PDA

View Full Version : Why 12-hour shifts?



Chief_KO
11-21-2013, 11:48 AM
Why do so many units/functions routinely work 12-hour shifts outside of exercises or true real-world emergencies?

Is it the lack of spare parts? Lack of additional assets? Overused/old assets? Unrealistic operational requirements/goals? Personnel deployed creating a shortfall at home station? Lack of manpower authorizations? Manpower drain (too much overhead, additional duties, etc.)?

Or is is simply the "that's the way we've always done it" mentality...

SomeRandomGuy
11-21-2013, 12:31 PM
Why do so many units/functions routinely work 12-hour shifts outside of exercises or true real-world emergencies?

Is it the lack of spare parts? Lack of additional assets? Overused/old assets? Unrealistic operational requirements/goals? Personnel deployed creating a shortfall at home station? Lack of manpower authorizations? Manpower drain (too much overhead, additional duties, etc.)?

Or is is simply the "that's the way we've always done it" mentality...

Are you talking about 12 hour shifts every day or are you talking about that rotating panama schedule some units do. If you are talking about a unit that is doing it every day that is usually out of necessity and for a short time. If you are talking about the panama 12 hour thing I partially understand why people would want to do that. If you have a shop that requires 24 hour coverage you can assigne 3 people to work 8s or 2 people to work 12s. Let's use Security Forces as a 24 hour shop because they are. If a cop is assigned to work an 8 hour shift it is realistically something more like 10 hours. By the time they do guardmount and get armed they work much more than 8 hours. The same can be said about a 12 hour shift but those extra 4 hours most likely allow some time for writing reports and admin stuff that drags the end of the shift out. So if you need to work 72 hours in a 2 week period which would you rather work 9 8 hour hour shifts or 6 12 hour shifts. Most of the cops I knew would rather work the 12 hour shift get it over with and get 3 extra days off. Ironically, at my last base it was leadership who wanted 8 hour shifts and everyone else wanted 12s. Im not a cop I just knew a lot of them and they constantly complained about the 8 hour shifts. The reason it was changed was that realistically at the end of a 12 hour shift most people are just about worthless. Management said it was a force protection issue to have people guarding the base who had already been working for 11 hours straight. I suppose you could say the same about a maintainer. I don't really think it is a good idea for someone to be working on a piece of equipment that costs millions when they haven't slept in 20 plus hours.

71Fish
11-21-2013, 12:49 PM
Military logic. If something is broke throw more people at it.

Monkey
11-21-2013, 01:03 PM
Military logic. If something is broke throw more people at it.

That's the problem, we don't have more people. What we do have is man-hours to throw at it.

It's sad how over the past 15 years of doing "more with less", the accepted work week has gone from 40 hours to 50 hours. Even though we are now supposed to be doing "less with less", nobody gets promoted for failing to get the job done.

Giant Voice
11-21-2013, 01:05 PM
He's talking about scheduled 8 hour shifts that becomes a 12. This is a common occurence in the aircraft maintenance world. I have been fighting this for as long as I have been in a position of leadership(expeditor, flight chief, super). I have also been fired, removed, re-shifted numerous times for sending my guys home(bucking the system). What's amazing to me(in my exp) is 12's never solves anything except workers tend to work slower. The mx will still get done, it always does and it always has.

Chief...I think 12's have become a leadership covering there ass as the reason or using the "do more(hours) with less(people, money)" mentality. I've been to both under-manned and over-manned bases. It never mattered, we were on 12's sooner or later.

As a General once told me, statistically, you can only do less with less.

71Fish
11-21-2013, 01:19 PM
I'm speaking strickly for myself here, but I believe the mentality is the same for others. Tell me if I am wrong.

When I have an important (to me or the mission) that needs to get done on a "normal" day, I can work 14 hours and not think anything of it.
But as soon as someone tell me I "have to" work 12 hours, I start watching the clock and distributing my time and spreading the work.

Anyone else?

Rusty Jones
11-21-2013, 01:53 PM
Why the 12 hours shifts? Because no matter how much or how little manpower there is, the supply of man hours will always be unlimited.

sandsjames
11-21-2013, 02:49 PM
It makes the bosses feel like they are really trying...it pisses off everything else. I've never once done a 12 hour shift (other than Panama schedule) that actually served a purpose...other than to say "Hey, look how hard we're trying!"

imported_DannyJ
11-21-2013, 03:23 PM
Why do so many units/functions routinely work 12-hour shifts outside of exercises or true real-world emergencies?

Is it the lack of spare parts? Lack of additional assets? Overused/old assets? Unrealistic operational requirements/goals? Personnel deployed creating a shortfall at home station? Lack of manpower authorizations? Manpower drain (too much overhead, additional duties, etc.)?

Or is is simply the "that's the way we've always done it" mentality...

What always kills me is working 12s up to the ex. If everyone was doing their job correctly to begin with, this kind of ridiculousness would be totally unnecessary. I lame a lot of blame at the CC's (via SNCO/O proxy) feet. Their job is to ensure the mission is being completed in compliance everyday, not just when being inspected. The second I hear that a org is going to 12s for inspection/exercise prep is the second I know the leadership isn't worth crap.

Rusty Jones
11-21-2013, 03:33 PM
What always kills me is working 12s up to the ex. If everyone was doing their job correctly to begin with, this kind of ridiculousness would be totally unnecessary. I lame a lot of blame at the CC's (via SNCO/O proxy) feet. Their job is to ensure the mission is being completed in compliance everyday, not just when being inspected. The second I hear that a org is going to 12s for inspection/exercise prep is the second I know the leadership isn't worth crap.

There's also the fact that because military members and can be expected to work any and all hours at any time, leadership doesn't consider making an effort to keep workdays at eight hours a priority.

sandsjames
11-21-2013, 03:33 PM
What always kills me is working 12s up to the ex. If everyone was doing their job correctly to begin with, this kind of ridiculousness would be totally unnecessary. I lame a lot of blame at the CC's (via SNCO/O proxy) feet. Their job is to ensure the mission is being completed in compliance everyday, not just when being inspected. The second I hear that a org is going to 12s for inspection/exercise prep is the second I know the leadership isn't worth crap.

