Hard to argue with the Congresswoman

Discussion in 'Academy/Military News' started by bruno, Mar 23, 2016.

  1. bruno

    bruno Retired Staff Member

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    It's all about Priorities. Good call Rep McSally!
    http://www.airforcetimes.com/story/...air-force-put-down-tuba-pick-up-gun/82121372/
     
  2. MemberLG

    MemberLG Member

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    I can argue with Rep McSally easily.

    Since the article is not comprehensive, my guess is that the air force manning shortage is in certain critical skills positions. Very stupid idea to have tuba players pick up wrench or a gun as they are not trained to be mechanics or security force. Many positions in AF are very specific and specialized and takes years of training.

    I also suspect, with limited recruiting pool (i.e. finite number of airmen/officers that meets the requirement to fill certain positions), AF have challenge filling certain positions. The requirement for a tuba player is different from a pilot. Many recruits might want to become a pilot, but they don't meet the requirement to become a pilot. A possible scenario is that AF can only recruit and find 1oo0 qualified officers become pilots, but they have requirement for 1100 pilots. If so 100 pilots slots will be unfilled.
     
  3. LineInTheSand

    LineInTheSand USCGA 2006

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    The services have too many bands and spend too much money on their bands (the CG has one band).
     
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  4. bruno

    bruno Retired Staff Member

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    Member LG- I suspect you are a tad bit more literal than she intended. But it is pretty disingenuous of the AF or any of the other services to use the need to free up manpower because they are constrained - while at the same time having over 500 heads on their books in organizations like the band which do nothing at all to further the primary mission of the service.And I would probably lecture somebody other than this particular congressman on the different positions in the AF given that she is a retired O6 A10 pilot. and given the number of RIFs that the services have undergone in the last 5 years- it seems pretty unlikely to me that they are having recruiting and retention problems. So you are left with her primary point- which is that the AF doesn't want to keep the A10 despite the loss of CAS capability , and is casting about for any reason they can throw up to justify killing the plane .
     
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  5. MemberLG

    MemberLG Member

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    I don't disagree but Rep McSally has to standby her words. Regardless what she meant, what's on the record is what's printed. Did I take it out context, perhaps I did.

    I don't care if Rep McSally is a retired 4 star AF general. What's important is relevant experience. Most pilots don't care about how budget works. A part of the mess is created by the Congress - they put the military leaders (I am not defending military leaders as they are not perfect) in a situation where they are making decision based on limitations and constraints placed by the Congress (i.e your budget is X, I want you to keep A10 that will cost Y, but you have to figure out where to get Y from X as we are not giving you more money).

    p.s. RIF is more about right skills sets and future force management, not numbers. You can't just convert A 10 mechanics to F 35 mechanics. Or does AF want to spend the effort to convert an A10 pilot with 15 years of service to F35 when there is a good chance he or she will retire in 5 years or train a new pilot that can serve next 20 years
     
  6. viperdriver

    viperdriver Member

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    LG, you're guessing wrong. The argument is about cutting the A10 due to $$$ and needing the maintenance troops to man F35 squadrons as they come on line. If they say they are short of personnel it makes sense to get rid of bands, etc.

    And yes, you can convert A10 mechanics to F35 mechanics. You send them to a 2 month school to learn about fixing a new jet. If you want to do it with pilots no biggie. The young guys for sure and some of the older guys go to the RTU which is 4 months to learn a new jet. The AF does this all the time.
     
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  7. AJC

    AJC Member

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    if you get rid of band personnel then you will be short of bands as well as mechanics.
    most band personnel join for the express purpose of being in the band, they audition prior to enlistment.
    the money saved by eliminating bands is a different matter.
    no way of knowing if the a band members ASVAB would qualify them to be retrained as a mechanic.
     
  8. LineInTheSand

    LineInTheSand USCGA 2006

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    I'm guessing the travel and lodging costs would be interesting.
     
  9. FalconsRock

    FalconsRock Parent

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    Interesting discussion. The bands, choirs and other ancillary units do cost the military a boatload of money. Their salaries along with travel and other costs are really non-mission essential. And don't forget about medical/dental costs and a pension when they retire. That definitely would free up budgets for training of essential manpower.

    The tuba player may not be able to pick up a wrench or gun, but if they dismantle those units, it would certainly free up funds to train other more mission essential members and increase the numbers at the same time.
     
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  10. LineInTheSand

    LineInTheSand USCGA 2006

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    The Coast Guard Band fell under my division (within the Office of Public Affairs).

