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Pilots leaving Air Force

Topkick

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#3
Do these squadrons have staff positions such as XO and Operations where an officer spends time grooming before taking a command? Seems that would be OJT for them.
 
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Viper1

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#4
Interesting read about toxic leaders. Many of the best young Officers and NCOs were leaving the Army too when I retired. Toxic leadership was definitely part of the reason, but I think multiple deployments played a major part.


A Navy Pilot’s Take: The Air Force Doesn’t Have A Pilot Crisis, It Has A Leadership Crisis - Fortuna's Corner
The article focused on the fighter community. I have friends in the airlift/cargo community and from their experience they feel fortunate to work hand-in-hand with crews and people from the start of their careers.
 

Topkick

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#6
Makes sense⬆I guess when you can make the kind of money a pilot makes in the civilian sector, you are not going to stick around for the BS;-)
 

Ocoka

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#7
Makes sense⬆I guess when you can make the kind of money a pilot makes in the civilian sector, you are not going to stick around for the BS;-)
As an aside to this thread, the writer is a Navy helicopter pilot. I think it's important to note that he's writing about Air Force fighter/single and multi-engine jet pilots. There's a big difference in private sector employment opportunities between helicopter pilots and people who fly jets. The only jobs in the civilian sector for helo pilots are for corporations, TV stations, law enforcement/medical casevac and precious little else, unless they upgrade their qualifications to multi-engine jet and seek employment with the airlines. And there are way too many mil-trained helo pilots than there are civilian helo-pilot jobs. So many of the military helo pilots who love to fly choose to stay in, or go to ANG or reserves, so they can fly whenever they want.
 

Devildoc

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#8
My practice has been treating an AF pilot, flies the F-15E Strike Eagle. Because all we can do is manage symptoms and not fix the problem, they are sending him out via med board. I asked him if they would transfer him to a non-flying position, teach, operations, something, he told me he was a pilot, and if he could not fly, he was dead to them.
 

AWP

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#10
It isn't just fighter pilots. I'm sure some career fields don't have issues, but AWACS/JSTARS are hemorrhaging both officers and enlisted as are Air Control Squadrons. Comm isn't much better with many airmen going "one and done." All of the latter I've spoken to, a dozen in the last year alone, cite leadership and the AF culture as the main reason.

The AF is run by fighter pilots/ "fighter mafia" so any problems in their community will receive a ton of press. 13B/ Air Battle Managers were undermanned by about 15% last year. Their branch managers or whatever the AF calls them were refusing to send them to ALO slots and some other stuff that escapes me.

As an outsider, the AF has an institutional problem but fighter pilots will generate the most noise.

ETA: The blog below is written be a former C-17 pilot and contains a number of articles about this topic and poor AF leadership in a poor system.

John Q. Public
 
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ThunderHorse

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#12
Do these squadrons have staff positions such as XO and Operations where an officer spends time grooming before taking a command? Seems that would be OJT for them.
Not really the AF, but girlfriend's brother is a Naval Aviator and they have some weird assignments. He's basically going to the equivalent of a BDE S3 shop, in the Army you'd go do staff time while waiting to take command so I would think at every rank in the Navy there would be staff time on the officer side. But Air Wing is not similar to Army Aviation, this assignment takes him off flight status. It's a job that has to be done and is a dead end, and he chose it because he wants out(But he can't resign for another 12 months). It's like working Land and Ammo and then air space legal management, but there's no path from that slot back to the cockpit, he would need to be re-detailed. The person he's replacing is also getting out of the Navy and went into the job because they were going to get out.

@Red Flag 1 I remember when it was posted a few months back...that was a bit too funny and as you said illustrates all of the problems in the AF.
 

Ocoka

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#13
From the above link, this is how bad the USAF has gotten. Forget the R&D for airframes or upgrading avionics, this speaks to how much fail there is today in the USAF:

Air Force lacks resources to retrieve Humvee after a week of being stuck outside nuclear missile silo - John Q. Public

If you can't figure out how to fix this^^^^^things are pretty hopeless.

Yeah, crazy, ain't it. The Air Force needs to request the Army to get a 54 out of the boneyard. Hey Air Force...Your welcome.

sikorsky-ch54-skycrane_5.jpg
 

DA SWO

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#14
My practice has been treating an AF pilot, flies the F-15E Strike Eagle. Because all we can do is manage symptoms and not fix the problem, they are sending him out via med board. I asked him if they would transfer him to a non-flying position, teach, operations, something, he told me he was a pilot, and if he could not fly, he was dead to them.
The irony is that the AFI says the MEB should try to find another suitable AFSC.
He may be dead to his squadron, but AFPC should be working him into a non-flying/rated officer required position (unless the medical issue is so severe that he can not stay in).
He may also be tired of the bull crap and just want out.

