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Old 04-19-2021, 09:33 AM   #1  
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Default Usaf pilots hedged their bets...

The USAFís Bad Bets on Pilot Retention Show It Needs Outside Help

Service leaders think the same old tactics can reverse a pilot shortage in a resurging economy.

BRIAN KRUCHKOW and TOBIAS SWITZER
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APRIL 19, 2021 08:00 AM ET

https://www.defenseone.com/ideas/202...e-help/173431/
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Old 04-19-2021, 09:49 AM   #2  
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AF guesses wrong on retention? I think we've seen this movie a couple times already.
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Old 04-19-2021, 11:16 AM   #3  
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The reality is that military service will never be able to compete for pilots over the long term. Military flying is more challenging and fulfilling, but it requires a degree of dedication (especially of a pilotís time)that is unsustainable for those who highly value family time or financial rewards. The USAF should operate on the assumption that they will lose close to 60% of pilots at the end of their UPT commitment. It will drive a higher annual production rate and a different career progression model.
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Old 04-19-2021, 03:44 PM   #4  
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Yuuup, same story each year. AF has a two main problems with retention: QoL and Pay.

QoL: They spend 10 years wringing an aircrew member to the bone. Don't get me wrong its an absolutely awesome job but 12-13 hr days wear on you and the family. Sprinkle in your mandatory downrange deployments to be the snacko or something else equally useless and you have a recipe for people who just need a change of pace. To the AF's credit they have taken some of the unnecessary additional duties off our shoulders but that's a band aid on a bullet wound. AF is in a death spiral of rated officer manning. We have 6 guys doing the job of 10 people. One of the guys gets fed up and punches out....now you've got 5. AFPC puts a 6th person back in but everyone keeps getting more jaded.
It all comes down to our military end strength that gets assigned by congress. We can't keep asking our people to do more with less. Either reduce the requirements for our military force or give us more people & funding. Can't have it both ways.

Pay: There IS a dollar amount that will keep pilots in, the AF just doesn't want to pay it. Nor do I blame them. It'd be a lot. Plenty of studies have been done on this, but it's the same answer the AF doesn't want to hear.
https://www.rand.org/pubs/research_reports/RR2415.html
DoD need to pay dudes more to keep them in and it needs to keep pace with inflation. Neither of these will happen, so the military will keep going from economic downturn to downturn hoping to keep people and they'll pretend they solved the issue each time.

Okay...diatribe done.
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Old 04-19-2021, 03:45 PM   #5  
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Originally Posted by rickair7777 View Post
AF guesses wrong on retention? I think we've seen this movie a couple times already.
Haha, truth. This movie just plays itself on repeat on AMC (the movie channel, not the mobility command)
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Old 05-04-2021, 05:18 PM   #6  
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1) An unprecedented 1MIL "retention package" in bonuses and longevity/bonus pay (the NFL calls them 'contract incentives') to new FGO's in the fighter community.
2) Adopt the Navy's model of "flying tour/admin tour" to reduce the block time away from base and family. Not both at the same time.
3) Establish a re-blue process for pilots who separated within the previous 2 years (assuming they can still pass the dreaded USAF PFT), AND establish a syllabus route by which Reserve and Guardsmen who fly airlift/tanker/white jet MWS's can transfer to a fighter unit, active duty OR guard, IF that is the only commutable unit near them, or if that unit/wing/command has a specific need for pilots.

Last edited by CLTPHLYer; 05-04-2021 at 05:23 PM. Reason: Add explanatory language
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Old 05-05-2021, 09:56 AM   #7  
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Maybe task more flying to Guard/Reserve units.
Pilots will be able to do part time duty as well as airline flying.
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Old 05-05-2021, 10:12 AM   #8  
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Maybe task more flying to Guard/Reserve units.
Pilots will be able to do part time duty as well as airline flying.
Pribably doable for some flying. Hard to do for some types of flying requiring military working areas, supersonic areas, ACMI ranges, bombing ranges, etc. Not possible for some units requiring PRP monitoring.
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Old 05-05-2021, 02:19 PM   #9  
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Pribably doable for some flying. Hard to do for some types of flying requiring military working areas, supersonic areas, ACMI ranges, bombing ranges, etc. Not possible for some units requiring PRP monitoring.
Yes.

Also relying more heavily on guard/reserve will just further inflame industry pushback against USERRA, which was already ramped up pre-covid. At some point the industry is not going keep granting seniority numbers (and vacation, 401k, etc) to people who are more full time than part-time. They don't like doing it now, with only a relative handful in that camp.

The AD needs to be the AD. The reserves are surge capacity for contingencies, not a replacement for costly AD force structure (which needs to much more responsive than guard/reserves).
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Old 05-05-2021, 02:48 PM   #10  
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Yes.

Also relying more heavily on guard/reserve will just further inflame industry pushback against USERRA, which was already ramped up pre-covid. At some point the industry is not going keep granting seniority numbers (and vacation, 401k, etc) to people who are more full time than part-time. They don't like doing it now, with only a relative handful in that camp.

The AD needs to be the AD. The reserves are surge capacity for contingencies, not a replacement for costly AD force structure (which needs to much more responsive than guard/reserves).
Donít get me wrong, abuse of the USERRA does occur, and both the military and the airlines need to be able to stomp on it when it happens. But after accepting Billions in PSP, the airlines would be ill-advised to get churlish about supporting the legitimate requirements of Joe average reservist.
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