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efmbman
03-30-2014, 01:00 PM
Should this be implemented at all bases to cut costs?

http://www.stripes.com/news/us/scott-afb-airmen-to-mop-vacuum-own-buildings-to-cut-costs-1.275195#.UzgG1VfEiUY

Time will tell.

Chief_KO
03-30-2014, 01:56 PM
It has at many places. Contracted cleaning budgets were either cut totally or severely cut back.
Unfortunately we no longer have the manning numbers we used to have. IMO we should have never went down the outsourcing/privatizing path, but the bean counters said it was the way to go...
"Non-military duties" (aka weeds & seeds, mops, buckets & vacuums, trash, snow shoveling, grass mowing) should have been factored in the manning #s.
But, now we are throwing this back at our Airmen (on top of what they're already being expected to do...with less).

efmbman
03-30-2014, 02:51 PM
In a way, this is related to the mission problem the military is grappling with. Without a defined mission, how can one build a force? Without a defined mission, the military will soon resemble a jobs program.

Gonzo432
03-30-2014, 03:32 PM
Ah yes, give up manning to pay for the contract to do the work you no longer do. Then cut the contract when times are tough and dump the work back on the troops you robbed to pay for the contract. Repeat. Not only does NOTHING ever go away, more crap gets piled on fewer folks.

Absinthe Anecdote
03-30-2014, 06:19 PM
I envision bases creating Custodial Support Squadrons that are staffed by airmen being assigned for one or two week periods. Plus, if an airmen gets in any sort of trouble, they should be assigned to go clean offices in the evenings.

All it takes is a little creativity to meet these kinds of challenges, and I like the way some on the Air Staff are thinking these days. The mothball program sounds interesting.



Air Force Prepares to Mothball Thousands of Airmen

March 29, 2014

The Daily Trumpeter

Taureau Merde, Staff Writer

(Davis Monthan AFB) Air Force officials are set to begin mothballing thousands of airmen in an effort to cut costs and maintain a ready reserve of manpower amid budget cuts. "It isn't really mothballing airmen," says Pentagon spokesman Lt Col Steve Dallas, "It is a creative way to teach some of our youngest airmen heritage, and essential military skills, while keeping our mothballed fleet of aircraft it pristine condition."

According to Lt Col Dallas, the program has earned the nickname of "mothballing" only because the airmen will be assigned to the Air Force Materiel Command's 309th Aerospace Maintenance and Regeneration Group (AMARG), better known as the boneyard for all excess military and government aircraft. The training camp will be administered by Air Education and Training Command, but will receive work assignments directly from the AMARG.

"We plan on sending the majority of recent Basic Military Training graduates for a two to six month tour at training annex of the boneyard before they are allowed to continue on to technical training," says Dallas. The airmen will be assigned to work details cleaning and polishing decommissioned military aircraft while undergoing a series of training courses that are designed to help them complete the transition to military life. "We have identified a set of critical training courses from sexual assault prevention to fire extinguisher training that the airmen will undertake at the boneyard," said Dallas.

The program has been the subject of much criticism and includes more than just BMT graduates, as junior non-commissioned officers (NCOs) will also undergo training at the boneyard. Colonel Janet Madison of the Air Force Physical Fitness and Nutrition Battle Lab said, "We've been looking for a way to reach service members who have run afoul of our PT and weight management programs, and I think we have found it here at the boneyard." According to Col Madison, the junior NCO program will focus on individuals who squadron-level commanders deem as having a physical fitness problem, but are worthy of an intensive training program to whip them into shape. "We are trying to give commanders a unique tool that can help salvage the careers of overweight airmen," say Madison.

"That's true," says Lt Col Dallas, "The junior NCO program is a unique and separate program at the boneyard." Dallas rejects the claims that this is a military "fat camp" and insists that it is a cost effective way to reclaim an investment in training dollars.

"This is an exclusive program that has stringent selection requirements, it starts with the unit commander nominating an individual and requires that they undergo a complete psychological and physical evaluation before being approved by the training center," said Dallas.

When asked about costs of the program Col Dallas claimed they are minimal as billeting and per diem costs are mitigated by having the trainees live in tents and eat all meals at the training site. "Our BMT trainees will primarily eat Meals Ready to Eat or MREs and will only have three hot meals per week prepared by a field kitchen, while the junior NCOs will eat a lean diet approved by the Fitness and Nutrition Battle Lab."

Col Dallas stressed that the two programs are separate and that interaction between the students of the two programs will be kept at a minimum. "We want to carefully manage any interaction with the BMT students and those undergoing weight reduction training," says Dallas, "We might allow the NCOs to give a couple of briefings on the repercussions of letting your weight get out of control, but that's about it."

The trainees encampments will be at opposite ends of the boneyard, and although neither group will be allowed to leave the facility for the duration of training, contact between the two groups of airmen is expected to be minimal, according to base officials. The first group of Airmen is expected to arrive around June 1, 2014.

retiredAFcivvy
03-30-2014, 09:54 PM
It has at many places. Contracted cleaning budgets were either cut totally or severely cut back.
Unfortunately we no longer have the manning numbers we used to have. IMO we should have never went down the outsourcing/privatizing path, but the bean counters said it was the way to go...
"Non-military duties" (aka weeds & seeds, mops, buckets & vacuums, trash, snow shoveling, grass mowing) should have been factored in the manning #s.
But, now we are throwing this back at our Airmen (on top of what they're already being expected to do...with less).

There are a lot of costs that are going to revert back to the Government. If were talking about grounds maintenance every office will have to go out and buy a lawn mower and weedeater (basics). Then the problem will arise as how and where to store the things (safely w/gasoline). Used to be everyone had little storage sheds to do this. This doesn't sound like a big deal but it adds up.

LogDog
03-30-2014, 10:38 PM
I've been there/done that back in the 70s. Of course, we had more people back then and could afford to do it. Really, doing the custodial chores wasn't that much to ask and usually it fell on the junior airmen and NCOs. The only problems I encountered were with grounds maintenance. We had a pair of lawn mowers to do the hospital grounds, which were a bit large, and the problem we had was a lot of people had never mowed a lawn. They either didn't know how to use a lawn mower or purposely abused the equipment to the point of breaking it. Because ground maintenance includes mowing, trimming, fertilizing, pruning, etc., I'd keep grounds maintenance contracted.

ske4za
03-31-2014, 06:17 AM
Scott AFB airmen to mop, vacuum own buildings to cut costs (http://www.stripes.com/news/us/scott-afb-airmen-to-mop-vacuum-own-buildings-to-cut-costs-1.275195#.Uzj5Q0VOl7h)



SCOTT AIR FORCE BASE, Ill. — Scott Air Force Base airmen on April 1 will assume more responsibility for most mopping, vacuuming and grass-cutting at dorms and office buildings that do not fall under the "prestige" category.

The new program is the result of Air Force-wide cost-cutting efforts. Scott will save about $1 million from custodial and groundskeeping contracts in the first year of the austerity program, according to Maj. Michelle Sterling, operations flight commander for the 375th Operations Squadron.

"If there is a need for vacuuming that'll be the responsibility of the folks who live in the facility," Sterling said.

Challenge Unlimited, the not-for-profit Alton group that provides jobs to disabled adults, holds the groundskeeping and custodial contracts.

The cost reductions are forcing Challenge Unlimited to reduce 15 positions, according to a statement the group released Friday.

"Workforce reductions are never easy; especially since Challenge Unlimited Inc.'s mission is to provide job opportunities for the disabled workforce," according to the statement.

Challenge Unlimited will continue to provide custodial services at some venues, such as childcare facilities, Sterling said.

The shifting of more custodial and groundskeeping duties to airmen is the result of Air Force-mandated dollar reductions in custodial contracts, Sterling said.

This is the Air Mobility Command's and Scott Air Force Base's "way of meeting those dollar cut reductions," she said.

The new AMC contract will end sweeping, mopping and vacuuming for all base buildings that do not fall under the "prestige," or Level 1, category. The majority of the buildings on base will be under "basic," or Level 2, category, according to a statement issued by the base public affairs office.

Restrooms will be cleaned twice a week for airmen living in or working in Level 2 buildings. Trash collection will become a centralized process that will be picked up twice a week, instead of the desk-side service now taking place.

Meanwhile, the small recycling bins scattered across the base will be removed, with the option remaining to take recyclable items to the base's main recycling center.


Call me crazy but... how many units in AMC were not cleaning their own bathrooms? In my 6 years in AMMO we maintained all of our own buildings. I guess airmen are going to grumble and throw a fit that they have to maintain their own work centers without maids and janitors. Heaven forbid they have to mow their own grass or do some landscaping.

I hope they wear their reflective belts and proper PPE and reflect this cleaning in their workcenter job safety training.

bcoco14
03-31-2014, 06:44 AM
Scott AFB airmen to mop, vacuum own buildings to cut costs (http://www.stripes.com/news/us/scott-afb-airmen-to-mop-vacuum-own-buildings-to-cut-costs-1.275195#.Uzj5Q0VOl7h)



Call me crazy but... how many units in AMC were not cleaning their own bathrooms? In my 6 years in AMMO we maintained all of our own buildings. I guess airmen are going to grumble and throw a fit that they have to maintain their own work centers without maids and janitors. Heaven forbid they have to mow their own grass or do some landscaping.

I hope they wear their reflective belts and proper PPE and reflect this cleaning in their workcenter job safety training.

I would say a majority of them. The past two bases I have been at have had contractors to clean the buildings and landscaping. Just recently the contract for the buildings was not renewed. However, the landscaping is still being done, base wide, because that contract is still in effect. I expect that to change once that contract expires. It was a nice to have when we had the money, but that money is going to be better spent on things like the F-35 and personnel now!

imported_Shove_your_stupid_meeting
03-31-2014, 10:31 AM
The new way of doing business sounds like the old way of doing business. As long as you don't have to clean crap off of a toilet bowl, it's not so bad.

BOSS302
03-31-2014, 10:50 AM
The new way of doing business sounds like the old way of doing business. As long as you don't have to clean crap off of a toilet bowl, it's not so bad.

That's actually the best part. It's like finding treasure. Tasty, chocolatey-peanut butttery treasure.

wxjumper
03-31-2014, 11:23 AM
I am deployed now, but back home I work in a building that is mostly civilians. Guess who is going to have to clean up after their filthy asses? You think they are going to share in the cleanup? I swear, if I see one of them free loaders as much as drop a crumb on the floor I am going to make them clean it up.

sandsjames
03-31-2014, 11:30 AM
So all these years we heard that it was cheaper to pay the contractors than to waste man hours of the airmen was a lie? I can't believe that....

BISSBOSS
03-31-2014, 12:39 PM
My shop at RAF Lakenheath got a brand spanking new, purpose-built facility while I was NCOIC. The lion's share of our mission was in support of NATO requirements so we were "double funded" and rarely strapped for money.

I had to fight long and hard to refuse the base cleaning contract! I even purchased an old school buffer and had canned wax on Bench Stock. It took the Group Commander accidentally wandering in during Friday clean up to get the support to have my guys clean our building!

That place looked better than our squadron building and the Wing HQ!

I'll ALWAYS feel like doing that instilled pride and ownership in my guys and that they came off the better for it.

-BB-

imported_DannyJ
03-31-2014, 12:57 PM
Bring it on! When I was a brand new Airman (all of late 2007) at Chucktown, we maintained our own facilities. Taught me and a few others some humility among other things. Maybe it will help bring things "back to basics" for the new ones.