I would also add that it's trusting that the shops are doing what they are supposed to. The problem I have with the 12's leading up to an exercise/inspection is that it's an automatic thing. There is usually not even a walkthrough first to see if the shop is in order. It's just "one shop is going to 12s, we're all going to 12s".

OtisRNeedleman
11-21-2013, 11:38 PM
Remember when I was stationed at Goodfellow as an instructor. We were teaching one course and simultaneously developing another course - with no training whatsoever in course development. We also had the usual additional duties. Things were not going well, and frankly, not everyone in the office was pulling their weight. Our branch chief, a man with less than zero people skills, was chewing us all out about being behind in course development. This guy was great at assigning people additional duties and heavy course development/teaching loads while not doing that much himself. Verbatim quote... "If you're working ten hours a day, work twelve! If you're working twelve hours a day, work fourteen!" Seeing just how much the branch chief was doing in the classroom and in course development, we just kept doing our eight hours a day.

fufu
11-22-2013, 04:14 AM
Why 12s? Because, that's why.

12s are pointless for the most part at home station. When you put MX guys on 12s, we spread an 8 hr workload into 12 hours. We are getting fucked either way, may as well slow down and take our time.

Drackore
11-22-2013, 07:46 AM
I'm going to sound like I'm bragging but I'm really trying not to, but I have never been in a situation where I found a need for 12 hr shifts. Not once, not ever. I have always found a way to schedule my people out of it. Even when they gutted my shop's manning to unsustainable levels, I found a way to combine shops of the same AFSCs to sustain the 8 hr shift. I never saw the need to make people work longer hours for the reason of "just because". Now this does not include the need for us to work 12s because we had actual work to do. Absolutely. If the job wasn't done...hell yes, we stayed until it was done. But other than that, even for UCI, UEI, NSI, whatever inspection name you give it prep - I was able to start early enough that I was able to avoid that nonsense. I would get your idiot Lt that said "Well you should work 12s to help the other shops" and I would push back and say "I announced and you heard me four months back that I was doing this, they didn't help me back then...I am not helping them now".

I am not the sharpest tool in many drawers, but when it comes to this topic, I'll bet I can go into many shops and figure out how to best use manpower to avoid working 12s for the whole "just because" reason. If people are slacking off...that's one thing. If it's the cover your ass...I can eliminate that pretty fast. Ultimately though, if the Amn are working 12s...everyone up the chain better be working 12s too. THEN it's fair. If the people making them work 12s are going home after 8s...that is the ultimate bullshit.

technomage1
11-22-2013, 09:23 AM
I'm with Drackore. For inspections and the like proper planning is key. And no, failure to plan on another shops level is not my problem.

pjluckyman
11-22-2013, 09:53 AM
I'm going to sound like I'm bragging but I'm really trying not to, but I have never been in a situation where I found a need for 12 hr shifts. Not once, not ever. I have always found a way to schedule my people out of it. Even when they gutted my shop's manning to unsustainable levels, I found a way to combine shops of the same AFSCs to sustain the 8 hr shift. I never saw the need to make people work longer hours for the reason of "just because". Now this does not include the need for us to work 12s because we had actual work to do. Absolutely. If the job wasn't done...hell yes, we stayed until it was done. But other than that, even for UCI, UEI, NSI, whatever inspection name you give it prep - I was able to start early enough that I was able to avoid that nonsense. I would get your idiot Lt that said "Well you should work 12s to help the other shops" and I would push back and say "I announced and you heard me four months back that I was doing this, they didn't help me back then...I am not helping them now".

I am not the sharpest tool in many drawers, but when it comes to this topic, I'll bet I can go into many shops and figure out how to best use manpower to avoid working 12s for the whole "just because" reason. If people are slacking off...that's one thing. If it's the cover your ass...I can eliminate that pretty fast. Ultimately though, if the Amn are working 12s...everyone up the chain better be working 12s too. THEN it's fair. If the people making them work 12s are going home after 8s...that is the ultimate bullshit.

I agree with both Drackore and Technomage! Here is my story. When I finally got to the rank where I could make those kind of decisions I did. When I was an MTL my boss came to me and asked why me and my floor partner weren't working 12hr shifts like the rest of the MTL's getting ready for the inspection. I told him because I do my stuff by the book everyday and there is no need for me to church up my stuff when it is up to snuff all the time. Then he asked me why I wasn't helping them. I told him because they didn't help us keep our stuff squared away on a daily basis. When I moved back to my job in maintenance I walked in to a shop with 6 different AFSC's, and most were below 50% manned, working crazy shifts adjusting to the flying schedule. A good example would be coming in at 0800 on Monday, 1000 on Tuesday and Wednesday, 1200 on Thursday, then 0700 on Friday. After a couple of weeks of this I side barred with the Chief (One if not the best Chief I ever worked for CMSgt Joseph Livingston), and asked him to give me a little leeway. I promised him that he would never want for a specific AFSC if I could go to a set schedule. If he ever did I would gladly go back to the yo-yo schedule. For the year and a half I was at the flight we worked the same schedule. Every shift was scheduled for a 9 1/2 hour day. The first hour and a half was PT at the gym for Days, and Swings, Mids did PT when they got off of work. When I moved up to the group to run the manning they always wanted my office (Safety, Facilities, Manning) to work sympathy twelves because this unit or that unit was working twelves. We always did 8 plus 4's if needed. We almost never did 12 hrs.

As for doing 12s when your deployed at least in my experience it is driven by the "Because we always have". Why do we put people out on the line during exercises in make believe shelters (Cells) when we never do that during war time (Iraq/Afghanistan)? The only difference in home station, and actual combat locations is that there is no lack of bodies, and when the horn goes off everyone runs for shelter, and when it is over everyone goes back to doing what they were doing before.

