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hindsight2020 03-28-2020 05:03 PM


Originally Posted by DustoffVT (Post 3015467)
Your buy back time doesnít count towards your 6C retirement. Have to work 20 years as an AIA to get the full %. Iím not sure if it even counts towards your 5 year vested retirement. If so you would get 15% of your high three years. With the buyback and 20 years 6C you'd get 48%.

Remember that 6C coverage earns 1.7% per year. If you leave before 20 you forfeit that .7%/year. Also new FERS hires pay a much higher percentage of their gross into the system (4.4% for people hired after 2013 vs. 0.8%) makes it not a good deal at all to come short term.

In your situation Iíd be looking for a non-LEO flying job. Better yet do 6 more active duty and get a full military retirement. Much higher pension and bennies for just 18 more months time.

True, he won't get the 1.7 multiplier, but he could get a normal 1% FERS pension with his buyback time by doing the CBP job. His 4.5 years in a 6c position would def earn him the vesting he needs, to draw a 1% FERS retirement. What difference does it make if the job is 6c or not? Sure, he'd be doing it at a discount compared to someone who can put in the required 20 years as 6c for the 1.7% multiplier, but he was never going to reach that anyways so that's a sunk cost to him.

Ditto on the recommendation of going for AD retirement. For disclosure, I actually have the same amount of AD time as the OP, and I'm def going for full AD retirement in the Reserves as an AGR. The reason I didn't throw in that suggestion is when I saw he's already been a min runner in the Guard for 3 years, which means he's only 3 years to 20 good reserve years. IOW he's no spring chicken. Plus the fact he's asking a lot of questions about homesteading tells me this guy is done with the deployment grind and why he's asking about de facto desk jobs in the GS side. Finding AGR jobs in the Guard right now is a non-starter with the airlines stop-hiring. It's too late already in this environment. Musical chairs are prob full already. His own unit's technician jobs are full up (title 5 I'm presuming, the Guard's different full time statuses are foreign to me as an AFRC baby).

Also, the ARC (Guard and Res) has been used and abused as an expeditionary force for the past two decades, and is nothing more than AD Lite now. Depending on local leadership, going full time (ARTs have some deployment heismann leverage title 10/32 AGRs don't) in the ARC right now in a combat-coded unit means you're back to being gone from the family to the gratuitous frequency Active Duty loses people over every year in the first place. QOL Non-starter for this guy probably. I'm in a specific niche that insulates me from much of the deployment thrash, but my AGR is an institutional Reserve outlier, and one I low-crawled for 8 years to secure after years in the border. So I'm not gonna proffer it as the norm nor easily attained to be of any help to this guy.
Are non-LEO GS flying jobs that much easier to attain? My cursory experience with acquaintances and enough 1st hand experience with USAJOBS in the Lost Decade lead me to believe that is not the case. Shy of raking farm truck tires pointlessly with the border patrol people in Laredo, the UAS job is probably the quickest way to getting homesteading. Well that or licking stamps at the post office :D

senecacaptain 03-28-2020 05:26 PM

I believe to continue federal health insurance (Federal Blue Cross Blue Shield, etc.) the employee needs to be a GS/FERS employee for 5 continuous years immediately before retirement.

In "today's world" having that platinum level BCBS card above is very important

LJ4Life 03-28-2020 06:03 PM


Originally Posted by hindsight2020 (Post 3015495)
True, he won't get the 1.7 multiplier, but he could get a normal 1% FERS pension with his buyback time by doing the CBP job. His 4.5 years in a 6c position would def earn him the vesting he needs, to draw a 1% FERS retirement. What difference does it make if the job is 6c or not? Sure, he'd be doing it at a discount compared to someone who can put in the required 20 years as 6c for the 1.7% multiplier, but he was never going to reach that anyways so that's a sunk cost to him.

Ditto on the recommendation of going for AD retirement. For disclosure, I actually have the same amount of AD time as the OP, and I'm def going for full AD retirement in the Reserves as an AGR. The reason I didn't throw in that suggestion is when I saw he's already been a min runner in the Guard for 3 years, which means he's only 3 years to 20 good reserve years. IOW he's no spring chicken. Plus the fact he's asking a lot of questions about homesteading tells me this guy is done with the deployment grind and why he's asking about de facto desk jobs in the GS side. Finding AGR jobs in the Guard right now is a non-starter with the airlines stop-hiring. It's too late already in this environment. Musical chairs are prob full already. His own unit's technician jobs are full up (title 5 I'm presuming, the Guard's different full time statuses are foreign to me as an AFRC baby).