Chief_KO
03-31-2014, 01:35 PM
Back at Keesler (98-02) Goodwill industries had contract to clean the latrines, once a week. Hundreds of students, overflowing trash cans, smell of #1 & #2...
MSgt_KO brought back the tried & true student cleaning schedule, to include latrines cleaned daily (trash emptied, pine oil sprayed into urinals & toilets, no "hard cleaning") to keep the work area "sanitary".
There were civilians in another squadron who filed a complaint against me (violating the contract)...well, since we only did "minor daily cleaning", not the extensive scrubbing, mopping that Goodwill was contracted to do...once again KO emerged victorious.
Same time, the contract for grounds maintenance stipulated the lawns be mowed when "grass" exceeded a certain height. Problem was, the "grass" was not growing but the "weeds" were. Contracting had to redo the contract to stipulate "ground vegetation" rather than grass to ensure lawns were mowed weekly.

edoc118
03-31-2014, 02:09 PM
Scott Air Force Base airmen on April 1 will assume more responsibility for most mopping, vacuuming and grass-cutting at dorms and office buildings that do not fall under the "prestige" category.


Actually, it appears the blasphemy is in expecting officers to do manual labor. We can't have that.

Chief_KO
03-31-2014, 03:34 PM
Scott Air Force Base airmen on April 1 will assume more responsibility for most mopping, vacuuming and grass-cutting at dorms and office buildings that do not fall under the "prestige" category.

Prestige = Headquarters....True blasphemy is in expecting any positive output/productivity out of a "prestige" building....

meatbringer
03-31-2014, 03:38 PM
Actually, it appears the blasphemy is in expecting officers to do manual labor. We can't have that.

Your post reminded me of when I was in Kunsan. They would assign an enlisted, sometimes even an NCO, to clean the officer dorm buildings since I guess officers can't be bothered to clean up their own mess. Anyways, I would hear stories about how trashed and disgusting their dorms were, and the officers would even see the enlisted dudes and tell them to take the trash out of their rooms for them. Typical. I told supervision that they might as well just write me the paperwork if my name ever gets hit up for that duty, because there is no way in hell I'm doing it.

BOSS302
03-31-2014, 04:06 PM
Your post reminded me of when I was in Kunsan. They would assign an enlisted, sometimes even an NCO, to clean the officer dorm buildings since I guess officers can't be bothered to clean up their own mess. Anyways, I would hear stories about how trashed and disgusting their dorms were, and the officers would even see the enlisted dudes and tell them to take the trash out of their rooms for them. Typical. I told supervision that they might as well just write me the paperwork if my name ever gets hit up for that duty, because there is no way in hell I'm doing it.

That's disgraceful. Bay orderlies are there to clean the common areas of the dorms in which they live, on a rotating basis, so that everyone gets a piece of the action.

Pathetic that Kunsan used to make NCOs and junior enlisted go clean officer dorms. I was there years ago and that certainly wasn't the case. And I am glad because, like you, I would have had paperwork.

There was a bit of a stink a while back in al Udeid because CE was directed to give priority to officer trailers & 06 and E9 suites in BPC. Slightly understandable, as RHIP. However several issues began to go wrong in Coalition Compound housing, mostly to do with air conditioners. However, CE was told to "hold off" in case money and parts was needed for the "special" areas.

Plenty of money for parts and plenty of spares on bench stock, but some fool decided to "earmark" that for a rainy day for the special areas.

The CES/CC found out about it and, a few NCOIC firings later, air conditioners and lighting began to be fixed as needed in Coalition Compound.

It was pathetic that it even came to that whole mess, but that is the mentality of some...

BENDER56
03-31-2014, 06:04 PM
It just occurred to me that during my final eight years in the AF this was nothing I even thought about because at both Seymour Johnson and Corry Station we had federal prison camps and the inmates did all of that stuff for us.

retiredAFcivvy
03-31-2014, 06:10 PM
Back at Keesler (98-02) Goodwill industries had contract to clean the latrines, once a week. Hundreds of students, overflowing trash cans, smell of #1 & #2...
MSgt_KO brought back the tried & true student cleaning schedule, to include latrines cleaned daily (trash emptied, pine oil sprayed into urinals & toilets, no "hard cleaning") to keep the work area "sanitary".
There were civilians in another squadron who filed a complaint against me (violating the contract)...well, since we only did "minor daily cleaning", not the extensive scrubbing, mopping that Goodwill was contracted to do...once again KO emerged victorious.
Same time, the contract for grounds maintenance stipulated the lawns be mowed when "grass" exceeded a certain height. Problem was, the "grass" was not growing but the "weeds" were. Contracting had to redo the contract to stipulate "ground vegetation" rather than grass to ensure lawns were mowed weekly.
Unfortunately, sometimes common sense just doesnt prevail when it comes to contracts. You do bring up a possible issue with contractors like Goodwill Industries. The contractor that is being impacted in the article is a similar type organization. Designed to help those who are physically challenged. These are also Government endorsed programs and contracts with them do have a priority. I would be surprised to see them go away completely.

CYBERFX1024
03-31-2014, 06:13 PM
I am deployed now, but back home I work in a building that is mostly civilians. Guess who is going to have to clean up after their filthy asses? You think they are going to share in the cleanup? I swear, if I see one of them free loaders as much as drop a crumb on the floor I am going to make them clean it up.

My last duty station in the Marine Corps was like that. We literally had more civilians working in the building than we had Marines. So we had to go do daily clean up every day and take out the trash and vacuum the office and all the crumbs as well. It was VERY frustrating to say the least. But you get used to it.

The one thing that I did like was that we had to do yard maintenance as well. I hated it at first when I had to push mow two big lawns in front of our buildings. But I made a friend in base maintenance who would let me use one of those big riding lawn mowers, you know the ones that have three blades on it. It took me a hell of a lot less time to do it. But I would still take a majority of the day doing it. No one cared because I was gainfully employed.

retiredAFcivvy
03-31-2014, 06:42 PM
Scott Air Force Base airmen on April 1 will assume more responsibility for most mopping, vacuuming and grass-cutting at dorms and office buildings that do not fall under the "prestige" category.

Prestige = Headquarters....True blasphemy is in expecting any positive output/productivity out of a "prestige" building....

The article referenced doesn't really say who wrote or published it. I doubt if it came from Public Affairs but a newspaper reporter. I'm sure your analogy of Prestige = Headquarters is probably correct but I think that term is an "interpretation" of Level 1. Because of the high visiblity of such facilities they require more frequent cleaning and possibly some added requirements thus level 1.

retiredAFcivvy
03-31-2014, 07:01 PM
The article referenced doesn't really say who wrote or published it. I doubt if it came from Public Affairs but a newspaper reporter. I'm sure your analogy of Prestige = Headquarters is probably correct but I think that term is an "interpretation" of Level 1. Because of the high visiblity of such facilities they require more frequent cleaning and possibly some added requirements thus level 1.
I will have to stand corrected on this. I saw a custodial SOW from Pope AFB and it actually did use the term "prestige".

BISSBOSS
03-31-2014, 07:15 PM
It just occurred to me that during my final eight years in the AF this was nothing I even thought about because at both Seymour Johnson and Corry Station we had federal prison camps and the inmates did all of that stuff for us.

The prisoners at the federal joint at Eglin watered the Officer Housing grass... Nothing for the "Great Unwashed" mind you...

-BB-

Chief_KO
03-31-2014, 07:50 PM
Your post reminded me of when I was in Kunsan. They would assign an enlisted, sometimes even an NCO, to clean the officer dorm buildings since I guess officers can't be bothered to clean up their own mess. Anyways, I would hear stories about how trashed and disgusting their dorms were, and the officers would even see the enlisted dudes and tell them to take the trash out of their rooms for them. Typical. I told supervision that they might as well just write me the paperwork if my name ever gets hit up for that duty, because there is no way in hell I'm doing it.

At Osan back in the early 90's there was no bay orderly. Each dormie paid a nominal fee (I think $5 a month), to Ajima (older Korean Woman) who cleaned the common areas. If you wanted laundry, room cleaning, shoe shining, etc. That was extra. We also had an Odishi (Korean man) who cleaned out unit buildings, and even would help us push vehicles around, lift crates, etc. "Mr. Song" was his name and we paid "Song dues", again around $5-10 a month (think it was prorated by rank) so we didn't have to pull details etc.

All was well till an officer filed a claim for reimbursement for his BOQ (dorm) fees, and when claim was denied he filed an IG complaint. Thus led to the return of bay orderlies at Osan.

Salty Old Dog
03-31-2014, 08:34 PM
Yeah, sort of surprised that we're not hearing that the cleaning & lawn maintenance contractor is suing the government, for taking away business! :violin

Of course, if you consider that your Navy enlisted brethren get no contractors to clean their ships, is it really that big a deal for airmen to clean their spaces?? :faint

sandsjames
03-31-2014, 08:50 PM
Yeah, sort of surprised that we're not hearing that the cleaning & lawn maintenance contractor is suing the government, for taking away business! :violin

Of course, if you consider that your Navy enlisted brethren get no contractors to clean their ships, is it really that big a deal for airmen to clean their spaces?? :faint

I think you'll find that the large majority of Air Force people think (and have felt this way for many years) we should be cleaning our own spaces, from top to bottom of the rank structure. There have been claims for years that the contractors saved the government money when figuring the man-hour cost for airmen (which I'll never understand why we bother with that as I'm costing the government the same whether I work 1 hour or 16 hours) but apparantly that has now been proven to be false. The funny thing is that the majority of the time we had to escort the cleaners around anyway (being inside a secure building) so it wasn't saving manpower anyway.

Absinthe Anecdote
04-01-2014, 03:20 AM
Most US Government and DOD office spaces and watch floors that I've been on, and I've seen a lot of them, are messy as hell compared to some of our allies.

The Japanese and the Germans make us look like pigs, even when we have contract cleaning.

That General Fogelsong seemed to know a lot about cleaning up bases and making them look tidy, maybe we should bring him back as a consultant?

retiredAFcivvy
04-01-2014, 07:00 PM
So all these years we heard that it was cheaper to pay the contractors than to waste man hours of the airmen was a lie? I can't believe that....

I'm not sure that custodial services were ever the subject of formal cost studies because every office did their own cleaning. I think it evolved into a nice to have thing. True, the concept was there that airman could make better use of their time.

Drackore
04-01-2014, 08:00 PM
We discussed this before here. A lot of us agree that we should be cleaning our own facilities and cutting our own grass. Hiring companies for this was a huge waste of money. Saying we were contracting it out so Airmen had more time to train was a load of crap from the get-go. Train on redundant CBTs (that you have to complete so you can sit in a class that teaches...the CBT), volunteer at more bake sales, attend more pre-meetings for meetings, work on more powerpoint and excel, read more emails, go to more X-treme X-fit MMA Style PT sessions, send too many people to deploy to an already overpopulated location so they can sit on their thumbs, the list goes on. My people rarely get equipment time because of their additional duties and misc requirements. I'd rather they cut the grass and clean the latrine. Hell at least you can see the results of your work in that.

Class5Kayaker
04-01-2014, 09:03 PM
Actually, it appears the blasphemy is in expecting officers to do manual labor. We can't have that.

Easy now with the broad strokes you're painting with your brush there......I'm a Capt and I just vacuumed my own office this morning and then vacuumed the hallway and adjacent three offices to mine (two enlisted offices and the Colonel's). No one asked/directed me to do it other than about a month ago we got an email explaining it was "all hands in" on the office cleaning due to custodial cutbacks. The NCOs tried to take over but I told them not to worry about it and they could take their "turn" next week.

Class5Kayaker
04-01-2014, 09:06 PM
Scott Air Force Base airmen on April 1 will assume more responsibility for most mopping, vacuuming and grass-cutting at dorms and office buildings that do not fall under the "prestige" category.

