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View Full Version : Reduced flying hours forces grounding of 17 USAF combat air squadrons - AF Times



crwchf16
04-09-2013, 04:11 PM
http://www.airforcetimes.com/article/20130408/NEWS/304080035/Reduced-flying-hours-forces-grounding-17-USAF-combat-air-squadrons

I like this. In the short-term, standing down these flying squadrons will allow the maintainers a chance to catch up on fixing these broken-down jets. Once that's done these people can (temporarily) augment the other aircraft maintenance units to bring their manning up to a more realistic level. This will reduce wearing out the people faster than the jets. Thoughts anyone?

71Fish
04-09-2013, 06:52 PM
Should be fun managing a phase flow when one of the squadrons quit flying in a wing. Even more fun when the squadrons starts flying again in October.

Also, imagine the hangar queen nightmare this is going to cause. A lot of maintenance is required for two cases; when a jet flies too much, and when a jet sits too long. Hopefully leadership is smart and rotates jets between the flying and grounded squadrons.

sandsjames
04-09-2013, 06:56 PM
Guess now there will be plenty of time for PT. No more bitchin'!

VFFTSGT
04-09-2013, 06:59 PM
More hyperbole...


“Historically, the Air Force has not operated under a tiered readiness construct because of the need to respond to any crisis within a matter of hours or days,” Hostage said in the statement. “The current situation means we’re accepting the risk that combat airpower may not be ready to respond immediately to new contingencies as they occur.”

This is nonsense. There are units specifically setup for responding to immediate crisis... Reference, the B-2's and F-22's that recently flew to South Korea for political reasons.

Standing down routine training flying is not that big of deal. If pilots lose their certs that is because the rules to begin with are overbearing or poor management of the time and resources you do have.

This nonsense is nothing but political hyperbole.

ConfusedAirman
04-09-2013, 07:17 PM
More hyperbole...



This is nonsense. There are units specifically setup for responding to immediate crisis... Reference, the B-2's and F-22's that recently flew to South Korea for political reasons.

Standing down routine training flying is not that big of deal. If pilots lose their certs that is because the rules to begin with are overbearing or poor management of the time and resources you do have.

This nonsense is nothing but political hyperbole.

The F-22s were already in-theater for a standard AEF rotation. (They also appeared at an Australian airshow.) The squadron in question will be grounded upon return to Langley. The other squadron will be reduced to basic mission capable.

VFFTSGT
04-09-2013, 08:21 PM
The F-22s were already in-theater for a standard AEF rotation. (They also appeared at an Australian airshow.) The squadron in question will be grounded upon return to Langley. The other squadron will be reduced to basic mission capable.


Doesn't change the hyperbole.

Ever since 9/11 the military industrial complex has grown and every SSgt and Commander with a great idea has spent billions of dollars on waste. Example: My last base went through THREE different barrier systems at the gates in my 4 years there. We are talking, digging up the road and replacing the system with a different one every time.

It's about time something gets reined in...

This exaggeration about the world is going to fall apart because we cannot fly is nonsense. It’s more nonsense than all the “savings” found in EPR bullets.

WillsPowers
04-10-2013, 01:56 AM
This is just the beginning of the collapse of our security and economy. You can't have a strong defense without a strong economy---both compliment each other and are the twin pillars of our republic, nation, culture and civilization. You're going to see even more erosion of defense capabilities as the economy fails to grow and expand. The size of the aircraft fleets and airmen billets will be reduced. I imagine if you're working a support job, you are on the first list to be told "buh-bye". Handing out basketballs in the base gym and enjoying your shaving waiver? Buh-bye! Working in a protocol job and serve no real purpose? Buh-bye! Can't pass your PT exams, weight checks and you got a referral EPR? Buh-bye! Thank you for flying Total Bastard Airlines!

Capt Alfredo
04-10-2013, 02:16 AM
I wonder if those fellows handing out basketballs and enjoying their shaving waivers are renters. Hmm.

