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View Full Version : Yet another Minot CC bites the dust . . .



mocitytx1
10-30-2009, 08:35 PM
http://www.airforcetimes.com/news/2009/10/airforce_westa_fired_minot_103009w/



The commander of the 5th Bomb Wing at Minot Air Force Base, N.D., was fired Friday afternoon for loss of confidence in his ability to lead.

Col. Joel S. Westa was the second wing commander at Minot to lose his job in October. Col. Christopher Ayers was fired Oct. 14 as commander of 91st Missile Wing, also for loss of confidence.

Reached at his home Friday afternoon, Westa declined to comment and said the Air Force had instructed him to refer all questions to a base public affairs official.

Westa received word of his dismissal from his boss, Maj. Gen. Floyd L. Carpenter, commander of 8th Air Force.

Westa, a master navigator, lost of the confidence of Carpenter because of his “inability to foster a culture of excellence, a lack of focus on the strategic mission … and substandard performance during several nuclear surety inspections, including the newly activated 69th Bomb Squadron,” according to a statement issued by 8th Air Force.

“Perfection is the standard,” Carpenter said in the statement. “We will continue to demand exacting focus, attention to detail, discipline and dedication to the highest principles and standards for all activities surrounding the nuclear enterprise.”

The new commander is Col. Douglas Cox, vice commander of 36th Wing at Andersen Air Force Base, Guam.

Westa took command of the 5th Bomb Wing in November 2007 after Col. Bruce Emig was fired in October 2007 for being unaware of the accidental transfer of a nuclear warhead on a B-52 that summer from Minot to Barksdale Air Force Base, La.

Since November, five wing commanders have lost their jobs. The others besides Westa and Ayers:

* Col. John Roop of the 11th Wing, Bolling Air Force Base, Washington, D.C., was removed Oct. 6 after the commander of Air Force District Washington, Maj. Gen. Ralph Jodice, “lost confidence” in Roop. “He did not meet the leadership example we expected,” Jodice said through a spokesman.

* Col. John W. McDonald at the 43rd Airlift Wing, Pope Air Force Base, N.C., was relieved June 12 after arguing in a store parking lot with the wife of an Army soldier from neighboring Fort Bragg. The incident was witnessed by several people and prompted an Army investigation. After AMC officials reviewed the investigation, McDonald was relieved.

* Col. Bryan Bearden of the 8th Fighter Wing, Kunsan Air Base, Korea, lost his post Nov. 10, 2008, because in a series of inspections turned up problems in the wing’s maintenance group even though the wing was considered “combat ready.” The inspections faulted the wing’s adherence to technical orders and standards of documentation.

VMX
10-30-2009, 08:50 PM
Perfection is the Standard, eh? That's tough. Maybe that should be written on the back of your orders when you are assigned to Minot. If you're not Jesus Christ, don't even bother.

takthekak
10-30-2009, 08:56 PM
just my 2 cents...The 5th Bomb Wing CC got fired a few years and they picked
a top guy to come and take over. When that top guy gets canned, not sure
what that says. I would not want to be the guy replacing a place that
the 2 previous CC's got canned. I would love to say that finally people
are being held accountable, but perhaps, just perhaps this all is bigger
than these individually firings. I mean a few years ago they canned the top
2 AF positions and the SECDEF lost confidence in the AF...There were
things set in motion over the years and this may be the end product.
Meaning; having people fed up with their co-workers getting rifted
or stop lossed...Seeing shops do 110% while 50% manned...I mean,
hell, we all have a breaking point, it just takes balls to admit that we
cannot do more with less. I say that the AF is getting less with less,
but are mad becuase they used to people making things happen
and doing more with less and working smarter not harder, blah blah blah
enough of enough

BigT2002
10-30-2009, 10:21 PM
Yet another reason why you need to stay away from Minot. I thought this guy was doing better by leaps and bounds than the previous one which was fired??? If this is the case, maybe a 2-Star General should just be in charge of the base since obviously Full Birds at this point can't handle the top spot

Eastwood
10-30-2009, 10:33 PM
Minot has become a disaster. Back to back WG/CC's canned, and this guy was a good one. I find it curious that no one talks of how SNCO's are treated and their careers threatened and terminated as well. On top of that you have the entire officer corp., crapping in their shorts. No one is willing to make a decision. This is a recipe for bigger issues down the line.

Good luck with this one...!!!.

takthekak
10-31-2009, 12:21 AM
There is no problem here, Basically it's just that
Shit happens, again.

sigecaps
10-31-2009, 12:24 AM
I'm telling you ever since the failed nuclear inspection, and the loss of those commanders.. Minot has become a place where colonels go to die.

Smeghead
10-31-2009, 12:29 AM
Shame, Col Westa was a good boss. Not sure how the hell they're going to get any office to take command there now though. Seriously would you risk your career by going there? Wonder what they offered the new CC.

But here's a question. Col Emig was removed after the cruise missiles to Barksdale incident and Col Westa put in his place. Now if Col Westa is also being removed for lack of confidence in his leadership shouldn't someone higher up step down?

takthekak
10-31-2009, 12:43 AM
Shame, Col Westa was a good boss. Not sure how the hell they're going to get any office to take command there now though. Seriously would you risk your career by going there? Wonder what they offered the new CC.

But here's a question. Col Emig was removed after the cruise missiles to Barksdale incident and Col Westa put in his place. Now if Col Westa is also being removed for lack of confidence in his leadership shouldn't someone higher up step down?

Falling on swords and grenades happens at the lower levels. Also, this surprised me:

Westa has been reassigned to the Global Strike Command at Barksdale, a new unit intended to consolidate control of long-range ballistic missiles and bomb wings that carry nuclear weapons.

The Minot base’s series of nuclear missteps were among the reasons cited by the Air Force for the creation of the Global Strike Command. Its commander, Lt. Gen. Frank Klotz Jr., was in Minot this week.

Komurek said Westa’s B-52 experience earned him a post at the Barksdale base.

“He has a lot of bomber experience,” Komurek said. “It will be a benefit to them.”

Measure Man
10-31-2009, 01:03 AM
It's becoming far too fashionable to fire commanders in the AF.

BigT2002
10-31-2009, 02:33 AM
Agreed that if two Birds are fired, then whoever is putting them in charge should be getting questioned as well. But whatever. I still think it should be a 1-star position at least if there is this many Colonels being fired.

imported_Modus
10-31-2009, 03:45 AM
Shame, Col Westa was a good boss. Not sure how the hell they're going to get any office to take command there now though. Seriously would you risk your career by going there? Wonder what they offered the new CC.

But here's a question. Col Emig was removed after the cruise missiles to Barksdale incident and Col Westa put in his place. Now if Col Westa is also being removed for lack of confidence in his leadership shouldn't someone higher up step down?


Good point.

ChiefB
10-31-2009, 04:13 AM
Sounds like General LeMay and BGen "Sundown" Wells need to make a "posthumous" visit to Minot.

I'll bet they are both rolling over in their graves.

ChiefB

Old AFCC Cat
10-31-2009, 04:43 AM
It's becoming far too fashionable to fire commanders in the AF.

Isn't this about the damn truth anymore? OK, so let's look at this logically and apply some common sense here. If you have "lost confidence" in someone, have you given them the feedback specifically that will help them correct their ways, so that they can gain your confidence back? And really, while "Perfection is the Standard", how many people can live up to that? Sounds like a one-mistake force to me.

The Air Force has set a standard where"if you screw up, or your people do, you get canned"...ok...so how many people now are going to step outside their comfort zone to take that difficult job when we have already told them "screw up, get fired"? This is the most ridiculous thing I have seen in my entire career. I am so sick and tired of reading articles about good people being shown the door. When it comes down to brass tacks, if the NAF/CC has "lost confience" in his Wing/CC...what does that say about HIS ability to lead and mentor? After all, last I checked, the NAF is no more than an administrative/ADCON type function...

BRUWIN
10-31-2009, 04:47 AM
http://www.airforcetimes.com/news/2009/10/airforce_westa_fired_minot_103009w/

* Col. John W. McDonald at the 43rd Airlift Wing, Pope Air Force Base, N.C., was relieved June 12 after arguing in a store parking lot with the wife of an Army soldier from neighboring Fort Bragg. The incident was witnessed by several people and prompted an Army investigation. After AMC officials reviewed the investigation, McDonald was relieved.

.

First we had to take a harmless video off the internet because it offended some overly senstive Marines. Now we have Army dependent wives to answer to? Seems like we are getting beat down at every opportunity.

BigT2002
10-31-2009, 04:58 AM
First we had to take a harmless video off the internet because it offended some overly senstive Marines. Now we have Army dependent wives to answer to? Seems like we are getting beat down at every opportunity.

Air Force Can't take a joke about them being flyboys by a 4-star General

Marines Get butthurt because someone says they have tougher PT standards

Army Gets upset because a Dependasaurus argued with a Full Bird Colonel about something

....when is it the Navy's turn lol

BISSBOSS
10-31-2009, 06:42 AM
I think we are in danger of loosing focus on the real "Take Away" in these events.

The USAF is enforcing a standard that has been in existence since the days of General Curtis Emerson LeMay and the Strategic Air Command.

The Air Force is not kicking these Wing Commanders out of the service. It is acknowledging that although their experience and leadership IS valued and important - It is not currently up to the standard required to manage and re-invigorate the Nuclear Enterprise.

Take the emotion out of it. All of the "He was a great guy" comments miss the point. This was business. Not personal. Being Wing Commander isn't a popularity contest. It is also not a job attained for reward. Those people sitting in those chairs are chosen to do an insanely complex and difficult job at an operational tempo unheard of in modern times. That's your "vanilla flavored" Wing King job description. A Nuke guy has to do ALL of that and attempt to maintain zero faults. Tall order? Hell yes. Impossible to achieve? We'll find out. Not worth setting that standard (especially with nuclear surety) and fostering that culture? Give me a break!

Oh - And spare me... Can we please can the "One Mistake Air Force" rhetoric... These firings are a result of eventS (plural). Not a single isolated mistake.


-BB-

BigBISSGuy
10-31-2009, 08:28 AM
While I understand he may have ben a good guy, there are underlying factors that need to be addressed. Commanders are charged with ensuring the mission accomplishment of the unit, and if the unit is NOT getting it done, then the commander is the recipient of all things---both good and bad. What is missing here is, "Which junior officers and enlisted folks are making this happen?" One of the reasons, and I note again ONE of the reasons, was a lack of culture of excellence. While the commander is accountable for this, there should be some additional firings going with it, especially in the areas where the rubber meets the road--enlisted leadership and junior officer leadership. General Patton once said, "“It is absurd to believe that soldiers who cannot be made to wear the proper uniform can be induced to move forward in battle. Officers who fail to perform their duty by correcting small violations and in enforcing proper conduct are incapable of leading.” Again, I have no knowledge of the individual relieved, but this same quote applies to the front line leaders---the enlisted and commissioned alike. Instead of being frustrated with the Major General who made the decision, I would offer it's the others that let him down that are also culpable in this. In the end, however, the commander is resposnbile.

On an equally important note, I find it odd that people look to justify things by saying "One error Air Force." When it comes to nuclear answers, people need only ask the responsible agency for clarification or guidance. This is easier to do than some make it out, and what I find interesting is that some actually believe there is room for error on this because, well, there isn't. First thing that needs to happen is that individuals need to embody what they do and establish that culture of excellence, and that again is not as hard as some make it out to be if they start weeding out the lower levels that just don't--or won't--or want to---get it. The nuclear enterprise is not the new "cool thing" to get people promoted--it's a lifestyle. The mission doesn't change, and if people aren't willing to accept their responsibilities and get it done, there will be more commanders getting fired while the others in lower levels walk away with their medal, bullets, and promotoions...just my thoughts.

Combat correspondent
10-31-2009, 08:42 AM
Air Force Can't take a joke about them being flyboys by a 4-star General

Marines Get butthurt because someone says they have tougher PT standards

Army Gets upset because a Dependasaurus argued with a Full Bird Colonel about something

....when is it the Navy's turn lol

This is a good point - what have we all become, a bunch of whiney fags? Smeg is rolling in his anger :)

takthekak
10-31-2009, 10:45 AM
I think we are in danger of loosing focus on the real "Take Away" in these events.

The USAF is enforcing a standard that has been in existence since the days of General Curtis Emerson LeMay and the Strategic Air Command.

The Air Force is not kicking these Wing Commanders out of the service. It is acknowledging that although their experience and leadership IS valued and important - It is not currently up to the standard required to manage and re-invigorate the Nuclear Enterprise.

Take the emotion out of it. All of the "He was a great guy" comments miss the point. This was business. Not personal. Being Wing Commander isn't a popularity contest. It is also not a job attained for reward. Those people sitting in those chairs are chosen to do an insanely complex and difficult job at an operational tempo unheard of in modern times. That's your "vanilla flavored" Wing King job description. A Nuke guy has to do ALL of that and attempt to maintain zero faults. Tall order? Hell yes. Impossible to achieve? We'll find out. Not worth setting that standard (especially with nuclear surety) and fostering that culture? Give me a break!

Oh - And spare me... Can we please can the "One Mistake Air Force" rhetoric... These firings are a result of eventS (plural). Not a single isolated mistake.


-BB-

Good points. The only thing i'll add to when you say "it's not a job attained for reward"...
actually there have been many a colonel to go on and make General after commanding here.

imported_BRAVO10000
10-31-2009, 12:08 PM
When it comes down to brass tacks, if the NAF/CC has "lost confience" in his Wing/CC...what does that say about HIS ability to lead and mentor? After all, last I checked, the NAF is no more than an administrative/ADCON type function...

Not disagreeing with with your point, but I did want to point out that a NAF CC has an operational role and is generally "OPCONned" to a COCOM. The NAF CC is therefore responsible for the war-making capability of any subordinate operational unit.

In this case, the NAF - 8th AF - provides the air component for a functional COCOM. 8th AF provides bomber/missile support to USSTRATCOM and is also referred to as AFSTRAT/GS (Global Strike). STRATCOM also has oversight of 14th AF as AFSTRAT/SP (Space).

Anyway - just saying that it seems appropriate as the NAF/CC to be the authority to hold the wing, group and squadron CC accountable when we're talking about operational units.

Michaep
10-31-2009, 03:58 PM
First we had to take a harmless video off the internet because it offended some overly senstive Marines. Now we have Army dependent wives to answer to? Seems like we are getting beat down at every opportunity.

lol who the f*** was the dependent wife married to? She had THAT much pull?

A full bird versus a dependent? really? and the dependent won? thats crazy

There has to be more to the story....either he had messed up too many times or she knew some General, or the argument was over something serious

itsnotmyAFanymore
10-31-2009, 09:50 PM
Yes, it's become way too fashionable to fire commanders. So fashionable it's lost its effect. And, you keep firing HUMANS for not being PERFECT and you'll quickly run out of PEOPLE to run the AIR FORCE.

BigBISSGuy
11-01-2009, 05:47 AM
Yes, it's become way too fashionable to fire commanders. So fashionable it's lost its effect. And, you keep firing HUMANS for not being PERFECT and you'll quickly run out of PEOPLE to run the AIR FORCE.

While I agree in a limited sense with your post, there are some factors I believe you may be overlooking. First, there has never been a culture of perfection in the USAF. That is why the Core Value is Excellence...not perfection. If you look at one of the reasons for him being relieved, they got a "Not Ready" rating for the INSI. That doesn't require perfection, it requires preparation and compliance to a minimum standard...and it was not met. Standards are designed to be measurable in quanity, quality, and timeliness, and achievable by the average person. In the last 21 years, I have never read anywhere that we are paid to fly around and save kittens from tree tops with capes---we are paid to read, understand, and execute (thanks BISSBoss for the quote...). I would offer that while we read about the Wing CCs getting fired, and they are accountable for the actions of their subordinates, some of the lower ranking people need to feel the same bite as the Wing CCs because that is where the rubber meets the road. The mission has not changed in a very long time, and since people are becoming compelled to do what it takes to get promoted (i.e. joing this club or doing this going away luncheon), they have allowed that to become their primary mission instead of supporting their Wing CCs by being pros at what they are supposed to be doing---their jobs!

BigT2002
11-01-2009, 05:54 AM
This is a good point - what have we all become, a bunch of whiney fags? Smeg is rolling in his anger :)

Knowing tons in every branch, I agree lol

BigT2002
11-01-2009, 05:58 AM
Not disagreeing with with your point, but I did want to point out that a NAF CC has an operational role and is generally "OPCONned" to a COCOM. The NAF CC is therefore responsible for the war-making capability of any subordinate operational unit.

In this case, the NAF - 8th AF - provides the air component for a functional COCOM. 8th AF provides bomber/missile support to USSTRATCOM and is also referred to as AFSTRAT/GS (Global Strike). STRATCOM also has oversight of 14th AF as AFSTRAT/SP (Space).

Anyway - just saying that it seems appropriate as the NAF/CC to be the authority to hold the wing, group and squadron CC accountable when we're talking about operational units.


You're half right I think. The only NAF that actually had a legit OPCON was 9AF when it was dual hat as 9AF/USAFCENT. When they took that away, it became a glorified ADCON to ensure that whatever bases under their control are able to handle wartime efforts as prescribed by their MAJCOM, not the COCOM. 8AF is a little different now because of the GSC, but you probably know that better than I do because I'm not there.

ChiefB
11-01-2009, 07:43 AM
While I agree in a limited sense with your post, there are some factors I believe you may be overlooking. First, there has never been a culture of perfection in the USAF. That is why the Core Value is Excellence...not perfection. If you look at one of the reasons for him being relieved, they got a "Not Ready" rating for the INSI. That doesn't require perfection, it requires preparation and compliance to a minimum standard...and it was not met. Standards are designed to be measurable in quanity, quality, and timeliness, and achievable by the average person. In the last 21 years, I have never read anywhere that we are paid to fly around and save kittens from tree tops with capes---we are paid to read, understand, and execute (thanks BISSBoss for the quote...). I would offer that while we read about the Wing CCs getting fired, and they are accountable for the actions of their subordinates, some of the lower ranking people need to feel the same bite as the Wing CCs because that is where the rubber meets the road. The mission has not changed in a very long time, and since people are becoming compelled to do what it takes to get promoted (i.e. joing this club or doing this going away luncheon), they have allowed that to become their primary mission instead of supporting their Wing CCs by being pros at what they are supposed to be doing---their jobs!


Bingo! Being an old SAC IG/NSI inspector, I can say you are right on message.