Prestige = Headquarters....True blasphemy is in expecting any positive output/productivity out of a "prestige" building....

Here at HQ AFSOC they even got rid of the "prestige" status of the HQ buildings and the occupants of those buildings are mopping, vacuuming, etc.

Airborne
04-02-2014, 01:11 AM
It's cool how everyone says that we should go back to how it was "back in the day". Yes, when there were 800K in the Air Force and no deployments and less TDYs. It's one thing to have to clean the shitters in your building. It's another thing to be on the base grass cutting detail in the summer when you have to give up three bodies during the heaviest flight schedule time.

GoatDriver57
04-02-2014, 01:16 AM
If its back cleaning your own building, Please God say it isn't true, then the next we'll learn how to spell KP again.

TSat75
04-02-2014, 01:16 AM
It's cool how everyone says that we should go back to how it was "back in the day". Yes, when there were 800K in the Air Force and no deployments and less TDYs. It's one thing to have to clean the shitters in your building. It's another thing to be on the base grass cutting detail in the summer when you have to give up three bodies during the heaviest flight schedule time.

I see where you are coming from with regard to the manning issue, but rest assured we had our share of deployments back in the 90s too (Bosnia, Kosovo, Southern Watch, Northern Watch, Central America, etc...)

OtisRNeedleman
04-02-2014, 02:15 AM
It just occurred to me that during my final eight years in the AF this was nothing I even thought about because at both Seymour Johnson and Corry Station we had federal prison camps and the inmates did all of that stuff for us.

Believe same applied at Maxwell. Remember coming in for SOS in 85. Van picked us up from the airport. Got to the VOQ, a man dressed in khaki brought our luggage to the billeting desk. Learned he was a Federal prison inmate. Also saw inmates doing grass details, etc.

WCS
04-02-2014, 03:21 AM
Location: Super Wing RAF Bentwaters/Woodbridge
Time factor: 1981
Real job: Fire Control Radar ok the A10 did not have radar but that's beside the point.
Detail: dorm clean-up AKA janitor
Work facts: took maybe a half day for the week you had it then the rest of the day was yours
Complain factor: 2--- We Airmen we complained but this was the best detail, we would mostly say hey we are supposed to be on upgrade training
Special notes: most of our details we would get off a little early or had a little longer lunch seems the old
timers knew to mix a little honey with the pain, something I tried to emulate and pass on.

Airborne
04-02-2014, 03:51 AM
I see where you are coming from with regard to the manning issue, but rest assured we had our share of deployments back in the 90s too (Bosnia, Kosovo, Southern Watch, Northern Watch, Central America, etc...)

Not saying there werent deployments then, but how many more people were there? How many more AFSCs were there? Like I said, Im all about cleaning the shitters and mopping the floors. But when it turns into picking cutting the base grass and picking up cigarette butts on perimeter road and giving up two sra and a ssgt for it then I begin to want to pay for contractors. This is just another case of that term I cant recall (im sure someone will help me). But were cutting contractors to save money, instead of cutting the real fat like GO billets or F35 program.

Absinthe Anecdote
04-02-2014, 05:17 AM
I say link the cleaning details to the waist measurement. People with an abdominal circumference below 33 inches should be exempt from all details.

If you are over 33 inches, you need to be scrubbing toilets and mowing grass. Plus, I would be in favor of making the fatties wear a set of coveralls with a big number on the back that depicts their waist measurement.

If there wasn't a budget crisis, I would also be for hiring a tuba player to follow the fattest airman around base to play that fat elephant song as he did details. If tuba players aren't available then kettle drummers would be acceptable.

It is always the fat ones in the break rooms making a mess, and then they go in the latrine and shit all over the place.

They deserve to be made to clean up their messes and be humiliated while doing it.

Chief_KO
04-02-2014, 12:54 PM
Korea circa 1996: Air Force cracking down on BAS. Unit (607 ACS) at Camp Humphreys had all Airmen on BAS. Mandate came down that all in the dorms (60 or so) would be on meal card. Once the post CSM heard that he immediately contacted the First Sergeant to schedule SrA & below for KP.
After relooking at the impact of Airmen pulling KP vice the "cost" of BAS...7AF approved a permanent waiver to allow the Airmen at the Hump to keep BAS.

retiredAFcivvy
04-02-2014, 05:13 PM
Not saying there werent deployments then, but how many more people were there? How many more AFSCs were there? Like I said, Im all about cleaning the shitters and mopping the floors. But when it turns into picking cutting the base grass and picking up cigarette butts on perimeter road and giving up two sra and a ssgt for it then I begin to want to pay for contractors. This is just another case of that term I cant recall (im sure someone will help me). But were cutting contractors to save money, instead of cutting the real fat like GO billets or F35 program.
I may be wrong but I don't think there will be a lot of grounds maintenance that reverts back to airman details. In the AF I think that cutting the grass is primarily a CE function and if it is being done by contract there was some kind of formal cost study that showed that was the cheaper way to go. Kind of harder to revert back if that is the case.

BOSS302
04-02-2014, 07:20 PM
In the AF I think that cutting the grass is primarily a CE function

No. Cutting your damn grass is not a CE function. Cutting your own grass is your own function if there are no contractors, Federal Prisoners, or layabout airmen to do it.

imported_UncommonSense
04-02-2014, 07:53 PM
No. Cutting your damn grass is not a CE function. Cutting your own grass is your own function if there are no contractors, Federal Prisoners, or layabout airmen to do it.

You might want to get in touch with the OPR of AFI 32-1001

Section A—Objectives
1. Main Objectives. The Operations Flight main objectives are to ensure Air Force installations can support the mission, maintain real property facilities, and develop and implement programs to improve the livability of our base communities. Operations management accomplishes the following functions using either in-house or contract resources.

1.1. Operates, maintains, repairs, constructs, and demolishes Air Force real property and real property installed equipment (RPIE) to accomplish the mission in the most timely and economical manner, considering both the total life cycle costs and the impact of facilities on the quality of life.
1.2. Provides trained personnel and technical expertise to support Air Force operations worldwide.
1.3. Maintains capability to respond to and eliminate any emergency condition 24 hours a day.
1.4. Conducts all activities in compliance with applicable environmental, fire, and safety laws, codes, and directives.
1.5. Provides reliable, cost-effective utilities to meet readiness requirements, satisfy installation needs, and maintain quality of life.
1.6. Provides base support services (e.g., pest control, grounds maintenance, snow removal).


Edit: Yes, I know we have plenty of CE personnel on here that will chime in and refute how it is the users responsibility. Just remember that when you do, you will sound eerily like the MPF'er and Finance guys you go off on for not doing their job.

BOSS302
04-05-2014, 09:15 AM
You might want to get in touch with the OPR of AFI 32-1001

Section A—Objectives
1. Main Objectives. The Operations Flight main objectives are to ensure Air Force installations can support the mission, maintain real property facilities, and develop and implement programs to improve the livability of our base communities. Operations management accomplishes the following functions using either in-house or contract resources.

1.1. Operates, maintains, repairs, constructs, and demolishes Air Force real property and real property installed equipment (RPIE) to accomplish the mission in the most timely and economical manner, considering both the total life cycle costs and the impact of facilities on the quality of life.
1.2. Provides trained personnel and technical expertise to support Air Force operations worldwide.
1.3. Maintains capability to respond to and eliminate any emergency condition 24 hours a day.
1.4. Conducts all activities in compliance with applicable environmental, fire, and safety laws, codes, and directives.
1.5. Provides reliable, cost-effective utilities to meet readiness requirements, satisfy installation needs, and maintain quality of life.
1.6. Provides base support services (e.g., pest control, grounds maintenance, snow removal).


Edit: Yes, I know we have plenty of CE personnel on here that will chime in and refute how it is the users responsibility. Just remember that when you do, you will sound eerily like the MPF'er and Finance guys you go off on for not doing their job.

Yes, will provide base support services. Like running the contracted teams for base grass cutting or running "base appearance teams" like in USAFE during Combat Proud's darkness days.

They may even provide base support "grass cutting" through an equipment "self-help" center where airmen can check out mowers, edgers, etc.

However, if you honestly think it is the job of Engineering Assistants, Plumbers, EOD Techs, Firemen, Electricians, Readiness, and others to come cut your damn grass, you are very much mistaken.

Using the "MPF" or "Finance" misdirection is false because I expect Finance to process my paycheck, not come to my house and balance my checkbook; I expect MPF to process my PCS orders, not come to my shop and sort out my Pro Gear shipment.

At the very least, a fattened-up CE squadron might have a Heavy Repair/Pavements shop big enough to provide in-house grounds maintenance. Even then, your grass cutting is going to take a very high-altitude cheap seats position to their main missions, such as runway spall repair, airfield grounds maintenance, pavements repair, airfield sweeping, snow removal, etc.

technomage1
04-05-2014, 11:38 AM
I may be wrong but I don't think there will be a lot of grounds maintenance that reverts back to airman details. In the AF I think that cutting the grass is primarily a CE function and if it is being done by contract there was some kind of formal cost study that showed that was the cheaper way to go. Kind of harder to revert back if that is the case.

This. Anytime you have Airmen doing something - be it cutting grass or cleaning a building - they are not doing their core job. We're so short on people - at least in my world - that we don't have people just sitting around anymore like the fat and happy days of the early '90s. There are only so many people and so many hours in the day.

It's cheaper to pay a contractor to cut grass, especially when you factor like gas and equipment, and also the fact you're paying the workers peanuts compared to Airmen AND are not responsible for any of their costs such as health care. It is the same with cleaning. By the time you factor in the cost of supplies - vacuums, bags, cleaning agents, TP, paper towels, etc along with the "wages" you're paying Airmen to do the job (and what you're paying someone else to do their job while they're cleaning) - it's cheaper to go contract.

Don't get me wrong, I could care less from a labor perspective that Airmen are cutting grass or cleaning latrines - I have done it and continue to take out my own trash, for example, - but it doesn't make economic sense. I can almost guarantee that the AF will figure out it was cheaper in the end and revert back.

CE wise, if we are expected to use troop labor to mow everyone's grass then we expect to see our manning increase accordingly - also keep in mind we have a high deployment rate too.

BOSS302
04-05-2014, 12:03 PM
This. Anytime you have Airmen doing something - be it cutting grass or cleaning a building - they are not doing their core job. We're so short on people - at least in my world - that we don't have people just sitting around anymore like the fat and happy days of the early '90s. There are only so many people and so many hours in the day.

It's cheaper to pay a contractor to cut grass, especially when you factor like gas and equipment, and also the fact you're paying the workers peanuts compared to Airmen AND are not responsible for any of their costs such as health care. It is the same with cleaning. By the time you factor in the cost of supplies - vacuums, bags, cleaning agents, TP, paper towels, etc along with the "wages" you're paying Airmen to do the job (and what you're paying someone else to do their job while they're cleaning) - it's cheaper to go contract.

Don't get me wrong, I could care less from a labor perspective that Airmen are cutting grass or cleaning latrines - I have done it and continue to take out my own trash, for example, - but it doesn't make economic sense. I can almost guarantee that the AF will figure out it was cheaper in the end and revert back.

CE wise, if we are expected to use troop labor to mow everyone's grass then we expect to see our manning increase accordingly - also keep in mind we have a high deployment rate too.

A more reasoned response than mine. I have been in too many CE squadrons where the Wing treats CES like a generic labor pool. And unfortunately the CES leadership was full of Yessir Massa types.

The sinewy state of Air Force manning is a slight blessing in that I have noticed a marked decline in that attitude.

