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(Daily Mail)   US Air Force facing a problem that fighter jocks would rather play in a basement. Oh and something about a $225k signing bonus for a 9 year extension   (dailymail.co.uk) divider line 83
    More: Interesting, U.S. Air Force, United States, USS George H.W. Bush, F-35 Joint Strike Fighter, Wired for War, combat aircraft, Peter W. Singer, Andersen Air Force Base  
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12305 clicks; posted to Main » on 23 Jul 2013 at 7:07 AM (1 year ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2013-07-23 09:11:51 AM

Brick-House: I wonder how much of this is related to BOB and his policies related to the military.




My guess, having more than few years military service, is that social engineering is not the biggest reason but plays a role. Fighter pilots, infantry , Special operations etc. are professions pretty heavy on the testosterone for obvious necessary reasons and there is some resentment, I am sure, making them take down hooters calendars is resented, but not the main reason. Not even gays serving openly is that big a problem. Most to them will tell you that gays are less of problem than women because at least they will not become unavailable for deployment or go on light duty due to pregnancy. The whole pregnancy thing is a bigger issue than feminists and many politicians like to admit.

The two biggest reasons are first is drones and precision munitions counting as one and the other is money.

As to the first fighter pilots like to be fighter pilots and fly. Drones have relieved them of many of their missions and indicates there may not be much of a career future for many of them. Precision guided munitions have turned them into little more than bomb trucks. They fly to an area coordinates are fed into the bomb guidance system they release the bomb and it does most of the work of getting itself on target. takes a lot of the challenge out of the job.

The Second being money and I don't mean pay. I mean money being available for actual flying. budget cuts mean less time in the air. Fighter pilots , who like to fly naturally, don't get to do it has often. Planes may not even be a available because maintenance and parts also cost money. Of course training and skills suffer as not everything can be done by drones yet-like air superiority.

The money side is nothing new. We went through this during the search for the peace dividend after the of the cold war during the 1990s (only there was no peace). Budget cuts meant less money for training , maintenance (even troops living condition's suffered) etc.. There was also Social engineering going on with Army and Navy replacing basic training with low stress coed summer camp. along with military becoming job corps fore single parents. But actual deployments increased-less money to do more work.

During this time the Air Force and Army moved to address their serious retention and morale problems. With a remarkable display of a lack of leadership ability by people who attained such high rank the Air Force went with new Navy officer style uniforms (A failed attempt that cost a lot of money) and old style leather flight jackets for pilots, which I am sure upset PETA. The Army decided to buy everyone a new hat-that stupid looking beret.

The real fix is money but despite what you read on Fark things like the F-35 are other weapons procurement a re not the money problem they are made out to be as that spending is drawn out of many years even decades in the case of ships. One of biggest, if not the biggest, yearly costs in the military budget is personnel This not limited to just pay, benefits and housing but also training them. Troops that are well trained have less morale and discipline problems. Good training cost money for things like live ammunitions (the best training) as well as training/inert ammo, transportation (fuel). equipment used in training is going to need to maintained , repaired and or replaced. The places and ranges they train on need to be operated and maintained

This is not to say the military budget needs to be increased because like all government spending there is waste. It is getting the politicians and military leadership to do something about that waste and shift that money were it is really needed. For example we have more Flag officers (Generals and Admirals) than we need but you are not going to get them to say that and politicians like the positions of being "gad fathers" or political mentors to these guys. There are many other areas like stateside DOD dependent school system etc. that could be eliminated and save a bunch of money.
 
2013-07-23 09:18:24 AM
 

AverageAmericanGuy: YodaBlues: AverageAmericanGuy: I'd sign up again in a heartbeat if not for what happened over Macho Grande.

Over Macho Grande?

