Discussion in 'Air Force Academy - USAFA' started by DogsBros, Nov 8, 2015.
OAPT at Vance. USAFA 15. I'll do my best to answer any questions about the Academy and life after.
My son really enjoyed his time there and I hope you are as successful! He missed only three questions: 3 of 845! Study hard!
Ah, lovely Enid by the sea! Is the aux field still called "Dogface"? 52 weeks of dream come true (and hell at times). Lot's of ups and downs, literally and figuratively speaking. I still vividly remember my first solo flight. The most memorable was my first solo formation sortie in a T-38. I remember feeling like a rock star. I was in burners during rejoins (which was not allowed) with twice the overtake rate in an attempt to impress the IP, that I had to call bingo fuel and logged a .9 sortie. I had some splainin' to do but it was well worth it. Good times indeed!
Study hard, play hard and most importantly, cooperate to graduate. Be sure to help out your peers with a genuine heart. Enjoy and congrats!
Are there going to be more pilot slots opening up due to the airline hiring boom?
The problem is the pipeline is at full throttle. Unless they get more trainers and IPs than it would be difficult to offer more pilot slots, especially since the wait time is now about 6-9 months to start UPT.
~ Between all of the UPT bases they are winging about 1100 every year.
~ It may even become more dire when the guys that would be prime picking for as an IP desire to bolt for the airlines. In other words Big Blue could be facing which way do we go... send the pilot to become an IP where we need them to keep the pipeline flowing or keep them in the operational world where we need them to maintain C status.
It is also not just UPT, but the schoolhouse for the airframes too. IE for the C130s the simulators run 24 hours a day 6 days a week, and 12 hours on the 7th day to get them through in a timely manner.
Pima is wise. for both my guys, I have heard them say, after working a desk from 7-5, "I've got a sim at 2 a.m. so I need to sleep for an hour today." The stress doesn't end at winging... it just intensifies (since now, many have familial obligations of wife, child(ren), dog, aging parents, etc.).
PIMA, Do you think this situation will impact on the # of RPA slots (an increase?)
They are already dropping 2 RPAs out of each UPT class, except for ENJJPT and will be for a year. Not only that, but they are pulling heavy pilots too after they complete their 1st tour to stop the hemmorhage in that world.
Just my opinion, but that is going to just bite them more later on because many of them will resent that assignment and when it comes time to decide whether to stay past the commitment and stay until 20, they will bolt no matter how much money they throw at them.
~ Look at what they are giving now to keep fighters...250K, and still the last I read they . only have @75% takers. The airlines are just starting to hire again, they are not yet at the point of where they are going to be losing the most per year. ~~ Many of my friends are airline pilots, they have about 5-7 years before they are eligible to retire. Just in my circle, we have 7 friends that are busdrivers in the sky all between 52-57. These are guys that bolted back in the mid to late 90s during the last big hiring wave. Only 1 of them stayed until 20 before going commercial. The rest left as soon as they could. And some of these guys were flying the F15E at one of the most desired bases (Elmendorf).
Actually the overall take rate for FY 15 was only 55%. Several fighter airframes were less than 50%.
I wonder how long before they institute STOP LOSS for the fighter world.
Ouch is right.
Reading this thread brings back memories. The Air Force (military in general) can't seem to get the manning under control, ever! There's a solution and it's simple. I won't get into it and every pilot/aviator knows it but due to egos and politics at top, sadly it'll just be another eternal vicious cycle. Most pilots see the light and separate to the airlines and/or ANG/AFRes to finish out their 20. Anyone remember the the early 90s, when they banked half the SUPT classes? Worse yet, many of the pilot candidates were "recategorized", meaning they were delayed into SUPT for a few years. Even ENJJPT grads got banked, not just into fighters but into heavies as well because there were only a handful of fighter assignments in the drop. And the worst I've seen were "recategorized" folks who finally got their wings only to find out that there were not enough cockpits to go around. The Air Force (Gen McPeak), in its infinite wisdom, came up with a plan to put these winged pilots into a cockpit of a KC-135 (just a warm body without a role) just so that they do not have to sit behind a desk for the second time. Granted that these folks were bottom of their class, it was still a difficult pill to swallow. The double whammy would have been if you were sent to Grand Forks! Most if not all of these "recategorized" winged pilots were already an O-3, just to boot! The last time that this sort of thing happened was after the Vietnam war. Also, how about between '96-'00, the Air Force was short of fighter pilots and the cross flow program was introduced. Basically, anyone who've gone through the T-38 track was eligible to apply, though only a handful of the applicants were chosen. Lastly, how about post 9/11? The Air Force was once again short of pilots and the Stop-Loss was in effect. In fact, they were so under manned in certain AFSCs, including pilots, even those who were passed over SEVERAL times to O-4 were able to continue onto 20/retirement as a O-3. I remember several of them took the 20 year bonus and eventually left active duty for greener pastures without having to pay a single dime back! Many major airlines (mostly legacy carriers) were furloughing pilots left and right. Many of them returned to active duty and finished out their 20, and those who were fortunate enough to "reserve/guard bum" made ends meet just fine until the airlines recalled them. These were indeed some of the craziest times.
