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Pick a Location or an Airframe?

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Pick a Location or an Airframe?

Old 06-06-2013, 04:35 PM
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hawgdriver's Avatar
Joined APC: Mar 2012
Position: A-10
Posts: 142

I am in the same boat as you right now. A-10, F-16, C-130 or KC-135. As much as I love flying the A-10, there are no units that are with in driving distance of where my family wants to live. I know I'm going to be gone a lot with the airlines so I don't want to double commute. I think we are going to make the decision to live where we want to and I'm going to stop flying single seat aircraft. I know I will miss the mission but my family and QOL is much more important to me. You need to think about whats more important for you.
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Old 06-06-2013, 05:32 PM
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Joined APC: Nov 2005
Position: 757/767 Capt
Posts: 648

I just ate lunch with a 135 pilot from the NJ ANG (McGuire), who left the guard to come to my C-17 squadron in the Reserves at McGuire. He was bored flying the tanker and really likes the C-17. As far as cost of living goes, you get what you pay for..beaches, New York City/Philadelphia, skiing, casino's all within an hours drive...Where are you from? Any questions feel free to ask.
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Old 06-06-2013, 05:42 PM
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Joined APC: Jul 2011
Posts: 462

I chose location and it was the right choice for me and my family. There are a few more things you might want to think about.

Think about job security. With the BRACs that will be coming up, one base may have a much higher chance of being shut down than the other. Finding out how "safe" the bases are is the hard part.

What type of flying do the units do? Depending on the unit, the KC-135 may sit alert quite frequently which might be better for your situation than the C-17 which probably has longer trips. Or, you may prefer the longer trips.

Guard vs reserve makes a difference too. Especially if you might need to relocate in the future for an airline job or family obligations. From what I've heard, it's a lot easier to transfer between units within the reserve than the guard since each state has its own guard bureau.

Availability of pay days may factor into your decision. I don't know what your situation is, but you might want to have the ability to pick up extra days of pay (furlough, don't have another job, etc). Talk to both units and see how many days you can expect.

If you have an airline job or are thinking of getting one, distance to the closest airport and their flying schedule may make a difference. Obviously, commuting is gonna be easier or harder from different airports for different companies.

My point is, location and airframe aren't the only things you need to consider. You'll only know if you made the right decision after the fact though. Good luck with your decision.
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Old 06-06-2013, 06:13 PM
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Joined APC: Jul 2005
Position: MD11CAP
Posts: 1,041

Go for location. After 3-4 years its all sitting in an aluminum tube for hours at a time.
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Old 06-06-2013, 06:40 PM
Line Holder
Joined APC: Jan 2011
Posts: 34

Pick the one with the best group of pilots....being in a squadron is much more than just driving a grey jet...

You could be in the worlds greatest airplane but if you are stuck in a squadron with a bunch of idiots life is going to suck.

Other things to consider, what moral like, what's the commuter policy, are all drill weekends mandatory, deployment rate & length of time. As a part timer how hard is it to keep your monthly currency/beans
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Old 06-07-2013, 09:15 AM
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Joined APC: Feb 2007
Position: A-300 F/O
Posts: 281

The ANG is less queepy than AFRC. AFRC is AD for less money. The AFRC is way more concerned with PME, and Masters degrees, deployments and career tracks when it comes down to making O-5 and beyond.

This will change as future budgets get smaller. I think today's AFRC is where the AD was 10 years ago in terms of queep and b.s., and the ANG is about where the AFRC was before 9/11 and GWOT.

The Guard seems to have a better lobby when it comes to keeping units/bases open in the face of cutbacks. Look at Mansfield OH for example, they just got their 130s back after the C-27 debacle.

Actually, all units are different. You'd have to talk to the guys who are there to see what they think. If lots of people are happy and like the unit then go there. If lots of guys are not so happy and are there because it is convenient to their family/airline job situation, then it may not be the place to be. We had several Ex-Reserve guys from 3 different units in my ANG unit and to a person they all said the ANG was better than the AFRC.

It is easier to change units in the Reserve because there is sort of an assignment system that can be worked. This is more of a player at the LT Col and above level when you start searching for command/leadership jobs. The ANG is usually not going to take an outsider or someone off active duty after the rank of major unless there are some very big extenuating circumstances IE that person is a school house instructor in a weapon system and everyone in the unit gives them a big thumbs up on the hire-o-meter!

From a part-timers perspective as a new guy completing flight school most guys would say the ANG version of the pay system is easier to get money in your pocket.
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