No. I don't think I'll ever get over Macho Grande.


well done,

first thing i open this morning and i had an actual lol, good way to start the day

/on a serious note, I just don't like the idea of detaching the human from the role as far as drones allow
//i could write pages on why a human element being put into a combat situation is crucial to maintaining the proper perspectives of war. well, I guess R.E. Lee said it best:

"it is good that war is horrible, or we might grow to like it"

It's not that I want to see pilots injured, but war demands a price from everyone involved. If you try to cheat one side out of paying their due, others will reap that cost, possibly in much worse ways.
 
2013-07-23 09:21:23 AM
i500.listal.com


"I like all you navy boys......Everytime we gotta go fight somewhere, you guys give us a ride."
 
2013-07-23 09:28:05 AM
i.dailymail.co.uk
♪  HIGWAY TO THE, CONFERENCE ROOM!  ♪
 
2013-07-23 09:28:50 AM
I'll concede I have a limited sample size (my brother and his co-workers, who fly F-16's and F-15's), but NONE of them WANT to go into UAVs. They sneer at the UAV guys.  BUT it's getting harder and harder to get flying time with budget cutbacks.  Entire units are at risk of losing their current status in their aircraft, which means when the sequester lifts, they all need to go to a different base to re-qualify in a jet they should be allowed to fly every week.  They'd love to be flying ever day, even in a war zone, but the sad fact is most of the Air Force has been parked on the ground for a while now.  If offered a chance to actually do something on a day-to-day basis as a UAV pilot for full pay+, or sit at a desk and get paid 75% of your prior salary not to fly, some of them conclude they have to take the UAV assignment to feed their families.  That huge retention bonus is a myth that is not available to any of the guys who are currently in and flying.  The system appears, at least to me, to be entirely broken.
 
2013-07-23 09:32:37 AM
Why do we put humans in these planes anyway, a 12-year-old with an Xbox controller could do the job?

Oh yeah, for macho, and elite, and spending lots and lots of money we don't need to.
 
2013-07-23 09:35:24 AM

skankboy: Is it really a signing bonus if it is paid out over the 9 years?


It's an extra $2,083.33 a month in their paycheck, which, for an O-3, is an extra 35% over what they make in base pay, so it's not too shabby actually.
 
2013-07-23 09:41:23 AM

Yogimus: If an E-6 can't handle a butterbar, he may as well hang up his stripes.


Very large amounts of this.
 
2013-07-23 09:45:17 AM

UNC_Samurai: Petit_Merdeux: The good old Air Farce. I like to make fun of them, but they do have the benefit of sending the zeros into combat while the enlisted stay home and sleep with their wives someone's wife.

[img.photobucket.com image 450x614]

I get a kick out of this every time it's posted, but especially since my sister is Army (35G, IIRC) currently flying on J-STARS out of Qatar.

/22 aboard, including 2 full-birds, and there's apparently no coffee maker - how is THAT possible?


Really unusual. I was Navy and just about every compartment on the ship had a coffee maker, even the engine rooms!
 
2013-07-23 09:48:50 AM

Kimpak: I'll fly one.  Sadly...I'm too old and too blind to be a fighter pilot.  Had I better eyesight I'd have signed up in high school.


I tried but my vision was 20/40 at the time and the numbers weren't back on the success rate of laser eye surgery so they wouldn't accept that as an option.  Now I'm too damn old but I was told last year by my eye doctor that my eyes corrected themselves over the years and now I'm 20/15.   Dammit.
 
2013-07-23 09:49:35 AM

Gleeman: UNC_Samurai: Petit_Merdeux: The good old Air Farce. I like to make fun of them, but they do have the benefit of sending the zeros into combat while the enlisted stay home and sleep with their wives someone's wife.

[img.photobucket.com image 450x614]

I get a kick out of this every time it's posted, but especially since my sister is Army (35G, IIRC) currently flying on J-STARS out of Qatar.

/22 aboard, including 2 full-birds, and there's apparently no coffee maker - how is THAT possible?

At least the birds are full.

 
2013-07-23 09:50:18 AM

FormlessOne: skankboy: Is it really a signing bonus if it is paid out over the 9 years?