Recently, I had a cockpit jump seater who was a commuter pilot and she told me a pretty incredible story. She graduated from the academy, went to AFIT and received her masters, then got her wings and flew C-17s for 3 years. She had separated from active duty through the VSP and the Air Force paid her $100k and waived her commitment! It's the pendulum that never stops swinging. For those of us who have gone through this cycle, it was definitely a wild roller coaster ride. Lesson learned: Never ever burn your bridge or step on the wrong toes!
To the OP, my guess would be that there will be more pilot slots opening up, not because the Air Force is beefing up its force but because of attrition. I'm not in the loop anymore so the people in the know will have a better answer for you. As I've said in other posts, everything is timing. When I was going through pilot training, the military was overmanned with pilots. More than a 1/3 of my class washed out and many for no good reason; they were just looking to kick folks out; simple as that. Fast forward a decade..... when I was a SUPT IP, we were directed by the OG to "pump these kids through", wink wink. It took an act of God to wash anyone out. The dual track also reduced the washout rate as some are not fit to fly a high performance single seat jet in the allotted time and money set forth by the Air Force, if that makes any sense. In other words, anyone can be trained to be a fighter pilot and/or a single seat high performance jet pilot, if given enough training. They may never be stellar pilots but they can be proficient enough; how about that? I've seen it and it's definitely possible. Just look at some of the foreign students who wash back a few classes and eventually get winged and get checked out in the F-xx. Their government hands out money to our military like candy and we pump them trough. They may never be Chuck Yeager but they will be "safe" pilots... well most of them.Unfortunately (or fortunately for the tax payers), the Air Force allots a certain $ amount per student. If the Air Force deems that the pilot trainee is unable to be proficient in the given time ($$$ really), then they will cut their losses, you dig? After all, everything is about the $, even in the military. Just remember this: timing is everything and we are just a small piece in this gigantic puzzle.
The problem right now isn't the number of slots, it's filling them. My class and 2016 got fewer pilot slots than previous years. 15 got them filled, 16 had issues for a variety of reasons. In addition, the pipeline at all of the bases is really backed up, so there's really no room for extra pilot slots right now. Big blue is also rapidly expanding the RPA schoolhouse to keep up with demand and better prepare for the future. To sum it all up, you can probably expect the same number, or slightly more rated slots, but fewer pilot slots.
When do you start up? What war-winning OAPT job were you lucky enough to be placed in?!?
Or DogsBros they may decide because the wait time is now @9 months for many to start UPT to lower the numbers for a year or so just to stop the amount on casual status waiting their turn for UPT.
Just saying something has to give. Many moons ago for USAFA grads it was not uncommon for them to report to UPT in July and start right away.
~ kevster on this site (AFROTC grad) commissioned in 2014. Went casual status in Jan 2015. His UPT class start date was backed up several times, and the last post I saw from him, he was to start this month.
~ My DS was also AFROTC 2012. He started UPT 11 months after commissioning, was on casual starting 10/01. Fencers DS, USAFA was in his UPT class.
Just saying that the wait time appears to be getting even longer.
I have always said that the AF is bulimic (no flaming, I am not making light of the disease). They run in cycles of binge and purge, usually every 20 years.
~ Purged in the early 90s right after Gulf I and by mid -late 90s they said OOPS and started to binge.
They have done selected purging over the past few years.
~ Dropping the number for USAFA appointments. Reducing FT slots for AFROTC. Canceling OTS boards. SERB boards.
I remember McPeak aka Skeletor...probably the worst CSAF EVER!
~ For posters that weren't around under him...this guy redesigned both the flight suit and the service blues. He placed sewn in seams down the front, and zippers on the hips (no pockets). I can tell you guys would rather wear a flight suit in a larger size than take the one he designed. As a wife, I recall it very clearly because, we all complained... as soon as they came home with the McPeak version, they would ask us to take a seam ripper and take out the seam down the front.
~ The changes in the blues were just as laughable.
~~ He redesigned the uniforms to fit his figure/ego
~ This was also a guy that at an F111 base attending a dining in stated during his speech he would rather have a pint of ale in his right seat than a WSO.
As soon as McPeak left so did the uniforms he redesigned.
How about them brown buildings? That was Merril's idea. Remember, he used to fly cross country in his personal F-15 and get on his soap box while folks were getting RIF'd and dudes were barely able to maintain flying currency. He was the true epitome of, "do as I say, not as I do" crowd.
I start in January, which is a relatively short wait for our class, and I got the international office. We just handle the admin stuff for the intl students. It's a pretty cush job.
I was able to start in November, after 60 days ended in July. But to be honest, after never getting an OAPT job my 60 days turned into almost twice that, only they had to be spent in Enid
Ahh...how times have changed...
Graduated 1 June 1983
Started UPT 20 June 1983
Separate names with a comma.