I think the bottom line is: The regular AF has lost its way in Nuclear Surety. Its playing catch-up with a neglected program.

Many of the “Couch Colonels” below these Wing Kings are really the culprits….along with their SNCOs. Me thinks.

No commander fails on his own, generally. There are many subordinates in the Squadrons and in the trenches that have failed him. They know who they are and hopefully so have the NSI inspectors identified them.

The elimination of SAC and all its regimentation and by-the-book operation in the area of nuclear surety was the kiss of death for Bomb and Missile wings.

The focus on conventional forces and terrorism has ripped the heart out of a once squared away and respected Nuc Surety program at our Bomb and Missile Wings.

Because of the need for excellence and bottom line... meeting an acceptable standard in Nuc Surety, you can be sure that AF will not relent until these standards are met by all.

If not, heads will continue to roll and careers will be affected adversly. "Not Ready or Marginal" are not options.

ChiefB

BigBISSGuy
11-01-2009, 12:25 PM
Bingo! Being an old SAC IG/NSI inspector, I can say you are right on message.

I think the bottom line is: The regular AF has lost its way in Nuclear Surety. Its playing catch-up with a neglected program.

Many of the “Couch Colonels” below these Wing Kings are really the culprits….along with their SNCOs. Me thinks.

No commander fails on his own, generally. There are many subordinates in the Squadrons and in the trenches that have failed him. They know who they are and hopefully so have the NSI inspectors identified them.

The elimination of SAC and all its regimentation and by-the-book operation in the area of nuclear surety was the kiss of death for Bomb and Missile wings.

The focus on conventional forces and terrorism has ripped the heart out of a once squared away and respected Nuc Surety program at our Bomb and Missile Wings.

Because of the need for excellence and bottom line... meeting an acceptable standard in Nuc Surety, you can be sure that AF will not relent until these standards are met by all.

If not, heads will continue to roll and careers will be affected adversly. "Not Ready or Marginal" are not options.

ChiefB

I couldn't agree more. The AF has reorganized so many times, especially under the McPeak regime, that there are a lot of grey areas when it comes to lines of responsibility, etc., and with it came the diluted nature of the enterprise. The push for Quality Air Force changed how the new breed of folks viewed things, and orders began being questioned, processes reviewed, and other things inconsistent with this kind of business. Startegic Air Command had it right--no doubts, but that too came after a lot of growing pains and theinsertion of General LeMay. It was not a "zero defect" business, and it was never meant to be. It was a command, in my opinion, that taught the internalization of the mission and lifestyle, something that has been lost since it was disbanded and the new threats have shown themselves. I think people have forgot what the term "silent sentinels" means to those of us in the enterprise. I think a good history lesson lays in wait for those willing to do the research.

Texpat
11-01-2009, 01:05 PM
In my estimation -- the Air Force can afford to screw up a lot of shit.

But nukes ain't one of 'em.

I was SACumcised at Barksdale in the early 90s. It wasn't fun -- but the Air Force isn't all about bake sales, car washes and PT gear being zipped up or tucked in.

BigBISSGuy
11-01-2009, 01:20 PM
In my estimation -- the Air Force can afford to screw up a lot of shit.

But nukes ain't one of 'em.

I was SACumcised at Barksdale in the early 90s. It wasn't fun -- but the Air Force isn't all about bake sales, car washes and PT gear being zipped up or tucked in.

I think Paul Fussell summed it up best in his book, "Wartime", where he wrote, "Chickenshit refers to behavior that makes military life worse than it need be: petty harassment of the weak by the strong; open scrimmage for power and authority and prestige... insistence on the letter rather than the spirit of ordinances. Chickenshit is so called -- instead of horse -- or bull -- or elephant shit -- because it is small-minded and ignoble and takes the trivial seriously. Chickenshit can be recognized instantly because it never has anything to do with winning the war." Instead of focusing on the trivialities, they need to get to the heart of the problem---the inability to foster a culture that recognizes the importance of nuclear surety, and while the Wing CC has a large role in this, the lower levels who are not buying into it, or better stated "GETTING IT", need to feel the heat, too!

Texpat
11-01-2009, 01:34 PM
Absolutely agree. When the only people who grasp the gravity of the mission (albeit out of the spotlight for the past two decades) are the O-6s and above, something's wrong. I'm confident Westa knew what he was stepping into. I'm not as confident the Air Force is prepared to put necessary emphasis into fixing a problem that isn't seen as relevant and contemporary. The AF wants desperately to be in the mix in two largely land-based initiatives. It should stick to what it knows best. Corporate culture is a mean bastard to overcome. Nobody wants to be a reserve on the sidelines.

Fenton
11-01-2009, 01:53 PM
What about some of the SNCO's in the Bomb Group? What about some of the Lame CGO's that duck and hide at the hint of confrontation.

Ever wonder why commanders hand out Art 15 like candy, could it be that they don't want to appear weak at the WG/CC status of discipline meeting?

Where is the Command Chief? old one was an invisible limp sponge. New one seems to be hiding as well. I think the AF got this one wrong, Col Westa was not the issue, next time I suggest they look deeper and solve the problem, not the press release...

BigBISSGuy
11-01-2009, 02:15 PM
What about some of the SNCO's in the Bomb Group? What about some of the Lame CGO's that duck and hide at the hint of confrontation.

Ever wonder why commanders hand out Art 15 like candy, could it be that they don't want to appear weak at the WG/CC status of discipline meeting?

Where is the Command Chief? old one was an invisible limp sponge. New one seems to be hiding as well. I think the AF got this one wrong, Col Westa was not the issue, next time I suggest they look deeper and solve the problem, not the press release...

I believe you are inching towards the answer, but in some fashion, Col Westa was part of the problem. I mean him no disrespect so don't misunderstand me, but a culture starts at the top, so he too is culpable for what happened. What my point has been and will continue to be is that there is not a climate or culture of excellence there, end game. It appears that individuals in key positions, whether on the crews or other billets throughout the Wing, that aren't getting it done. Unfortunately for the Wing CC, the NAF/CC has one point of contact as to the mission success of the unit--the Wing CC. Until the firings start hitting home to some of the others, enlisted leadership included, it'll remain a "them problem" to the people who can effect a positive change and establish that culture of excellence. God forbid people have to come in early, stay late, read, discuss, understand, and implement what they have learned, or in other cases, ask questions for guidance so that the process can take shape. These are things that could and should be caught during the PRP screens, provided the right people with the background, investment, and culture know what they are looking for...

imported_Modus
11-01-2009, 03:15 PM
The Command Chief? LOL! That's why O's get paid the 'big bucks'. I don't disagree about the SNCOs though.

BigBISSGuy
11-01-2009, 04:16 PM
But so does the Command Chief, especially in regards to enforcing the Wing CC's policies. They too get special allowances and entitlements, and are not free from the failures and successes of the unit as well...

imported_BRAVO10000
11-02-2009, 07:21 AM
You're half right I think. The only NAF that actually had a legit OPCON was 9AF when it was dual hat as 9AF/USAFCENT. When they took that away, it became a glorified ADCON to ensure that whatever bases under their control are able to handle wartime efforts as prescribed by their MAJCOM, not the COCOM. 8AF is a little different now because of the GSC, but you probably know that better than I do because I'm not there.

Hmm. 3 AF has the same in the European theater, 13th in PACAF. They may not be as "engaged", but is AFCENT not still in theater and in daily partnership with 8AF? Unless there's been a change in joint doctrine, that COCOM answers to the SecDef and his AETFs are provided to/by his AFFOR and operated by his JFACC? Not being sarcastic here - if that has changed I guess I have been out of the loop.

Measure Man
11-02-2009, 03:12 PM
The Command Chief? LOL! That's why O's get paid the 'big bucks'. I don't disagree about the SNCOs though.

Command Chiefs tout themselves as "senior leaders" and enjoy all the special privileges and perks that come with that status...yet, they are not accountable for the mission apparently.

What are they accountable for?

AFvet
11-02-2009, 09:06 PM
Been there, and experienced the brutality of mother NSI. Col Westra came on-board and got the wing headed in the right direction after a couple of bad mistakes by the previous regime. Gotta believe he had them working around the clock to just pass the re-inspection. All work and no play is a receipe for disaterous morale, and Minot ain't the environmentally pleasant to make for good morale to begin with. I gotta agree that the MAJCOM should wonder about his confidence in the NAF/CC he hired!

B52Av8tor
11-02-2009, 10:00 PM
The Air Force release that Col Westa was fired for 'lack of confidence in his ability to foster a culture of excellence' is just that, a press release by higher headquarters that doesn't come anywhere near the truth of the matter.

According to my count, in the last two years there have been 3 Wing CC's, 4 Group CC's and 8 Squadron CC's relieved of command at Minot. I'm not a historian but I suspect that is unprecedented for one location. To ascribe to AF press releases that they were all fired for "lack of leadership" is ludicrous. These guys had obviously proven themselves in other positions and other locations, but for some reason, they magically become incompetent once they set foot at Minot?

The real issue that is plaguing Minot is that there are not enough resources, people or time for 5BW to accomplish all that's asked of it. There are only three Wings in the AF with a dual nuclear-conventional mission and 5BW is one of them. And the other two don't have to do it in sub-zero temperatures or support a Missile Wing at the same time. And blessings to my old SAC buddies, but back in SAC, you could concentrate on being experts at one mission, nukes. Not so for 5BW who have to be experts in nukes, CALCM, JDAM, JASSM, Mines, GP bombs, LGBs, CAS, etc... and has 20% of their folks/units deployed at any one time. Even though perfection is demanded in CSAF's #1 priority, the nuclear mission, what would happen if the wing were unable to support SECDEFs #1 priority, supporting the conventional wars in Iraq in Afghanistan? To expect Minot leadership to solve all the issues, develop processes and improve the training for a nuclear enterprise that took 15 years to atrophy, while still maintaining expertise in the conventional mission, is like asking 5BW leadership to build a shopping mall with a can of glue, some toothpicks and a Q-tip.

The other elephant in the room no one wants to admit is that the inspection regime and the inspectors are part of the problem. The real experts aren't on the IG teams, who last generated occasionally back in the mid-90's, but now in the units who have been generating and exercising incessantly for the last two years. The facts are that most IG teams members grew and developed during the nuclear atrophy of the late to mid 90's and don't have the depth of experience or regulatory knowledge to be called experts. Case in point being the last Minot inspection where higher HQ's are disputing the IG teams write ups and procedures.

It's understood at Minot and at 8AF that Col Westa was fired because Gen Carpenter wants to cover his rear end come the next NSI. If the 5BW were to fail the next NSI, and Gen Carpenter had not fired Westa, then Carpenter's head would be on the chopping block. Now, no matter the results of the next NSI, Gen Carpenter can say he's taken action. This was purely a preemptive move to protect Carpenter's career.

The bottom line is that the constant mass firings and political maneuvering by 2-stars isn't going to solve the problem. Instead it's probably making things worse by driving out the AFs best and brightest nuclear experts while simultaneously giving Minot a terrible stigma. As someone said, Minot is the place that Lieutenant Colonels and Colonels come to die. Gen Carpenter needs to accept the fact that 5BW can't do it all on a shoe string. Either provide the manning and resources to do both missions to the appropriate level of perfection, or accept the fact that some things need to come off the plate. If not, at the current rate of firings, it's only a matter of time before 8AF runs out of Commanders.

VMX
11-02-2009, 11:25 PM
Could not have said it better myself!

Anyone that thinks we can do more with less is fooling themselves. If you give us less, you get less. Sure we can dress it up to look like more, but make no mistake, if you pull back the weeds, you're getting less. The proof is all around you.

takthekak
11-03-2009, 12:21 AM
The Air Force release that Col Westa was fired for 'lack of confidence in his ability to foster a culture of excellence' is just that, a press release by higher headquarters that doesn't come anywhere near the truth of the matter.

According to my count, in the last two years there have been 3 Wing CC's, 4 Group CC's and 8 Squadron CC's relieved of command at Minot. I'm not a historian but I suspect that is unprecedented for one location. To ascribe to AF press releases that they were all fired for "lack of leadership" is ludicrous. These guys had obviously proven themselves in other positions and other locations, but for some reason, they magically become incompetent once they set foot at Minot?

The real issue that is plaguing Minot is that there are not enough resources, people or time for 5BW to accomplish all that's asked of it. There are only three Wings in the AF with a dual nuclear-conventional mission and 5BW is one of them. And the other two don't have to do it in sub-zero temperatures or support a Missile Wing at the same time. And blessings to my old SAC buddies, but back in SAC, you could concentrate on being experts at one mission, nukes. Not so for 5BW who have to be experts in nukes, CALCM, JDAM, JASSM, Mines, GP bombs, LGBs, CAS, etc... and has 20% of their folks/units deployed at any one time. Even though perfection is demanded in CSAF's #1 priority, the nuclear mission, what would happen if the wing were unable to support SECDEFs #1 priority, supporting the conventional wars in Iraq in Afghanistan? To expect Minot leadership to solve all the issues, develop processes and improve the training for a nuclear enterprise that took 15 years to atrophy, while still maintaining expertise in the conventional mission, is like asking 5BW leadership to build a shopping mall with a can of glue, some toothpicks and a Q-tip.

The other elephant in the room no one wants to admit is that the inspection regime and the inspectors are part of the problem. The real experts aren't on the IG teams, who last generated occasionally back in the mid-90's, but now in the units who have been generating and exercising incessantly for the last two years. The facts are that most IG teams members grew and developed during the nuclear atrophy of the late to mid 90's and don't have the depth of experience or regulatory knowledge to be called experts. Case in point being the last Minot inspection where higher HQ's are disputing the IG teams write ups and procedures.

It's understood at Minot and at 8AF that Col Westa was fired because Gen Carpenter wants to cover his rear end come the next NSI. If the 5BW were to fail the next NSI, and Gen Carpenter had not fired Westa, then Carpenter's head would be on the chopping block. Now, no matter the results of the next NSI, Gen Carpenter can say he's taken action. This was purely a preemptive move to protect Carpenter's career.

The bottom line is that the constant mass firings and political maneuvering by 2-stars isn't going to solve the problem. Instead it's probably making things worse by driving out the AFs best and brightest nuclear experts while simultaneously giving Minot a terrible stigma. As someone said, Minot is the place that Lieutenant Colonels and Colonels come to die. Gen Carpenter needs to accept the fact that 5BW can't do it all on a shoe string. Either provide the manning and resources to do both missions to the appropriate level of perfection, or accept the fact that some things need to come off the plate. If not, at the current rate of firings, it's only a matter of time before 8AF runs out of Commanders.

Your defintely right on target here. I remember when I left back in 99 and came back in 02 and the AEF rotation was in full swing. At times the base had hundreds deployed, but there was still an expection of full support on the base. How the hell can you do 100% with 60% of the people? I am not sure the latest firings did anything positive at all, meaning forget about the accountability, the "buy in" from the people went way down. It is now commonplace for the CCs to come and go and with CCs moving every 2 years anyway, does it really matter? No one on high has cared about Minot for the last 40 years. They still don't care now, they just want us to stop screwing up and fade back into the dark once again.Lastly I will just say that some of the things that happened here over the last few years IMO have been individual mistakes, but some have been symptoms of a bigger disease that has gone untreated far too long.

imported_Multitasker
11-03-2009, 12:22 AM
Been there, and experienced the brutality of mother NSI. Col Westra came on-board and got the wing headed in the right direction after a couple of bad mistakes by the previous regime. Gotta believe he had them working around the clock to just pass the re-inspection. All work and no play is a receipe for disaterous morale, and Minot ain't the environmentally pleasant to make for good morale to begin with. I gotta agree that the MAJCOM should wonder about his confidence in the NAF/CC he hired!

We prepped for the NSI so hard that many of us were burned out JUST off of the prep. Being recalled on all of your days off, wing exercises kicking off at all hours on the nights, taking a million and one tests. I can't believe that Col Westa got fired. I totally agree with the morale being crappy...it's difficult to stay positive when morale throughout almost every career field on this base is crappy.

sigecaps
11-03-2009, 12:28 AM
I recommend B52Av8tor's post for an op-ed position in next week's AF Times.

BigT2002
11-03-2009, 12:39 AM
I recommend B52Av8tor's post for an op-ed position in next week's AF Times.

Totally agree

KRC
11-03-2009, 12:39 AM
I recommend B52Av8tor's post for an op-ed position in next week's AF Times.

I respectfully second that nomination!

Measure Man
11-03-2009, 12:55 AM
I respectfully second that nomination!

All in favor...AYE!

Brilliant!

BigBISSGuy
11-03-2009, 11:48 AM
I would like to offer something that has eluded us for more than a bit—the definition of the word culpability. Culpability is defined by Meriam-Websters as “blameworthy”, and what is more disheartening is that it appears this word has vanished from the vocabulary of some people. I know it is dangerous to speak in generalities when it comes to specific areas, but as I read that the AF has lost two more Wing commanders at the same base for losing their commander’s confidence, it sends up a blazing red flag and siren that there is a much deeper problem here. Minot has suffered a rash of reliefs, and as is more often the case than not, the Wing CCs were responsible for the behavior of their subordinates. What appears to be missing from the equation is, “Who else is culpable in this scenario?” This enterprise requires steadfast behavior and internalization of the mission; if not, things go woefully wrong, and someone is answerable. Unfortunately, and this is one of those dangerous generalizations, we have created a culture of searching for the next “shiny thing” that will get people promoted, so core competencies are lost to individuals looking to get that block checked before moving on. While some do extremely well while assigned to it, others just don’t seem to get it…at all. These individuals move along after their assignment with their ratings and block checked without repercussion. The only ones that appear to make the headlines are the Wing CCs themselves. Unfortunately, others share culpability in this failure and should be treated equally, especially if they are specialists in their areas. Not only should they be removed from their positions, but it should also reflect in their promotion capabilities such as OPR/EPR ratings and the likes. In this enterprise, there is no such thing as a “You problem”, it’s an “Us problem”.

Zwerge
11-04-2009, 02:18 AM
I think I'll scream if I hear someone using the word "enterprise" again! The most over used buzz word of the last couple of years!

BigBISSGuy
11-04-2009, 04:47 AM
I think I'll scream if I hear someone using the word "enterprise" again! The most over used buzz word of the last couple of years!