It's not paid out over 9 years. It's a $25K signing bonus, paid every year to sign up for another year, over that period. Each year, the pilots have the option of signing for the next year - and, if they do, they get a signing bonus.


dittybopper: skankboy: Is it really a signing bonus if it is paid out over the 9 years?

It's an extra $2,083.33 a month in their paycheck, which, for an O-3, is an extra 35% over what they make in base pay, so it's not too shabby actually.


This bonus is more than the regular salary of an ERJ or a CRJ pilot.  Plus the Air Force has great benefits.  For jobs like an air force pilot, there are hundreds of people who would take your job in a heartbeat.
 
2013-07-23 09:56:12 AM

Dubya's_Coke_Dealer: Why do we put humans in these planes anyway, a 12-year-old with an Xbox controller could do the job?

Oh yeah, for macho, and elite, and spending lots and lots of money we don't need to.


Defense Contractors gotta Contract.
 
2013-07-23 10:04:07 AM

Gleeman: UNC_Samurai: Petit_Merdeux: The good old Air Farce. I like to make fun of them, but they do have the benefit of sending the zeros into combat while the enlisted stay home and sleep with their wives someone's wife.

[img.photobucket.com image 450x614]

I get a kick out of this every time it's posted, but especially since my sister is Army (35G, IIRC) currently flying on J-STARS out of Qatar.

/22 aboard, including 2 full-birds, and there's apparently no coffee maker - how is THAT possible?

Really unusual. I was Navy and just about every compartment on the ship had a coffee maker, even the engine rooms!


It's a Navy thing. I do a lot of joint stuff in the Reserves, and the Navy is expected to provide the coffee.

Dubya's_Coke_Dealer: Why do we put humans in these planes anyway, a 12-year-old with an Xbox controller could do the job?

Oh yeah, for macho, and elite, and spending lots and lots of money we don't need to.


That's not true, yet. There are no remotely piloted fighter planes, although at some point there likely will be. They're working on it as fast as they can. Give up any thought of it being cheaper, though. You still have a pilot; they just don't ride in the aircraft, and maintenance requirements are the same.
 
2013-07-23 10:28:38 AM

Disposable Rob: Elfich: I think the issue is emblematic of a culture shift in the air force: The old guard which promotes the lone wolf fighter jock with all of the mystique and machismo that go with it. On the other side: the new guard which has figured out that if you take a pass on the mystique and machismo you get to go home at the end of your shift and see your wife and kids on a regular basis.

The article is all worried (yeah, I know, Daily Mail), but this as a good thing. The Air Force is still spending years and millions of dollars training up pilots who eventually fly drones anyway, while the Army is training enlisted guy in 23 weeks to do the same thing. There has to be a shift in the name of progress.


THIS! Go Army.
 
2013-07-23 10:31:31 AM

mbillips: Gleeman: UNC_Samurai: Petit_Merdeux: 

That's not true, yet. There are no remotely piloted fighter planes, although at some point there likely will be. They're working on it as fast as they can. Give up any thought of it being cheaper, though. You still have a pilot; they just don't ride in the aircraft, and maintenance requirements are the same.


Maintenance is way down as it's cheaper to maintain a computer and radio feed than all of those things plus a pilot, life support system, and cockpit full of instruments. And they don't have to worry about the pilot blacking out in high G maneuvers so maneuverability goes way up.

\flying on insturments
 
2013-07-23 10:48:49 AM
Maybe something to do with oxygen delivery systems on certain jets depriving the pilots of air and causing them to crash to death in fiery balls of fiery death?
 
2013-07-23 10:56:49 AM
So this signing bonus is actually paid out gradually over time... you mean, like a salary???
 
2013-07-23 11:02:55 AM
Yep, standard for the Daily Fail - article in no way reflects reality. In any sense.
 