You want your grass cut by CES or do you want your airfield lights RWP to be done? Cut your grass or sweep your airfield? Cut your grass or remove a year's worth of rubber from the airfield approaches?

Skinny manning forces 'leadership' to make the right call. And that goes for all squadrons.

technomage1
04-05-2014, 12:18 PM
A more reasoned response than mine. I have been in too many CE squadrons where the Wing treats CES like a generic labor pool. And unfortunately the CES leadership was full of Yessir Massa types.

The sinewy state of Air Force manning is a slight blessing in that I have noticed a marked decline in that attitude.

You want your grass cut by CES or do you want your airfield lights RWP to be done? Cut your grass or sweep your airfield? Cut your grass or remove a year's worth of rubber from the airfield approaches?

Skinny manning forces 'leadership' to make the right call. And that goes for all squadrons.

There are a few bases where CE does cut the vast majority of the grass, but they're manned for it at those locations. Also they use low wage GS or temp workers to do it, not blue suiters, for the reasons I outlined above. Most bases rely on contractors. If those go away, then CE manning needs to go up accordingly, and the smart way is to use the low wage GS guys or seasonal temp workers as they are cheaper than blue suiters. Also you have to figure the first year is going to cost an arm and a leg as all the necessary equipment is purchased.

akruse
04-05-2014, 01:04 PM
Where is the money for all the lawn mowers and accompanying CBTs to operate said machines going to come from?

BigBaze
04-05-2014, 04:48 PM
When I get tasked to cut the grass I'm going to tow a sprayer behind the mower filled with Roundup, so all the grass dies overnight. If there is no grass around the squadron, I can't be tasked to cut it anymore. Problem solved.

akruse
04-05-2014, 07:28 PM
When I get tasked to cut the grass I'm going to tow a sprayer behind the mower filled with Roundup, so all the grass dies overnight. If there is no grass around the squadron, I can't be tasked to cut it anymore. Problem solved.

Winner. Thats a hell of a bullet too if you knock out the rest of the squadrons for them.

akruse
04-05-2014, 07:57 PM
When I get tasked to cut the grass I'm going to tow a sprayer behind the mower filled with Roundup, so all the grass dies overnight. If there is no grass around the squadron, I can't be tasked to cut it anymore. Problem solved.

Winner. Thats a hell of a bullet too if you knock out the rest of the squadrons for them.

Absinthe Anecdote
04-05-2014, 09:28 PM
When I get tasked to cut the grass I'm going to tow a sprayer behind the mower filled with Roundup, so all the grass dies overnight. If there is no grass around the squadron, I can't be tasked to cut it anymore. Problem solved.

I think you'd have more success if you wrote a point paper that explained how letting the grass grow long is a environmentally sound practice because it creates a safe Eco System for wildlife on our bases.

BRUWIN
04-06-2014, 07:30 AM
I think you'd have more success if you wrote a point paper that explained how letting the grass grow long is a environmentally sound practice because it creates a safe Eco System for wildlife on our bases.

Keeping the grass long around the runway and taxiways actually keeps birds away and prevents bird strikes. Birds fear long grass because of the predators it hides. However, the fighter mafia prefers to keep the grass cut so their OCD doesn't kick in before takeoff.

BRUWIN
04-06-2014, 07:33 AM
A more reasoned response than mine. I have been in too many CE squadrons where the Wing treats CES like a generic labor pool.

Well that is what CE is for...fixing our issues around the base. I have often asked myself "Why isn't CE doing this instead of my troops?"

VCO
04-06-2014, 09:04 AM
Well that is what CE is for...fixing our issues around the base. I have often asked myself "Why isn't CE doing this instead of my troops?"

As the old timers say, Clean Everyone's Shit.

BOSS302
04-06-2014, 11:23 AM
Keeping the grass long around the runway and taxiways actually keeps birds away and prevents bird strikes. Birds fear long grass because of the predators it hides. However, the fighter mafia prefers to keep the grass cut so their OCD doesn't kick in before takeoff.

There is actually a specific length airfield grass must be maintained at. Too long or too short invites an environment for bird strikes.

BOSS302
04-06-2014, 11:25 AM
Well that is what CE is for...fixing our issues around the base. I have often asked myself "Why isn't CE doing this instead of my troops?"

You are a Mr. now. A retiree. You need only to worry about early bird opening hours at the commissary and which buffets in town give the best afternoon discounts.

Chief_KO
04-06-2014, 01:17 PM
I think you'd have more success if you wrote a point paper that explained how letting the grass grow long is a environmentally sound practice because it creates a safe Eco System for wildlife on our bases.

Already done. Ellsworth only cuts 50ft or so along the road way, the remaining field goes "native" with natural tall grasses, etc.

sandsjames
04-06-2014, 01:22 PM
CE provides facility manager training for all facilities on base. There is only a certain distance around your building you are required to keep maintained. Outside of that, the cutting will be provided through a contract or some other means. We will provide you with all the materials needed to keep the lawn mowed. If you are unsure of how to do this, you can come in and see us and we'll give you the answer and even give you the necessary safety training needed to keep you from injuring yourself. You are far too important to the mission to get hurt mowing the lawn. If you sign the equipment out from self help and it is broken or doesn't work right we will fix it for you. What we won't do is refer you to someone on the end of the phone at another base to get you your answers.

Mcjohn1118
04-06-2014, 02:46 PM
There is actually a specific length airfield grass must be maintained at. Too long or too short invites an environment for bird strikes.

It's also directed by security instructions to keep the grass around restricted areas and flightlines short. Grass and weeds too long can conceal folks trying to attack assets.

Absinthe Anecdote
04-06-2014, 04:13 PM
Already done. Ellsworth only cuts 50ft or so along the road way, the remaining field goes "native" with natural tall grasses, etc.

I was one of those guys who would write point papers on all types of issues, not because I believed in any cause that my point papers championed, but because I wanted to see if I could persuade leadership to do what I suggested.

It was a neat little hobby and I got a lot of satisfaction from it.

Anytime that I could disguise a silly suggestion as something serious and get leadership to go along with it, I felt a great sense of accomplishment.

I remember one of my squadron commanders was a very sharp guy and shared the same hobby as me. He got behind my idea about making people wear reflector belts and helped me push the idea to very high levels of leadership.

Although it was a joint effort, it was my greatest triumph. I can only dream about how I could leverage the budget shortages of today, to make leadership do silly things.

You guys on active duty live in very exciting times, and I hope there is an ambitious point paper writer out there taking advantage of these tremendous opportunities to make leadership dance to a silly tune.

sandsjames
04-06-2014, 04:25 PM
I was one of those guys who would write point papers on all types of issues, not because I believed in any cause that my point papers championed, but because I wanted to see if I could persuade leadership to do what I suggested.

It was a neat little hobby and I got a lot of satisfaction from it.

Anytime that I could disguise a silly suggestion as something serious and get leadership to go along with it, I felt a great sense of accomplishment.

I remember one of my squadron commanders was a very sharp guy and shared the same hobby as me. He got behind my idea about making people wear reflector belts and helped me push the idea to very high levels of leadership.

Although it was a joint effort, it was my greatest triumph. I can only dream about how I could leverage the budget shortages of today, to make leadership do silly things.

You guys on active duty live in very exciting times, and I hope there is an ambitious point paper writer out there taking advantage of these tremendous opportunities to make leadership dance to a silly tune.

That is a great point Absinthe Anecdote! You are on the money! Way to take initiative.

Absinthe Anecdote
04-06-2014, 05:01 PM
It's also directed by security instructions to keep the grass around restricted areas and flightlines short. Grass and weeds too long can conceal folks trying to attack assets.

You aren't thinking outside the box! It is possible to provide a robust habit for wildlife and protect our restricted areas at the same time. All you'd have to do is hide a low ranking SF member in the tall grass to ambush any intruders. That would be much cheaper than having that same airmen running a fossil fuel burning lawn mower.

Better yet, what about getting a flock of goats to eat the grass? That same SF airman could shepherd the goats while watching the restricted area.

I'm not even getting into all the other benefits of have herds of goats on our bases, like fresh goats milk and cheese.

TJMAC77SP
04-06-2014, 05:07 PM
AA, I swear there are days I think you are an alt account of Bruwin.

Absinthe Anecdote
04-06-2014, 05:41 PM
AA, I swear there are days I think you are an alt account of Bruwin.

Nah, nothing of the sort. I'm just an ordinary airman who spent his first 36 months in the Air Force pulling too much guard duty on lonely posts. One night early in my career, I captured a good idea fairy, and I held her captive until she agreed to keep me supplied with fresh ideas.

In retrospect, I made a big mistake cross-training into intelligence, because I think I could have wielded much more influence in cop squadrons.

Still, I had an impressive run with some of my suggestions that reached Air Force wide implementation. Remember all that flip flopping on uniform changes back in the 1990's?

People blamed that on McPeak, but it was really just a string of point papers that I wrote, that leadership signed off on. It was just a prank that I played on the Air Force.

Never underestimate what a bored airman can do when someone teaches him how to write staff papers.

coloringoutsidethelines
04-06-2014, 07:20 PM
Korea circa 1996: Air Force cracking down on BAS. Unit (607 ACS) at Camp Humphreys had all Airmen on BAS. Mandate came down that all in the dorms (60 or so) would be on meal card. Once the post CSM heard that he immediately contacted the First Sergeant to schedule SrA & below for KP.
After relooking at the impact of Airmen pulling KP vice the "cost" of BAS...7AF approved a permanent waiver to allow the Airmen at the Hump to keep BAS.

Was there from 2008-2009 had BAS for the majority of my stay, but they took away BAS, luckily it only started 15 days before I left

PburghNo1
04-07-2014, 11:36 AM
Believe same applied at Maxwell. Remember coming in for SOS in 85. Van picked us up from the airport. Got to the VOQ, a man dressed in khaki brought our luggage to the billeting desk. Learned he was a Federal prison inmate. Also saw inmates doing grass details, etc.

Still happens at Maxwell....now just with former Congressmen!

http://www.suntimes.com/news/metro/26661249-418/former-rep-jesse-jackson-jr-moved-to-alabama-prison.html

imported_DannyJ
04-09-2014, 05:40 PM
It's just amazing the attitude that someone else should clean up after you. CLEAN UP YOUR OWN CRAP.

retiredAFcivvy
04-09-2014, 06:36 PM
When I get tasked to cut the grass I'm going to tow a sprayer behind the mower filled with Roundup, so all the grass dies overnight. If there is no grass around the squadron, I can't be tasked to cut it anymore. Problem solved.
Wait a minute! Did you get MAJCOM approval?

Chief_KO
04-09-2014, 10:46 PM
Wait a minute! Did you get MAJCOM approval?

Even more important, did you get CE Bio-Environmental, MDG Public Health, & Wg Safety to approve? have an MSDS? conduct a thorough pre- and post-application environmental assessment? and of course were covered head to toe in the proper and recently inspected IPE???

LogDog
04-10-2014, 05:55 AM
It's just amazing the attitude that someone else should clean up after you. CLEAN UP YOUR OWN CRAP.
I agree. It's not going to harm an airman to help clean their building. In fact, it helps build character. Instead of telling the complaining airman to "Shut-up and color" now you'll be able to say "Shut-up and mop."

Absinthe Anecdote
04-10-2014, 12:08 PM
I agree. It's not going to harm an airman to help clean their building. In fact, it helps build character. Instead of telling the complaining airman to "Shut-up and color" now you'll be able to say "Shut-up and mop."