It isn't just fighter pilots. I'm sure some career fields don't have issues, but AWACS/JSTARS are hemorrhaging both officers and enlisted as are Air Control Squadrons. Comm isn't much better with many airmen going "one and done." All of the latter I've spoken to, a dozen in the last year alone, cite leadership and the AF culture as the main reason.

The AF is run by fighter pilots/ "fighter mafia" so any problems in their community will receive a ton of press. 13B/ Air Battle Managers were undermanned by about 15% last year. Their branch managers or whatever the AF calls them were refusing to send them to ALO slots and some other stuff that escapes me.

As an outsider, the AF has an institutional problem but fighter pilots will generate the most noise.

ETA: The blog below is written be a former C-17 pilot and contains a number of articles about this topic and poor AF leadership in a poor system.

John Q. Public
JQP was a rising star who got tired of the crap and retired.
Some of his bitches are whiny, but he is usually spot on.


My current "job" allows me to hear people bitch.
Here are some of the complaints I hear.
OpTempo sucks, but guys/gals bitch more about useless incompetent managers (leadership is a term often used as a sarcastic comment),
Stupid ROE's and not even caring about Afghani corruption, but hammering jr enlisted over a finance mistake.
Boring holes in the sky and not dropping bombs because someone higher up couldn't make a decision.
Stupid deployed jobs (watching TCN's work is an often cited example).
Politician Generals who are gutless and more concerned with another promotion or the post-retirement gig then fighting and winning a war.
Clueless SecAF's who gut personnel, then scratch their head wondering why folks don't re-enlist or want back in.

IMO this all goes back to CSAF McPeek (AKA Tony the Tiger) who gutted mid-levels (E-4/5 and O-3). He elevated the fighter mafia to where it is today. I do not know if we can (the AF) can recover without taking a serious asskicking first.

 

Devildoc

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#15
The irony is that the AFI says the MEB should try to find another suitable AFSC.
He may be dead to his squadron, but AFPC should be working him into a non-flying/rated officer required position (unless the medical issue is so severe that he can not stay in).
He may also be tired of the bull crap and just want out.
You want irony? He says that because he can't fly, he is of no use, and they are med boarding him. We are also treating a CCT from Pope for the same thing, whose career is plowing along like nothing happened.....

Of course, I just hear his side, maybe there is a crappy billet elsewhere he has been offered just doesn't want and he is OK with a med board and discharge.
 
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#17
As an aside to this thread, the writer is a Navy helicopter pilot. I think it's important to note that he's writing about Air Force fighter/single and multi-engine jet pilots. There's a big difference in private sector employment opportunities between helicopter pilots and people who fly jets. The only jobs in the civilian sector for helo pilots are for corporations, TV stations, law enforcement/medical casevac and precious little else, unless they upgrade their qualifications to multi-engine jet and seek employment with the airlines. And there are way too many mil-trained helo pilots than there are civilian helo-pilot jobs. So many of the military helo pilots who love to fly choose to stay in, or go to ANG or reserves, so they can fly whenever they want.
Disagree. There are now easy pathways from military helicopter pilots to the airlines. They guarantee a job, and the transition course only takes a few months.

Here is one example: Calling Military Helicopter Pilots: Join the Envoy Rotor Transition Program | Envoy Air
 

Ocoka

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#18
Disagree. There are now easy pathways from military helicopter pilots to the airlines. They guarantee a job, and the transition course only takes a few months.

Here is one example: Calling Military Helicopter Pilots: Join the Envoy Rotor Transition Program | Envoy Air
Interesting, I didn't know that. I have three pilot friends, all three Army WOs who flew UH-1s in VN. There was a glut of mil-trained helo pilots then and few jobs. Times change. They would've benefitted from a program like this back then.
 
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amlove21

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#20
You want irony? He says that because he can't fly, he is of no use, and they are med boarding him. We are also treating a CCT from Pope for the same thing, whose career is plowing along like nothing happened.....

Of course, I just hear his side, maybe there is a crappy billet elsewhere he has been offered just doesn't want and he is OK with a med board and discharge.
This is a really weird thing i wasn't even aware of until recently.

We had an OT come over from the hospital getting some reps in working with our staff (simple trigger point and tissue work). When she got done she said, and I quote- "I treat 4 pilots they are kicking out of their pipelines down here. I saw 5 guys this morning with WAY worse injuries/problems and your career field treats it like no big deal. Their answer is immediately 'you're out' and your answer seems to be 'how can we keep you in '."

Pretty fascinating that it's a whole culture shift, something ingrained in entire populations.