If that's all you got out of the post, then you may have missed the point,,,

BigT2002
11-04-2009, 08:01 AM
Hmm. 3 AF has the same in the European theater, 13th in PACAF. They may not be as "engaged", but is AFCENT not still in theater and in daily partnership with 8AF? Unless there's been a change in joint doctrine, that COCOM answers to the SecDef and his AETFs are provided to/by his AFFOR and operated by his JFACC? Not being sarcastic here - if that has changed I guess I have been out of the loop.

AFCENT and 9AF are split in two now. While 9AF has resources still at Shaw, AFCENT is fully over in the AO to include its main support and Chain of Command Structure. Lt. Gen. Hostage is not in CONUS basically.

I guess my main question (and you may be able to answer it) what are the actual functions of those NAF's you've listed below? I can only speak for AFCENT/9AF because of my relationship with them. I know for a fact what they were doing in the desert and know that it was a reccomendation of CENTCOM/CC that we should split it because the 3-Star in charge was not able to equally balance his ADCON control over his area (Southeastern CONUS) and his OPCON control of two theaters. He was essentially always gone and his Vice was basically the ADCON Commander. Working in USSOUTHCOM, 12AF was just an ADCON to us as well and the 612ABS reported directly to ACC for their Policies and Procedures. We only went to 12AF for requests in manpower/money/etc. USNORTHCOM is the same way with the NAF's it has control over, they are just there for ADCON between the Units, nothing more.

However, with the AO's you specified with 3AF and 13AF I could see them having both controls though.

loader67
11-04-2009, 09:10 AM
FYI, maintenance and anything related to it was not evaluated for this last INSI, only the Ops side. The newly stood up 69th bomb squadron to be exact. Heck, we don't even have a 69th AMU yet due to not having enough people to even form one. And one last thing "enterprise". (I just wanted to hear the scream.)

takthekak
11-04-2009, 10:28 PM
http://www.minotdailynews.com/page/content.detail/id/533790.html?nav=5010

ROAD
11-05-2009, 12:55 AM
http://www.minotdailynews.com/page/content.detail/id/533790.html?nav=5010

How could minot possibly NOT be ready for an inspection..they get inspected like every week...lame

fufu
11-05-2009, 10:46 AM
http://www.minotdailynews.com/page/content.detail/id/533790.html?nav=5010


I feel sorry for that dude. I would have tried EVERYTHING to get outta that job.

Over/under........15 months?

mocitytx1
11-05-2009, 10:51 AM
Over/under........15 months?



Thats cold blooded FuFu......

I'm going under 12 months...lol

imported_BRAVO10000
11-05-2009, 11:02 AM
I feel sorry for that dude. I would have tried EVERYTHING to get outta that job.

Over/under........15 months?

Taking the under. Parlay with the same on the NAF/CC.

Measure Man
11-05-2009, 12:26 PM
Third time's a charm...they can't fire another 5BW/CC...next one is the NAF.

fufu
11-05-2009, 12:42 PM
For the record:

Mocity and Bravo took the under
Measureman is taking the over

ramprat
11-05-2009, 06:04 PM
I think Paul Fussell summed it up best in his book, "Wartime", where he wrote, "Chickenshit refers to behavior that makes military life worse than it need be: petty harassment of the weak by the strong; open scrimmage for power and authority and prestige... insistence on the letter rather than the spirit of ordinances. Chickenshit is so called -- instead of horse -- or bull -- or elephant shit -- because it is small-minded and ignoble and takes the trivial seriously. Chickenshit can be recognized instantly because it never has anything to do with winning the war." Instead of focusing on the trivialities, they need to get to the heart of the problem---the inability to foster a culture that recognizes the importance of nuclear surety, and while the Wing CC has a large role in this, the lower levels who are not buying into it, or better stated "GETTING IT", need to feel the heat, too! Day to day the NCOs run the AF and its their responsibility to manage
and lead in order to get the job done ! ! If you wait or need some officer to tell you what,when or
how to do your job,,you should be a PVT slick sleeve..The NCOs are not being held accountable
apparently..

Slap
11-05-2009, 06:14 PM
i would love that job. sounds like a challenge. high risk high reward...appeals to my gambling style

B52Av8tor
11-05-2009, 08:45 PM
Barring an actual detonation on the flightline, there won't be any more firings in the next year or two for the following reasons

1) The heat and blow back from this decision is taking 8AF by surprise. They're now stuck trying to defend what everyone, both inside and outside the community, knows is a bad decision.

2) It was a preemptive move. Irrespective of the results come the next inspection, Gen Carpenter has a new team in place and can always say his team hasn't had the time to make the necessary changes.

3) I suspect the IG Team is being asked some uncomfortable questions as well. 5BW passed a full up NSI in May, and the 69BS passed a Staff Assistance Visit (SAV) just a few weeks prior to the failed inspection. How is it that at Minot, the same people, using the same processes, being led by the same commanders become magically incompetent when a different IG team shows up? Either there was a massive change in personnel at 5BW, 5BW spontaneously decided to change all their procedures right before a major inspection, the previous SAV and IG teams just ignored/missed problems big enough to take down a Wing or, perhaps, inspection criteriea are inconsistent and unclear? Because of the flaws being revealed in the inspection process, the next inspection team is going to come in with kid gloves and give the 5BW a pass.

Some other random thoughts floating through the community.

- Westa was fired two years to the day he assumed command after the last Wing CC was relieved. Happy Anniversary. Couldn't they have just had a change of command rather than a firing?

- The OSS Commander was only in command a few months and in that time made it through an NSI and a SAV. Barring total incompetence, sounds like a hidden agenda at work.

- What about all the good Westa did? He was sent on a thankless suicide mission to bring the 5BW back from the brink following the August 07 firings. He apparently did something right by passing the NSI in May, brought morale back up, and this is the thanks he gets?

- 2BW put an aircraft in the water and killed 5 people last summer. Who was fired for that? Hints of a double standard?

Like I said earlier, everyone at Minot and throughout the community knows this was a bad decision and no amount of PA press releases or canned speeches by Generals about 'perfection being the standard' will change that. Hopefully the martyrdom of these commanders will be the impetuous to cause some serious reassessment of the requirements placed on dual tasked wings and the inspection process as a whole.

imported_BRAVO10000
11-05-2009, 08:58 PM
Hopefully the martyrdom of these commanders will be the impetus to cause some serious reassessment of the requirements placed on dual tasked wings and the inspection process as a whole.

+1. Not trying to hijack the thread, but we (the AF as a whole) have found it difficult to meet inspection requirements since the introduction of the AFI. I can't remember the last inspection of any kind that I have been a part of that didn't include some intense debate over the interpretation of guidance. I can't speak at all to the handling of nukes, but I do hope that the assessments are being conducted fairly and without an undue amount of contention over the findings.

takthekak
11-06-2009, 01:09 AM
First, there have been some very good threads on this post. For a dual wing
base who does it's "deployed" mission 24/7 and AEFs every year, I would say
we ARE doing what we need to do. The priority is to pass an inspection and
debate between Wing and NAF?... all the while the mission presses on and
the wars wage. I am more upset at what these firings portray to our adversaries.
I would have perferred some quite assumptions of commands for 2 fine career
colonels who BOTH passed their NSI's after leading their WIngs back from disaster.

fufu
11-06-2009, 06:59 AM
Minot alumni here 99-05.

We passed every inspection while I was there. We(flightline) began deploying full time in 02 to Diego Garcia, followed quickly by a deployment to RAF Fairford in 03 to kick off the war. I've never felt a bigger sense of pride and motivation than I did during those months at RAF Fairford. What we did every day was put bombs on target and put 50+ year old aircraft in the air at a ridiculous pace. Quick turning a B-52 isn't easy...lol

It is sad to see that one mistake, albeit a large one has blackened the eye of Minot. There are good people stationed there that work very hard to accomplish the mission. Crap like this didn't happen back then when we didn't have a PT program and prior to force shaping.....I firmly believe the time crunch placed on many bases due to lack of appropriate manning is a direct reflection of some of the firings we see.

B52Av8tor
11-07-2009, 02:26 PM
""While the shortcomings in recent inspections did not translate to an inability to accomplish the mission, they did show a departure from the standards of perfection that we demand in the nuclear enterprise," said Gen. William M. Fraser III, head of Air Combat Command. "Our leaders must set and enforce the standards across all of our mission areas. The nation expects and deserves nothing less."

Ironic in that I'm pretty sure 2BW failed an NSI when Fraser was it's Commander.

Texpat
11-07-2009, 02:50 PM
^ Ouch. Well-spotted, if true.

takthekak
11-07-2009, 07:58 PM
""While the shortcomings in recent inspections did not translate to an inability to accomplish the mission, they did show a departure from the standards of perfection that we demand in the nuclear enterprise," said Gen. William M. Fraser III, head of Air Combat Command. "Our leaders must set and enforce the standards across all of our mission areas. The nation expects and deserves nothing less."

Ironic in that I'm pretty sure 2BW failed an NSI when Fraser was it's Commander.

Accountability
"Leaders lead by example and set the tone. Above all, they do not countenance selective enforcement of standards. I know of no more ruinous path ... than selective enforcement of rules and standards. Excellent leaders have very high standards and they enforce them without fear or favor."
- Gen. W.L. Creech, former commander of Tactical Air Command

imported_BRAVO10000
11-07-2009, 08:38 PM
Accountability
"Leaders lead by example and set the tone. Above all, they do not countenance selective enforcement of standards. I know of no more ruinous path ... than selective enforcement of rules and standards. Excellent leaders have very high standards and they enforce them without fear or favor."
- Gen. W.L. Creech, former commander of Tactical Air Command

And the rest of that quote was "Now, with that said...go forth and paint my bases two-tone brown"...

Old timers will remember this bit... :D

takthekak
11-07-2009, 10:27 PM
And the rest of that quote was "Now, with that said...go forth and paint my bases two-tone brown"...

Old timers will remember this bit... :D

With satellites and google earth, are we really concealing anything
on base anymore? Time to lossen up the color pallet...I am tired of
everything being yellow, brown, etc....

imported_BRAVO10000
11-08-2009, 11:39 AM
With satellites and google earth, are we really concealing anything
on base anymore? Time to lossen up the color pallet...I am tired of
everything being yellow, brown, etc....

Color? I mean we were painting ROCKS...curbs, the backs of the stop signs, you name it. Creech brown was everywhere!

BISSBOSS
11-10-2009, 06:41 AM
Speaking from a "Comm-guy" perspective - The Nuke mentality in the USAF has dropped a notch (or six). Field Techs are just "going through the motions" not knowing the "Why's", Shop Chiefs are slacking by not teaching the "Why's, Section Chiefs are dis-engaged putting too much focus on trivialities and not giving the Boss unvarnished opinions and feedback, Flight Chiefs are moved far too often creating a constand state of confusion and a generation of Officers who feel that because they sat in a chair in a Nuke billet for six or eight months they are now a qualified expert ("So I've got that job ticked off") and as a result Commanders from the Squadron to the Group to the Wing King get VERY BAD advise.

Where I am, I see it every day. Faced with the comments from leadership from the SECDEF down there are still guys who don't "Get it". Guys in pretty influential positions in wings that think they know better or that the rules don't apply to them or that because it doesn't look sexy or shiny it isn't for them or their people.

The really hard part of this is only just beginning... What is needed is a culture shift. Back to compliance and strict enforcement of regulatory guidance and protocol. One need only look at the threads in this forum on boot tucking, ranger rolls on hats, Booster Clubs and reflective belts to see that the current culture in the Air Force is not as supportive and embracing of that rigid adherence to compliance as the Nuke world is in need of.

Look how long it has taken us to come to where we are with PT as a part of normal Air Force life. Whatever your views are (and I don't want the issue clouded with "And now the USAF is changing that), it is plain to see that these things are painful and take time.

The Air Force wants this change. It doesn't happen by osmosis either. People (in "The Enterprise") had better stick their noses back in the books, read the requirements, enforce standards, train, equip and organize to support the mission.

-BB-

imported_BRAVO10000
11-10-2009, 07:07 AM
Speaking from a "Comm-guy" perspective - The Nuke mentality in the USAF has dropped a notch (or six). Field Techs are just "going through the motions" not knowing the "Why's", Shop Chiefs are slacking by not teaching the "Why's, Section Chiefs are dis-engaged putting too much focus on trivialities and not giving the Boss unvarnished opinions and feedback, Flight Chiefs are moved far too often creating a constand state of confusion and a generation of Officers who feel that because they sat in a chair in a Nuke billet for six or eight months they are now a qualified expert ("So I've got that job ticked off") and as a result Commanders from the Squadron to the Group to the Wing King get VERY BAD advise.

Where I am, I see it every day. Faced with the comments from leadership from the SECDEF down there are still guys who don't "Get it". Guys in pretty influential positions in wings that think they know better or that the rules don't apply to them or that because it doesn't look sexy or shiny it isn't for them or their people.

The really hard part of this is only just beginning... What is needed is a culture shift. Back to compliance and strict enforcement of regulatory guidance and protocol. One need only look at the threads in this forum on boot tucking, ranger rolls on hats, Booster Clubs and reflective belts to see that the current culture in the Air Force is not as supportive and embracing of that rigid adherence to compliance as the Nuke world is in need of.

Look how long it has taken us to come to where we are with PT as a part of normal Air Force life. Whatever your views are (and I don't want the issue clouded with "And now the USAF is changing that), it is plain to see that these things are painful and take time.

The Air Force wants this change. It doesn't happen by osmosis either. People (in "The Enterprise") had better stick their noses back in the books, read the requirements, enforce standards, train, equip and organize to support the mission.

-BB-


Speaking from a "Comm Guy of a Different Flavor" perspective... that's fine and well where coherent guidance exists (like T.O.s and stuff :) ). Where the guidance is generalized, ambiguous and less-than-complete (read: the majority of AFIs), this fast-and-loose approach is an inevitable effect. Using your example IRT the whole "tucking" argument...we STILL can't get a clear CC'c intent on what constitutes blousing "over" the boot...does over = on the surface of the upper portion of the boot? Or does over = directly above the boot and bound against the wearer's leg? This gets worse when the "requirement" and the "standard" are mutually exclusive.

If stricter compliance is the goal, then clear, concise guidance would be a great start. Otherwise, we end up where we are now...changing every couple of years based on the new CC's translation. We aren't going to fix it by puffing up our chests, dropping trou and getting out the measuring tape. Cultural change takes time. It has taken us nearly 20 years to go from the AFR-driven culture of "compliance or else" to the AFI-enabled flexible environment that is often wide open to translation. I submit that we WILL NOT gain back this deontologic work ethic in the absence of unmistakably-clear guidance.

BISSBOSS
11-10-2009, 07:44 AM
Speaking from a "Comm Guy of a Different Flavor" perspective... that's fine and well where coherent guidance exists (like T.O.s and stuff :) ). Where the guidance is generalized, ambiguous and less-than-complete (read: the majority of AFIs), this fast-and-loose approach is an inevitable effect. Using your example IRT the whole "tucking" argument...we STILL can't get a clear CC'c intent on what constitutes blousing "over" the boot...does over = on the surface of the upper portion of the boot? Or does over = directly above the boot and bound against the wearer's leg? This gets worse when the "requirement" and the "standard" are mutually exclusive.

If stricter compliance is the goal, then clear, concise guidance would be a great start. Otherwise, we end up where we are now...changing every couple of years based on the new CC's translation. We aren't going to fix it by puffing up our chests, dropping trou and getting out the measuring tape. Cultural change takes time. It has taken us nearly 20 years to go from the AFR-driven culture of "compliance or else" to the AFI-enabled flexible environment that is often wide open to translation. I submit that we WILL NOT gain back this deontologic work ethic in the absence of unmistakably-clear guidance.

"Deontologic"... Hmmmmm - Relating to philosophical theories that state that the moral content of an action is not wholly dependent on its consequences...

Don't know if I'm ready to distill it down THAT far! Seems a bit too deep for this discussion. I just see it as an exercise in "Spending more time doing the job and less time not doing the job".

Not to confuse issues more here goes... As we were talking exclusively about the Nuke world (but I think the concept applies outside).

I think I (kinda) see your point. In the Nuke world, AFIs, DoD Regs and the like aren't very vague at all... It's in black and white and written to a sixth grade reading level. The same goes for AFIs outside of that realm. We can go on and on about the (seeming) ambiguities and vagueness of current guidance but I would submit that the interpretation is why we have Senior NCO! They are the real keepers of the standards and teachers of "The Way".

Airmen never learn as much sitting in a classroom of standing in a formation as they do from watching the behavior of NCOs and Senior NCOs when we think no one is looking. If I let and airman roll his hat - I'm saying it's okay. If I don't tuck my pants (and I know it's not required yet) then I'm saying it's it's okay to ignore the rules I THINK are unneeded. If SNCO X can pick and choose... Why can't Airman X? See where I'm coming from?

BTW - (Again from a Comm-guy point of view) There are a lot more T.O.s than "many" will let on. Some ignore those books because the books do not support their position that the rules as they are laid out (and have been for many years) do not apply to them or their discipline. But THAT... as you know - is a whole other kettle of fish!

-BB-:cool:

imported_BRAVO10000
11-10-2009, 08:03 AM
"Deontologic"... Hmmmmm - Relating to philosophical theories that state that the moral content of an action is not wholly dependent on its consequences...

Don't know if I'm ready to distill it down THAT far! Seems a bit too deep for this discussion. I just see it as a "Spend more time doing the job and less time not doing the job".

Not to confuse issues more here goes... As we were talking exclusively about the Nuke world (but I think the concept applies outside).

I think I (kinda) see your point. In the Nuke world, AFIs, DoD Regs and the like aren't very vague at all... It's in black and white and written to a sixth grade reading level. The same goes for AFIs outside of that realm. We can go on and on about the (seeming) ambiguities and vagueness of current guidance but I would submit that the interpretation is why we have Senior NCO! They are the real keepers of the standards and teachers of "The Way".

Airmen never learn as much sitting in a classroom of standing in a formation as they do from watching the behavior of NCOs and Senior NCOs when we think no one is looking. If I let and airman roll his hat - I'm saying it's okay. If I don't tuck my pants (and I know it's not required yet) then I'm saying it's it's okay to ignore the rules I THINK are unneeded. If SNCO X can pick and choose... Why can't Airman X? See where I'm coming from?

-BB-:cool:


Absolutely! Just saying, there's the rub. The complaints about the AFRs were that they were too restrictive and didn't give people the power to make common-sense decisions in the field. We were forced at times to execute compliance-driven actions where they made no sense...like a Snow Removal Plan and a Snow Control Team dry run on the flight line by 15 August at places like MacDill, Homestead, or any other base that has never seen snow.