I spent my last three years on AD running manning at the group level, and as a civilian I am working on my second year doing the exact same job. I have seen people that couldn't manage their way out of a paper sack in charge of AMU's and Squadrons. I have seen Group leadership fire the wrong people, and when they finally asked me what I thought the problem was they were caught aback when I told them the truth, that they fired the wrong person, and who they needed to fire. They wanted to blame the manning, experience, but never the person that was the obvious person if they had done one thing, that is talk to those below supervision to get the pulse of the flight chiefs, or worker bees. Sorry for the rant, but this has always pissed me off to see supervision reach for the hail Mary (12hr shifts) when things aren't working.

FLAPS, USAF (ret)
11-22-2013, 11:59 AM
Why do many of you feel it's because leadership is trying to "look good" or simply trying to screw you? You have a flying hour program for the year, a flying window to accomplish a given number of sorties and sortie duration, to include turn time for the jets. Day shift works 9hours to launch, recover the first goes, then swings comes in and recovers the second. Aircraft break and you need 12 flyable and two spares for the next morning. Do you drop what you're doing after 8 hours and say, oops, we're too broke to fly the first goes in the morning, so for the sake of not working 12s we are going home?

Giant Voice
11-22-2013, 01:15 PM
Why do many of you feel it's because leadership is trying to "look good" or simply trying to screw you? Because next rank/fear of getting fired(MX people)

You have a flying hour program for the year, a flying window to accomplish a given number of sorties and sortie duration, to include turn time for the jets. Day shift works 9hours to launch, recover the first goes, then swings comes in and recovers the second. Aircraft break and you need 12 flyable and two spares for the next morning. Do you drop what you're doing after 8 hours and say, oops, we're too broke to fly the first goes in the morning, so for the sake of not working 12s we are going home? Its not just flyers being worked, cann bird, tcto's, Delayed discrepancies, but even so a GOOD pro super can manage it. In my exp, nobody ever leaves at 8hrs, there's turn over, cams, forms. By that time it's at least 10hrs. When we(mx folks) talk 12's, that means about 13/14 when it's all said and done. I've worked 5 different airframes(all fighters, 21 yrs exp). I've never seen it where the flying schedule is overwhelming enough to push for 12's. If the 3 shifts can't handle it, then someone of leadership is usually the problem.

Now the above is only during home station day to day. But, I have been in the desert and we still pulled off scheduled 8's. Alert only pulled 12's(mostly sleeping).

Vrake
11-22-2013, 01:18 PM
IMHO the worst thing is working 12s just because. People get the " I have to be here anyway I'm not going to work hard" I always put out a block of work and when it was done we bailed. Sometimes it might have been 12 or 14 hours later but more often then not it was eight or under. A couple of times I had the work I wanted done for my shift in 6 hours. NEVER once did I say of it's to early to go home lets do something more. We wrapped it up and went home. After that my guys busted their asses to get stuff done and we worked a lot less then the other shift while doing twice the maint.

71Fish
11-22-2013, 01:21 PM
Why do many of you feel it's because leadership is trying to "look good" or simply trying to screw you? You have a flying hour program for the year, a flying window to accomplish a given number of sorties and sortie duration, to include turn time for the jets. Day shift works 9hours to launch, recover the first goes, then swings comes in and recovers the second. Aircraft break and you need 12 flyable and two spares for the next morning. Do you drop what you're doing after 8 hours and say, oops, we're too broke to fly the first goes in the morning, so for the sake of not working 12s we are going home?

Spoken like a MOO. Not everyone works on the flightline. We called it "sympathy 12's" when everyone had to work 12's because of the flightline.

When I was in a position with enough autonomy to schedule me people as I saw fit, rather than working 12's just because, We worked three 10 hour shifts with a 2 hour overlap on both ends. It worked out well and gave us plenty of coverage for whatevr may happen.

RetC141BFCC
11-22-2013, 04:46 PM
Why do many of you feel it's because leadership is trying to "look good" or simply trying to screw you? You have a flying hour program for the year, a flying window to accomplish a given number of sorties and sortie duration, to include turn time for the jets. Day shift works 9hours to launch, recover the first goes, then swings comes in and recovers the second. Aircraft break and you need 12 flyable and two spares for the next morning. Do you drop what you're doing after 8 hours and say, oops, we're too broke to fly the first goes in the morning, so for the sake of not working 12s we are going home?

Flaps
You just proved my point. If you have to have 14 jets ready for the morning. Then add another jet as the CANN Bird then probably one in phase dock. That’s 16 total. How many fighters’ are in a squadron now? I remember we had more then16. I also remember working OT just so we would not change the schedule. Why could you not just change the schudle? Simple reason it mess with the stats. The problem is what you just said you had a day crew and a swing crew you have no grave shift. The manning in the fighter world does not take into effect grave shift. I ran a specialist flight at an overseas base I found a way around it. I took one specialist from each AFSC and put them on grave shift and called it a servicing crew. Got away with it when the Crew Chief section seen what I did they put 4 Crew Chief on grave also. Then our two crews worked together and really knocked down the overtime. One other thing how many times have you had to put your guys on 12 hour shifts due to sortie surges? Tell me what good a sortie surge does. It just to burn up flying hours.
The worst thing the AF ever did in the maintenance world was to do away with the Deputy Commander for Maintenance. When you put MX under a flying squadron and the AMU OIC is a Capt. or a JR Major and the Squadron Commander is a Light Bird who rights there ticket what do you think is going to happen? The OIC cannot tell the CC no we are to broke and need a day or two to recover.