2013-07-23 11:18:17 AM

mbillips: That's not true, yet. There are no remotely piloted fighter planes, although at some point there likely will be. They're working on it as fast as they can. Give up any thought of it being cheaper, though. You still have a pilot; they just don't ride in the aircraft, and maintenance requirements are the same.


Actually, maintenance requirements will be less.

When you build an airframe that doesn't contain a pilot, you can leave out a whole bunch of stuff that pilots generally need:  Canopy, ejection seat, pressurization system, oxygen system, displays and manual switches and buttons, etc.  That means reduced aircraft maintenance.

It also means you can build higher performance aircraft for a given aircraft/engine size.

The flip side of that is increased maintenance for ground control equipment, but that's a lot cheaper, and it's centralized right where the maintenance assets are.  You don't need the pilots to be within a couple hundred miles of the action, they could be all in the US at a central facility.

Actually, thinking about it in the abstract, maybe you would want the pilots closer to the action:  You can't get around the fact that the speed of light is finite, and we've all heard the annoying delays of talking to someone on the phone half a world away.  That delay would also factor in fighter combat to the detriment of the remote aircraft.  Of course, if you build them cheap enough (because they don't have to be man-rated), it may not matter as much.  You'd be willing to take higher losses because it's just a fancy RC aircraft.
 
2013-07-23 11:46:41 AM

UNC_Samurai: Petit_Merdeux: The good old Air Farce. I like to make fun of them, but they do have the benefit of sending the zeros into combat while the enlisted stay home and sleep with their wives someone's wife.

[img.photobucket.com image 450x614]

I get a kick out of this every time it's posted, but especially since my sister is Army (35G, IIRC) currently flying on J-STARS out of Qatar.

/22 aboard, including 2 full-birds, and there's apparently no coffee maker - how is THAT possible?


My husband is a Comm Systems Technician on the JSTARS (it's likely that he's flown at least once with your sister).  I don't know about the coffeemaker but I know that my husband has cooked delicious snackage for the crew in a little bitty convection oven they have on board during long sorties.

I'm in the same unit, albeit one weekend a month and two weeks annually.  When I first came here we had F-15s.  I can't imagine the cocky fighter jocks I knew then being happy to basically sit in the dark working a joystick, but I suppose it's possible.
 
2013-07-23 11:57:31 AM
My husband just called me.  He said JSTARS have coffeemakers, but they are disabled.  They also do not carry potable water.  Crews bring on a Mr. Coffee and bottled water.

He wanted to know why I wanted to know, of course.
 
2013-07-23 12:27:50 PM
www.washingtonpost.com
 
2013-07-23 01:29:05 PM

freetomato: He wanted to know why I wanted to know, of course.


You could tell him, but then you'd have to kill him.
 
2013-07-23 02:06:19 PM

freetomato: My husband just called me.  He said JSTARS have coffeemakers, but they are disabled.  They also do not carry potable water.  Crews bring on a Mr. Coffee and bottled water.

He wanted to know why I wanted to know, of course.


Yeah, I've been sending a particular brand of K-cup in our care packages - turns out this one brand completely dissolves even in lukewarm water.
/our dad has cleaned out every dollar store in town for the

freetomato: UNC_Samurai: Petit_Merdeux: The good old Air Farce. I like to make fun of them, but they do have the benefit of sending the zeros into combat while the enlisted stay home and sleep with their wives someone's wife.

[img.photobucket.com image 450x614]

I get a kick out of this every time it's posted, but especially since my sister is Army (35G, IIRC) currently flying on J-STARS out of Qatar.

/22 aboard, including 2 full-birds, and there's apparently no coffee maker - how is THAT possible?

My husband is a Comm Systems Technician on the JSTARS (it's likely that he's flown at least once with your sister).  I don't know about the coffeemaker but I know that my husband has cooked delicious snackage for the crew in a little bitty convection oven they have on board during long sorties.

I'm in the same unit, albeit one weekend a month and two weeks annually.  When I first came here we had F-15s.  I can't imagine the cocky fighter jocks I knew then being happy to basically sit in the dark working a joystick, but I suppose it's possible.