(by "deontologic", I am more referring to blind compliance without regard to what benefits the greater good. Doing it because the rules say so, and never questioning the intent or effectiveness of that guidance)

Now here we are, 18 years later, and guess who is making the translation? Yep - those of us that have spend the vast majority of our careers learning how a process will be executed, only to have it change again based on either the translation of a new commander or based on the translation of the latest inspection team. We don't all interpret our AFIs the same way, and our troops look for these wide-open loopholes to exploit at will. If we "over-enforce" the same...minor things like tucked PT shirts and reflective belts and socks...then suddenly we're all DBs that are focused on the "wrong things". Ironic that the guidance in these smaller issues is more concise, but harder to enforce. I sense a cultural issue.

If the Nuke World has that clear guidance that must be adhered to without question, I am guessing that it must still be very difficult to get people on board. After all, they work in an Air Force that practices optional adherence to standards and guidance that can be easily manipulated or summarily ignored. Bet they get mixed messages. :D

So I don't disagree with you at all - just thinking aloud that the long-term effect of moving to looser, more flexible guidance has led to a culture that is likewise loose.

BigBISSGuy
11-10-2009, 08:35 AM
Absolutely! Just saying, there's the rub. The complaints about the AFRs were that they were too restrictive and didn't give people the power to make common-sense decisions in the field. We were forced at times to execute compliance-driven actions where they made no sense...like a Snow Removal Plan and a Snow Control Team dry run on the flight line by 15 August at places like MacDill, Homestead, or any other base that has never seen snow.

(by "deontologic", I am more referring to blind compliance without regard to what benefits the greater good. Doing it because the rules say so, and never questioning the intent or effectiveness of that guidance)

Now here we are, 18 years later, and guess who is making the translation? Yep - those of us that have spend the vast majority of our careers learning how a process will be executed, only to have it change again based on either the translation of a new commander or based on the translation of the latest inspection team. We don't all interpret our AFIs the same way, and our troops look for these wide-open loopholes to exploit at will. If we "over-enforce" the same...minor things like tucked PT shirts and reflective belts and socks...then suddenly we're all DBs that are focused on the "wrong things". Ironic that the guidance in these smaller issues is more concise, but harder to enforce. I sense a cultural issue.

If the Nuke World has that clear guidance that must be adhered to without question, I am guessing that it must still be very difficult to get people on board. After all, they work in an Air Force that practices optional adherence to standards and guidance that can be easily manipulated or summarily ignored. Bet they get mixed messages. :D

So I don't disagree with you at all - just thinking aloud that the long-term effect of moving to looser, more flexible guidance has led to a culture that is likewise loose.

I would like to offer something for consideration. Based on what I'm reading, we all share the same frustrations when it comes to the mission, just put in different words. One thing I'd throw out is when are the units asking the MAJCOMs for assistance and clarification? The role ofthe MAJCOM is to train, equip, and organize, but it is a two way street. If the unit does not ask when they don't understand, it becomes and remains murky on how to execute and then you begin acting in the absence of clear guidance. However, as another Comm Guy, the guidance on how we operate (correct me if you disagree BISSBoss) has not changed dramatically in the last two decades with obvious exceptions. The culture is not being bred into people because there has been little emphasis on it---it's been about the new shiney thing that very few people want to stay in a job that won't bring promotion (at least that is their mindset...we've obviously had no problems). Instead, a culture of "what's sexy and what will get me promoted" has replaced the mentality of the old "Silent Sentinels"...

BigBISSGuy
11-10-2009, 08:38 AM
"Deontologic"... Hmmmmm - Relating to philosophical theories that state that the moral content of an action is not wholly dependent on its consequences...

Don't know if I'm ready to distill it down THAT far! Seems a bit too deep for this discussion. I just see it as an exercise in "Spending more time doing the job and less time not doing the job".

Not to confuse issues more here goes... As we were talking exclusively about the Nuke world (but I think the concept applies outside).

I think I (kinda) see your point. In the Nuke world, AFIs, DoD Regs and the like aren't very vague at all... It's in black and white and written to a sixth grade reading level. The same goes for AFIs outside of that realm. We can go on and on about the (seeming) ambiguities and vagueness of current guidance but I would submit that the interpretation is why we have Senior NCO! They are the real keepers of the standards and teachers of "The Way".

Airmen never learn as much sitting in a classroom of standing in a formation as they do from watching the behavior of NCOs and Senior NCOs when we think no one is looking. If I let and airman roll his hat - I'm saying it's okay. If I don't tuck my pants (and I know it's not required yet) then I'm saying it's it's okay to ignore the rules I THINK are unneeded. If SNCO X can pick and choose... Why can't Airman X? See where I'm coming from?

BTW - (Again from a Comm-guy point of view) There are a lot more T.O.s than "many" will let on. Some ignore those books because the books do not support their position that the rules as they are laid out (and have been for many years) do not apply to them or their discipline. But THAT... as you know - is a whole other kettle of fish!

-BB-:cool:

Not just T.O.s...some AFIs referred directly to the Maintenance AFI (before its recission) regarding the use and management of technical orders but was shunned because it required reading from multiple sources...but again, a totally different discussion altogether!:mad:

BISSBOSS
11-10-2009, 09:09 AM
I would like to offer something for consideration. Based on what I'm reading, we all share the same frustrations when it comes to the mission, just put in different words. One thing I'd throw out is when are the units asking the MAJCOMs for assistance and clarification? The role ofthe MAJCOM is to train, equip, and organize, but it is a two way street. If the unit does not ask when they don't understand, it becomes and remains murky on how to execute and then you begin acting in the absence of clear guidance. However, as another Comm Guy, the guidance on how we operate (correct me if you disagree BISSBoss) has not changed dramatically in the last two decades with obvious exceptions. The culture is not being bred into people because there has been little emphasis on it---it's been about the new shiney thing that very few people want to stay in a job that won't bring promotion (at least that is their mindset...we've obviously had no problems). Instead, a culture of "what's sexy and what will get me promoted" has replaced the mentality of the old "Silent Sentinels"...

I do not disagree at all.

The "How we operate" has not changed dramatically over the years. Oh sure, the AFRs changed to AFIs but we still had gear to fix and a correct way to fix it!:rolleyes:

In the same light, the uniforms have changed but we still know how to wear them.

To quote Justice Potter Stewart (1964), I may not be able to define pornography (substitute AFI violation(s) De jour), but I know it when I see it!:tongue:

I just think it has a lot more to do with Senior NCOs taking more responsibility to train and mentor those under them and educate and teach those above. Both of those tasks require a commitment to study and integrity and carving out part of the duty day to dedicate to your craft no matter what it is.;)

Hmmmm... Sounds familiar huh...

-BB-

imported_BRAVO10000
11-10-2009, 09:43 AM
I would like to offer something for consideration. Based on what I'm reading, we all share the same frustrations when it comes to the mission, just put in different words. One thing I'd throw out is when are the units asking the MAJCOMs for assistance and clarification? The role ofthe MAJCOM is to train, equip, and organize, but it is a two way street. If the unit does not ask when they don't understand, it becomes and remains murky on how to execute and then you begin acting in the absence of clear guidance. However, as another Comm Guy, the guidance on how we operate (correct me if you disagree BISSBoss) has not changed dramatically in the last two decades with obvious exceptions. The culture is not being bred into people because there has been little emphasis on it---it's been about the new shiney thing that very few people want to stay in a job that won't bring promotion (at least that is their mindset...we've obviously had no problems). Instead, a culture of "what's sexy and what will get me promoted" has replaced the mentality of the old "Silent Sentinels"...

Meh - mainainers. :D

Right. And I live immersed in that world of obvious exceptions. I WAS the MAJCOM SME for my AFSC for a while....think it is hard getting an answer from the MAJCOM? Give AFCA (AFNIC) a try. Frustrating to say the very least.

Comm specific - I think we can acknowledge that it became a two-headed beast. The 3C world was much simpler when it was Comm Centers, COMSEC and mainframes. Base LANs exploded and grew out of control...as did the knowledge required to use and "maintain" these systems that operated that network.

This new effect bred the 33-115 AFI series that was thrice rewritten and OBE inside of 10 years. By the time the guidance was made official and implemented, it missed the mark completely. We were busy trying to establish management of base LANs, while the MAJCOM was coming behind us to change them and take control. At the same time, the technology became out of date as quickly as we were able to receive it, implement it and learn it. Concurrently, we endured a rapid atrophy of skill sets thanks to the economic and dot-com booms. This wasn't something as simple at teaching guys to follow TOs and TCTOs, and it was (and is) a big-Blue-wide problem.

End game - you had 3-level Masters running shops everywhere, and some of the same at the next level. If you do a side-by-side comparison of operational decisions made by a career-field experienced leader, versus one that has an "AF Only stank on him", guess how similar they are? They usually aren't.

Apologies for semi-thread hijack, just taking the long route to point out the apparently-not-so-obvious...that is, there are cases where the absence of guidance isn't as easy to solve as a simple phone call to the MAJCOM. I still say that one of our worst (or at least my) handicaps is the absence of concise guidance (and an unwillingness to follow the intent when a mandate is not present). We're often asked to comply with a nebulus principle versus something that is accurately measurable.

I do agree that we have fast-tracking careerists among us - some of them are same people that retrained into Comm for that 6 SRB...as BB said, a totally different discussion altogether!

BISSBOSS
11-10-2009, 11:07 AM
Meh - mainainers. :D

Right. And I live immersed in that world of obvious exceptions. I WAS the MAJCOM SME for my AFSC for a while....think it is hard getting an answer from the MAJCOM? Give AFCA (AFNIC) a try. Frustrating to say the very least...

... Apologies for semi-thread hijack, just taking the long route to point out the apparently-not-so-obvious...that is, there are cases where the absence of guidance isn't as easy to solve as a simple phone call to the MAJCOM. I still say that one of our worst (or at least my) handicaps is the absence of concise guidance (and an unwillingness to follow the intent when a mandate is not present). We're often asked to comply with a nebulus principle versus something that is accurately measurable.

I do agree that we have fast-tracking careerists among us - some of them are same people that retrained into Comm for that 6 SRB...as BB said, a totally different discussion altogether!

To bring us further back on-thread, do you not think that those 3-level Masters need to get in the books and learn the job? They are in the right place to make effective, positive strides towards solving the problems that (we seem to agree) plague both the conventional and Nuke world.

This whole thread started from posts that were about how great guys got fired because of one mistake. Untrue! The leadership role in the Air Force today is tougher than it was when I enlisted simply because Ops-tempo is WAY up and manning is WAY down. Those things will not change in the foreseeable future. So - What is there left to do? As a Senior NCO, I know that there absolutely is more that I should and could be doing. In some cases, it means expanding my "Span of Control" to include enforcement of "petty" infractions I may (or may not) turn a blind eye on... In some cases, it means getting onto the Commander's calendar and giving him (or her) some direct and unvarnished feedback as to what I see and (more importantly) how and WHY I see it.

Attitudes and leadership are infectious for the good and the bad.

All I'm saying is that Senior NCOs need to do their jobs and advise, tech and lead. Enforce the standards and monitor production quality. That's what the Commander-in-Chief expects, that's what the SECDEF, CSAF & SECAF have mandated, that's what the Nuclear Enterprise needs and that's what the American People deserve.

At the very least no more... and certainly no less.

-BB-

BigBISSGuy
11-10-2009, 12:00 PM
Meh - mainainers. :D

Right. And I live immersed in that world of obvious exceptions. I WAS the MAJCOM SME for my AFSC for a while....think it is hard getting an answer from the MAJCOM? Give AFCA (AFNIC) a try. Frustrating to say the very least.

Comm specific - I think we can acknowledge that it became a two-headed beast. The 3C world was much simpler when it was Comm Centers, COMSEC and mainframes. Base LANs exploded and grew out of control...as did the knowledge required to use and "maintain" these systems that operated that network.

This new effect bred the 33-115 AFI series that was thrice rewritten and OBE inside of 10 years. By the time the guidance was made official and implemented, it missed the mark completely. We were busy trying to establish management of base LANs, while the MAJCOM was coming behind us to change them and take control. At the same time, the technology became out of date as quickly as we were able to receive it, implement it and learn it. Concurrently, we endured a rapid atrophy of skill sets thanks to the economic and dot-com booms. This wasn't something as simple at teaching guys to follow TOs and TCTOs, and it was (and is) a big-Blue-wide problem.

End game - you had 3-level Masters running shops everywhere, and some of the same at the next level. If you do a side-by-side comparison of operational decisions made by a career-field experienced leader, versus one that has an "AF Only stank on him", guess how similar they are? They usually aren't.

Apologies for semi-thread hijack, just taking the long route to point out the apparently-not-so-obvious...that is, there are cases where the absence of guidance isn't as easy to solve as a simple phone call to the MAJCOM. I still say that one of our worst (or at least my) handicaps is the absence of concise guidance (and an unwillingness to follow the intent when a mandate is not present). We're often asked to comply with a nebulus principle versus something that is accurately measurable.

I do agree that we have fast-tracking careerists among us - some of them are same people that retrained into Comm for that 6 SRB...as BB said, a totally different discussion altogether!

I'm trying to stay with you and follow the flow, and while I understand that you were MAJCOM SME, the fact of the matter is this--most of the time the phone calls aren't placed and the guidacne is not sought. If we address each one of your points specifically, it becomes an oversimplification of the situation, at least from my humble perspective. For example, teaching people to read TOs and follow the procedures is the same in many regards to what the book (33-115) required of people, especially when it referred to 21-116 (which in turn referred to 00-5-1 where it states in the absence of formal techical orders to utilize the commercial manuals and treat them as TOs...different discussion). I think the net ops discussion would be great for another thread, especially given the turmoil our community is going through...now back to the target.

In the nuke world the information is there, and when it can't be readily found, the questions need to be asked. From my perspective, it is incumbent, dare I say imperative, that the leaders (from the shop to the MAJCOM), regardless of skill-level, get in the books, read, and ask the questions. I too have been at the MAJCOM as a SME in just this environment and there was never any question what the guidance was, and if they needed clarification, I was the one that gave it to them and shouldered the responsibility if the IG disagreed. Policy was not made in a vaccuum and widely publicized to the users, especially in the nuclear arena...and getting information was never an issue---even from AFNIC when it when it pertained to the nuclear world.

imported_BRAVO10000
11-10-2009, 12:21 PM
I'm trying to stay with you and follow the flow, and while I understand that you were MAJCOM SME, the fact of the matter is this--most of the time the phone calls aren't placed and the guidacne is not sought. If we address each one of your points specifically, it becomes an oversimplification of the situation, at least from my humble perspective. For example, teaching people to read TOs and follow the procedures is the same in many regards to what the book (33-115) required of people, especially when it referred to 21-116 (which in turn referred to 00-5-1 where it states in the absence of formal techical orders to utilize the commercial manuals and treat them as TOs...different discussion). I think the net ops discussion would be great for another thread, especially given the turmoil our community is going through...now back to the target.

In the nuke world the information is there, and when it can't be readily found, the questions need to be asked. From my perspective, it is incumbent, dare I say imperative, that the leaders (from the shop to the MAJCOM), regardless of skill-level, get in the books, read, and ask the questions. I too have been at the MAJCOM as a SME in just this environment and there was never any question what the guidance was, and if they needed clarification, I was the one that gave it to them and shouldered the responsibility if the IG disagreed. Policy was not made in a vaccuum and widely publicized to the users, especially in the nuclear arena...and getting information was never an issue---even from AFNIC when it when it pertained to the nuclear world.

Not disagreeing with a word of that, and you're right - the Comm stuff would make a great discussion in a separate thread, especially if you have ever seen these so-called "commercial manuals". :)

Maybe we can make our points here meet in the middle somewhere. Conceding that BB is right when he asserts that our folks have to get in the books and have the integrity to learn their craft. Also conceding that where the guidance exists, compliance is critical and that blank "I dunno" stare is completely unacceptable.

Adding to that though, I am just trying to point out that not all of our guidance is so cut and dry. We've all seen a hundred cases of things running afoul simply because the guidance lacked the specificity required to make a process become standard (i hate to beat the dead MPF horse even more, but...). That lead me to think aloud that perhaps the cultural effect of loose, generalized guidance begat loose, generalized compliance in our ranks. Not saying it is okay, just trying to acknowledge it as a possible if not probable cause.

BISSBOSS
11-10-2009, 01:20 PM
Not disagreeing with a word of that, and you're right - the Comm stuff would make a great discussion in a separate thread, especially if you have ever seen these so-called "commercial manuals". :)

Maybe we can make our points here meet in the middle somewhere. Conceding that BB is right when he asserts that our folks have to get in the books and have the integrity to learn their craft. Also conceding that where the guidance exists, compliance is critical and that blank "I dunno" stare is completely unacceptable.

Adding to that though, I am just trying to point out that not all of our guidance is so cut and dry. We've all seen a hundred cases of things running afoul simply because the guidance lacked the specificity required to make a process become standard (i hate to beat the dead MPF horse even more, but...). That lead me to think aloud that perhaps the cultural effect of loose, generalized guidance begat loose, generalized compliance in our ranks. Not saying it is okay, just trying to acknowledge it as a possible if not probable cause.

Full Circle... well almost!

This is (sort of) what I'm on about. Where the guidance is not so cut and dry - clarification MUST be sought. That is the job of the Senior NCO Corps. It's what the Boss hired you for! But you can't just show up to the park with a uniform, glove and bat and play well...

The Air Force has always prided itself on attention to detail and precision. That culture is withering on the vine. That it shows itself most notably in the Nuclear Arena is as much happenstance and luck as anything else. In other words - This is a symptom... Not the ailment itself.

The Commanders at Minot have been unable to affect change fast enough. The Nuke world is critical. It's pretty black and white. Do well or fail. That is not a set of guidelines the USAF has operated under (at large) for a long time. "Just in time training" ('Nuff Said) my a$$.

Here endeth my rant.

-BB-

B52Av8tor
11-11-2009, 01:13 AM
" In the Nuke world, AFIs, DoD Regs and the like aren't very vague at all... It's in black and white and written to a sixth grade reading level.

Wrong, wrong, wrong... AFIs and Regs in the nuke arena are open to interpretation just like in any other arena, and that is most definitely part of the problem. Open any volume and you'll see "shoulds" and "mays" just like in the conventional world. Unfortunately, there are some inspectors who interpret a "should" or "may" as a "must" or "will".