71Fish
11-22-2013, 04:54 PM
Flaps
You just proved my point. If you have to have 14 jets ready for the morning. Then add another jet as the CANN Bird then probably one in phase dock. That’s 16 total. How many fighters’ are in a squadron now? I remember we had more 16. I also remember working OT just so we would not change the schedule. Why could you not just change the schudle? Simple reason it mess witht the stats. The problem is what you just said you had a day crew and a swing crew you have no grave shift. The manning in the fighter world does not take into effect grave shift. I ran a specialist flight at an overseas base I found a way around it. I took one specialist from each AFSC and put them on grave shift and called it a servicing crew. Got away with it when the Crew Chief section seen what I did they put 4 Crew Chief on grave also. Then our two crews worked together and really knocked down the overtime. One other thing how many times have you had to put your guys on 12 hour shifts due to sortie surges? Tell me what good a sortie surge does. It just to burn up flying hours.
The worst thing the AF ever did in the maintenance world was to do away with the Deputy Commander for Maintenance. When you put MX under a flying squadron and the AMU OIC is a Capt. or a JR Major and the Squadron Commander is a Light Bird who rights there ticket what do you think is going to happen? The OIC cannot tell the CC no we are to broke and need a day or two to recover.

I Agree a surge can be a pain in the ass, but it's a quarterly requirement.

akruse
11-22-2013, 05:28 PM
Flaps
You just proved my point. If you have to have 14 jets ready for the morning. Then add another jet as the CANN Bird then probably one in phase dock. That’s 16 total. How many fighters’ are in a squadron now? I remember we had more 16. I also remember working OT just so we would not change the schedule. Why could you not just change the schudle? Simple reason it mess witht the stats. The problem is what you just said you had a day crew and a swing crew you have no grave shift. The manning in the fighter world does not take into effect grave shift. I ran a specialist flight at an overseas base I found a way around it. I took one specialist from each AFSC and put them on grave shift and called it a servicing crew. Got away with it when the Crew Chief section seen what I did they put 4 Crew Chief on grave also. Then our two crews worked together and really knocked down the overtime. One other thing how many times have you had to put your guys on 12 hour shifts due to sortie surges? Tell me what good a sortie surge does. It just to burn up flying hours.
The worst thing the AF ever did in the maintenance world was to do away with the Deputy Commander for Maintenance. When you put MX under a flying squadron and the AMU OIC is a Capt. or a JR Major and the Squadron Commander is a Light Bird who rights there ticket what do you think is going to happen? The OIC cannot tell the CC no we are to broke and need a day or two to recover.

The worst thing the AF ever did for both OPs and MX was to go back to the DCM style system. Its nothing but stat chasing and arguing for both sides now.

BISSBOSS
11-22-2013, 07:10 PM
I'll throw my two cents in as well...

FULL DISCLOSURE - I did NOT work out on the ramp. I worked in Communications Squadrons for the VAST majority of my AF career. I did; however, work in a discipline that looked WAY more like Flightline Maintenance than it did Comm Mx. We were on PRP, Adhered to the Wing FOD program, followed 21-101 etc...

I can honestly say that unless we were working a critical outage (where the general rule i MY shops were you work until the system is fixed, parts are on order or the Boss or next shift relieves you) we RARELY worked 12 hour shifts. That includes NSI prep.

Nuke Surety WAS our mission so we had very little need to practice and polish. There was always someone in the shop who stayed past normal release time but that was voluntary. I hardly EVER as an NCOIC or Section Chief required my guys to work 12 to prep for an inspection.

-BB-

Drackore
11-22-2013, 08:14 PM
Someone doesn't read or read well. I won't call out names, but it's the same person as usual that gets butt hurt. I'll rehash what I said in a short sentence to make read comprehension at a more kindergarten level so even an officer can understand: There is no need for someone to work 12s unless there is actual work that needs to get done. When work needs to get done, you can bet we'll stay past 8s and get it done. If it takes longer, we'll stay longer. If it needs longer than 12s, I'll even rig a schedule to ensure that I have people working it. I won't even complain. If there's work - I am 100% all for it. Give me legitimate WORK! I love to roll up my sleeves and get dirty doing our actual JOB...the MISSION. Hell yes. My NCOs and Airmen love it too. Beats this MICT and Powerpoint bullshit ANY DAY! We'll do it on fucking X-Mas!

But to work 12s to prep for your stupid inspection just so you can feel all cozy that we might pull out a Sat when we were already sure that my shop was already going to pull out and Excellent or Outstanding a month ago? Go fuck yourself, in no uncertain terms.

Simple enough to understand?

Edit - ok, it wasn't the short sentence I promised...but still simple..for simple minds. :P

Gonzo432
11-23-2013, 12:52 AM
In 21+ years I worked a lot of long shifts. Some were for good reason, some were during exercises, some were for BS at a pretty base pre-Desert Shield. The ones that annoyed the hell out of me were because someone else was working 12s and they were whining that someone else wasn't. In Iceland many years ago the Scope-Dopes were whining that they were working 12s and the rest of the squadron wasn't. At the time we were also closing a remote Radar site. I said something to the extent of, "The next time I'm loading a truck in the rain I don't want the entire squadron to go stand outside, because it won't make me any drier and it won't get the truck loaded any faster." I'll be damned, I must have said it in front of some people with some sense becasue we didn't go on 12s.

UH1FE
11-23-2013, 11:29 AM
12 Hr shifts have always turned into working for 8 Hrs followed by sitting around for 4 hrs.