I mopped many floors when I was a young security policeman, and I agree that it does build character. I certainly owe the mental and moral qualities that are distinctive to me as an individual to things like Pine Sol, dingy grey mops, and those yellow mop buckets that say, "Caution Wet Floor" in both Spanish and English.

Just the other day, a supermarket cashier gave me too much change back from a purchase. I could have easily just pocketed the money, but then I remembered how effective hot water and Pine Sol are at dissolving a thin coat of grime on tiled floors; I smiled brightly at the young cashier, and gave the extra money back to her.

sandsjames
04-10-2014, 12:49 PM
I agree. It's not going to harm an airman to help clean their building. In fact, it helps build character. Instead of telling the complaining airman to "Shut-up and color" now you'll be able to say "Shut-up and mop."How can you guys not understand this. It's not that we don't want to clean up after ourselves. It's that we aren't allowed to clean up after ourselves as it violates the contracts. Hell, we weren't even allowed to have window cleaner. And if we used the stuff in the contractor locker it was a shit storm.

BOSS302
04-10-2014, 01:18 PM
How can you guys not understand this. It's not that we don't want to clean up after ourselves. It's that we aren't allowed to clean up after ourselves as it violates the contracts. Hell, we weren't even allowed to have window cleaner. And if we used the stuff in the contractor locker it was a shit storm.

We'd just make Power Pro come over to our shop & clean our floors/windows/walls/laundry while we took their wives to lunch and showed them what it's like to be with a Real Man.

sandsjames
04-10-2014, 01:21 PM
We'd just make Power Pro come over to our shop & clean our floors/windows/walls/laundry while we took their wives to lunch and showed them what it's like to be with a Real Man.

And we appreciated that. Saved me a lot of money on lunches.

BOSS302
04-10-2014, 01:28 PM
And we appreciated that. Saved me a lot of money on lunches.

Nice.

Absinthe Anecdote
04-10-2014, 03:39 PM
How can you guys not understand this. It's not that we don't want to clean up after ourselves. It's that we aren't allowed to clean up after ourselves as it violates the contracts. Hell, we weren't even allowed to have window cleaner. And if we used the stuff in the contractor locker it was a shit storm.

You have hit the nail one the head, or more accurately, hit the 5MT!

This is possibly the reason that our once great Air Force is suffering integrity problems. After all, we have already established, that mopping the floor builds character, and since our airmen are being denied the time honored military tradition of sweeping and mopping, is it any wonder that we have cheating scandals and sexual assaults?

It is so very sad, I think I will now get weepy and wallow in the nostalgia of my glory days spent mopping the floors of an ECP at a desolate SAC base.

sandsjames
04-10-2014, 03:50 PM
You have hit the nail one the head, or more accurately, hit the 5MT!

This is possibly the reason that our once great Air Force is suffering integrity problems. After all, we have already established, that mopping the floor builds character, and since our airmen are being denied the time honored military tradition of sweeping and mopping, is it any wonder that we have cheating scandals and sexual assaults?

It is so very sad, I think I will now get weepy and wallow in the nostalgia of my glory days spent mopping the floors of an ECP at a desolate SAC base.

:yawn

Absinthe Anecdote
04-10-2014, 03:55 PM
:yawn

Are you sleepy?

retiredAFcivvy
04-10-2014, 06:37 PM
You have hit the nail one the head, or more accurately, hit the 5MT!

This is possibly the reason that our once great Air Force is suffering integrity problems. After all, we have already established, that mopping the floor builds character, and since our airmen are being denied the time honored military tradition of sweeping and mopping, is it any wonder that we have cheating scandals and sexual assaults?

It is so very sad, I think I will now get weepy and wallow in the nostalgia of my glory days spent mopping the floors of an ECP at a desolate SAC base.
ECP?

Absinthe Anecdote
04-10-2014, 06:58 PM
ECP?

Entry Control Point

SomeRandomGuy
04-10-2014, 08:05 PM
Entry Control Point

I think your post above might be right. Us Airmen not doing a good job protecting the "Entry Control Point" is definitly the cause of rising sexual assualts. I also agree that if it is your ECP you should be in charge of maintaining it. If you don't keep the grass mowed you never know who or what can sneak in.

LogDog
04-10-2014, 08:51 PM
I mopped many floors when I was a young security policeman, and I agree that it does build character. I certainly owe the mental and moral qualities that are distinctive to me as an individual to things like Pine Sol, dingy grey mops, and those yellow mop buckets that say, "Caution Wet Floor" in both Spanish and English.

Just the other day, a supermarket cashier gave me too much change back from a purchase. I could have easily just pocketed the money, but then I remembered how effective hot water and Pine Sol are at dissolving a thin coat of grime on tiled floors; I smiled brightly at the young cashier, and gave the extra money back to her.
You had yellow signs warning the floor was wet? In my day, if you couldn't tell the floor was wet you deserved to fall on your ass when you walked on it.

Think of having airmen cleaning their buildings in another way; if they study and get promoted to SSgt then they won't have to do any cleaning. If that won't motivate them then they should be cleaning their building.

Absinthe Anecdote
04-10-2014, 09:08 PM
You had yellow signs warning the floor was wet? In my day, if you couldn't tell the floor was wet you deserved to fall on your ass when you walked on it.

Think of having airmen cleaning their buildings in another way; if they study and get promoted to SSgt then they won't have to do any cleaning. If that won't motivate them then they should be cleaning their building.

The mop buckets were yellow and were lettered with the warning on the side of them.

Sounds like you didn't spend much time building character as an airman, because that is something you should remember.

I'm not speaking out against mopping, go back and read my posts again.

retiredAFcivvy
04-10-2014, 09:15 PM
The mop buckets were yellow and were lettered with the warning on the side of them.

Sounds like you didn't spend much time building character as an airman, because that is something you should remember.

I'm not speaking out against mopping, go back and read my posts again.

Back in my day the buckets were gray metal. No lettering. (except maybe property of the Air Force)

LogDog
04-10-2014, 09:51 PM
The mop buckets were yellow and were lettered with the warning on the side of them.

Sounds like you didn't spend much time building character as an airman, because that is something you should remember.

I'm not speaking out against mopping, go back and read my posts again.
We had grey, metal buckets with wringers on the top.

I did spend a lot of time building character because we had warehouses that needed mopping. Throughout my career, I mopped floors while as a lower ranking airman and I made SrA BTZ which helped which got me a desk job. As an NCO/SNCO I would help mop our warehouse floors when our people were shorthanded and to show junior NCOs and airmen if I was willing to mop floors then they didn't have anything to complain about when it came to mopping floors. Two of the 11 bases I was at our warehouse was an old aircraft hanger so it was more than just office and latrine floors.

I wasn't questioning you about being against mopping, just that you had warning signs cautioning the floor was wet which is something we never had.

Chief_KO
04-10-2014, 10:52 PM
Those grey metal buckets were phased out to prevent TIs from putting a bucket on the head of trainee and making him/her sing the Air Force like when Sgt Carter made GOmer Pyle sing the Marine Hymn on the Andy Griffith Show.

Most people think there was salt peter in the water at BMT back in the day (two glasses at each meal!)...actually the scent of Pine Oil counteracts the sex drive of the average 18 - 23 year old male. Once we stopped Airmen from mopping, cleaning toilets, etc. they got the raging hormones!!

Robert F. Dorr
04-10-2014, 11:04 PM
I mopped many floors when I was a young security policeman, and I agree that it does build character. I certainly owe the mental and moral qualities that are distinctive to me as an individual to things like Pine Sol, dingy grey mops, and those yellow mop buckets that say, "Caution Wet Floor" in both Spanish and English.

Just the other day, a supermarket cashier gave me too much change back from a purchase. I could have easily just pocketed the money, but then I remembered how effective hot water and Pine Sol are at dissolving a thin coat of grime on tiled floors; I smiled brightly at the young cashier, and gave the extra money back to her.

It doesn't build character. But it does get the floor mopped.

TJMAC77SP
04-11-2014, 12:04 AM
Hell, my first three years in the AF I thought of myself as a janitor with a gun.

Absinthe Anecdote
04-11-2014, 01:11 AM
Hell, my first three years in the AF I thought of myself as a janitor with a gun.

Exactly, one of my squadron's motto was "Providing Justice and Security" and we had a little marquee near the Desk Sergeant with moveable white letters. I got into the stock of spare letters and would routinely change it to read, "Providing Janitorial Service."

I think every cop felt that way and I remember hearing Janitor with a gun, so many times.

retiredAFcivvy
04-11-2014, 02:14 AM
Exactly, one of my squadron's motto was "Providing Justice and Security" and we had a little marquee near the Desk Sergeant with moveable white letters. I got into the stock of spare letters and would routinely change it to read, "Providing Janitorial Service."

I think every cop felt that way and I remember hearing Janitor with a gun, so many times.

Back in the sixties "gun" wasn't allowed. It was your weapon. Must have changed.

Absinthe Anecdote
04-11-2014, 02:51 AM
Back in the sixties "gun" wasn't allowed. It was your weapon. Must have changed.

You've been watching Full Metal Jacket too much.

We were Air Force cops, not Marines, and Janitor with a gun is the proper term.

TJMAC77SP
04-11-2014, 04:17 AM
You've been watching Full Metal Jacket too much.

We were Air Force cops, not Marines, and Janitor with a gun is the proper term.

This was from the guy who didn't know what an ECP was...........


...............and here I was thinking I came up with "janitor with a gun".

retiredAFcivvy
04-11-2014, 05:51 AM
This was from the guy who didn't know what an ECP was...........


...............and here I was thinking I came up with "janitor with a gun".

OK!OK! I really did know what an ECP was. Just giving AA a hard time. Seriously, back in the day we were told it was a weapon not a gun.
But, that was basic not the real world.

Max Power
04-11-2014, 06:04 AM
OK!OK! I really did know what an ECP was. Just giving AA a hard time.

Sure you did.

http://cdn.memegenerator.net/instances/250x250/23143028.jpg

BOSS302
04-11-2014, 09:21 AM
Just giving AA a hard time.

You don't give an Alpha Male a "hard time."

Absinthe Anecdote
04-11-2014, 12:33 PM
...............and here I was thinking I came up with "janitor with a gun".

Perhaps you did, I was several years behind you, but I heard "janitor with a gun" at all three of the bases I was assigned to as a cop. My very first night at work at Malmstrom I was handed a snow shovel, and then a M-60.

I was much more proficient with snow shovels, mops, and brooms. Once I cross trained into intel, I never touched another mop or broom, but I was an NCO by then.

ttribe
04-11-2014, 02:50 PM
Perhaps you did, I was several years behind you, but I heard "janitor with a gun" at all three of the bases I was assigned to as a cop. My very first night at work at Malmstrom I was handed a snow shovel, and then a M-60.

I was much more proficient with snow shovels, mops, and brooms. Once I cross trained into intel, I never touched another mop or broom, but I was an NCO by then.

A friend that was an Army MP told me the MP stood for Multi-purpose to them.

edoc118
04-11-2014, 03:42 PM
Back in the sixties "gun" wasn't allowed. It was your weapon. Must have changed.

A gun is crew-served artillery.

ttribe
04-11-2014, 04:04 PM
Back in the sixties "gun" wasn't allowed. It was your weapon. Must have changed.

It was always called a gun by me, especially when around those who got their undies in a twist when I called it that(usually a red-hatter).
Reminds me, I am going to a "gun" store at lunch with the dude I work next to. I might buy a copy of "guns" and ammo. I'll have to check the ads and see if there are any "gun" shows happening around here soon.