Case in point inspector comment during a NSI: "If it says 'should' in a Nuke document it means 'will'". Of course, the unit then took a write up for interpreting the AFI differently than the IG. What kind of BS is that! If it needs to say "will", then rewrite the document and, most definitely, there are no grounds for a write up.

AFI's and regs, as currently written, are open to interpretation. Until they are either rewritten (5-10 years), or the IG teams actually learn the AFIs instead of relying on "that's the way we did it back in SAC", more units are going to bust and the AF is going to kick to the curb the exact people needed to rebuild the nuclear enterprise.

takthekak
11-11-2009, 02:17 AM
A big problem is having a problem that is not easily fixed without tipping scales
one way or another. What's more important, having your top people at HQ and IG
or at the Wing level? It would be great to have the best at both, but there's a
difference with field knowledge that get's lost when people leave the field
for HQ and IQ work.I think behind the scenes people realize that it's best to
have the best people at the WIng and they will just put up with the conflicts
at HQ and IG, which have been around and will continue in the future.
In the end, you have Wings that disassociate themselves from their HQ and IG
and it becomes a battle with the enemy, instead of them working with us
to come to a common solution between us. As long as they are the ememy, we
all lose....Anyways, just my opinion.

B52Av8tor
11-11-2009, 04:20 AM
...In the end, you have Wings that disassociate themselves from their HQ and IG
and it becomes a battle with the enemy, instead of them working with us
to come to a common solution between us. As long as they are the ememy, we
all lose....Anyways, just my opinion.

Agree. Unfortunately, the messasge that was sent loud and clear by Gen Carpenter with the last round of firings was "The IG is your enemy". I can guarantee you, the atmosphere at Minot is now 100% adversarial to anybody even remotely associated with an IG or evaluator team.

BISSBOSS
11-11-2009, 05:07 AM
Wrong, wrong, wrong... AFIs and Regs in the nuke arena are open to interpretation just like in any other arena, and that is most definitely part of the problem. Open any volume and you'll see "shoulds" and "mays" just like in the conventional world. Unfortunately, there are some inspectors who interpret a "should" or "may" as a "must" or "will".

Case in point inspector comment during a NSI: "If it says 'should' in a Nuke document it means 'will'". Of course, the unit then took a write up for interpreting the AFI differently than the IG. What kind of BS is that! If it needs to say "will", then rewrite the document and, most definitely, there are no grounds for a write up.

AFI's and regs, as currently written, are open to interpretation. Until they are either rewritten (5-10 years), or the IG teams actually learn the AFIs instead of relying on "that's the way we did it back in SAC", more units are going to bust and the AF is going to kick to the curb the exact people needed to rebuild the nuclear enterprise.

I beg to differ...

A cursory look over the AFIs I deal with on a regular basis turned up the following:

(AFI21-101 29 - JUNE 2006)
1.6.1. Compliance Terminology. For the purposes of this instruction, the following definitions apply:
1.6.1.1. Shall, Must, Will - Indicate mandatory requirements. (Will is also used to express a declaration
of purpose for a future event.)
1.6.1.2. Should - Indicates a preferred method of accomplishment.
1.6.1.3. May - Indicates an acceptable or suggested means of accomplishment.

All Technical Orders are "Published Under the Authority of the SECAF"... And are just that - Orders. Compliance is mandatory.

These are the basic regulatory concepts we have worked under for years. That personnel at the unit level choose not to interpret them correctly is at the root of the problem. Where I work, there is very little "wiggle room" in AFI interpretation. Perhaps the guidance you are under has similar verbiage... perhaps not, but the concept is universally applicable.

As for the write-ups and inspection process, I offer this:

The IG is composed (for the very most part) of SMEs from their respective disciplines. They have experience (operational and conceptual) and are certified by both the MAJCOM as well as the Air Force Inspection Agency (AFIA).

During an NSI, the MAJCOM IG is accompanied by a third-party oversight team that monitors activities and generates a report on how the MAJCOM IG performs. All findings are validated with the Commander PRIOR inclusion in the report and then again before the formal outbrief to the Wing. A "Murder Board" is conducted where every finding is presented to the entire inspection team (regardless of AFSC) and scrutinized for validity. Believe me... The tie most often goes to the inspected unit.

The bottom line is - Unless a finding has a clear-cut AFI, T.O. DoDR etc. reference, it's not going to stick. The inspector saying "That's the way I've seen it done at Base X doesn't happen as much as you think or as reported.

-BB-

BISSBOSS
11-11-2009, 05:22 AM
Agree. Unfortunately, the message that was sent loud and clear by Gen Carpenter with the last round of firings was "The IG is your enemy". I can guarantee you, the atmosphere at Minot is now 100% adversarial to anybody even remotely associated with an IG or evaluator team.

That attitude is not the fault of the MAJCOM A-staff or the IG. It is generated by misguided individuals at the Wing level and below.

The inspection "game" is business... Not personal.

As long as an inspector says: "I have discovered a finding in your program that is not in compliance" and people hear: "I have discovered a finding in your program that is not in compliance and therefore you are a bad person and no good at your job" we will continue to have these problems.

Besides, if you are executing the mission in accordance with regulatory guidance, the NSI isn't gonna kill you. The inspectors are merely scribes.

-BB-

takthekak
11-11-2009, 05:42 AM
Wow BISSBOSS you must be the head of the IG or HQ, cuz you are detached.
Better yet maybe you are in USAFE. The dwindling lack of experience on both
the IG and at the HQ was proven and acknowledged over the last few years
and that problem was not shown to be at the Wing level or below, it sat
squarely at the feet of the IG and HQ. Sadly, they feel they are the experts,
but Commanders realize the actual best performers are kept at the Wing.
Great that you are in the bubble though and living in a fantasy world, but
not real practical though to people in the real world. The fact is the IG and HQ
are both probably not even needed and if they went away, no one would notice.
Guess what, the real mission at the Wing's would press on, unimpeded from
conflicting tabletop weenies.

BISSBOSS
11-11-2009, 06:13 AM
Wow BISSBOSS you must be the head of the IG or HQ, cuz you are detached.
Better yet maybe you are in USAFE. The dwindling lack of experience on both
the IG and at the HQ was proven and acknowledged over the last few years
and that problem was not shown to be at the Wing level or below, it sat
squarely at the feet of the IG and HQ. Sadly, they feel they are the experts,
but Commanders realize the actual best performers are kept at the Wing.
Great that you are in the bubble though and living in a fantasy world, but
not real practical though to people in the real world. The fact is the IG and HQ
are both probably not even needed and if they went away, no one would notice.
Guess what, the real mission at the Wing's would press on, unimpeded from
conflicting tabletop weenies.

Thanks for the "Detached" comment. It is something I work on. It helps me give the Boss good advise and keep perspective.

You are also correct about USAFE. That's where my current gig is.

I'm confused about the rest of your last post though... You say in the first part that the problem in the enterprise sat squarely at the feet of the IG and HQ. But then finished by saying that both of those entities could simply vanish with no detriment to the mission. I don't get that.

Secondly, The IG and HQ ARE from the Wings. Those slots are advertised, applied for and the candidates vetted. The IG and HQ usually know those hired from reputation (I'm speaking from a USAFE and personal experience viewpoint). The A-staff is limited to (I think) 99 billets only. They are responsible for conducting NSSAVs on Wings. But they can't be everywhere and see everything. THAT is the job of the units. The units must know their jobs and communicate problems upwards and seek clarification from the staff.

As for "living in the bubble" - Assuming you are correct - Doesn't it not bother you that there is a "Bubble" in the first place and that more people are not trying to "Get in"??? As for the non-practicality of my "Fantasy World, I'll take it. Nuke are safe, guys understand the guidance and we have a good relationship with the IG and the A-Staff at the HQ.

Lastly, as for the mission continuing unimpeded, - I don't think the IG or the HQ had anything to do with the Minot Tactical Ferry movement or the two wrecked trucks, sleeping crews of personnel who left safes open for a shift. If that's your idea of unimpeded me thinks you should throttle back... Your engines are running waaaay too hot.

-BB-

imported_BRAVO10000
11-11-2009, 12:59 PM
Better yet maybe you are in USAFE.

You got a problem with USAFE? At least WE haven't misplaced any WMD...but hey, sh*t happens right?


The dwindling lack of experience on both the IG and at the HQ was proven and acknowledged over the last few years and that problem was not shown to be at the Wing level or below, it sat squarely at the feet of the IG and HQ.

ANY data to back this up? Proven how, and acknowledged by whom?


Sadly, they feel they are the experts, but Commanders realize the actual best performers are kept at the Wing.

Really? Where do you think HQ and IG people come from? It isn't a separate AFSC. Do you think PCS orders come through the Wing for a thumbs up/down before people get assigned to places like :: gasp :: USAFE?


The fact is the IG and HQ are both probably not even needed and if they went away, no one would notice. Guess what, the real mission at the Wing's would press on, unimpeded from
conflicting tabletop weenies.

Not being sarcastic (this time), I hope you end up with a Staff job at some point in your career. Clearly, it would benefit your vision and maybe begin to balance your jaded point of view.

B52Av8tor
11-12-2009, 12:51 AM
Where I work, there is very little "wiggle room" in AFI interpretation. Perhaps the guidance you are under has similar verbiage... perhaps not, but the concept is universally applicable.


You are correct, the verbiage is similiar and as long as the guidance says "shall" or "may", then that allows interpretation. Unfortunately, sometimes the IGs don't understand that, as per the IG comment noted in my last post



As for the write-ups and inspection process, I offer this:

The IG is composed (for the very most part) of SMEs from their respective disciplines. They have experience (operational and conceptual) and are certified by both the MAJCOM as well as the Air Force Inspection Agency (AFIA).

During an NSI, the MAJCOM IG is accompanied by a third-party oversight team that monitors activities and generates a report on how the MAJCOM IG performs. All findings are validated with the Commander PRIOR inclusion in the report and then again before the formal outbrief to the Wing. A "Murder Board" is conducted where every finding is presented to the entire inspection team (regardless of AFSC) and scrutinized for validity. Believe me... The tie most often goes to the inspected unit.

The bottom line is - Unless a finding has a clear-cut AFI, T.O. DoDR etc. reference, it's not going to stick. The inspector saying "That's the way I've seen it done at Base X doesn't happen as much as you think or as reported.

-BB-


In a perfect world everything you said is correct, but the realities are very often different.

1) Sometimes the IGs are not SMEs. Sometimes they're passed over individuals who didn't make the cut and are waiting out their retirement sitting on the staff. And just because they had jobs in the field during previous assignments, that doesn't make them an "expert". They're span of experience may be limited to one or two areas, but as part of the IG team, they find themselves responsible for evaluating areas well outside that original experience base. In addition, guidance can change, new processes are developed, and technology advances. I would offer that, more often than not, these changes are not fully understood by those who don't work and deal with them on a daily basis.

2) The third party individuals (AFIA) aren't necessarily objective. They're too much in bed with the IG team. They travel together, work together, eat together and, just like the IG team members, aren't necessarily "experts".

3) Your statement that 'without a clear cut reference the IG team won't write it up', is incorrect. We can't go into specifics on this forum, but ask anyone familiar with the write-ups from the Minot NSI and they will tell you the IG team got it wrong. For that particular NSI, both STRATCOM and the HAF have already come back and declared that one of the IG teams write-ups did not follow appropriate guidance and the write-up is invalid.

The reality is that the IG team members are not demi-Gods. They are made up of fallible humans who have their own agendas and short comings. Unfortunately, once they write something up, it's too late. There's no appeal, there's no review process. It's out in the ether and forms it's own reality. And, as the Minot NSI showed, rather than coming down on an IG team that got it wrong, they removed the people who were doing it right, the real nuclear experts.

ChiefB
11-12-2009, 06:31 AM
You are correct, the verbiage is similiar and as long as the guidance says "shall" or "may", then that allows interpretation. Unfortunately, sometimes the IGs don't understand that, as per the IG comment noted in my last post



In a perfect world everything you said is correct, but the realities are very often different.

1) Sometimes the IGs are not SMEs. Sometimes they're passed over individuals who didn't make the cut and are waiting out their retirement sitting on the staff. And just because they had jobs in the field during previous assignments, that doesn't make them an "expert". They're span of experience may be limited to one or two areas, but as part of the IG team, they find themselves responsible for evaluating areas well outside that original experience base. In addition, guidance can change, new processes are developed, and technology advances. I would offer that, more often than not, these changes are not fully understood by those who don't work and deal with them on a daily basis.

2) The third party individuals (AFIA) aren't necessarily objective. They're too much in bed with the IG team. They travel together, work together, eat together and, just like the IG team members, aren't necessarily "experts".

3) Your statement that 'without a clear cut reference the IG team won't write it up', is incorrect. We can't go into specifics on this forum, but ask anyone familiar with the write-ups from the Minot NSI and they will tell you the IG team got it wrong. For that particular NSI, both STRATCOM and the HAF have already come back and declared that one of the IG teams write-ups did not follow appropriate guidance and the write-up is invalid.

The reality is that the IG team members are not demi-Gods. They are made up of fallible humans who have their own agendas and short comings. Unfortunately, once they write something up, it's too late. There's no appeal, there's no review process. It's out in the ether and forms it's own reality. And, as the Minot NSI showed, rather than coming down on an IG team that got it wrong, they removed the people who were doing it right, the real nuclear experts.

What a crock, B52Av8tor!

The last two posts here by BISSBOSS were right on the money.

IG members are never passed over losers or "couch Colonels". Why? The IG's rep is on the line based on the perceived performance of each one of his inspectors.

They are drawn by IG selection from the wing's or HQ best performers. They are current experts in their fields. The HQ functional area staff has an input if they agree/disagree.

They are vetted by the IG Director and come, generally, from units/shops that were rated other than Unsat/Marginal or Satisfactory. They are, generally, top performers who have caught the eye of the HQ Inspector and he is usually the impetous behind moving the wing or HQ individual up to the HQ IG team slot.

The "Over-the-shoulder" OTS inspection by the AFIA is a no-duff, indepth review of their counterpart's methods, compliance and expertise. For some fields they also administer exams to the MajCom inspectors and the MajCom Inspectors must attend the AFIA course or school sometime during their tenure. Their OTS report evaluates the MAJCOM IG and requires follow-up and corrections to all its findings.

MajCom Inspectors are deeply involved in writing the Inspection critera and their writings are all reviewed and edited by the HQ functional staff experts.

Any wing commander or OIC/NCOIC worth his salt has already questioned and gotten HQ resolution on any questionable "May" or "Shall" statements in the AFIs BEFORE any Inspection team arrives at their unit.

Those resolutions should be recorded (written) and are the "Silver Bullet" any shop or unit can use to defend itself during ANY IG proceeding that gets hung up on "interpretation". The HQ functional staff is the last word in interpretation, not the IG.

When reports of findings (good or bad) are written up by individual Inspectors during a unit inspection, , their functional area team leader must review and sign off on all the findings. These are further reviewed and signed off by the IG Dep Director and only then after complete review, discussion and agreement by all are they submitted to the IG Team Director for his review and rejection/concurrrence.

Anywhere along this review sequence, any reviewer can raise the BS flag and challenge the finding. After thorough discussion and evidence is provided, the finding may be forwarded or sent back for further evidence or review. As BISSBOSS said..."Most ties go to the unit".

The outbrief by IG members to their unit counterparts before the report is final is an opportunity for the unit to raise the BS flag, use its "Silver Bullet" or protest a finding. If the unit prevails, the finding is removed from the report and if necessary the specific shop rating will be reevaluated and raised, if warranted.

No IG team member can pass judgement on any unit counterpart agency soley on his own. Its a team effort and habitual "hardasses", undiplomatic and arrogant inspectors are identified quickly and removed from the team.

No IG is out to "take a unit down". I can guarantee you that there is a whole lot of soul-searching and cross-reviewing, discussion, argument and revalidation before ANY IG fails a unit in Nuc Surety.

The IG knows full well the career impact a "Fail" has on a unit commander and his personnel. There are no lightly taken or flippant ratings given by any professional IG Team. The IG Team is there to evaluate compliance and performance, not personalities or politics.

ChiefB

BigBISSGuy
11-12-2009, 08:11 AM
Wow BISSBOSS you must be the head of the IG or HQ, cuz you are detached.
Better yet maybe you are in USAFE. The dwindling lack of experience on both
the IG and at the HQ was proven and acknowledged over the last few years
and that problem was not shown to be at the Wing level or below, it sat
squarely at the feet of the IG and HQ. Sadly, they feel they are the experts,
but Commanders realize the actual best performers are kept at the Wing.
Great that you are in the bubble though and living in a fantasy world, but
not real practical though to people in the real world. The fact is the IG and HQ
are both probably not even needed and if they went away, no one would notice.
Guess what, the real mission at the Wing's would press on, unimpeded from
conflicting tabletop weenies.

I find this entire thread of conversation interesting, if not sad. It appears there is a mudslinging situation going on now, but it is what it is...so allow me to join in with some perspective. First, I would like to offer some support for BISSBoss, knowing his full qualifications and his respected status throughout our arena on the communications maintenance side (yes…BISS is an acronym). He is considered by many, me included, to be arguably the best at his job and a voice of clarity---especially to his commander. He does in fact assist at many different levels in this business, whether it is other units with his expertise or the A-staff at various levels, to ensure the guidance is clear AND public.
As far as the USAFE statement goes, we are proud of the work we do here on this side of the ocean…as you can see, while we do have heated discussions (i.e. the string between BRAVO10000 and me) about topics, but in the end there is consistency in thought and practice. Again, it is what it is because that’s what we get paid to do—read, discuss, ask when necessary, implement when required (which doesn’t include flying around with capes and saving kittens from tree tops). Please forgive my sarcasm…
Next, the IG is not the enemy, and YES its members are selected through a series of applications, recommendations, and interviews. That decision is not made in a vacuum, and if a “bubble” exists, I would try to ascertain why that is the case where you are. Most IGs are augmented from individuals from the FIELD to provide additional SME experience. I know that is the case in AFMC and USAFE.
Additionally, experts exist as all levels of operation—Wing, HQ, and the IG. The opposite exists as well with people not getting it done. The Wing mission will go on, with that I don’t disagree, but to what level of satisfaction to the American taxpayer or dissatisfaction to the enemy? I have spoken with a literal myriad of people on both sides of the ocean, at both the HQ and field levels, and we are in agreement that the guidance exists, and when the questions arise, the A-staff is there to answer it and shoulder the accountability for providing that guidance. That’s how the book is written to function and how it is supposed to operate. If there is any adversarial behavior, it should not be on the part of the IG team since it is their role to validate, educate, and motivate. Just my thoughts…

takthekak
11-12-2009, 02:37 PM
There have been some really good comments probably by some very
qualified people on this forum and I appreciate that. My intent is not
to sling mud, but to try and get to the heart of the problems. That is,
I believe the first step. If not, we just keep doing the same thing with
the same outcomes. That is why after the many failures, they conducted
many high level reviews and very high ranking civilian and military leadership
were fired, which sent a ripple effect throughout this Air Force.
Things came out of the reviews that people may not have liked, but they
paved the way for things like the new Global Strike Command.
I keep hearing that there has never been a problem and quotes
from the books, but that did not stop all the people from getting
fired did it? Inspectors are inspecting bases which are prepping
for them to come and STILL failing, can you imagine if they see
what happens for real on a day to day basis. Top to bottom we
all need to right the ship a little better and remember we are all
in this together. Here's an article below touching on things I have
been saying here. Lastly, I have nothing against USAFE, it just
seems to be a front leaning independent command, kind
of like California is to the rest of the states in the US, taking things
a bit too far and not inline with the rest of the Air Force.
http://www.airforcetimes.com/news/2008/12/airforce_nuke_failure_121908/

Also, here is another informative read:
http://www.defenselink.mil/pubs/pdfs/PhaseIIReportFinal.pdf

imported_BRAVO10000
11-12-2009, 07:15 PM
My intent is not to sling mud...Top to bottom we all need to right the ship a little better and remember we are all in this together...I have nothing against USAFE, it just seems to be a front leaning independent command, kind of like California is to the rest of the states in the US, taking things a bit too far and not inline with the rest of the Air Force.