I shot you an email on your ultrafark account with some info.
 
2013-07-23 02:29:01 PM

UNC_Samurai: Petit_Merdeux:
[...]
/22 aboard, including 2 full-birds, and there's apparently no coffee maker - how is THAT possible?


...the unholy fark?  The mind boggles.

I work at an Air Force research facility.  My hallway alone has more coffee makers than total stars plus stripes, and that's including the damned flags.

/jk
//lots of stripes in here
///no stars and only the occasional light bird
 
2013-07-23 03:06:05 PM

Warthog: I'll concede I have a limited sample size (my brother and his co-workers, who fly F-16's and F-15's), but NONE of them WANT to go into UAVs. They sneer at the UAV guys.  BUT it's getting harder and harder to get flying time with budget cutbacks.  Entire units are at risk of losing their current status in their aircraft, which means when the sequester lifts, they all need to go to a different base to re-qualify in a jet they should be allowed to fly every week.  They'd love to be flying ever day, even in a war zone, but the sad fact is most of the Air Force has been parked on the ground for a while now.  If offered a chance to actually do something on a day-to-day basis as a UAV pilot for full pay+, or sit at a desk and get paid 75% of your prior salary not to fly, some of them conclude they have to take the UAV assignment to feed their families.  That huge retention bonus is a myth that is not available to any of the guys who are currently in and flying.  The system appears, at least to me, to be entirely broken.


The system is broken because people who want to fly amazingly cool jets don't get to fly them? The system does not exist to let people play with hugely expensive toys! The military exists to protect American interests. Or more accurately, to bomb the hell out of any nation with oil that looks at us funny. UAVs can do that job better than the alternative.
 
2013-07-23 04:46:12 PM
I'm an AF cargo pilot, so I'm getting a kick out of these replies.

Seriously though, I'm hoping these bonuses get passed on to my career field before I hit the end of my commitment. I'd still probably stay in, for that sweet, sweet pension and retirement benefits. Shopping for cheap booze at the class six alone...

That being said, the shortage has been caused by personnel mismanagement more than anything. For several years around the time I went to SUPT, they dropped maybe two fighters per class, if that. Then, in the last several months, they let out a collective "oh, shiat," and started dropping them all over the place, and it'll only get worse when the F-35 finally comes online. Still thankful that I wanted no part in that lifestyle, regardless of signing bonuses.
 
2013-07-23 05:28:04 PM

astrophysicist23: I'm an AF cargo pilot, so I'm getting a kick out of these replies.

Seriously though, I'm hoping these bonuses get passed on to my career field before I hit the end of my commitment. I'd still probably stay in, for that sweet, sweet pension and retirement benefits. Shopping for cheap booze at the class six alone...


When I was in high school, our ASI was a former TAC C-130 pilot, getting in the last few years he needed for a retirement threshold.  He said he took the job because it was an assignment where he didn't have to worry about "losin' your birthday".
 
2013-07-23 06:03:03 PM

veedeevadeevoodee: [www.demotivationalposters.org image 640x553]

/ most wasteful branch of the military, BAR NONE


Yeah, who needs air superiority?  Look how well the Germans did at Falaise without it.
 
2013-07-23 06:23:14 PM

hasty ambush: Brick-House: I wonder how much of this is related to BOB and his policies related to the military.

My guess, having more than few years military service, is that social engineering is not the biggest reason but plays a role. Fighter pilots, infantry , Special operations etc. are professions pretty heavy on the testosterone for obvious necessary reasons and there is some resentment, I am sure, making them take down hooters calendars is resented, but not the main reason. Not even gays serving openly is that big a problem. Most to them will tell you that gays are less of problem than women because at least they will not become unavailable for deployment or go on light duty due to pregnancy. The whole pregnancy thing is a bigger issue than feminists and many politicians like to admit.