RetC141BFCC
11-23-2013, 01:40 PM
Are you talking about 12 hour shifts every day or are you talking about that rotating panama schedule some units do. If you are talking about a unit that is doing it every day that is usually out of necessity and for a short time. If you are talking about the panama 12 hour thing I partially understand why people would want to do that. If you have a shop that requires 24 hour coverage you can assigne 3 people to work 8s or 2 people to work 12s. Let's use Security Forces as a 24 hour shop because they are. If a cop is assigned to work an 8 hour shift it is realistically something more like 10 hours. By the time they do guardmount and get armed they work much more than 8 hours. The same can be said about a 12 hour shift but those extra 4 hours most likely allow some time for writing reports and admin stuff that drags the end of the shift out. So if you need to work 72 hours in a 2 week period which would you rather work 9 8 hour hour shifts or 6 12 hour shifts. Most of the cops I knew would rather work the 12 hour shift get it over with and get 3 extra days off. Ironically, at my last base it was leadership who wanted 8 hour shifts and everyone else wanted 12s. Im not a cop I just knew a lot of them and they constantly complained about the 8 hour shifts. The reason it was changed was that realistically at the end of a 12 hour shift most people are just about worthless. Management said it was a force protection issue to have people guarding the base who had already been working for 11 hours straight. I suppose you could say the same about a maintainer. I don't really think it is a good idea for someone to be working on a piece of equipment that costs millions when they haven't slept in 20 plus hours.

I never heard it called Panama shifts before. In MAC then AMC we called it Expediter shifts and I loved it. So did all my troops and peers. Let me explain why. If you work in a shop or Carrier field like Security Forces that requires 24 hour a day 7 day a week coverage hour 8 hour shifts suck.
In airlift Aircraft Maintenance every day is the same as far as manpower requirements. Would you rather work 8 hour shifts on swing shift and have every Tuesday and Wednesday of or work 12 hour shifts and have a 3day weekend every other weekend? Under the Expediter shift its 12 hour shifts 2 day on two days off 3 days on 3 days off. You are working 15 days per month but with every other weekend off. I know what I enjoyed

RetC141BFCC
11-23-2013, 01:45 PM
I Agree a surge can be a pain in the ass, but it's a quarterly requirement.

Thanks I did not know that. But lets be honest how hard is it to change a quartley requirement? BTW this is a honest question I really do not know how hard it is. Doing things just because we always done things that way sucks.

RetC141BFCC
11-23-2013, 01:52 PM
Well I will have to go with you. I am retired and you probally no better then me. Just remember in the DCM world mx has somebody to stick up for them and cut out a lot of bullshit. I am like you I hate stat chaseing I did it so my troops could survive and not be automatically put on 12 hour shifts. I said it before especially in the Fighter world if you need people to work overtime on a daily basis to get the jets ready in the morning you either need more people or you are not probably using the ones allotted. In today’s AF it’s probably the shortage of people.

sandsjames
11-23-2013, 02:32 PM
Someone doesn't read or read well. I won't call out names, but it's the same person as usual that gets butt hurt. I'll rehash what I said in a short sentence to make read comprehension at a more kindergarten level so even an officer can understand: There is no need for someone to work 12s unless there is actual work that needs to get done. When work needs to get done, you can bet we'll stay past 8s and get it done. If it takes longer, we'll stay longer. If it needs longer than 12s, I'll even rig a schedule to ensure that I have people working it. I won't even complain. If there's work - I am 100% all for it. Give me legitimate WORK! I love to roll up my sleeves and get dirty doing our actual JOB...the MISSION. Hell yes. My NCOs and Airmen love it too. Beats this MICT and Powerpoint bullshit ANY DAY! We'll do it on fucking X-Mas!

But to work 12s to prep for your stupid inspection just so you can feel all cozy that we might pull out a Sat when we were already sure that my shop was already going to pull out and Excellent or Outstanding a month ago? Go fuck yourself, in no uncertain terms.

Simple enough to understand?

Edit - ok, it wasn't the short sentence I promised...but still simple..for simple minds. :P

Yep yep yep...and what's funny is that (except maybe when talking about nukes, etc, it seems almost impossible to get below a SAT. Unless your shop is doing something that's gonna get someone killed, you're pretty much safe.

jshiver15
11-23-2013, 04:54 PM
In Weather we mostly do it (from what I've always been told) because of manning. Most weather squadrons are routinely manned at about 60-75% (again, from what I'm told) and working 8-hour shifts would make it nearly impossible for anyone to take leave, attend PME, etc., etc.

71Fish
11-25-2013, 12:36 PM
Thanks I did not know that. But lets be honest how hard is it to change a quartley requirement? BTW this is a honest question I really do not know how hard it is. Doing things just because we always done things that way sucks.

Changing an AFI is easy, but getting it approved is another matter. I doubt a wing/cc would approve an AFI change reducing flying. A surge can be as easy or as aggressive as "they" want, but it's a good tool to get caught up on flying hours lost for various reasons.

MaintChief
11-26-2013, 11:42 AM
Flaps

The worst thing the AF ever did in the maintenance world was to do away with the Deputy Commander for Maintenance. When you put MX under a flying squadron and the AMU OIC is a Capt. or a JR Major and the Squadron Commander is a Light Bird who rights there ticket what do you think is going to happen? The OIC cannot tell the CC no we are to broke and need a day or two to recover.

This right here! 100% correct!

omertalifestyle
11-27-2013, 05:31 PM
If they would just boost manning in maintenance to levels greater than what they were in 2002 we could then have three equal shifts of 8 hours (not a minute over unless in the middle of a lauch or something). 14-16 people per shift , and you wouldn't even have to adjust shift schedules for the flying schedule, just roll the old people out, put the new people in their place. It needs to work like a well oiled machine. 12 hours shifts are garbage in the way that they are perceived to be a motivator to get work done. It also doesn't help when we are working 12s to get maintenance done on an aircraft that is not flying and that no one knew anything about it until 2 hours before shift change that it had major heavy maintenance and ops checks due.

voyager56
11-29-2013, 05:29 AM
For me, a cop, 12 hour shifts are pretty much the norm. It isn't due to the amount of work we have to complete; it's all about the manning we have. At my current base, our ops tempo is such that, twice a year, we're looking at about a third of our folks either coming in or going out. We've cut down to the absolute minimum posting we can get away with. Like someone mentioned earlier, with arming and guardmount before shift and turn in after shift, we're really looking at more like 14 hours.

12 hour shifts are strongly discouraged and you (as a commander) better have a good reason for doing them. Our boss is working on getting us into 8 hour shifts in the new year, which would be great.