I just have to remember to take the trash on my way out the door. :nervous:

TJMAC77SP
04-11-2014, 04:37 PM
Perhaps you did, I was several years behind you, but I heard "janitor with a gun" at all three of the bases I was assigned to as a cop. My very first night at work at Malmstrom I was handed a snow shovel, and then a M-60.

I was much more proficient with snow shovels, mops, and brooms. Once I cross trained into intel, I never touched another mop or broom, but I was an NCO by then.

Oh the things I could do with floor wax, a section of wool blanket and a buffer. I think I had my buffer 7-level before I got my SP 5-level.

TJMAC77SP
04-11-2014, 04:38 PM
It was always called a gun by me, especially when around those who got their undies in a twist when I called it that(usually a red-hatter).
Reminds me, I am going to a "gun" store at lunch with the dude I work next to. I might buy a copy of "guns" and ammo. I'll have to check the ads and see if there are any "gun" shows happening around here soon.

I just have to remember to take the trash on my way out the door. :nervous:

Whatever you do don't say "repeat' on the radio.

Absinthe Anecdote
04-11-2014, 05:15 PM
Whatever you do don't say "repeat' on the radio.

One of my hobbies was to try to say words that sounded like the duress word. If the duress word was Llmama, I'd answer my status checks with lava all night.

Maybe that is why I was always mopping floors?

TJMAC77SP
04-11-2014, 05:20 PM
One of my hobbies was to try to say words that sounded like the duress word. If the duress word was Llmama, I'd answer my status checks with lava all night.

Maybe that is why I was always mopping floors?

Yesssssssssssssss, that might explain it.

Absinthe Anecdote
04-11-2014, 05:47 PM
Yesssssssssssssss, that might explain it.

I almost feel sorry for for my Flight Chiefs and supervisors, I really tested their patience, but they never gave me any paper work.

The more creative I would get in my pranks, they more creative they would get in their efforts to "train" me.

If I pulled a silly prank and got caught, they would select me to be the perpetrator during exercises and they would always be on scene to make sure I was searched and handcuffed in interesting ways.

TJMAC77SP
04-11-2014, 06:23 PM
I almost feel sorry for for my Flight Chiefs and supervisors, I really tested their patience, but they never gave me any paper work.

The more creative I would get in my pranks, they more creative they would get in their efforts to "train" me.

If I pulled a silly prank and got caught, they would select me to be the perpetrator during exercises and they would always be on scene to make sure I was searched and handcuffed in interesting ways.

Best flight chief I ever had kept a real 'shit-list'. You screwed the pooch he brought you in showed you as he wrote your name on the list and then explained what it meant.........every extra duty, shit detail, etc got manned from the Shit List. You kept your nose clean for several months, he brought you in, with the same sense of 'ceremony' you watched as he crossed your name off. I saw some airmen I thought for sure were destined for early discharge turn a corner and get their shit together.

I always imagined what PME instructor would say to that particular leadership tool. Coronary most likely.

Leon Nunez was one of four people I thanked at my retirement. He taught me what a real leader is supposed to do.

Sorry to get maudlin and not that I am saying you would have been one of those troops but your post reminded me of Leon. Truth is Leon would have loved you. He loved pranks. He particularly loved pulling pranks on the NCO's who like to prank and torture the younger airmen.

Absinthe Anecdote
04-11-2014, 07:42 PM
Best flight chief I ever had kept a real 'shit-list'. You screwed the pooch he brought you in showed you as he wrote your name on the list and then explained what it meant.........every extra duty, shit detail, etc got manned from the Shit List. You kept your nose clean for several months, he brought you in, with the same sense of 'ceremony' you watched as he crossed your name off. I saw some airmen I thought for sure were destined for early discharge turn a corner and get their shit together.

I always imagined what PME instructor would say to that particular leadership tool. Coronary most likely.

Leon Nunez was one of four people I thanked at my retirement. He taught me what a real leader is supposed to do.

Sorry to get maudlin and not that I am saying you would have been one of those troops but your post reminded me of Leon. Truth is Leon would have loved you. He loved pranks. He particularly loved pulling pranks on the NCO's who like to prank and torture the younger airmen.

I don't recognize his name, but the "shit list" you describe sounds familiar, he must have had disciples in the cop world because I know I've heard people talking about that before.

I was smart enough to keep my uniform squared away, boots ultra shiny, and make high scores on Stan-Evals and CDCs. Plus, I usually had a happy attitude; I doubt that I would have been given so much leeway to play pranks if I hadn't.

The cop field was weird in that it had such a wide range of personalities in it, there was no shortage of dolts, morons, and incompetents; however, there were some really great NCOs in that field too.

TJMAC77SP
04-11-2014, 08:59 PM
I don't recognize his name, but the "shit list" you describe sounds familiar, he must have had disciples in the cop world because I know I've heard people talking about that before.

I was smart enough to keep my uniform squared away, boots ultra shiny, and make high scores on Stan-Evals and CDCs. Plus, I usually had a happy attitude; I doubt that I would have been given so much leeway to play pranks if I hadn't.

The cop field was weird in that it had such a wide range of personalities in it, there was no shortage of dolts, morons, and incompetents; however, there were some really great NCOs in that field too.

I agree with the wide range of personality types. I always thought it was because a certain percentage were forced into the career field (one that has one of the lowest ASVAB general scores of all AFSCs) and then people who chose to go into the field (not sure if that necessarily makes them smarter but it is what it is).

retiredAFcivvy
04-12-2014, 09:28 PM
TJ, ASVAB...Believe it or not I did remember what that stood for (but after the ECP debacle I did check myself on it). When you mentioned that cops fell under the General category, my memory kicked in (does get fuzzy at times) and was thinking back in the day it was under Admine. Reason was that I was a personnel troop and always glad they didn't stick me in cops instead. I did a little research and found that the AFSC was in fact 771XX at one time, samneral category as Admin 702XX and personnel 732XX

retiredAFcivvy
04-12-2014, 09:31 PM
TJ, ASVAB...Believe it or not I did remember what that stood for (but after the ECP debacle I did check myself on it). When you mentioned that cops fell under the General category, my memory kicked in (does get fuzzy at times) and was thinking back in the day it was under Admine. Reason was that I was a personnel troop and always glad they didn't stick me in cops instead. I did a little research and found that the AFSC was in fact 771XX at one time, samneral category as Admin 702XX and personnel 732XX
Sorry for some of the mispellings. I posted an auto save and didn't proof read.

Max Power
04-12-2014, 10:26 PM
Sorry for some of the mispellings. I posted an auto save and didn't proof read.

You do know there is an Edit Post button on your posts, right?

retiredAFcivvy
04-12-2014, 10:30 PM
Yeah, just didn't realize until after posting.

TJMAC77SP
04-12-2014, 11:36 PM
TJ, ASVAB...Believe it or not I did remember what that stood for (but after the ECP debacle I did check myself on it). When you mentioned that cops fell under the General category, my memory kicked in (does get fuzzy at times) and was thinking back in the day it was under Admine. Reason was that I was a personnel troop and always glad they didn't stick me in cops instead. I did a little research and found that the AFSC was in fact 771XX at one time, samneral category as Admin 702XX and personnel 732XX

I was referring to the parts of the ASVAB not the category of the AFSC. When I came in (1977) the required score in the General section was 45 (to be a cop...811X0). That is pretty low.

Absinthe Anecdote
04-13-2014, 12:07 AM
Sorry for some of the mispellings. I posted an auto save and didn't proof read.

I think you could have been a cop...

Absinthe Anecdote
04-13-2014, 12:07 AM
Yeah, just didn't realize until after posting.

I'm sure you could've been a cop. :)

TJMAC77SP
04-13-2014, 01:58 AM
I'm sure you could've been a cop. :)

Ok, that one got a chuckle.............

Absinthe Anecdote
04-13-2014, 03:41 AM
Ok, that one got a chuckle.............

We really need to start a cop thread; don't you think so?

retiredAFcivvy
04-13-2014, 04:39 AM
We really need to start a cop thread; don't you think so?
I'm really surprised they didn't kill this one when the discussion got down to color of mop buckets!

retiredAFcivvy
04-13-2014, 04:46 AM
I'm sure you could've been a cop. :)

Don't know. But one day during a TACEVAL while on the OSAT I challenged an inspector with an empty M-16 (you know "halt"). Did get an attaboy letter for that.

garhkal
04-13-2014, 04:47 AM
It has at many places. Contracted cleaning budgets were either cut totally or severely cut back.
Unfortunately we no longer have the manning numbers we used to have. IMO we should have never went down the outsourcing/privatizing path, but the bean counters said it was the way to go...
"Non-military duties" (aka weeds & seeds, mops, buckets & vacuums, trash, snow shoveling, grass mowing) should have been factored in the manning #s.
But, now we are throwing this back at our Airmen (on top of what they're already being expected to do...with less).

Yup. Lack of foresight in those bean counters is making this happen. BUT so too is getting away from having the people do for themselves.


So all these years we heard that it was cheaper to pay the contractors than to waste man hours of the airmen was a lie? I can't believe that....

Not a lie. The govt does not lie.. They just spin it!


Your post reminded me of when I was in Kunsan. They would assign an enlisted, sometimes even an NCO, to clean the officer dorm buildings since I guess officers can't be bothered to clean up their own mess. Anyways, I would hear stories about how trashed and disgusting their dorms were, and the officers would even see the enlisted dudes and tell them to take the trash out of their rooms for them. Typical. I told supervision that they might as well just write me the paperwork if my name ever gets hit up for that duty, because there is no way in hell I'm doing it.

It's the same for the navy on ships. Heck on the 2 carrier's i was stationed on, there was a whole division of people assigned for 'cleaning and general upkeep of officer quarters, the wardroom and laundry'.

And one of our most disliked Executive officers was cause when he called for an all hands field day, he damn well meant ALL hands.. Officers and chiefs (E7 and up) included.


Yeah, sort of surprised that we're not hearing that the cleaning & lawn maintenance contractor is suing the government, for taking away business! :violin

Of course, if you consider that your Navy enlisted brethren get no contractors to clean their ships, is it really that big a deal for airmen to clean their spaces?? :faint

Not just on ships either. When i was with the Seabees, we cleaned our own barracks and workspaces. Only the halls were cleaned by contract.


I say link the cleaning details to the waist measurement. People with an abdominal circumference below 33 inches should be exempt from all details.

If you are over 33 inches, you need to be scrubbing toilets and mowing grass. Plus, I would be in favor of making the fatties wear a set of coveralls with a big number on the back that depicts their waist measurement.

If there wasn't a budget crisis, I would also be for hiring a tuba player to follow the fattest airman around base to play that fat elephant song as he did details. If tuba players aren't available then kettle drummers would be acceptable.

It is always the fat ones in the break rooms making a mess, and then they go in the latrine and shit all over the place.

They deserve to be made to clean up their messes and be humiliated while doing it.

I would also add in the lazy asses, and those gals who pull the female card when that stuff comes up.


I mopped many floors when I was a young security policeman, and I agree that it does build character. I certainly owe the mental and moral qualities that are distinctive to me as an individual to things like Pine Sol, dingy grey mops, and those yellow mop buckets that say, "Caution Wet Floor" in both Spanish and English.

Just the other day, a supermarket cashier gave me too much change back from a purchase. I could have easily just pocketed the money, but then I remembered how effective hot water and Pine Sol are at dissolving a thin coat of grime on tiled floors; I smiled brightly at the young cashier, and gave the extra money back to her.

I remember being told by several co-workers who's significant others did cashier jobs out in town, that if they made that sort of mistake on the job (overpaid back a customer) the 'excess' was taken from their pay check. Since i would rather not skimp anyone for that, i always make mention of it. Though i have found a few places that DID say "our mistake, you keep it"..