First USAFE, then California. HOW does USAFE "take things a bit too far"? Yes, okay, as someone who spent some time on USAFE's HQ Staff, I would really like to hear some examples. If it "seems independent", that is because it is an overseas MAJCOM and is therefore organized on a geographic basis versus a functional one.

Maybe I am taking this too personally...

BISSBOSS
11-13-2009, 03:35 AM
There have been some really good comments probably by some very
qualified people on this forum and I appreciate that. My intent is not
to sling mud, but to try and get to the heart of the problems. That is,
I believe the first step. If not, we just keep doing the same thing with
the same outcomes. That is why after the many failures, they conducted
many high level reviews and very high ranking civilian and military leadership
were fired, which sent a ripple effect throughout this Air Force.
Things came out of the reviews that people may not have liked, but they
paved the way for things like the new Global Strike Command.
I keep hearing that there has never been a problem and quotes
from the books, but that did not stop all the people from getting
fired did it? Inspectors are inspecting bases which are prepping
for them to come and STILL failing, can you imagine if they see
what happens for real on a day to day basis. Top to bottom we
all need to right the ship a little better and remember we are all
in this together. Here's an article below touching on things I have
been saying here. Lastly, I have nothing against USAFE, it just
seems to be a front leaning independent command, kind
of like California is to the rest of the states in the US, taking things
a bit too far and not inline with the rest of the Air Force.
http://www.airforcetimes.com/news/2008/12/airforce_nuke_failure_121908/

Also, here is another informative read:
http://www.defenselink.mil/pubs/pdfs/PhaseIIReportFinal.pdf

That second article is a GREAT read for anyone involved in the Enterprise... My umit leadership all read it and I briefed it to our guys involved in those areas...

Many truths and "ugly babies" uncovered. It should be required reading.

-BB-

takthekak
11-13-2009, 04:56 AM
Nuclear enterprise reinvigorated

Posted 7/1/2009
Commentary by Col. Julian H. Tolbert
5th Bomb Wing vice commander

7/1/2009 - MINOT AIR FORCE BASE, N.D. -- I would like to extend a hearty congratulations to the 91st Missile Wing for very strong NSI and NORI results: SATISFACTORY and SATISFACTORY. As General Kehler noted in the inspection outbrief, the 91st should be extremely proud: the IG has significantly increased the scrutiny of inspections recently, making an ORI SAT equivalent to the previous EXCELLENT. The number of superior performers and the enthusiasm in the bully dome during the outbrief demonstrates the pride you have in your mission.

Two years ago incidents occurred that caught the attention of the nation, our allies, and potential enemies. The Air Force commitment to the nuclear mission was profoundly questioned. Leadership was relieved and organizational and procedural changes were sought. Numerous reports described a lack of focus, a dispersal of leadership oversight, a lack of appreciation for the complexity of the nuclear mission, and an erosion of nuclear expertise. In the Air Force report we owned up to the problem, stating we "failed to grasp the continued need to maintain a viable airpower-based nuclear deterrent capability. " New Air Force leadership set the highest priority toward "Reinvigorating the Nuclear Enterprise," putting into motion
numerous actions to refocus its forces.

Minot is has been leading this reinvigoration, focusing on safe, secure, reliable--and therefore credible--nuclear operations. We can claim success: the 5th Bomb Wing NSI several weeks ago, the NSI and NORI 91st Missile Wing result last week, and the rapid generation of firepower by the 2nd and 5th Bomb Wings during this week's Global Thunder exercise, all demonstrate full reinvigoration. We restored the Air Force's role in providing credible nuclear deterrent capability for the nation. Minot is undoubtedly the most powerful base in the world.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Col. Christopher Ayres was fired Oct. 14th as commander of the 91st Missile Wing. (3 1/2 mons after article)
Col. Joel Westa was fired Oct. 30th as commander of the 5th Bomb Wing. (4 mons after article)

How in the hell do you go from "FULL REINVIGORATION" back to square one?...

Rastaman
11-13-2009, 07:07 AM
You ask an excellent question, Tak.

I mean, really, what lesson is the wider AF supposed to take from these events?

BISSBOSS
11-13-2009, 07:07 AM
Nuclear enterprise reinvigorated

Posted 7/1/2009
Commentary by Col. Julian H. Tolbert
5th Bomb Wing vice commander

7/1/2009 - MINOT AIR FORCE BASE, N.D. -- I would like to extend a hearty congratulations to the 91st Missile Wing for very strong NSI and NORI results: SATISFACTORY and SATISFACTORY. As General Kehler noted in the inspection outbrief, the 91st should be extremely proud: the IG has significantly increased the scrutiny of inspections recently, making an ORI SAT equivalent to the previous EXCELLENT. The number of superior performers and the enthusiasm in the bully dome during the outbrief demonstrates the pride you have in your mission.

Two years ago incidents occurred that caught the attention of the nation, our allies, and potential enemies. The Air Force commitment to the nuclear mission was profoundly questioned. Leadership was relieved and organizational and procedural changes were sought. Numerous reports described a lack of focus, a dispersal of leadership oversight, a lack of appreciation for the complexity of the nuclear mission, and an erosion of nuclear expertise. In the Air Force report we owned up to the problem, stating we "failed to grasp the continued need to maintain a viable airpower-based nuclear deterrent capability. " New Air Force leadership set the highest priority toward "Reinvigorating the Nuclear Enterprise," putting into motion
numerous actions to refocus its forces.

Minot is has been leading this reinvigoration, focusing on safe, secure, reliable--and therefore credible--nuclear operations. We can claim success: the 5th Bomb Wing NSI several weeks ago, the NSI and NORI 91st Missile Wing result last week, and the rapid generation of firepower by the 2nd and 5th Bomb Wings during this week's Global Thunder exercise, all demonstrate full reinvigoration. We restored the Air Force's role in providing credible nuclear deterrent capability for the nation. Minot is undoubtedly the most powerful base in the world.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Col. Christopher Ayres was fired Oct. 14th as commander of the 91st Missile Wing. (3 1/2 mons after article)
Col. Joel Westa was fired Oct. 30th as commander of the 5th Bomb Wing. (4 mons after article)

How in the hell do you go from "FULL REINVIGORATION" back to square one?...

That is sarcasm I detect isn't it?

That is/was a press release for the masses... Poor choice of words (IMHO).

"full reinvigoration" - Uuummmm... No. Perfect example of not understanding the situation. This thing is about a need for culture change as evidenced earlier in his statement - "In the Air Force report we owned up to the problem, stating we "failed to grasp the continued need to maintain a viable airpower-based nuclear deterrent capability. ""

This was ALL before the most recent round of "administrative actions". That was a "Didn't get it" guy.We have strayed away from the concept of sustained superior performance in the USAF... Especially in the Nuclear Arena. That straying is now biting us squarely in the a$$.

Don't look for this stuff to be A). localized to Minot or B). Over by a long shot.

Just my two cents.

-BB-

Rastaman
11-13-2009, 09:10 AM
So...he didn't get it, but he still got a SAT on the NSI. Is that his fault or the IG team's fault?

BISSBOSS
11-13-2009, 03:23 PM
So...he didn't get it, but he still got a SAT on the NSI. Is that his fault or the IG team's fault?


JESUS...

I'll play the game...

"I give up!"

You tell me...

-BB-

BISSBOSS
11-13-2009, 03:37 PM
-Seriously-


So...he didn't get it, but he still got a SAT on the NSI. Is that his fault or the IG team's fault?


Rastaman,

Have you ever been through an HHQ IG Inspection? If so, how many times have you and your shop-mates patted yourselves on the back, snickered or grinned at the stuff the inspector DIDN'T find???

How many times have you thought, "Glad He/She didn't ask about that or look into this"?

To state (to your wing) that your rating on the last NSI conclude that at your base the Nuclear Enterprise has been reinvigorated :rolleyes: after ONE inspection is (IMHO) just a bit too short sighted and too optimistic especially given the verbiage in the Phase II report...

Give me a break.

You guys can't have it both ways! Either the IG is totally fallible, know nothing and the field units have it all right (News reports notwithstanding) or the IG is all knowing and the units are always at the mercy of their whims - subject to whether your base has fancy lodging quarters or not...

For the purposes of this thread I care not... Just pick one!

-BB-

B52Av8tor
11-13-2009, 04:34 PM
IG members are never passed over losers or "couch Colonels". Why? The IG's rep is on the line based on the perceived performance of each one of his inspectors.
They are drawn by IG selection from the wing's or HQ best performers. They are current experts in their fields. The HQ functional area staff has an input if they agree/disagree.


Usually the Wing's or HQ's best performers are sent to school or working at the Joint Staff following their operational tour in order to groom them for leadership positions. Worse case, they may end up at the next best tier which is at the HAF. Contrary to your statement, a MAJCOM or NAF job, even on the IG team isn't a spot for the best and brightest.



Any wing commander or OIC/NCOIC worth his salt has already questioned and gotten HQ resolution on any questionable "May" or "Shall" statements in the AFIs BEFORE any Inspection team arrives at their unit.

Those resolutions should be recorded (written) and are the "Silver Bullet" any shop or unit can use to defend itself during ANY IG proceeding that gets hung up on "interpretation". The HQ functional staff is the last word in interpretation, not the IG.

The outbrief by IG members to their unit counterparts before the report is final is an opportunity for the unit to raise the BS flag, use its "Silver Bullet" or protest a finding. If the unit prevails, the finding is removed from the report and if necessary the specific shop rating will be reevaluated and raised, if warranted.


Except when the IG Team members are unfamiliar with the governing directives, ignore the interpretation provided to the Wing by other HQs/agencies, or come up with criteria on their own.

I’m also told that the squadron CC who was relieved was never briefed by the IG of an issue during the inspection and was not invited/included to the IG outbrief. He first learned of the write-up after the IG team had departed. Where was his opportunity to use his “silver bullet” and raise the BS flag?

The bottom line is TWO higher echelons disputed at least one of the IG write-ups/faulted the IG and a commander was blind-sided when the report came out. If the process is supposed to work as you described, if the tie is supposed to go to the unit and CC’s are able to raise issues that are in dispute, then how is that possible?

Rastaman
11-13-2009, 04:49 PM
-Seriously-




Rastaman,

Have you ever been through an HHQ IG Inspection? If so, how many times have you and your shop-mates patted yourselves on the back, snickered or grinned at the stuff the inspector DIDN'T find???

How many times have you thought, "Glad He/She didn't ask about that or look into this"?

To state (to your wing) that your rating on the last NSI conclude that at your base the Nuclear Enterprise has been reinvigorated :rolleyes: after ONE inspection is (IMHO) just a bit too short sighted and too optimistic especially given the verbiage in the Phase II report...

Give me a break.

You guys can't have it both ways! Either the IG is totally fallible, know nothing and the field units have it all right (News reports notwithstanding) or the IG is all knowing and the units are always at the mercy of their whims - subject to whether your base has fancy lodging quarters or not...

For the purposes of this thread I care not... Just pick one!

-BB-

Why are you getting so spun up about this?

My point is simple: what is BIG AF trying to show the rest of us by firing a CC who passed the NSI when he was placed there to get the wing to...pass the NSI?

ChiefB
11-14-2009, 02:47 AM
Usually the Wing's or HQ's best performers are sent to school or working at the Joint Staff following their operational tour in order to groom them for leadership positions. Worse case, they may end up at the next best tier which is at the HAF. Contrary to your statement, a MAJCOM or NAF job, even on the IG team isn't a spot for the best and brightest.

Except when the IG Team members are unfamiliar with the governing directives, ignore the interpretation provided to the Wing by other HQs/agencies, or come up with criteria on their own.

I’m also told that the squadron CC who was relieved was never briefed by the IG of an issue during the inspection and was not invited/included to the IG outbrief. He first learned of the write-up after the IG team had departed. Where was his opportunity to use his “silver bullet” and raise the BS flag?

The bottom line is TWO higher echelons disputed at least one of the IG write-ups/faulted the IG and a commander was blind-sided when the report came out. If the process is supposed to work as you described, if the tie is supposed to go to the unit and CC’s are able to raise issues that are in dispute, then how is that possible?

"Except when the IG Team members are unfamiliar with the governing directives, ignore the interpretation provided to the Wing by other HQs/agencies, or come up with criteria on their own."

This statement is really a blatant generality that seems to be part of your mini campaign to discredit the messenger in defense of poor preparation by the inspected unit.

How do you suppose these IG members that are "unfamiliar with...", ignore the interpretation...", or "come up with criteria of their own" survive the complaints, accusations, scrutiny of their counterparts? Are they invisible? Get real.

You are describing, loose cannons, arrogant and unqualified, walking around dictating incorrect, unsupported standards and criteria. Balderdash!

One simple answer that I posted before: The HQ functional area staff experts trump rogue IG interpretation.

For every inspection, especially of a unit that has foundered in the recent past, the HQ staff generally stays in touch with the unit and monitors the daily pulse of the unit's health throughout the inspection. Very few instances of a HQ or unit staff being blind-sided or sand-bagged at the last minute have survived the clamor of all involved.

Your impression that the IG is devoid of the "best and brightest" is a pretty shallow view of the qualifications of Flag Officers, Colonels, Chiefs and the rest of the "Hand Picked" team that is generally assembled under the nose of a 4-star General.

Nope, I don't think your experience in a unit or at any HQ reflects any intimate knowledge of the IG sytem, let alone team methodology or integrity. You do your mates or subordinates a great disservice to emote typical sour-grape comments that add up, consistantly to: "shooting the messenger will be our defense".

Hearsay that you report is typical of all inspection aftermaths wether the unit passes or fails. It should be no surprise to you that no IG team has ever been praised for awarding less than a "satisfactory" to any unit. But, an "Excellent" or higher will always elicit profuse kudos and accolades for the team's "professionism, expertise, fairness and overall wonderfulness. Duh!

But, note this: Even a unit that has been rated "Excellent" could not survive ANY inspection that uncovered ALL the "deal breakers" that each unit knows lay just below the surface and out of sight of Any inspector.

The successful units just have fewer of these below the surface bombs that detonate during the inspection. The IG team knows of the "typical" locations of these "bombs". You must "sweep the minefield" thoroughly and correct deficiencies PRIOR to their arrival, only then will your efforts be fully recognized and the unit survive.

ChiefB

SailorDave
11-14-2009, 03:08 AM
I’m also told that the squadron CC who was relieved was never briefed by the IG of an issue during the inspection and was not invited/included to the IG outbrief. He first learned of the write-up after the IG team had departed. Where was his opportunity to use his “silver bullet” and raise the BS flag?

The bottom line is TWO higher echelons disputed at least one of the IG write-ups/faulted the IG and a commander was blind-sided when the report came out. If the process is supposed to work as you described, if the tie is supposed to go to the unit and CC’s are able to raise issues that are in dispute, then how is that possible?

Forgive an uninterested third party for butting in, but this bolded portion is telling to me. This sounds like B52Av8tor has no first-hand knowledge of the IG he speaks about, but is gleaning his information (and therefore his opinion) from, at best, second hand heresay.

BISSBOSS
11-14-2009, 05:15 AM
Why are you getting so spun up about this?

My point is simple: what is BIG AF trying to show the rest of us by firing a CC who passed the NSI when he was placed there to get the wing to...pass the NSI?

Rastaman, I didn't mean to sound spun up... My intent was/is to provide a bit of clarity on a set of concepts and processes that I'm pretty sure I know the inner working of.

There seems to be a bunch of speculation, hearsay, and emotion being quoted as fact inthis particular thread. Just trying to set the foundation so we can all have a discussion rooted in fact not conjecture.

As for what the BIG AF is trying to show the rest of us - Well I'd say that was pretty clear.

Passing an NSI is a difficult achievement for any wing. It is a team effort with many parts having to fit together and then function correctly in order for the IG to get a favorable "snapshot" in time of the unit's ability to support the mission.

That being said, the AF is not looking for units that can merely pass an inspection anymore. The Air Force Leaddership has mandated a reinvigoration. A return to a higher standard, a culture change. Passing one inspection does not fill that bill; especially in light of the other mistakes made in those Wings.

Let us not forget that just as the Wing Commanders were not fired based solely on one isolated mishap or accident, they will not be retained based solely on the merit(s) of their most recent NSI rating.

Regardless of the ratings, the AF did not consider the culture being fostered by those Wing Commanders to be in-line with the way forward.

-BB-

JD2780
11-14-2009, 05:38 AM
I'm not 100% up to speed on this whole thing, but if one wing keeps on losing the boss no matter who shows maybe the AF needs to start looking at the guys above THEM. Or this concept. You can lead a horse to water, you can stuff his head in the bucket but you cant make them drink it. Start firing the individuals who work in those sections that continually fail, but dont get fired. whether its Airman snuffy or right on through CMSgt ROAD maybe they should be looked at. I understand who has ULTIMATE responsibility, but seriously when are people going to get held accountable for thier own actions. I know crazy concept. Just a guy with no nuclear knowledge putting in his .02 just like everybody else.