A panama schedule isn't all that fantastic, either. It's only good if your days off never get touched. But when manning sucks, your days off become your training days, your firing days, and your appointment days because the flight chief can't afford to be giving up bodies on work days.

FLAPS, USAF (ret)
11-29-2013, 01:26 PM
If they would just boost manning in maintenance to levels greater than what they were in 2002 we could then have three equal shifts of 8 hours (not a minute over unless in the middle of a lauch or something). 14-16 people per shift , and you wouldn't even have to adjust shift schedules for the flying schedule, just roll the old people out, put the new people in their place. It needs to work like a well oiled machine. 12 hours shifts are garbage in the way that they are perceived to be a motivator to get work done. It also doesn't help when we are working 12s to get maintenance done on an aircraft that is not flying and that no one knew anything about it until 2 hours before shift change that it had major heavy maintenance and ops checks due.

Manning numbers will never go up to cover all the shifts. In fact, the AF is getting ready to announce how it will drastically go down over the next five years.

Chief_KO
11-29-2013, 02:38 PM
Full Disclosure: Like BB I too did not work on the flightline, comm AFSC my entire career however only 4 years in base comm.

Question for those flightline types: Is there a source that lists the maintenance time requirements for each airframe? I've heard all the various urban legends...the F-xx requires 10 hrs maint for each flying hour, the B-xx requires 240 maint hours, etc. It would be interesting to see the comparison and how it compares to a civilian fleet. Yes, I do understand that a military acft has different systems, flies different profiles, etc.

It just boggles my simple mind that after 66 years of flying the AF does not recognize the amount of maint is required...

RetC141BFCC
11-29-2013, 05:40 PM
Full Disclosure: Like BB I too did not work on the flightline, comm AFSC my entire career however only 4 years in base comm.

Question for those flightline types: Is there a source that lists the maintenance time requirements for each airframe? I've heard all the various urban legends...the F-xx requires 10 hrs maint for each flying hour, the B-xx requires 240 maint hours, etc. It would be interesting to see the comparison and how it compares to a civilian fleet. Yes, I do understand that a military acft has different systems, flies different profiles, etc.

It just boggles my simple mind that after 66 years of flying the AF does not recognize the amount of maint is required...

Chief
I have over 20 years of AF aircraft maintenance experience and 8 years in the civilian world as a licensed Airframe and Powerplant Mechanic. I know a little about aircraft maintenance. I always heard the stories of what you are talking about F15 takes blank hours C17 takes blank hours of maintenance per flying hour. I also wonder if it’s an urban myth or if there are studies out there that we have not read yet.
The big difference I have found in Airlift Maintenance and Fighter Maintenance is what the daily flying schedule looks like. In the Fighter world you fly 12 AC for about an hour then turn 8 AC for about an hour thats 18 sorties. But and the big but is that 18 cycles on the aircraft. A lot of scheduled maintenance is either hour driven or cycles driven On an Aircraft a cycle is one takeoff and landing. So on the Heavies I have worked if you take off and fly from NJ and to Germany and the flight are 8 hours that is only 1 cycle on the aircraft. You use that same AC for 7 sorties that’s 7 cycles in the same amount of time. Another way to look at it is I drive I64 every day to and from work. I 64 is a major highway due to my work schedule in the morning it’s a breeze. No traffic no wear and tear on my brakes very little wear and tear on a clutch and tires. That 17 mile trip takes me 22 minutes in the morning. Now then same trip on a 3day weekend at 430 in the afternoon will take me over an hour and 20 minutes. Stop and go traffic idiots who cannot drive and hitting into each other. Now look at the wear and tire on my brakes clutch and tires. Fighter aircraft flying is like driving your car every day in rush hour traffic.
The one thing the AF could due to get by with less manpower is go the way of the civilian airlines. The AF shops are too specialized. In the civilian world there are A+P and Avionics. When an airplane breaks you fix it. It could be a gear change tonight and a fuel pump tomorrow. The closest I had come to that was in MAC and then AMC. I was a Dedicated Crew Chief on a C141 aircraft even thou my AFSC was a jet engine mechanic. I had a hard time explaining that to my peers in the fighter world that a Crew Chief is a duty position not an AFSC. . There has never been nor will there ever be enough manning in the Fighter world because they due not man for a 24 hour a day 7 day week operation where in Mother MAC then later AMC we did. I hope I explained so that you can understand a little better. Remember I only have a CCAF degree.

Venus
11-29-2013, 06:25 PM
Chief
I have over 20 years of AF aircraft maintenance experience and 8 years in the civilian world as a licensed Airframe and Powerplant Mechanic. I know a little about aircraft maintenance. I always heard the stories of what you are talking about F15 takes blank hours C17 takes blank hours of maintenance per flying hour. I also wonder if it’s an urban myth or if there are studies out there that we have not read yet.
The big difference I have found in Airlift Maintenance and Fighter Maintenance is what the daily flying schedule looks like. In the Fighter world you fly 12 AC for about an hour then turn 8 AC for about an hour that 18 sorties. But and the big but is that 18 cycles on the aircraft. A lot of scheduled maintenance is either hour driven or cycles driven On an Aircraft a cycle is one takeoff and landing. So on the Heavies I have worked if you take off and fly from NJ and to Germany and the flight are 8 hours that is only 1 cycle on the aircraft. You use that same AC for 7 sorties that’s 7 cycles in the same amount of time. Another way to look at it is I drive I64 every day to and from work. I 64 is a major highway due to my work schedule in the morning it’s a breeze. No traffic no wear and tear on my brakes very little wear and tear on a clutch and tires. That 17 mile trip takes me 22 minutes in the morning. Now then same trip on a 3day weekend at 430 in the afternoon will take me over an hour and 20 minutes. Stop and go traffic idiots who cannot drive and hitting into each other. Now look at the wear and tire on my brakes clutch and tires. Fighter aircrfat flying is like driving your car every day in rush hour traffic.
The one thing the AF could due to get by with less men power is go the way of the civilian airlines. The AF shops are too specialized. In the civilian world there are A+P and Avionics. When an airplane breaks you fix it. It could be a gear change tonight and a fuel pump tomorrow. The closest I had come to that was in MAC and then AMC. I was a Dedicated Crew Chief on a C141 aircraft even thou my AFSC was a jet engine mechanic. I had a hard time explaining that to my peers in the fighter world that a Crew Chief is a duty position not an AFSC. . There has never been nor will there ever be enough manning in the Fighter world because they due not man for a 24 hour a day 7 day week operation where in Mother MAC then later AMC we did. I hope I explained so that you can understand a little better. Remember I only have a CCAF degree.