Also, the ARC (Guard and Res) has been used and abused as an expeditionary force for the past two decades, and is nothing more than AD Lite now. Depending on local leadership, going full time (ARTs have some deployment heismann leverage title 10/32 AGRs don't) in the ARC right now in a combat-coded unit means you're back to being gone from the family to the gratuitous frequency Active Duty loses people over every year in the first place. QOL Non-starter for this guy probably. I'm in a specific niche that insulates me from much of the deployment thrash, but my AGR is an institutional Reserve outlier, and one I low-crawled for 8 years to secure after years in the border. So I'm not gonna proffer it as the norm nor easily attained to be of any help to this guy.
Are non-LEO GS flying jobs that much easier to attain? My cursory experience with acquaintances and enough 1st hand experience with USAJOBS in the Lost Decade lead me to believe that is not the case. Shy of raking farm truck tires pointlessly with the border patrol people in Laredo, the UAS job is probably the quickest way to getting homesteading. Well that or licking stamps at the post office :D

I'm in a bit of a weird spot. I've been flying for one of the legacy carriers for the past 4 years. I'm sure some think I'm overreacting, but I believe that if this situation doesn't get resolved quickly then I'll be looking for another job come 1 Oct. My thinking was that if I did get furloughed then I could try to find a spot that I could just do my 4.5 years to have a guaranteed pension and then go back to the airlines if I'm still interested in that life. AGR spots are definitely hard to come by, and I just don't see that in the cards. I've got young kids, so being at home for the next 5 years would be a big win. I just assumed that volunteering for UAS would get me the time at home, and hopefully a decent location.

hindsight2020 03-28-2020 07:04 PM


Originally Posted by LJ4Life (Post 3015550)
I'm in a bit of a weird spot. I've been flying for one of the legacy carriers for the past 4 years. I'm sure some think I'm overreacting, but I believe that if this situation doesn't get resolved quickly then I'll be looking for another job come 1 Oct. My thinking was that if I did get furloughed then I could try to find a spot that I could just do my 4.5 years to have a guaranteed pension and then go back to the airlines if I'm still interested in that life. AGR spots are definitely hard to come by, and I just don't see that in the cards. I've got young kids, so being at home for the next 5 years would be a big win. I just assumed that volunteering for UAS would get me the time at home, and hopefully a decent location.

Nah, that's not really a weird spot. You got out and with 14 AD went and tried your lot at the airlines + TR guard job. Dime a dozen story.

There's nothing wrong with your plan. My only question is have you lived in the SW border? I did 7.5 years there, and that was a very trying time for my family. What is a "decent" location mean to you? Only you can answer that for your family and their circumstances.

Honestly, an ART job would be right up your alley, if such a thing was available to you either by transferring to AFRC, or whatever the Guard calls their GS/TR dual status full time people. The other benefit to ARTs is they tend not to deploy with their units as much, as they're considered the admin backbone of the squadron. Not to say local leadership doesn't goad their full timers to buy into the AD-Lite nonsense, but in general it's much more difficult to make an ART go. And they're certainly not gonna deploy you in civilian status (too much $$$). Something to consider.

The only problem is you can't MLOA to an ART job. Has to be title 10 or 32. A personal leave of absence would do it though, and I bet ya come October 2020 nobody's gonna give you grief over it if it came to it. AGR would be ideal. You could take that to AD retirement, even if it exceeded USERRA. Again, PLOA for the balance reamining to AD retirement would probably not be an issue, otherwise you can get to full AD retirement piecemeal (troughing/bumming, does not go against USERRA when done in sub-30 day chunks) for the difference. You can also get on USERRA exempt tour (staff, school, contingency deployment, whatever) and get your check o the month and ride into the sunset. At that point you can re-assess your life stage and go back to the airline, or not if it's not to your liking based on what you see 6 years from now. You have options, CBP is not the only one.

I think it has been established by the UAS folks on here that the UAS gig, shift work as it may be, can get ya the pedestrian schedule you seek. if you can stomach the monotony and the overnight schedules if any. The location issue is the only wildcard of consequence, and again you will have to assess whether that's up your wheelhouse. Good luck!

DustoffVT 03-29-2020 06:16 AM

Absolutely agree with hindsight on the UAS predictably piece. If you’re on a good seniority list now, I actually do think UAS makes sense. Not least the health care mentioned above. You can even continue your search for an AGR job while an AIA.