BISSBOSS
11-14-2009, 05:59 AM
I'm not 100% up to speed on this whole thing, but if one wing keeps on losing the boss no matter who shows maybe the AF needs to start looking at the guys above THEM. Or this concept. You can lead a horse to water, you can stuff his head in the bucket but you cant make them drink it. Start firing the individuals who work in those sections that continually fail, but dont get fired. whether its Airman snuffy or right on through CMSgt ROAD maybe they should be looked at. I understand who has ULTIMATE responsibility, but seriously when are people going to get held accountable for thier own actions. I know crazy concept. Just a guy with no nuclear knowledge putting in his .02 just like everybody else.

I'm not a betting man - But I'll put up a shiny new quarter and say that there were a great number of Airmen, NCOs and Senior NCOs who have new jobs or assignments.

After the Minot Tactical Ferry incident there was a rash of short-notice PCS moves that merely didn't make the news. Not important enough for the networks.

The original Minot incident resulted in (reportedly) 70 personnel being disciplined at the base...

Believe me - People at the unit level are loosing their jobs behind these issues. We just don't see it in the papers as much!

-BB-

BISSBOSS
11-14-2009, 06:31 AM
These are kind old... But they are short and provide good source material from a cross section of opinion:

http://www.wired.com/dangerroom/2008/06/defense-secreta-2/

http://www.wired.com/dangerroom/2009/02/don-alston-inte/

-BB-

BigT2002
11-14-2009, 06:57 AM
I'm not a betting man - But I'll put up a shiny new quarter and say that there were a great number of Airmen, NCOs and Senior NCOs who have new jobs or assignments.

After the Minot Tactical Ferry incident there was a rash of short-notice PCS moves that merely didn't make the news. Not important enough for the networks.

The original Minot incident resulted in (reportedly) 70 personnel being disciplined at the base...

Believe me - People at the unit level are loosing their jobs behind these issues. We just don't see it in the papers as much!

-BB-

And that is completely fine, but when are we going to see a NAF/CC start being looked under the microscope or even just on the hot seat?

takthekak
11-14-2009, 12:46 PM
And that is completely fine, but when are we going to see a NAF/CC start being looked under the microscope or even just on the hot seat?

Check out the article below. He already got an LOA awhile back.
This is a small/tight community, where most people have worked
with each other for 20+ years. They have a skill set built that
the AF needs, which trumphs the lip service of punishment.
The give away is that in most of the cases of "firings" or
"admonishments" all involved were asked to stay and help
improve the future of the enterprise. These people are the
best at what they do and like I said before half jokingly
"shit happens..."If these people were really that bad, they
would all not still be in the service today.

http://www.cnn.com/2008/US/09/25/nuclear.mistake/index.html?iref=24hours

-- Maj. Gen. Roger W. Burg received a letter of admonishment
for not exercising effective command oversight and for not
correcting known problems in shipping sensitive components
in his current position as commander of 20th Air Force. Donley
and Schwartz determined that Burg is needed to restore effective
stewardship of the ICBM force, and he will remain in command
to continue corrective actions he has initiated.

takthekak
11-14-2009, 12:54 PM
First USAFE, then California. HOW does USAFE "take things a bit too far"? Yes, okay, as someone who spent some time on USAFE's HQ Staff, I would really like to hear some examples. If it "seems independent", that is because it is an overseas MAJCOM and is therefore organized on a geographic basis versus a functional one.

Maybe I am taking this too personally...

Okay, okay...I was just joking a little bit, I have nothing against USAFE.
I just laugh sometimes when I hear about them leading the charge
on the new PT program or see an article from Hickam with them
doing SQ PT pushups with their legs half in the ocean.

ChiefB
11-14-2009, 05:19 PM
Usually the Wing's or HQ's best performers are sent to school or working at the Joint Staff following their operational tour in order to groom them for leadership positions. Worse case, they may end up at the next best tier which is at the HAF. Contrary to your statement, a MAJCOM or NAF job, even on the IG team isn't a spot for the best and brightest.



Except when the IG Team members are unfamiliar with the governing directives, ignore the interpretation provided to the Wing by other HQs/agencies, or come up with criteria on their own.

I’m also told that the squadron CC who was relieved was never briefed by the IG of an issue during the inspection and was not invited/included to the IG outbrief. He first learned of the write-up after the IG team had departed. Where was his opportunity to use his “silver bullet” and raise the BS flag?

The bottom line is TWO higher echelons disputed at least one of the IG write-ups/faulted the IG and a commander was blind-sided when the report came out. If the process is supposed to work as you described, if the tie is supposed to go to the unit and CC’s are able to raise issues that are in dispute, then how is that possible?


Okay, okay...I was just joking a little bit, I have nothing against USAFE.
I just laugh sometimes when I hear about them leading the charge
on the new PT program or see an article from Hickam with them
doing SQ PT pushups with their legs half in the ocean.

I thought Ft. Richardson under PACOM was goofy, now Hickam under USAFE!...."Holy disconbobulation Batman!".

ChiefB

takthekak
11-15-2009, 03:31 AM
I thought Ft. Richardson under PACOM was goofy, now Hickam under USAFE!...."Holy disconbobulation Batman!".

ChiefB

Yeah yeah...My mistake...I never meant USAFE.
Sorry to even mix those two up together.

BigT2002
11-15-2009, 03:53 AM
Check out the article below. He already got an LOA awhile back.
This is a small/tight community, where most people have worked
with each other for 20+ years. They have a skill set built that
the AF needs, which trumphs the lip service of punishment.
The give away is that in most of the cases of "firings" or
"admonishments" all involved were asked to stay and help
improve the future of the enterprise. These people are the
best at what they do and like I said before half jokingly
"shit happens..."If these people were really that bad, they
would all not still be in the service today.

http://www.cnn.com/2008/US/09/25/nuclear.mistake/index.html?iref=24hours

-- Maj. Gen. Roger W. Burg received a letter of admonishment
for not exercising effective command oversight and for not
correcting known problems in shipping sensitive components
in his current position as commander of 20th Air Force. Donley
and Schwartz determined that Burg is needed to restore effective
stewardship of the ICBM force, and he will remain in command
to continue corrective actions he has initiated.

So he gets a LOA and a Full Birds are fired? How long do LOA's follow General Officers lol

BISSBOSS
11-15-2009, 08:35 AM
The Colonels were arguably closer to the day-to-day management...

I suspect an LOA follows a General Officer a lot farther than a Letter of Reprimand follows a MSgt!

-BB-

Capt Alfredo
11-15-2009, 02:54 PM
The Colonels were arguably closer to the day-to-day management...

I suspect an LOA follows a General Officer a lot farther than a Letter of Reprimand follows a MSgt!

-BB-

I think a letter of admonishment is a joke. I got one as a lieutenant and it didn't affect anything. I still got a good OPR with strat, plus an EOT decoration. It doesn't mean anything. Granted, I got it for something one of my people did, but still.

BISSBOSS
11-15-2009, 03:54 PM
I think a letter of admonishment is a joke. I got one as a lieutenant and it didn't affect anything. I still got a good OPR with strat, plus an EOT decoration. It doesn't mean anything. Granted, I got it for something one of my people did, but still.

Wanna put that up against the career progression of a General Officer???

Wouldn't it be fair to assume (yes I know the repercussions of assumption) that the "funnel" is a bit narrower at the "GO" level than at the "CGO" level???

I get what you're saying; however, if not apples and oranges... as the LOA goes - I really think we are talking Granny Smith's and Golden Delicious'... Two VERY different types of the same apple.

-BB-

takthekak
11-15-2009, 04:28 PM
Air Force officials from Headquarters Eighth Air Force announced Friday that
Col. Joel S. Westa, commander of the 5th Bomb Wing, was relieved of his duties,
saying the removal was because of loss of confidence in Westa's ability to command.
Also Friday, Lt. Col. Gordon Geissler, commander of the 5th Operations Support
Squadron, was relieved of duty for the same reasons, said Maj. Richard Komurek,
of Eighth Air Force Public Affairs, who was at the Minot base Friday.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Westa and Geissler will be going to the new Air Force Global Strike Command
headquarters at Barksdale AFB, Komurek said. Komurek said all the bomber wings
will transfer Feb. 1, 2010, to the new command. He said Westa has extensive
experience and valuable knowledge that will be important to the new command.


Westa's firing came just two weeks after the Commander of Minot's 91st Missile Wing,
Colonel Christopher Ayers, was dismissed from his post for similar reasons. A spokesman
for Air Force Space Command said Ayers' superiors also "lost faith in his ability to
command," citing a series of accidents, incidents of misconduct, and a failed nuclear
surety inspection during his tenure. The commanders of the wing's maintenance group
and missile maintenance squadron were also fired.
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Ayers has since been reassigned to the Headquarters of Air Force Space Command, the
parent organization for the Air Force's ICBM mission. Space Command is preparing
to transfer its missile assets to Global Strike Command, which will oversee both ICBM
and nuclear-capable bomber units.


Maj. Gen. Roger W. Burg received a letter of admonishment for not exercising effective
command oversight and for not correcting known problems in shipping sensitive
components in his current position as commander of 20th Air Force.
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Donley and Schwartz determined that Burg is needed to restore effective stewardship of the
ICBM force, and he will remain in command to continue corrective actions he has initiated.

Capt Alfredo
11-15-2009, 04:40 PM
Wanna put that up against the career progression of a General Officer???

Wouldn't it be fair to assume (yes I know the repercussions of assumption) that the "funnel" is a bit narrower at the "GO" level than at the "CGO" level???

I get what you're saying; however, if not apples and oranges... as the LOA goes - I really think we are talking Granny Smith's and Golden Delicious'... Two VERY different types of the same apple.

-BB-

Of course it's not the same. I'm just saying, an LOA doesn't seem to amount to much. And if I were a GO, I probably wouldn't care because my retirement and soft-landing job would be sweet.

takthekak
11-24-2009, 03:09 AM
This article says a lot, between the lines...
http://www.airforcetimes.com/news/2009/11/airforce_westa_112309w/

B52Av8tor - What's the word around the campfire???

BISSBOSS
11-25-2009, 06:29 AM
http://www.airforcetimes.com/news/2009/11/airforce_failed_NSI_112409w/

Hmmmmmm...

-BB-

ChiefB
11-25-2009, 01:56 PM
http://www.airforcetimes.com/news/2009/11/airforce_failed_NSI_112409w/

Hmmmmmm...

-BB-

TWO more NSI Unsats. Hard to believe, and at the AFNWC and home of the AFIA of all places.

"The 498th maintains nuclear warheads and cruise missiles while the 377th oversees training and installation security for the DTRA, the Air Force Inspection Agency and the Air Force Nuclear Weapons Center, all based at Kirtland. The Nuclear Weapons Center maintains the service’s nuclear stockpile inside the U.S."

AFNS is really becoming a huge scandal beyond anything I can recollect in AF history. A systemic disease permeates the system (enterprise).

With both wings rated Unsat, its a wonder both WingCos didn't get sacked. And, both wings retained their certification! Even harder to believe. There's a whole lot more to this story, (understandably), that we aren't getting from this release.

ChiefB

BISSBOSS
11-26-2009, 03:56 AM
TWO more NSI Unsats. Hard to believe, and at the AFNWC and home of the AFIA of all places.

"The 498th maintains nuclear warheads and cruise missiles while the 377th oversees training and installation security for the DTRA, the Air Force Inspection Agency and the Air Force Nuclear Weapons Center, all based at Kirtland. The Nuclear Weapons Center maintains the service’s nuclear stockpile inside the U.S."

AFNS is really becoming a huge scandal beyond anything I can recollect in AF history. A systemic disease permeates the system (enterprise).

With both wings rated Unsat, its a wonder both WingCos didn't get sacked. And, both wings retained their certification! Even harder to believe. There's a whole lot more to this story, (understandably), that we aren't getting from this release.

ChiefB

More to it indeed... But then again - That is the case with the vast majority of news articles and even more so with the military!

IMHO - This is a bill coming due that the USAF has know was on the table for (at least) the past two years. After the original "Minot Incident" and the Blue Ribbon Review, it was painfully clear that the USAF wanted and expected the highest standards in the Nuclear Enterprise... Trouble is, they have hesitated to "pay" the costs associated with it.

To a large extent (in my experience), Extensions of personnel with nuclear knowledge continue to be denied at the AFPC level despite approval from the Squadron, Group, Wing and MAJCOM levels, Money for TDYs to valuable Nuclear training courses are not provided by the MAJCOM Staffs, Wing and Group Commanders are still reluctant to deffer details and deployments for personnel on bases who need to "stay home and study"...

Now I know that those examples sound a bit "to the exclusion of anything else"; however, I would say that the USAF cannot continue to "say" this is the number one priority and not fund and support it as such (at the very least in the short term).

Additionally, the culture change needed is not an overnight process. I'm of the opinion that this is the sharpest part of the razor that the nuclear enterprise personnel will be living on for quite a while. Get use to it boys and girls...

-BB-

takthekak
11-26-2009, 02:52 PM
More to it indeed... But then again - That is the case with the vast majority of news articles and even more so with the military!

IMHO - This is a bill coming due that the USAF has know was on the table for (at least) the past two years. After the original "Minot Incident" and the Blue Ribbon Review, it was painfully clear that the USAF wanted and expected the highest standards in the Nuclear Enterprise... Trouble is, they have hesitated to "pay" the costs associated with it.

To a large extent (in my experience), Extensions of personnel with nuclear knowledge continue to be denied at the AFPC level despite approval from the Squadron, Group, Wing and MAJCOM levels, Money for TDYs to valuable Nuclear training courses are not provided by the MAJCOM Staffs, Wing and Group Commanders are still reluctant to deffer details and deployments for personnel on bases who need to "stay home and study"...

Now I know that those examples sound a bit "to the exclusion of anything else"; however, I would say that the USAF cannot continue to "say" this is the number one priority and not fund and support it as such (at the very least in the short term).

Additionally, the culture change needed is not an overnight process. I'm of the opinion that this is the sharpest part of the razor that the nuclear enterprise personnel will be living on for quite a while. Get use to it boys and girls...

-BB-

I totally agree, all the lip service in the world will not make things better.
Requirements without resources equals d*ck.

Rastaman
11-27-2009, 01:46 AM
More to it indeed... But then again - That is the case with the vast majority of news articles and even more so with the military!

IMHO - This is a bill coming due that the USAF has know was on the table for (at least) the past two years. After the original "Minot Incident" and the Blue Ribbon Review, it was painfully clear that the USAF wanted and expected the highest standards in the Nuclear Enterprise... Trouble is, they have hesitated to "pay" the costs associated with it.

To a large extent (in my experience), Extensions of personnel with nuclear knowledge continue to be denied at the AFPC level despite approval from the Squadron, Group, Wing and MAJCOM levels, Money for TDYs to valuable Nuclear training courses are not provided by the MAJCOM Staffs, Wing and Group Commanders are still reluctant to deffer details and deployments for personnel on bases who need to "stay home and study"...
Now I know that those examples sound a bit "to the exclusion of anything else"; however, I would say that the USAF cannot continue to "say" this is the number one priority and not fund and support it as such (at the very least in the short term).

Additionally, the culture change needed is not an overnight process. I'm of the opinion that this is the sharpest part of the razor that the nuclear enterprise personnel will be living on for quite a while. Get use to it boys and girls...

-BB-

You would think this would be a no-brainer...I'm shocked that with all the focus on nukes that these highly-trained personnel don't get some kind of special dispensation to remain on home-station to handle their business...I suppose though that it proves what you guys are saying about big AF just paying lip-service to nukes being a true high-priority...can it get any worse?

imported_Hairy_Donut
11-27-2009, 05:26 AM
The funny part is a buddy of mine just made Chief and got orders to Minot the poor Basturd LOL, For 22 years I heard why not Minot, thank God I never found out. Think maybe it would help if the troops stopped running in circles (PT) and started fixing the problems? It might work

BISSBOSS
11-27-2009, 06:48 AM
The funny part is a buddy of mine just made Chief and got orders to Minot the poor Basturd LOL, For 22 years I heard why not Minot, thank God I never found out. Think maybe it would help if the troops stopped running in circles (PT) and started fixing the problems? It might work

The way I see it - PT is not the problem...;)

For us (personnel at the unit level) to fix this problem, it HAS to start being okay for us to carve out time during the day, week, month to TRAIN!

Nuclear Surety is not like other jobs in the USAF. Becoming proficient at it is more than a matter of being in a PRP billet and working is a certain shop in a squadron.

Surety is almost a "lifestyle". It is achieved by constantly putting that mission at the forefront of what you do. It starts with a BUNCH of reading (an art sorely lacking in the AF at the moment) and a BUNCH of explanation and comprehension. This stuff does not happen by osmosis! Anyone who thinks we can go from "Zero-to-Hero" without paying the dues ought to have their head examined!

"Doesn't -get-it" guys need to be put on notice and moved from respective work centers if they don't "see-the-light" and new Airmen MUST be trained correctly that the Tech Order is LAW and their opinion (with respect to regulatory compliance) is of no use to anyone outside of the prescribed AFTO 22 process. Junior officers put in charge of Surety related elements MUST get over the "I am the OIC" attitude, get book smart FIRST and LISTEN to Senior NCOs with experience.Commanders need to take a harder line with respect to convincing their Group CCs of the pressures on their limited work forces and advocate for training dollars and time to train.

This corner can be rounded - But it will take a concerted effort from all involved and a commitment to making Surety a true priority in Nuclear Wings with VERY few competing priorities.

I'll end that rant (for now)...

-BB-

ChiefB
11-27-2009, 11:27 AM
The way I see it - PT is not the problem...;)

For us (personnel at the unit level) to fix this problem, it HAS to start being okay for us to carve out time during the day, week, month to TRAIN!

Nuclear Surety is not like other jobs in the USAF. Becoming proficient at it is more than a matter of being in a PRP billet and working is a certain shop in a squadron.

Surety is almost a "lifestyle". It is achieved by constantly putting that mission at the forefront of what you do. It starts with a BUNCH of reading (an art sorely lacking in the AF at the moment) and a BUNCH of explanation and comprehension. This stuff does not happen by osmosis! Anyone who thinks we can go from "Zero-to-Hero" without paying the dues ought to have their head examined!