WillsPowers
04-10-2013, 02:18 AM
Yes, they are---they are living rent free in housing on base. My next door neighbor is a renter. He's a responsible Air Force Officer with a lovely family and we love him and his family.

akruse
04-10-2013, 05:03 AM
More hyperbole...



This is nonsense. There are units specifically setup for responding to immediate crisis... Reference, the B-2's and F-22's that recently flew to South Korea for political reasons.

Standing down routine training flying is not that big of deal. If pilots lose their certs that is because the rules to begin with are overbearing or poor management of the time and resources you do have.

This nonsense is nothing but political hyperbole.

You have absolutely zero clue as to what you are talking about. Again, stick to the stuff you are somewhat educated on.

VFFTSGT
04-10-2013, 05:53 AM
You have absolutely zero clue as to what you are talking about. Again, stick to the stuff you are somewhat educated on.

Aw, yes...an ad hominem. Maybe try a practical argument.

I am quite educated on political hyperbole. And the sequestration was a reduction in proposed increased spending not a budget cut. I am also quite educated on the military being the worst to exaggerate stories for political and departmental gain. Our "lack of money" is a result in military leaders spending at the proposed increased spending levels in the face of a coming sequestration. Bad management.

BOSS302
04-10-2013, 07:30 AM
Aw, yes...an ad hominem. Maybe try a practical argument.

I am quite educated on political hyperbole. And the sequestration was a reduction in proposed increased spending not a budget cut. I am also quite educated on the military being the worst to exaggerate stories for political and departmental gain. Our "lack of money" is a result in military leaders spending at the proposed increased spending levels in the face of a coming sequestration. Bad management.

I think he might be referencing the fact that you are not educated on flight hours, flight training, flying practices, how all of that ties into pilot/aircraft readiness, etc.

I believe that flight hours did not have to be cut, that there is plenty of fat to be found that could have been trimmed instead of going straight for the prime meat. But standing down squadrons and grounding aircraft has a bigger, "OMG!", factor.

You are correct in pointing out that this is all political.

FLAPS
04-10-2013, 10:24 AM
Should be fun managing a phase flow when one of the squadrons quit flying in a wing. Even more fun when the squadrons starts flying again in October.

Also, imagine the hangar queen nightmare this is going to cause. A lot of maintenance is required for two cases; when a jet flies too much, and when a jet sits too long. Hopefully leadership is smart and rotates jets between the flying and grounded squadrons.

Managing phase flow will be easy. If you don't burn flying hours, then your phase doesn't come due. If the wing freezes flying, then they pick up where they left off with regard to phase flows, time changes, etc. With regard to calendar inspections (ISOs, HSCs, etc), those will continue to be accomplished.

Hangar queen? Nothing more than a reporting exercise to the MAJCOM, preflights, engine runs, etc depending on MDS. Maintainers will be bored to death, so any hangar queen and other -6 inspection items will give them something to do.

Yes, jets that sit tend to break more...which is why we need to we need to at least run engines, cycle flight controls, rotate tires (by towing jets) periodically.

If you are in a unit that is standing down, then hopefully you can knock out DDs, TCTOs, etc until the parts run out. Hopefully you can take some leave too!

71Fish
04-10-2013, 02:42 PM
As a mx officer I'm sure you know there is more to it than that.

For the ISO acft, it will depend on how they code them. Since they are grounded the jet accrue dead time, so essentially the time the jets are grounded doesn't count. Building an annual mx/phase flow becomes a sausage making experiment anytime someone in leadership wants to see something different on the phase flow.

Hangar queens will become an issue if the jets are managment right. There is (easy) 30/90 stuff that needs to be done. FCF's for Cat 3 (if not managed) etc.
The reports are easy enough and expected in this case.

It's manageable if done properly. All those phase dock guys can help out with DD's/TCTO's etc, so there's that.


Managing phase flow will be easy. If you don't burn flying hours, then your phase doesn't come due. If the wing freezes flying, then they pick up where they left off with regard to phase flows, time changes, etc. With regard to calendar inspections (ISOs, HSCs, etc), those will continue to be accomplished.