Best flight chief I ever had kept a real 'shit-list'. You screwed the pooch he brought you in showed you as he wrote your name on the list and then explained what it meant.........every extra duty, shit detail, etc got manned from the Shit List. You kept your nose clean for several months, he brought you in, with the same sense of 'ceremony' you watched as he crossed your name off. I saw some airmen I thought for sure were destined for early discharge turn a corner and get their shit together.

I always imagined what PME instructor would say to that particular leadership tool. Coronary most likely.

PME instructor?? What's that? If anything like some of our instructors i have met over the years, they most likely would report him for harassing the troops.

retiredAFcivvy
04-13-2014, 04:48 AM
Don't know. But one day during a TACEVAL while on the OSAT I challenged an inspector with an empty M-16 (you know "halt"). Did get an attaboy letter for that.
Sorry, it was an old M-1.

Absinthe Anecdote
04-13-2014, 04:17 PM
I remember being told by several co-workers who's significant others did cashier jobs out in town, that if they made that sort of mistake on the job (overpaid back a customer) the 'excess' was taken from their pay check. Since i would rather not skimp anyone for that, i always make mention of it. Though i have found a few places that DID say "our mistake, you keep it"..



Pssst! Hey Sherlock!

That was a fabricated anecdote for the sole purpose of amusement. The part about hot water and Pine Sol prompting me to give the money back should have been a big clue.

TJMAC77SP
04-13-2014, 04:43 PM
PME instructor?? What's that? If anything like some of our instructors i have met over the years, they most likely would report him for harassing the troops.

Professional Military Education......career development training. You go through specific classes at specific ranks. As many AF posters would say they tend to subsist entirely on a diet of Blue Kool Aid.

Gonzo432
04-14-2014, 01:35 AM
Sorry, it was an old M-1.

The sight of a Garand will stop them in their tracks every time. The "no mag" thing with ARs and AKs give them away.

imported_DannyJ
04-14-2014, 02:18 AM
Thread = derailed.

FuelShopTech
04-14-2014, 02:20 AM
When I was still in the fuel shop, we did all our own cleaning.

From what I saw, it was mostly the office monkey jobs who had contractors to scrub the bathrooms and take out the trash.

Absinthe Anecdote
04-14-2014, 02:26 AM
Sorry, it was an old M-1.

When were you in the Air Force?

I'm pretty sure M-1s were mostly gone by the late 1950's...

BOSS302
04-14-2014, 07:26 AM
Thread = derailed.

That tends to happen with any thread that Absinthe Ancedote molests.

Absinthe Anecdote
04-14-2014, 03:24 PM
That tends to happen with any thread that Absinthe Ancedote molests.

I guess this would be my cue to get all butt-hurt and cause a big commotion and go screaming to the mods.

Naw, I can't do that.

I think I'll wait quietly, and wait until I catch you in the showers, then I'll make you mop the floors, and molest you, of course.

Rusty Jones
04-14-2014, 03:29 PM
and molest you, of course.

Hey, that's MY line!

BOSS302
04-14-2014, 04:09 PM
Back on topic.

We've slowly been taking back responsibility of cleaning our own facility. When I first arrived, we couldn't do a damn thing: vacuuming, mopping, floor waxing, etc. Even the trash was "off-limits" as the contractors kept the trash bags locked-up in their locker on our premises.

Perhaps the contract lapsed or was changed completely in the past few months; we've gotten trash bags, can mop and wax our floors, and can use the vacuum without the contractors having a conniption. The contractors come by once a week and do a minimal clean-up with no grounds maintenance.

The building looks better now than it did before.

efmbman
04-14-2014, 05:35 PM
...The building looks better now than it did before.

In my experience, the green suiters (or whatever you wear) are subject to immediate course correction. Contractors are not. When I was at Fort Bragg back in the 90s, we had a Command Sergeant Major that would purposely place a piece of trash around the building each night. In the morning, this was used to know if the CQ actually did the police call around the building prior to morning PT. Once this was a well known fact, very little supervision was required to ensure the assigned details were accomplished. It is not known if this sparked a spontaneous increase in the pride for the unit area, but the result was the same - there was no trash around the building as of 0600.

retiredAFcivvy
04-14-2014, 06:27 PM
When were you in the Air Force?

I'm pretty sure M-1s were mostly gone by the late 1950's...

Lakenheath, 1966-1969. Well, it was old and I know it wasn't an M-16.

Measure Man
04-14-2014, 06:47 PM
Back on topic.

We've slowly been taking back responsibility of cleaning our own facility. When I first arrived, we couldn't do a damn thing: vacuuming, mopping, floor waxing, etc. Even the trash was "off-limits" as the contractors kept the trash bags locked-up in their locker on our premises.

Depends on the contract...on some, the contractor has to provide all the supplies needed, so those supplies belong to them. On others, they can order supplies just like any other military unit and they simply provide the service.


Perhaps the contract lapsed or was changed completely in the past few months; we've gotten trash bags, can mop and wax our floors, and can use the vacuum without the contractors having a conniption. The contractors come by once a week and do a minimal clean-up with no grounds maintenance.

The building looks better now than it did before.

Don't say it too loud...the bean counters will think you must be overmanned.

SomeRandomGuy
04-14-2014, 06:57 PM
Don't say it too loud...the bean counters will think you must be overmanned.

In my unit we were directed by MAJCOM to review all current contracts and madated to reduce contract expenses by 20%. That mandate is literally impossible to do in 1 year as future prices have already been agreed upon for most contracts. That's sorta why they call it a contract. Not that the AF seems to care about any contract they have signed even enlistment contracts.

Either way, maintenance contracts were specifically cited as places we could reduce expense. I'm sure the same thing is happening everywhere. If in the past you were getting your trash picked up at your desk now you have to walk it out to the common trash can or dumpster. If areas were being cleaned twice per week could it be reduced to once? The answer to almost all of those questions is that yes we could easily do it ourselves. The only problem is that in a large unit that burden seems to be carried my the military. Us contractors can't be asked to do anything outside the scope of the contract (I obviously take my own trash out though) and civlians can always say that janitorial services aren't in their PD.

retiredAFcivvy
04-14-2014, 07:13 PM
[QUOTE=BOSS302;672425]Back on topic.

We've slowly been taking back responsibility of cleaning our own facility. When I first arrived, we couldn't do a damn thing: vacuuming, mopping, floor waxing, etc. Even the trash was "off-limits" as the contractors kept the trash bags locked-up in their locker on our premises.

Perhaps the contract lapsed or was changed completely in the past few months; we've gotten trash bags, can mop and wax our floors, and can use the vacuum without the contractors having a conniption. The contractors come by once a week and do a minimal clean-up with no grounds maintenance.

The building looks better now than it did before.[/QUOTE

Sounds like the conract got renegotiated to reduce services.

Measure Man
04-14-2014, 07:14 PM
In my unit we were directed by MAJCOM to review all current contracts and madated to reduce contract expenses by 20%. That mandate is literally impossible to do in 1 year as future prices have already been agreed upon for most contracts. That's sorta why they call it a contract. Not that the AF seems to care about any contract they have signed even enlistment contracts.

Most of the contracts I'm familiar with, even though it is called a "5-year contract"...they are really 1 year contracts with 4 option years. At the end of each year, the govt. can cancel or modify for the next year.


Either way, maintenance contracts were specifically cited as places we could reduce expense. I'm sure the same thing is happening everywhere. If in the past you were getting your trash picked up at your desk now you have to walk it out to the common trash can or dumpster. If areas were being cleaned twice per week could it be reduced to once? The answer to almost all of those questions is that yes we could easily do it ourselves. The only problem is that in a large unit that burden seems to be carried my the military. Us contractors can't be asked to do anything outside the scope of the contract (I obviously take my own trash out though) and civlians can always say that janitorial services aren't in their PD.

Yes, it is happening everywhere. The answer of "let the Airmen" do it, is getting more and more difficult as units do not have a bunch of "extra" Airmen like we used to.

From the bean counter perspective, if you have enough Airmen to do halls and walls, then you have too many...cut the Airmen and get a contract for halls and walls. Contractors are cheaper than Airmen.

The other advantage is they are easier to cut, as you noted. Maybe not immediately, but at the end of the FY. As congress is finding out, even slowing the growth of increases to mililitary servicememembers is difficult. The public does not care about contractors, so there is no uproar when we lose our jobs.

SomeRandomGuy
04-14-2014, 07:29 PM
Most of the contracts I'm familiar with, even though it is called a "5-year contract"...they are really 1 year contracts with 4 option years. At the end of each year, the govt. can cancel or modify for the next year.

The contracts we have here are mostly what you described. Normally they have a base of either 1 or 2 years and then 3 or 4 option years. Most of our newer contracts have 2 or more approved vendors and if new work is added both vendors get a chance to compete for it. As far as I know, you can't reduce the price of the option years though. You either pick up the option at the agreed upon price or you don't pick up the option and you re-compete the whole thing or drop the contract entirely. That process is a lot of work though so normally picking up the option is the best route.


Yes, it is happening everywhere. The answer of "let the Airmen" do it, is getting more and more difficult as units do not have a bunch of "extra" Airmen like we used to.

From the bean counter perspective, if you have enough Airmen to do halls and walls, then you have too many...cut the Airmen and get a contract for halls and walls. Contractors are cheaper than Airmen.

The other advantage is they are easier to cut, as you noted. Maybe not immediately, but at the end of the FY. As congress is finding out, even slowing the growth of increases to mililitary servicememembers is difficult. The public does not care about contractors, so there is no uproar when we lose our jobs

Contractors are cheaper than Airmen LONG TERM but not in the short term. If I had make a guess I would say we pay about $90,000 per year for work that could be performed by a SSgt. I'm not sure what you would say we pay for a SSgt though. The real issue there is you cannot directly allocate some costs to personnel. For example, the reduction of 1 SSgt will not save you any money on medical costs if that SSgt is using the base hospital for care. Or at least that savings would be negible. You are correct though it's easier to cut contractors and once you do they do not carry any future costs.

retiredAFcivvy
04-14-2014, 07:38 PM
Most of the contracts I'm familiar with, even though it is called a "5-year contract"...they are really 1 year contracts with 4 option years. At the end of each year, the govt. can cancel or modify for the next year.



Yes, it is happening everywhere. The answer of "let the Airmen" do it, is getting more and more difficult as units do not have a bunch of "extra" Airmen like we used to.

From the bean counter perspective, if you have enough Airmen to do halls and walls, then you have too many...cut the Airmen and get a contract for halls and walls. Contractors are cheaper than Airmen.

The other advantage is they are easier to cut, as you noted. Maybe not immediately, but at the end of the FY. As congress is finding out, even slowing the growth of increases to mililitary servicememembers is difficult. The public does not care about contractors, so there is no uproar when we lose our jobs.

Not quite as easy as simply modifying or canceling at end of contract period. Goverment has to give the contractor a preliminary notice of intent to exercise the option. Best to get the changes negotiated (as far as the government) prior to entering an option.

Measure Man
04-14-2014, 08:13 PM
Not quite as easy as simply modifying or canceling at end of contract period. Goverment has to give the contractor a preliminary notice of intent to exercise the option. Best to get the changes negotiated (as far as the government) prior to entering an option.

Yes, prior to entering the option.

It happens all the time.

Measure Man
04-14-2014, 08:20 PM
The contracts we have here are mostly what you described. Normally they have a base of either 1 or 2 years and then 3 or 4 option years. Most of our newer contracts have 2 or more approved vendors and if new work is added both vendors get a chance to compete for it.