"Doesn't -get-it" guys need to be put on notice and moved from respective work centers if they don't "see-the-light" and new Airmen MUST be trained correctly that the Tech Order is LAW and their opinion (with respect to regulatory compliance) is of no use to anyone outside of the prescribed AFTO 22 process. Junior officers put in charge of Surety related elements MUST get over the "I am the OIC" attitude, get book smart FIRST and LISTEN to Senior NCOs with experience.Commanders need to take a harder line with respect to convincing their Group CCs of the pressures on their limited work forces and advocate for training dollars and time to train.

This corner can be rounded - But it will take a concerted effort from all involved and a commitment to making Surety a true priority in Nuclear Wings with VERY few competing priorities.

I'll end that rant (for now)...

-BB-

Like SAC, once you were a "SAC Trained Killer", you were kept around for longer than I care to admit and then you were invited to go to another SAC Nuc unit to keep your expertise within the "enterprise".

Or to accomplish the in-house hold, they would bump you up to the HQ. Thoughts at the time were that once part of SAC, wherever you went outside the command, you would eventually be found and returned to the "fold" and the "lifestyle".

Gen. LeMay designed the "SAC Career" concept and if he had had his way, competent players would never leave the command and non-players would be sent to Thule. It came to be known as becoming a "Sacimcised Weenie" or a "SAC Puke".

If you went to another command and attempted to live and work with the ethics and "by-the-book" attitude of a SAC weenie you would be accosted by some dirtbag with "Lighten up, you must be one of those SAC Pukes".

BTW, nice rant, for a USAFE weenie ;)

ChiefB

BISSBOSS
11-27-2009, 01:37 PM
Like SAC, once you were a "SAC Trained Killer", you were kept around for longer than I care to admit and then you were invited to go to another SAC Nuc unit to keep your expertise within the "enterprise".

Or to accomplish the in-house hold, they would bump you up to the HQ. Thoughts at the time were that once part of SAC, wherever you went outside the command, you would eventually be found and returned to the "fold" and the "lifestyle".

Gen. LeMay designed the "SAC Career" concept and if he had had his way, competent players would never leave the command and non-players would be sent to Thule. It came to be known as becoming a "Sacimcised Weenie" or a "SAC Puke".

If you went to another command and attempted to live and work with the ethics and "by-the-book" attitude of a SAC weenie you would be accosted by some dirtbag with "Lighten up, you must be one of those SAC Pukes".

BTW, nice rant, for a USAFE weenie ;)

ChiefB

Yes... I think that emphasizes my point Chief!

In today's AF, they would NEVER think of leaving personnel in a job they were highly proficient at... Not good for your career (how odd... I was always taught that the needs of the Air Force were ALWAYS first! How grand of them).

I have suffered my share of labeling - "Nuke-puke" is my favorite! Hell - I'm a communicator! You've gotta know I take my share of ribbing!!!;)

On a serious note, I think there is merit in the LeMay construct for Surety and a Nuclear Career progression across AFSCs doesn't sound like a bad thing. The promotion boards will have to get on board as well... I have a bud who just graduated from Maxwell and I was told that hardly anyone in the class has a clue about Surety. We all have a long way to go to get to where the AF wants the enterprise to be.

As for being a USAFE Weenie (I went on leave to the CONUS not long ago and I saw a store. Written on the outside in big bold letters it said "OPEN 24 HOURS"... I thought to myself - "In a row???"):D ...

Thanks! There are those of us in USAFE who still believe in the way we were "raised". When I was an Airman it was "Read a Step, Do a Step, Get a Banana"! Really easy. That's what I teach my guys now and they get along just fine during the inspection process. If it ain't in the Tech Order - We don't do it that way. We clean up the shop on Fridays and I try to send them home early. We have training sessions on Nuke Surety and even watch movies with Surety themes (they are out there).

My point is - you have to be willing to commit to the "lifestyle" and train Airmen that way. That's the only way to perpetuate the culture.

-BB-

ChiefB
11-27-2009, 11:17 PM
Ousted Minot commander Westa to retire
Col. Joel Westa, the former 5th Bomb Wing commander fired Oct. 30, retired Monday rather than accept an assignment to Global Strike Command.

Westa was chosen to turn around the 5th Bomb Wing at Minot Air Force Base, N.D., after airmen from the wing mistakenly loaded six nuclear warheads aboard a B-52 two years ago.

Maj. Gen. Floyd Carpenter, 8th Air Force commander, arrived unannounced to Minot and fired Westa after the wing failed its second nuclear inspection under Westa’s command.

“We expected him to come in and fix the problems that were there,” Carpeneter said in a telephone interview. “In those two years, he had some moments that were very good. ... Unfortunately, they were never consistent enough to get prepared for that inspection at the right time and place and get that mission focused as we needed it to be. I just had to make a change.”

His firing came as a surprise to the airmen under his command, airmen at Minot told Air Force Times. The wing held a retirement ceremony for Westa on Nov. 23.

It’s unclear what Westa’s plans are for the future. He has not been made available for interviews since his firing.

Article: http://www.airforcetimes.com/news/20...etire_112509w/

I don't blame him, going on to a GSC job would be a humiliating tour.

ChiefB

imported_BRAVO10000
11-28-2009, 06:35 AM
When I was an Airman it was "Read a Step, Do a Step, Get a Banana"! Really easy. That's what I teach my guys now and they get along just fine during the inspection process. If it ain't in the Tech Order - We don't do it that way. We clean up the shop on Fridays and I try to send them home early. We have training sessions on Nuke Surety and even watch movies with Surety themes (they are out there).

My point is - you have to be willing to commit to the "lifestyle" and train Airmen that way. That's the only way to perpetuate the culture.

-BB-

OK - wait.

I don't disagree with a word of this WHERE YOU HAVE THE BENEFIT OF A TO. For the Nuclear Field, where these exist, they make perfect sense.

I don't mean this half-a$$ed Comm TO that they have handed down in a weak attempt to establish QA. My folks live in a world where the processes, procedures and technology change faster than TOs are written. Yeah, yeah, commercial manuals...BARELY touch the hardware alone. Each piece of software changes the operating environment of each server independently; fact is, TOs aren't written for everything. Some career fields require an approach that is NOT one of "monkey see, monkey do, Good Monkey, sign the 623". Training is one thing; education is quite another. Just saying...you can't paint the entire force with that broad brush. It doesn't work for everyone.

Oh and BB? You aren't a communicator. You're a maintainer. :D :tongue:

BISSBOSS
11-28-2009, 02:32 PM
OK - wait.

I don't disagree with a word of this WHERE YOU HAVE THE BENEFIT OF A TO. For the Nuclear Field, where these exist, they make perfect sense.

I don't mean this half-a$$ed Comm TO that they have handed down in a weak attempt to establish QA. My folks live in a world where the processes, procedures and technology change faster than TOs are written. Yeah, yeah, commercial manuals...BARELY touch the hardware alone. Each piece of software changes the operating environment of each server independently; fact is, TOs aren't written for everything. Some career fields require an approach that is NOT one of "monkey see, monkey do, Good Monkey, sign the 623". Training is one thing; education is quite another. Just saying...you can't paint the entire force with that broad brush. It doesn't work for everyone.

Oh and BB? You aren't a communicator. You're a maintainer. :D :tongue:

I don't want to get too terribly off thread but BRAVO, Brother you know I've gotta respond to that salvo!:tongue:

We were speaking (almost) exclusively within the confines on the Nuclear Enterprise... If you are working with Certified equipment, they have a special series of technical orders... The tech data is available and (usually) must be followed and the steps executed under what is called "Demand/Response". One guys reads a step, the other guys(s) acknowledge the step, complete the step and confirm completion. It ain't "Brain Science OR "Rocket Surgery" but it does take time to get use to. It does take time to teach Airmen to listen then execute. It does take time to develop patience and discipline in the guys doing this kind of work.

That's what I was on about.

As for the other "thing"... Standard Maintenance Practices are the same across the board. For example - Electrostatic Discharge (ESD) precautions are the same weather you are checking a Radio, aligning a TACAN, a RADAR OR opening a desktop PC or COTS server. I will admit that portions of the communications world move at an extremely rapid pace, the concepts of basic maintenance and job data documentation are universal and apply themselves across the board. The Maintenance Standards in use in the AF are derived from the civilian world where (presumably) equipment changes at an even faster pace...

ESD is just the first thing that comes to mind but there are a myriad of other examples. 00-33A-1001 is an attempt to bridge the gap and "Officially" put requirements and accountability back "on the books". I really don't see much in the new T.O. that we weren't supposed to be doing already. The fact that Communicators chose to ignore those requirements because they were originally in a 21-series "maintenance" tech order is of no consequence. "Ignorance of the Law is no excuse".

I agree with your statement on education. The AF and Comm in particular does a horrible job of educating technicians. Usually the failure is in the shrinking budget or in the shortsightedness of squadron leadership from the NCOIC up to the Flight Chief. That being said, I have personally seen guys in Communications Squadrons that were useless as a bag of hair and it had everything to do with how they were prepared (or more to the point NOT prepared) be effective Air Force technicians by their supervisors.

Oh - And don't get me wrong... I AM a Maintainer... Always have been... Always will be - Doesn't matter what badge they give me to wear... But I call myself a Communicator to differentiate myself from the guys on the flight line... I guess I'll gladly admit to being a "Noner" if they admit that they can't move one piece of information on, off or around the base without us! :cool:

-BB-

imported_RetiredMSGT
11-28-2009, 07:05 PM
Very interesting thread. I have enjoyed many of the posts here. The first 8 years of my career were in SAC at Castle AFB. I was there the day it (SAC) died. I well remember the regimented way of doing business and the benefits gained. I didnt really appreciate it at the time. However, i surely longed for it after spending the rest of my career in AFSOC and AMC where things were much more "we do it this way at base x". I finished up my career at Dover AFB in 2005. When i retired, i felt that the maintenance folks around me were at the end of their rope and had stretched the "do more with less" about as far as possible. In fact, i was sure they couldnt do any more with any less. I remember well having only one 7-level electrician on night shift with 32 C-5s parked on the ramp. Prior to finishing my career as a flightline production supervisor, i was a avionics flight chief. I well remember getting together almost daily with my boss to go over the latest augmentee taskings. It was extremely frustrating trying to invent bodies to fill holes for base and deployment taskings. At any one time, i had 50-60% of my shop tasked out around base for bay orderly, contractor escort, SP augmentee, urinalysis monitor, honor guard, snow removal team, PT fitness monitor, etc, etc, you get the idea. Then there were the stupid politically correct things we hade to support. The one that comes to mind (puke) is providing folks to cook different ethnic dishes for the friggin "Multi - ethnic" shindig at the club. Regardless of what was going on in the shop or flightline, make damn sure you support this crap. Seems the only stability we had were the civilians we had who couldnt be jerked around like GIs. I know things probably havent changed much, if anything are probably worse. My point here is that in the past, although we have always had taskings, it was not to the extremes i witnessed when i retired. In order for troops to acquire that technical expertise in their career fields, they need to work at it daily under skilled supervison. I am sure younger troops are not getting this. They, and probably their bosses are being jerked around the squadron, base, for what ever the priority of the day is today. I am sure this is the atmosphere at most maintenance organizations in the Air Force today. Not enough people who know what the heck they are doing. The expertise just isnt there any more and it will not be reacquired over night or in the span of 1 or 2 wing commanders. It took SAC over 40 years to reach the levels of competency it acquired. It is laughable to expect us to re-invent this "enterprise" over night.

BISSBOSS
11-30-2009, 03:59 AM
Well - At least the new Minot Wing King is taking over heading in the right direction...

http://www.airforcetimes.com/news/2009/11/ap_airforce_minot_new_commanders_112809/

I like that they have given him extra manning but if it works... What will they do in the rest of the enterprise?

-BB-

ChiefB
11-30-2009, 04:10 AM
Well - At least the new Minot Wing King is taking over heading in the right direction...

http://www.airforcetimes.com/news/2009/11/ap_airforce_minot_new_commanders_112809/

I like that they have given him extra manning but if it works... What will they do in the rest of the enterprise?

-BB-

Unless they change their mindset and methodology, 50 extra bodies won't mean squat. Hopefully the bulk of the reinforcements are experts in PRP and SF ops.

Methinks a lot of B-52 pilots will be retelling the one about "The three most worthless things in the AF". If you know what I mean.

ChiefB

BISSBOSS
11-30-2009, 04:25 AM
Unless they change their mindset and methodology, 50 extra bodies won't mean squat. Hopefully the bulk of the reinforcements are experts in PRP and SF ops.

Methinks a lot of B-52 pilots will be retelling the one about "The three most worthless things in the AF". If you know what I mean.

ChiefB

IF the extra bodies go into the right places, the results can be huge!

I agree with your take on PRP and SFS... Although PRP is more attention to detail. Most of the problems there are either obviously missed PDI or knee-jerk overreaction to minuscule PDI...

SFS has been hurting since Christ was a Private. They ALWAYS need folks.

Now that I think about it - I was probably WAY optimistic about the impact of 50 extra bodies in a wing. Those numbers most likely reflect bringing the wing back up to the same level of understaffing as the rest of the AF.

-BB-

-BB-

ChiefB
12-10-2009, 09:06 AM
I think Paul Fussell summed it up best in his book, "Wartime", where he wrote, "Chickenshit refers to behavior that makes military life worse than it need be: petty harassment of the weak by the strong; open scrimmage for power and authority and prestige... insistence on the letter rather than the spirit of ordinances. Chickenshit is so called -- instead of horse -- or bull -- or elephant shit -- because it is small-minded and ignoble and takes the trivial seriously. Chickenshit can be recognized instantly because it never has anything to do with winning the war." Instead of focusing on the trivialities, they need to get to the heart of the problem---the inability to foster a culture that recognizes the importance of nuclear surety, and while the Wing CC has a large role in this, the lower levels who are not buying into it, or better stated "GETTING IT", need to feel the heat, too!

Very good, BBG. Going over these older threads and coming upon this, if you will excuse me, I just had to make a belated comment.

Back in the day, "Chickenshit" was replaced by "Mickey Mouse", (as in: "I can't stand all this MM shit!"),
then, it was "Back in the World shit", (as in: "Now that we're no longer "In country", we gotta put up with all this "Back in the world shit!"),
then came "Nit Pickin'", (as in: "What is all this nit pickin' shit?),
then it all evolved into "In-Garrison shit", (as in: "Being outside the wire has only one advantage, you don't have to put up with all that in-garrison shit!")

Ultimately they're all forms of good old "Chickenshit" but an evolution just the same, (none to be confused with "Being in the shit"). http://www.militarytimes.com/forum/images/icons/icon12.gif

Ok, I've talked enough shit... I'm outta here..

ChiefB

takthekak
12-15-2009, 02:32 PM
well lookie here...
http://www.minotdailynews.com/page/content.detail/id/534964.html?nav=5010

I told you there was no problem here :-)

BISSBOSS
12-16-2009, 04:21 AM
That article IS a good data point!

Keep in mind that it is the result of a LIMITED NSI! A fairly small team of IG and AFIA blokes looking at a very targeted scope of areas within the larger NSI criteria.

They were also looking at processes that were exercised many, many times in the last year. Still...

GOOD ON YA MINOT!

Let us hope they can move from strength to strength. Not a bunch of time for "baby steps" in this business.

-BB-

theduke
12-16-2009, 03:31 PM
That article IS a good data point!

Keep in mind that it is the result of a LIMITED NSI! A fairly small team of IG and AFIA blokes looking at a very targeted scope of areas within the larger NSI criteria.

They were also looking at processes that were exercised many, many times in the last year. Still...

GOOD ON YA MINOT!

Let us hope they can move from strength to strength. Not a bunch of time for "baby steps" in this business.

-BB-


Also keep in mind that although most of the inspection criteria hasn't changed, the inspection process/accountability of the inspectors has. I don't recall the actual datapoints, but up until the big Barksdale/Minot fiasco, the AF had not recieved any UNSATs in years during NSIs. Not only did the AF put the magnifying glass on the units, but also on the inspectors and the IG in general to determine if they were actually inspecting like they should have been all along. These recent rashes of NSI failures is in part due to the IG taking an honest look at itself and maintaining higher standards for their inspection teams. Should they have been doing so all along? Yes. However look at history and the data is interesting.

loader67
12-16-2009, 11:25 PM
Had an NSSAV last month. Minot did pretty good but it's telling when the NSSAV Team Leader says your guys did good but" they look tired." Must be the constant inspections we've been under since "the incident".

takthekak
01-24-2010, 01:47 PM
http://www.minot.af.mil/news/story.asp?id=123186988

good news, they passed. not so good news "'big picture"' is
that these results are still getting public and worldwide attention.
Before the Minot incident you would be hard pressed to find any
results at all of a nuclear inspection, it just never was out for
public consumption...anyways, great job!!!

Lastly, the guy before got canned Oct 30th, so about 2 1/2
months ago. My question would be, did the new guy turn
things around, or were things really not that jacked to begin...
I mean minus weekends and holidays, how many work
days really were there?
http://www.airforcetimes.com/news/2009/11/airforce_westa_112309w/

B52Av8tor
01-28-2010, 04:09 AM
http://www.minot.af.mil/news/story.asp?id=123186988
Lastly, the guy before got canned Oct 30th, so about 2 1/2
months ago. My question would be, did the new guy turn
things around, or were things really not that jacked to begin...
I mean minus weekends and holidays, how many work
days really were there?

Things weren't that bad to begin with. The problem with the October inspection had as much to do with the IG Team as it did with unit. Don't get me wrong, the folks at Minot have been ridden hard getting ready for this inspection, but they could have passed it on the 1st of November without changing leadership if required.

From the article;

"The Limited Nuclear Surety Inspection was conducted with less than 24-hours notification to the 5th Bomb Wing."

What a joke. This "no-notice" was known back in November. Gen Fraser even called the Wg CC, Col Cox, and told him "off the record" weeks ago just to make sure. ACC and the AF can't afford another embarassment (2d BW failed NSI?) so they're doing all in their power to make sure everything appears under control.

Could you imagine the heat from Congress if, after firing the leadership, you bring in a new superstar and he fails too? Gen Carpenter's and Fraser's job would be on the line. 5BW was going to pass this inspection come hell or high water.

Tak
05-08-2013, 06:12 PM
Unless they change their mindset and methodology, 50 extra bodies won't mean squat. Hopefully the bulk of the reinforcements are experts in PRP and SF ops.

Methinks a lot of B-52 pilots will be retelling the one about "The three most worthless things in the AF". If you know what I mean.

ChiefB

right on Chief