The UAS locations are slightly better than SW border. Several Sierra Vista guys live on the south side of Tuscon. Diver could give the actual town but I think it’s an artsy-fartsy enclave type spot. Long drive but I think worth it. San Angelo - meh - but they a have a PC-12 incentive bird. GFK is a nice town if you can take the winters.

USMCFLYR 03-29-2020 08:06 AM


Originally Posted by Diverb (Post 3015857)
IF I were just wanting to get a 20yr FERS retirement like , I would go fly for the FAA doing flight check. They have a cool mission, fly nice King Air 350's and its GS13 / GS14 pay and you don't have to live on the SW border. If I had the 500hrs of multi time the FAA requires, I would be there myself.

Diverb -

You haven't been following the ASIP Hiring thread then!
For at least the last two hiring cycles, Flight Check has dropped the 500 hrs ME requirement.
Of course that was in a different hiring environment than we are likely to see in the coming months (hopefully not years)
One other slight correction - at least for now those King Airs are -300s, not -350s, but word in the wind is the replacement will be those Special Mission -350ERs; but we'll know for sure when the replacement show up on the line and ready to go!

theoriginalturk 03-29-2020 10:22 AM

As a strictly UAS driver (18x) for big blue AIA still seems like a great deal (more so in this ecomic downturn). When my ADSC is over I'll probably apply. Just about the only place that values RPA experience and also provides an opportunity to eventually fly other air frames (actually flying more than zero hours while at a UAS location, and eventually transferring out of UAS). On the APC profile it says GS-13, 3rd year annual pay - $143,396, that along with a traditional guard position looks like a win compared to flying RPAs for the Air Force active duty for 20 years.

LJ4Life 03-29-2020 12:28 PM

I appreciate all the info. My unit doesn't have any ART jobs open, and they're all be converted to AGRs anyway. I've been looking at a few other GS type jobs, but the AIA sounded like it may be cool. My family hasn't lived in the SW at all, so I really don't know what to expect with those locations. Having a companion trainer AC would be cool, but not a deal-breaker. I'll still be flying/deploying with my ANG unit so flight time isn't an issue for me. Are the UAVs 5 on 2 off? Are you working a lot of weekends/holidays? What do you wish you'd known prior to going AIA for UAVs or in general?

USMCFLYR 03-29-2020 03:39 PM


Originally Posted by Diverb (Post 3016053)
I have been following and thanks to you, Mickey knows my name! For what ever reason I can't get my resume past the USAJobs screening to make it to a real person, and I have the BE300 type just not 500hrs multi time. Also my buddy who is a AIA down in Texas with 4000tt and also a MEI couldn't get past the computer screening too. I called the woman who's name appeared on the generic e-mail and was told the 500 hrs wasn't waiverable, but I know it is because Mickey told me it was.

At any rate I was very fortunate to get back to where I want to be living wise with AMO, so I'm a happy camper now. With all that's going on in the world now with the halt of the economy due to the virus, the FAA will have no shortage of qualified pilots for the next several years.

Diverb -

I'm certainly glad I could provide any information for you and other AIAs. I think most of you guys are the shinzt and I've always been sad to see the AIA position get pounded on the boards. If it wasn't for medical reasons I feel that I would be right there with you, so who knows if fate played a hand or just better timing on my part but I feel some kinship with you at least in spirit since I wanted to be there with you.

I'm sorry you got bad intel from the HR too. They DO NOT know all of the ins-and-outs and usually have to be hand fed the information. Sometimes they pass by a bit or two it seems. Over the last couple of hiring announcements many of the usual Flight Inspection required minimums were pushed aside - the ATP (though they say that it was always the eligibility for an ATP) and the 500 hr of MEL were certainly two of the former requirements which were not in play during the last few hiring sessions. At one point even the 100 hrs in the last 12 months for external hires (50 hrs for internal hires) was thought to be wavered, but at the last moment was kept in place since there w ere enough applicants whom met that requirements - so you see how even the 'requirements' bob and weave.

Depending on the manner in which you applied - meaning through which announcement - and to which office in particular if not to any and all - the requirements change. The number one applicant for a certain FIFO might not even make the list for another FIFO.

Just keep in touch with MT since you already have his ear. Keep your eye out for the 2181 announcement on USAJOBS.

Sorry to hijack the thread for a bit.
Good luck to you and your AIA brothers.
I standby to help any of you guys/gals out with whatever information I have if you anyone is interested.

dapuckstopper15 03-29-2020 04:36 PM

Does anyone in here have any insight on what Aguadilla, PR looks like as far as living and the aircraft being utilized for their missions? Is it heavily UAS or is there a good amount of airplane flying?


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