fri Dec 04, 2015 12:49 am

Rod wrote:My nephew was a Major flying right seat in MC-130s. He crashed on a landing where 40 of the runway was removed without anyone being notified. The bird was totaled and some special operators of very high rank were hurt.


I remember that one. They were extremely lucky that the left gear held up, or there probably would have been few to no survivors aft of the 245.

Getting back to the main topic, if they want to retain people, they need to cut down on the weapons grade bullshit. With one exception, every first termer I worked with, separated. A few of them were slackers, but most were top notch mechanics. It wasn't the shitty pay, or the constant deployments to some of the finer tourist destinations on the planet (Deployments were actually a relief from the bs, until it crept over to the desert), It wasn't the long hours, or never having what you needed to do a job (At the tail end of the Clinton years). It was the stupidity, plain and simple.

Jericho941 wrote: Just before my last Christmas in the Air Force, the MXG CC gave a powerpoint presentation to the group about how much harder everything was going to get, and that we'd better get our shit together or we'd be out, as they were looking to fire people who'd failed a PT test years ago regardless of present performance, among other things. He then started making comparisons between himself and Curtis LeMay ("I don't mind being called tough, because in this racket, it's tough guys who lead the survivors") and quoted his own change-of-command speech from a year or two prior, and went on about how "the weak will be left behind."

It did not have the desired effect.


Was his name Maj. Decker? Had a clown exactly like that on my second deployment in '03.
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Re: Where muh airmen gone?

Postby Jericho941 » Fri Dec 04, 2015 2:54 am

Wrenchbender1 wrote:Was his name Maj. Decker? Had a clown exactly like that on my second deployment in '03.


Yep, though by this point he was a full bird colonel, and still a damn cartoon character. When he wasn't pretending to be LeMay, he was pretending to be General Savage from 12 O'Clock High.

http://www.moody.af.mil/news/story.asp?id=123426527

Speaking of BS creeping into deployments, Decker had a hand in that. Before he was the Moody MXG commander, he was the expeditionary MXG commander at Kandahar. The guys from Moody were deployed there and had plenty of fun stories about doing things like open ranks inspections between rocket attacks. Then they found out he was coming home with them. :roll:

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Re: Where muh airmen gone?

Postby Wrenchbender1 » Fri Dec 04, 2015 3:18 am

Jesus! I remember standing in line for chow, and the person in from of me turned and started chatting with me (Full Bird). After a while, he asked me who my CO was, and when I told him it was Maj. Decker, he replied "Oh shit! I'm sorry to hear that." I got chewed out by him once, and about 15 minute in I started looking around his office out of boredom. I saw a picture frame on his desk, and thinking it might be a picture of his wife and kids (Presumably all with flat top haircuts), I leaned forward and was greeted by a picture of Gen. Curtis LeMay. I almost busted up laughing. He got all the superficial stuff down pat, but missed out on LeMay's competent streak. What a knucklehead. :lol:

P.S. He was our MX commander in Qatar (It was '04, the more I think about it.)
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Re: Where muh airmen gone?

Postby Netpackrat » Fri Dec 04, 2015 3:31 am

Usually at work, when my cow-orkers "cross into the blue" and start talking about their AF days, my eyes just kind of glaze over. But that right there was some funny shit.
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Re: Where muh airmen gone?

Postby Mike OTDP » Sat Dec 05, 2015 1:46 am

From what I've heard, LeMay was hard-nosed when it came to performance, but used the carrot as well as the stick. And took good care of the enlisted troops.

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Re: Where muh airmen gone?

Postby SoupOrMan » Thu Dec 10, 2015 9:17 pm

This Decker guy sounds like he missed his calling as a prop comedian and decided to sully the good name of the United States Air Force instead.

May his children all enlist and become engine mechanics instead.
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Re: Where muh airmen gone?

Postby toad » Sun Dec 27, 2015 7:11 am

I was thinking again about that plan to use civilian contractors to fly unarmed drones for "surveillance." What could possibly go wrong?
After all I'm sure the contracting companies will vet their hires as thoroughly as the DHS does.

I'm going to get a remote control RC and learn how to use the control panel. Go see my local Hispanic immigrant document faker for a DD-214 and such. Then apply for a job as a part timer to give food and potty breaks. I'll show them my wallet photos of Gen. Lemay.

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