The two biggest reasons are first is drones and precision munitions counting as one and the other is money.

As to the first fighter pilots like to be fighter pilots and fly. Drones have relieved them of many of their missions and indicates there may not be much of a career future for many of them. Precision guided munitions have turned them into little more than bomb trucks. They fly to an area coordinates are fed into the bomb guidance system they release the bomb and it does most of the work of getting itself on target. takes a lot of the challenge out of the job.

The Second being money and I don't mean pay. I mean money being available for actual flying. budget cuts mean less time in the air. Fighter pilots , who like to fly naturally, don't get to do it has often. Planes may not even be a available because maintenance and parts also cost money. Of course training and skills suffer as not everything can be done by drones yet-like air superiority.

The money side is nothing new. We went through this during the search for the peace dividend after the of the cold war during the 1990s (only there was no peace). Budget cuts meant less money for training , mainten ...


I spent 8 years as an AF pilot, then left when I saw the cold war ending and wondering what would happen to my SAC career. I turned down a mere $84000 bonus.

Since then, military pay has increased at twice the rate  of federal civilian pay (which I am one of now - not my best move). Health care remains nearly free. An O-5 gets a $35K tax free housing allowance to live in DC. There are still commissaries everywhere in an age where there are also Super Walmarts everywhere, unlike when I was an AF brat and half the bases where 30 miles from a real town with a small Piggly Wiggly.  In short, what were once relatively average pay and benefits have morphed into some of the best available anywhere as the rest of America has slowly gone downhill.

Those guys would do well to consider the implications of leaving in a financial sense. Likely they have and don't value the money so much; after all, no one joins to get rich. My experience with the pilot bonus was that it was a complete waste of money. It retained no one yet gave a bunch of extra cash to guys who were staying anyway.
 
2013-07-24 08:21:53 AM

BolshyGreatYarblocks: veedeevadeevoodee: [www.demotivationalposters.org image 640x553]

/ most wasteful branch of the military, BAR NONE

Yeah, who needs air superiority?  Look how well the Germans did at Falaise without it.


Okay, what Taliban fighter jets were shot down since the beginnng of the Afghan war?
How many USAF were shot down by Taliban fighters?

Apple and oranges.

Kudos to the cargo pilots, though...those flights to BIAP were most "interesting".
 
2013-07-24 08:39:29 AM

BolshyGreatYarblocks: veedeevadeevoodee: [www.demotivationalposters.org image 640x553]

/ most wasteful branch of the military, BAR NONE

Yeah, who needs air superiority?  Look how well the Germans did at Falaise without it.


In addition, you might want to read up about the Falaise pocket, again. I believe the Allied air forces at that time, were called the "American Luftwaffe". In addition, read up on the 9th USAAF, and the wonderful job they did with fratricide. I'm not saying air power is not viable, I'm just saying during the Normany campaign, it was a clusterfark (notable exception was the destruction of the Germany Luftwafe on the ground...and in the air).

It is, by far, one of the most wasteful branches in the military. It's is so eager to get rid the most effective ground support weapon it has, the A-10C, just to make room for new, sexy, expensive toys.

They have no where near the combat experience the Army and Marines have...yet those are being cut to pieces under this current administration; the only exception are the handful of USAF units that deploy for ground support (i.e. para-rescue). And bear in mind, this is in an area with zero air threat. Funny how the big topic in this conversation is not about USAF combat effectiveness, but the uncanny fact that there are no coffee makers on a JSTARS. Give me a break!

The USAF is stuck in a civilian/bureaucratic mindset. The Security Police (of whatever they call themselves these days) are a complete joke. Can't make their minds up if they want to be "wanna be Infantry", or do law enforcement. It's funny driving up to a gate and seeing an airman with an M4, M9, body armor...and a beret....in Germany. I guess USAFE still has a fear of the Hun.

Sorry 'bout the rant. The USAF just really irritates me, sometimes.

/Spleen vented
 
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