Been in the acft mx gig since 1981 civilian and military with an A&P. I agree the military side is too specialized, when I was in the 89th I more or less did everything to include taxiing my own jet for power engine runs every where else I got your just a Crew Chief. I remember when I left Andrews to Keflavik and took a E-3 all four to power and the SRA jet troop running my FE panel having kittens because he thought Crew Chiefs should be not allowed past idle. I was so ready to administer a bitch slap. I don't think the civilian side would work on the active duty side , maybe a Guard or reserve unit. Too much turn over in a active unit, it takes at least 7 years before a 7-level is good at what they do. I have brand new A&P's just out of vocational school that are put on grunt jobs at first until I see they can handle doing RII stuff. Plus the AF is not interested in having a technically competent Airman, just physically fit. I am finding most of my new ex USAF types when I put them on a job outside their comfort zone like a ex Crew Chief on a air conditioning trouble shooting job having little panic attacks. I would have a hard time going back to the military ways of fixing airplanes. The first time a mx officer tells me to do something stupid I would ask to see if he has his A&P and if not not pull out FAR 145 and say he's not qualified and go away.

Chief_KO
11-29-2013, 09:40 PM
Wow, thanks guys for the inputs.
What really shocked me is both of you stating the AF is too specialized. This really flies against the common wisdom out there that when the AF combines AFSCs (in any area) that skills suffer as folks become more of a generalist.
I disagree with that sentiment, I was able to move across several "specialized" areas in comm by my own initiative to learn those skills. My comm experience was that the Navy and Army were more specialized (at least back when I was a worker-bee) that the AF.
It would be interesting to see an outside aviation maintenance organization (not sure what I'm trying to say there), provide the AF with recommendations on how to make it better.

FLAPS, USAF (ret)
11-29-2013, 10:52 PM
Been in the acft mx gig since 1981 civilian and military with an A&P. I agree the military side is too specialized, when I was in the 89th I more or less did everything to include taxiing my own jet for power engine runs every where else I got your just a Crew Chief. I remember when I left Andrews to Keflavik and took a E-3 all four to power and the SRA jet troop running my FE panel having kittens because he thought Crew Chiefs should be not allowed past idle. I was so ready to administer a bitch slap. I don't think the civilian side would work on the active duty side , maybe a Guard or reserve unit. Too much turn over in a active unit, it takes at least 7 years before a 7-level is good at what they do. I have brand new A&P's just out of vocational school that are put on grunt jobs at first until I see they can handle doing RII stuff. Plus the AF is not interested in having a technically competent Airman, just physically fit. I am finding most of my new ex USAF types when I put them on a job outside their comfort zone like a ex Crew Chief on a air conditioning trouble shooting job having little panic attacks. I would have a hard time going back to the military ways of fixing airplanes. The first time a mx officer tells me to do something stupid I would ask to see if he has his A&P and if not not pull out FAR 145 and say he's not qualified and go away.

Sure glad I had my A&P throughout my Mx Officer career! ;)

OtisRNeedleman
11-29-2013, 11:54 PM
Sure glad I had my A&P throughout my Mx Officer career! ;)

What's an A&P, for us non-maintenance types?

Venus
11-30-2013, 12:12 AM
What's an A&P, for us non-maintenance types?

It is a FAA Airman certificate for Airframe and Powerplant, it allows us to perform maintenance on civilian aircraft. It is easier to get a pilots certificate than a A&P. FAR's are Federal Air regulations which governs what we do.

Drackore
11-30-2013, 09:18 AM
AF too specialized? Not anymore...especially after these past few years. In the comm world, be have become so generalized, I don't know what my guys are doing anymore. We've thrown computers into every comm career field now. Soon comm will be a thing of the past honestly, and I see it being one big career field under LRS.


Wow, thanks guys for the inputs.
What really shocked me is both of you stating the AF is too specialized. This really flies against the common wisdom out there that when the AF combines AFSCs (in any area) that skills suffer as folks become more of a generalist.
I disagree with that sentiment, I was able to move across several "specialized" areas in comm by my own initiative to learn those skills. My comm experience was that the Navy and Army were more specialized (at least back when I was a worker-bee) that the AF.
It would be interesting to see an outside aviation maintenance organization (not sure what I'm trying to say there), provide the AF with recommendations on how to make it better.

RetC141BFCC
11-30-2013, 02:14 PM
Been in the acft mx gig since 1981 civilian and military with an A&P. I agree the military side is too specialized, when I was in the 89th I more or less did everything to include taxiing my own jet for power engine runs every where else I got your just a Crew Chief. I remember when I left Andrews to Keflavik and took a E-3 all four to power and the SRA jet troop running my FE panel having kittens because he thought Crew Chiefs should be not allowed past idle. I was so ready to administer a bitch slap. I don't think the civilian side would work on the active duty side , maybe a Guard or reserve unit. Too much turn over in a active unit, it takes at least 7 years before a 7-level is good at what they do. I have brand new A&P's just out of vocational school that are put on grunt jobs at first until I see they can handle doing RII stuff. Plus the AF is not interested in having a technically competent Airman, just physically fit. I am finding most of my new ex USAF types when I put them on a job outside their comfort zone like a ex Crew Chief on a air conditioning trouble shooting job having little panic attacks. I would have a hard time going back to the military ways of fixing airplanes. The first time a mx officer tells me to do something stupid I would ask to see if he has his A&P and if not not pull out FAR 145 and say he's not qualified and go away.