Hangar queen? Nothing more than a reporting exercise to the MAJCOM, preflights, engine runs, etc depending on MDS. Maintainers will be bored to death, so any hangar queen and other -6 inspection items will give them something to do.

Yes, jets that sit tend to break more...which is why we need to we need to at least run engines, cycle flight controls, rotate tires (by towing jets) periodically.

If you are in a unit that is standing down, then hopefully you can knock out DDs, TCTOs, etc until the parts run out. Hopefully you can take some leave too!

Silverback15
04-10-2013, 03:06 PM
Once the aircrews become only basic qualified who'll fly the FCF because I thought there's extra work/training/time to be qualified for that?

crwchf16
04-10-2013, 03:26 PM
These are all excellent points about the aircraft phase flows, 30/90 inspections, etc. The good news is all this can be managed and hangar queens avoided by being smart with maintenance/flying cycle on the aircraft. Reducing daily training flights to a level that maintenance's reduced manning can actually keep up with gives us a golden opportunity to get the fleet healthy again instead of just scraping by like we have been. I can speak only for the units I'm familiar with but for quite a while now it has been a daily stretch to make all the sorties requested by Ops. To put it simply, this puts the flying schedule back on a more maintenance-friendly level and when we come out of it the aircraft will be in a much better overall condition.

71Fish
04-10-2013, 03:41 PM
I retired in Oct after 23 years as a scheduler. "Back in the day" we scheduled mx first, then flying second. Since 9/11 that got turned around with the deployments and deployment training. Along with that, ops asked for more and more sorties, as you know. Hopefully this little grounding exercise will pull the maintenance back in maintenance scheduling.


These are all excellent points about the aircraft phase flows, 30/90 inspections, etc. The good news is all this can be managed and hangar queens avoided by being smart with maintenance/flying cycle on the aircraft. Reducing daily training flights to a level that maintenance's reduced manning can actually keep up with gives us a golden opportunity to get the fleet healthy again instead of just scraping by like we have been. I can speak only for the units I'm familiar with but for quite a while now it has been a daily stretch to make all the sorties requested by Ops. To put it simply, this puts the flying schedule back on a more maintenance-friendly level and when we come out of it the aircraft will be in a much better overall condition.

JD2780
04-10-2013, 04:15 PM
Thank goodness. Maybe now mx can stop bitching and do some work!!!!:director

FLAPS
04-10-2013, 04:57 PM
As a mx officer I'm sure you know there is more to it than that.

For the ISO acft, it will depend on how they code them.

Of course, I was just trying to keep it simple for the sake of this discussion. I've been a part of discussions concerning how to code the aircraft. Flyable storage is an option, where you'd stop the clock (calendar) on an ISO. Not sure who is going to do that. One concern I really have though is with parts to work DDs. Parts funding is tied to flying hour money, so units that stand down will not get new parts (even benchstock) once their stock on hand runs out. One rule that's been put out to CAF units is that they will not be allowed to order parts if their current MC rate exceeds 3% over the standard. In other words, if the AF wants the A-10 fleet to be at 85%, then they are not going to let you spend money on parts to maintain 90%. I think for resource management this makes sense.

71Fish
04-10-2013, 05:09 PM
Of course, I was just trying to keep it simple for the sake of this discussion. I've been a part of discussions concerning how to code the aircraft. Flyable storage is an option, where you'd stop the clock (calendar) on an ISO. Not sure who is going to do that. One concern I really have though is with parts to work DDs. Parts funding is tied to flying hour money, so units that stand down will not get new parts (even benchstock) once their stock on hand runs out. One rule that's been put out to CAF units is that they will not be allowed to order parts if their current MC rate exceeds 3% over the standard. In other words, if the AF wants the A-10 fleet to be at 85%, then they are not going to let you spend money on parts to maintain 90%. I think for resource management this makes sense.

Wow, that could be big from a statistics POV. Does leadership allow thier stats to look good from all the mx they will now be able to do, or break jets to get below standards so they can order parts for the hard broke jets? Their aren't many fighter squadrons that make their standard MC rate anyway (specifically F-16 Blk-40) , so they will be safe for a while :madgrin