What you are referring to is an ID/IQ contract (indefinite delivery/indefinite quantity) multi-vendor. I am heavily involved in one of those right now.


As far as I know, you can't reduce the price of the option years though. You either pick up the option at the agreed upon price or you don't pick up the option and you re-compete the whole thing or drop the contract entirely. That process is a lot of work though so normally picking up the option is the best route.

Contract modifications are done all the time. Basically, the govt. says "we would like to modify this contract to once per week instead of twice", then they negotiate a new price. Heck, last year we even had some contractors on base furloughed because of this.


Contractors are cheaper than Airmen LONG TERM but not in the short term.

Yes they are.


If I had make a guess I would say we pay about $90,000 per year for work that could be performed by a SSgt. I'm not sure what you would say we pay for a SSgt though. more than that I'm sure.
The real issue there is you cannot directly allocate some costs to personnel. For example, the reduction of 1 SSgt will not save you any money on medical costs if that SSgt is using the base hospital for care. Or at least that savings would be negible. You are correct though it's easier to cut contractors and once you do they do not carry any future costs.

Also, it is very rarely a 1 for 1....I know in our shops, we generally have about 1/3 the number of people for a contract operation than a military operation.

garhkal
04-14-2014, 09:20 PM
In my unit we were directed by MAJCOM to review all current contracts and madated to reduce contract expenses by 20%. That mandate is literally impossible to do in 1 year as future prices have already been agreed upon for most contracts. That's sorta why they call it a contract. Not that the AF seems to care about any contract they have signed even enlistment contracts.


So they call for a review and cut of cleaning contracts, but not contracts for big budget items that consistently go over budget/fail to meet any deadlines..

imported_Shove_your_stupid_meeting
04-14-2014, 11:01 PM
When I was still in the fuel shop, we did all our own cleaning.

From what I saw, it was mostly the office monkey jobs who had contractors to scrub the bathrooms and take out the trash.


Yeah, as an office monkey, I'm not sure exactly when that all started, but it wasn't always like that. I recall the days where we took care of the normal daily stuff like dusting, vacuuming, taking out the trash, etc., and it didn't seem like that big of a deal. It was just about taking a little pride in your place of business, and none of it seemed unreasonable. Even the self-help projects weren't too bad, as long as a few guys actually knew what they were doing and could give pointers to everyone else. I know we say we have too much work and not enough people these days, but when it comes to some of this stuff, I think we got a little lazy.

retiredAFcivvy
04-15-2014, 05:58 PM
So they call for a review and cut of cleaning contracts, but not contracts for big budget items that consistently go over budget/fail to meet any deadlines..
Notice that this is mostly aimed at installation level contacts. I consider the cleaning contracts sort of low hanging fruit. When you start talking contracts with budgets and deadlines, you're talking big companies and negotiating G&A, costs, profits, etc. Not as simple.

retiredAFcivvy
04-15-2014, 06:14 PM
What you are referring to is an ID/IQ contract (indefinite delivery/indefinite quantity) multi-vendor. I am heavily involved in one of those right now.



Contract modifications are done all the time. Basically, the govt. says "we would like to modify this contract to once per week instead of twice", then they negotiate a new price. Heck, last year we even had some contractors on base furloughed because of this.



Yes they are.

more than that I'm sure.

Also, it is very rarely a 1 for 1....I know in our shops, we generally have about 1/3 the number of people for a contract operation than a military operation.

Great response.

loader67
04-15-2014, 10:00 PM
Remember when we had this thing called "Tidy Friday"? Who ever wasn't on the line was busy cleaning up the shop or if you were "lucky" to be the cut back crew on swings you stripped, waxed and buffed the floors. When you were done and the boss approved you went home. Course, sometimes you were still buffing the floors when the rest of swings were turning in tools. Then there was the lucky airmen who were tasked to join the base grass cutting detail for the week. Oh the fun the airmen had back in the day.

garhkal
04-16-2014, 06:14 AM
I know for all of my tech schools, when you were waiting for your 'class' to muster up (if you got there early) you joined the base crew doing those sorts of tasking.

technomage1
04-16-2014, 01:07 PM
At one of my bases overseas - and this was in a high labor rate area and high cost of living area - CE got tasked to save $XK on contracts ASAP. I can't remember the exact amount but it was a chunk of change. Anyway, one of the first things we looked at hard was the custodial contract. We knew the sq footage of the carpet being cleaned, floors being mopped and number of fixtures (toilets, urinals, lavatories) being cleaned from the contract. First we calculated the usage rates of and the direct cost of the consumable supplies per contract period (TP, paper towels, hand soap, cleaning agents, rubber gloves). Then we started on the equipment: cost of vacuums, mop handles, mop heads, mop buckets, sponges, toilet brushes, etc. We calculated the straight line depreciated cost of each item given its expected service life. I can't recall the exact numbers used, but as an example a $150 vacuum that is expected to last 5 years would "cost" $30 a year.

We had planned to also calculate the number of hours expected to be spent on the cleaning and apply a base work rate charge. However, when we added up the above, we found the contract was less than $5K a year over what we were estimating the cost of the equipment and supplies to be. This was because the contractor, who worked both on and off base, could get economy of scale discounts on the consuambles and equipment that we couldn't get, even if we purchased as a base (and the plan was to increase the individual squadrons budgets to purchase the items, so the economy of scale would have been even worse).

We wound up calculating the hours anyway, then presenting our findings to leadership stating it cost less than $5k a year to save our Airmen X hours of labor a year - and that didn't include indirect costs like health care costs, pension costs, etc that Airmen cost. Essentially, we where paying the contractor peanuts to be a huge force multiplier.

The contract stayed unchanged.

I could care less if our Airmen were just standing around doing nothing nor could I care from a perspective of "Our Airmen are to good to clean". But the facts are we are busy and (at least in this case) it didn't make economic sense.

I do wonder, based on the "save over $1M" posted in the article, if this process was used at Scott or not. Maybe it was, but I tend to doubt it, since as I noted the area we did the calculation in had a high labor wage rate and high supply cost rate.

Airborne
04-17-2014, 02:57 AM
At one of my bases overseas - and this was in a high labor rate area and high cost of living area - CE got tasked to save $XK on contracts ASAP. I can't remember the exact amount but it was a chunk of change. Anyway, one of the first things we looked at hard was the custodial contract. We knew the sq footage of the carpet being cleaned, floors being mopped and number of fixtures (toilets, urinals, lavatories) being cleaned from the contract. First we calculated the usage rates of and the direct cost of the consumable supplies per contract period (TP, paper towels, hand soap, cleaning agents, rubber gloves). Then we started on the equipment: cost of vacuums, mop handles, mop heads, mop buckets, sponges, toilet brushes, etc. We calculated the straight line depreciated cost of each item given its expected service life. I can't recall the exact numbers used, but as an example a $150 vacuum that is expected to last 5 years would "cost" $30 a year.

We had planned to also calculate the number of hours expected to be spent on the cleaning and apply a base work rate charge. However, when we added up the above, we found the contract was less than $5K a year over what we were estimating the cost of the equipment and supplies to be. This was because the contractor, who worked both on and off base, could get economy of scale discounts on the consuambles and equipment that we couldn't get, even if we purchased as a base (and the plan was to increase the individual squadrons budgets to purchase the items, so the economy of scale would have been even worse).

We wound up calculating the hours anyway, then presenting our findings to leadership stating it cost less than $5k a year to save our Airmen X hours of labor a year - and that didn't include indirect costs like health care costs, pension costs, etc that Airmen cost. Essentially, we where paying the contractor peanuts to be a huge force multiplier.

The contract stayed unchanged.

I could care less if our Airmen were just standing around doing nothing nor could I care from a perspective of "Our Airmen are to good to clean". But the facts are we are busy and (at least in this case) it didn't make economic sense.

I do wonder, based on the "save over $1M" posted in the article, if this process was used at Scott or not. Maybe it was, but I tend to doubt it, since as I noted the area we did the calculation in had a high labor wage rate and high supply cost rate.

I live in a touristy area with cheap immigrant labor. Same thing at our group. You actually save money by having it contracted out. However, ours dont come very frequently and there are a bunch of guys consuming protein and salad, so the toilets do need to be cleaned more often than twice a week.

Chief_KO
04-17-2014, 12:59 PM
Surprised that no one has brought up the one AF tradition that has stood the test of time since 1947: The Phantom $hitter. Each dorm, squadron has one (at least one). You know, the guy who "explodes" in the commode and fails to clean up (or even flush).

When budget cuts were coming and we started to run low (out) of TP, paper towels, etc. I told my Airmen to go the MDG or Wing HQ to "do their business" since those two places will always be cleaned and have the required paper products.

Absinthe Anecdote
04-17-2014, 02:00 PM
Surprised that no one has brought up the one AF tradition that has stood the test of time since 1947: The Phantom $hitter. Each dorm, squadron has one (at least one). You know, the guy who "explodes" in the commode and fails to clean up (or even flush).

When budget cuts were coming and we started to run low (out) of TP, paper towels, etc. I told my Airmen to go the MDG or Wing HQ to "do their business" since those two places will always be cleaned and have the required paper products.

The Phantom Shitter is a true bastard. I always liked to put a bogus "Out of Order" sign on one of the stalls, so I would have a toilet to myself.

After being challenged on several occasions for using a broken toilet, I took to putting up bogus letters from the Medical Group that explained that the stall had been quarantined and could only be used by those with herpes.

That worked like a charm, and after the rumors started flying around about me, I got my own private room in the barracks.

BOSS302
04-17-2014, 06:10 PM
The Phantom Shitter is a true bastard. I always liked to put a bogus "Out of Order" sign on one of the stalls, so I would have a toilet to myself.

After being challenged on several occasions for using a broken toilet, I took to putting up bogus letters from the Medical Group that explained that the stall had been quarantined and could only be used by those with herpes.

That worked like a charm, and after the rumors started flying around about me, I got my own private room in the barracks.

http://i.imgur.com/29XYmgE.gif

LogDog
04-18-2014, 06:42 AM
Surprised that no one has brought up the one AF tradition that has stood the test of time since 1947: The Phantom $hitter. Each dorm, squadron has one (at least one). You know, the guy who "explodes" in the commode and fails to clean up (or even flush).

When budget cuts were coming and we started to run low (out) of TP, paper towels, etc. I told my Airmen to go the MDG or Wing HQ to "do their business" since those two places will always be cleaned and have the required paper products.
Being in the medical field my entire career, it's a good thing my shop had their own bathrooms or had them located where the non-medical public couldn't use them. We really didn't like to share with the non-medical riff-raft.

Absinthe Anecdote
04-18-2014, 11:40 AM
Being in the medical field my entire career, it's a good thing my shop had their own bathrooms or had them located where the non-medical public couldn't use them. We really didn't like to share with the non-medical riff-raft.

I once floated down the Mississippi River with a runaway slave on a non-medical riff-raft.

technomage1
04-18-2014, 12:41 PM
I'm downrange at the moment and it utterly amazes me the people that fail to follow basic courtesy in the shared latrines. They'll drop a duece and won't wait the 2 whole seconds to press the toilet buttons down (2 buttons on top, press 1 for a #1 and both for a #2, hold for a few seconds) for a full flush. They'll drop the lid instead since the flush didn't complete. So in the middle of the night a dreary eyed techno looks for a toilet and has to try multiple stalls to avoid someone else's mess and lack of courtesy. I'm about ready to remove the lids entirely and post kindergarten level instructions in the toilets.

It's so bad we've been threatened with having the johns locked and being provided with porta johns instead.



Sorry for the threadjack but this drives me nuts....