Looking at your post you are probably right. When I was a young A1C it was an ART(Air Reserve technician who took me under his wing and mentored me taught me my job. Not an Active Duty dude but an ART who had over 10 years’ experience on that Airframe. AS far as doing more with less we have gotten to the point where there is nothing more to give. Besides if you want your Airman to get promoted he or she has got to go to school do fundraisers and all the other ass-kissing stuff that goes with it.
We might be able to do more with less if we assigned maintenance personnel to the same Aircraft there entire carrier. The problem with that is how many people want to spend the entire AF carrier working on a B2s? I also agree with you it takes about 7 years to make a good mechanic. The manpower is no longer there and it’s going to get worse. If the Lts and Jr Capts would stay the hell off the Flight Line and let the Expediter and Pro Super due their Jobs there might be a little relief from 12 hour shifts.
Another headache I had in the AF is plans and scheduling. Or as what I like to call them Dreams and schemes. Why do we work all weekend to fix a jet that’s schedule to fly on Monday if there are 4 other planes that can take it place? Stats that’s why. Lots of MX troop’s weekends are ruined to chase a scheduling stat. In AMC as a pro super I use to get a Flying Schedule where the tail number was supposed to be it said TBD. Anything I could get fixed we put in that line.
As a lead mechanic for a Airline I still run into supervisors who try to get me are my guys to do something shady to get a jet off the ground. I always tell them you have a FAA license put your ticket on the line.

Venus
12-06-2013, 04:20 AM
Sure glad I had my A&P throughout my Mx Officer career! ;)
My fall back for that was opening the first page of the T.O. where it was signed SEC AF and CSAF telling him I need a signed authority for one of them to do what he wanted me to do.

wxjumper
12-06-2013, 02:12 PM
I would take the Panama schedule over 8 hours 5 days a week (which in reality is 9 hours 0730 - 1630, and nobody leaves at 1630 so it becomes 10 or more hours 5 days a week) in a heartbeat.

BISSBOSS
12-06-2013, 03:39 PM
AF too specialized? Not anymore...especially after these past few years. In the comm world, be have become so generalized, I don't know what my guys are doing anymore. We've thrown computers into every comm career field now. Soon comm will be a thing of the past honestly, and I see it being one big career field under LRS.


that's not too far off the mark!

The Communications world in the AF is in REAL danger of losing its identity. They are FAR too generalized and the Network side of the house (historically) does not have a good enough grasp of maintenance and life-cycle management to effectively train, equip and mange the work force. Additionally, they are in an arena where technology changes at a pace the the A-6 directorate seems unable to keep up with.

The Comm world is in deep trouble and the latest restructuring (3-D Transformation) is largely to blame.

Just my two cents...

-BB-

Drackore
12-06-2013, 08:57 PM
100% agree with everything you said. Too bad we're a minority or just plain ignored.


that's not too far off the mark!

The Communications world in the AF is in REAL danger of losing its identity. They are FAR too generalized and the Network side of the house (historically) does not have a good enough grasp of maintenance and life-cycle management to effectively train, equip and mange the work force. Additionally, they are in an arena where technology changes at a pace the the A-6 directorate seems unable to keep up with.

The Comm world is in deep trouble and the latest restructuring (3-D Transformation) is largely to blame.

Just my two cents...

-BB-

OtisRNeedleman
12-07-2013, 06:58 PM
It is a FAA Airman certificate for Airframe and Powerplant, it allows us to perform maintenance on civilian aircraft. It is easier to get a pilots certificate than a A&P. FAR's are Federal Air regulations which governs what we do.



Thanks!

BRUWIN
12-08-2013, 02:46 AM
Fighter maintenance has always had a "put'em on 12's" mentality. Hell...the TCTO wouldn't have even been directed yet and leadership would throw us on 12's in anticipation.

BISSBOSS
12-09-2013, 01:56 PM
100% agree with everything you said. Too bad we're a minority or just plain ignored.

Not to get too far off subject BUT...

This battle was lost LONG ago. When AFCC was disbanded and the AF went to the Composite Wing structure, Comm went from being a tenant unit providing a structured and planned for (read the 5-year plan) to being at the mercy of the wing commander.

That HUGE Communications budget and all of those shiny bells and whistles proved too tempting to Wing Commanders.

Too bad. Comm WAS a GREAT place to work... "Back in the Day"!

-BB-

71Fish
12-09-2013, 02:04 PM
Fighter maintenance has always had a "put'em on 12's" mentality. Hell...the TCTO wouldn't have even been directed yet and leadership would throw us on 12's in anticipation.

As a mx scheduler, I handled TCTOs. IT used to bug the shit out of me when word got out of a new TCTO so mx would get a jump and do the TCTO work before it was distributed. Then get pissy when they had to go back weeks later and either redo the work and document what they did.

Chief_KO
12-09-2013, 04:33 PM
As a mx scheduler, I handled TCTOs. IT used to bug the shit out of me when word got out of a new TCTO so mx would get a jump and do the TCTO work before it was distributed. Then get pissy when they had to go back weeks later and either redo the work and document what they did.

Hold the phone...you mean to tell me that acft maintenance (the only true enlisted warriors (ITO)) would blatantly work without their T.O.????

71Fish
12-09-2013, 05:03 PM
Hold the phone...you mean to tell me that acft maintenance (the only true enlisted warriors (ITO)) would blatantly work without their T.O.????

Imagine that.

GoatDriver57
12-11-2013, 11:40 PM
Don't you wish they were 12-hour shifts? Very rare. Say, most were 13.5-14.5

Was proven once the three shift work cycle was more productive, axcel'g attitudes, less individual stress than the two shift days.