    The Coast Guard has one band (currently located at CGA in New London, CT) but various small bands where members can be pulled off to perform (think jazz or a quartet).

    I think we were all amazed when we saw the numbers for the other service (both the manpower and budgets).

    I do think there are legitimate reasons to have a band (and Congress is certainly not without some very wasteful perks) but some services seem too have more than is needed.

    I do like the Navy's Country Current bluegrass band.
     
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  11. raimius

    raimius USAFA Alumnus

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    I'm a proponent of having A band. The service should have a band available for state ceremonies and funerals. Other than that, it should be a volunteer/additional duty type thing. We do not need 11 bands or a rock band.
     
  12. MAJOROFSTLO

    MAJOROFSTLO Banned

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    as an old clarinet player who was in the band all through high school and college I can appreciate the value of musical units and whats a parade or military ceremony without music. It is disingenuous to single out musical units as wasteful when you have many more egregious examples; how about getting rid of excess VIP aircraft and crews, hundreds of personnel on internships or educational sabbaticals, White House aides, chefs and personal assistants for high ranking leaders and oh what about those hundreds of Guard and Reserve Officers serving as "IMAs" to Commanders who already have dozens of staff members. The waste in the military is widespread so don't bark up the wrong tree.
     
  13. raimius

    raimius USAFA Alumnus

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    Sure, look at all positions for waste, and cut those that are not useful.

    I think the Congreswoman's point is that it is poor form to claim you don't have enough people to fix combat aircraft when you pay people to do musical flash-mobs at the Smithsonian (as cool as that was).
     
  14. LineInTheSand

    LineInTheSand USCGA 2006

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    As an old trumpet player, I can appreciate the value of clarinet-less bands! ;)
     
  15. Jcleppe

    Jcleppe Member

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    The issue with the "Audition" Bands for each service is that these members enlist specifically for the Band. If you notice their rank, they are much higher much quicker then their counterparts. These band members usually hold a Masters in Music and are assigned to the band for the entire time they are in the military. These band members could not simply put down their Tuba and work in any other field as the Congresswoman stated.

    Now, the bands that are made up of service members at individual units that are pulled from their normal duties are a different story, though I think some of those are on a volunteer basis and preform while still attached to their original units.

    If saving money is the goal then the services would need to also look at getting rid of the National Honor Guards as well. When you consider that all 5 branches have a permanent full time Honor Guard, you can imagine what that budget is each year. A White House Full Honors Ceremony is no cheap endeavor.

    To save the most money the services would need to disband the national bands and the national honor guards, not sure that will happen any time soon.
     
  16. AJC

    AJC Member

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    what about the softball team?
     
  17. Jcleppe

    Jcleppe Member

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    Would that include the cost of beer for after each game?
     
  18. LineInTheSand

    LineInTheSand USCGA 2006

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    How many ceremonial honor guards are needed? Of course, that's also not a career track and they're typically very junior (most of the CG honor guard members ive worked with were E-2 or E-3 often straight out of bootcamp. Compared to the typical E-6 in a band.
     
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  19. Pima

    Pima Parent

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    Do what the Army does with the 82nd acapella. It is a tour, not a career. They compete for a position and when that tour is done they go back to their career field. In the 20 yrs that Bullet served I can't recall ever going to see the Tops in Blue, even though they would show up at every base we were assigned to on an annual basis.

    It is a pure waste of taxpayer dollars. Let's remember sequestration still exists in the DoD budget.
     
  20. Jcleppe

    Jcleppe Member

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    As far as National Honor Guards, each service has only one. The Marines have the White House Duty, while the Army's Old Guard is spread out even further. When I was in the Honor Guard they gave everyone enlisted person E-3 right out of Boot camp, a few would Strike a Rate and make E-3 while there. You find some E-4's in the Army due to the fact that they enlist those with a 4 year degree as E-4s, but your right, most fall between E-2 and E-4.

    The time in the Honor Guard was about 2 years during my time, then you either went to an A School or a unit. The perk when I was in was that you got to choose where you went and they would make room for you.

    President Carter did try and cut back the Honor Guards when he took office, I remember sitting in a meeting with his staff during his transition when his CoS told us the President Elect felt he didn't need the Full Honors Ceremony for visiting leaders, The Col. simply looked at him and said that the Ceremony was not intended for the President, it was for the Guest, the ceremonies continued.
     

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