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View Full Version : Sen McCain calls for USAF HQ Layoffs



Mjölnir
03-25-2015, 11:54 PM
Military Times: http://www.militarytimes.com/story/military/pentagon/2015/03/25/mccain-letter-james-air-force-headquarters-cuts/70426300/


The Air Force's headquarters reductions announced last summer were a "shell game" and failed to cut 20 percent of top-level staff as ordered, Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., said in a letter Wednesday to the Air Force secretary.

"The 20 percent headquarters reductions were meant to make Defense Department operations more efficient while saving money for American taxpayers," McCain, chairman of the Senate Armed Service Committee, wrote to Air Force Secretary Deborah Lee James. "But the conduct of the Air Force in response to this guidance seems to have produced no actual staff reductions and yielded no actual savings."

Filterbing
03-27-2015, 02:44 PM
headquarters reductions were meant to make Defense Department operations more efficient while saving money for American taxpayers

Because that's how you get better, cutting people.

Smith! Your workload went from 4 major end items and their respective projects to 6,now make them better than before.

SomeRandomGuy
03-27-2015, 04:55 PM
headquarters reductions were meant to make Defense Department operations more efficient while saving money for American taxpayers

Because that's how you get better, cutting people.

Smith! Your workload went from 4 major end items and their respective projects to 6,now make them better than before.

I would counter by pointing out there are some HQ cuts that would make us more efficient. Just think about all the HQ staff who spend their entire day updating slides and making sure everyone stays "green". Just imagine the amount of time we could save if those people vanished. In my current job I'm dealing with a GS12 at HQ who is completely clueless. She's caused a task that was supposed to take about two weeks drag to well over four months now. She keeps responding with how the regulation says we need to accomplish the task and I keep pointing out that's not how it's accomplished in the field and even providing examples showing what she wants is impossible.

Filterbing
03-27-2015, 05:28 PM
I would counter by pointing out there are some HQ cuts that would make us more efficient. Just think about all the HQ staff who spend their entire day updating slides and making sure everyone stays "green". Just imagine the amount of time we could save if those people vanished. In my current job I'm dealing with a GS12 at HQ who is completely clueless. She's caused a task that was supposed to take about two weeks drag to well over four months now. She keeps responding with how the regulation says we need to accomplish the task and I keep pointing out that's not how it's accomplished in the field and even providing examples showing what she wants is impossible.

I've been working at HQ for near 6months. What I have seen is years of experience being flushed while new or unknowledgeable people have to pick up those taskings they leave behind. The requirement to manage programs didn't disappear, the people that knew them well did. To further complicate matters, MAJCOMs are also taking on new leadership roles without an experience transfer because the role transferred but again personnel didn't.

sandsjames
03-27-2015, 06:08 PM
I've been working at HQ for near 6months. What I have seen is years of experience being flushed while new or unknowledgeable people have to pick up those taskings they leave behind. The requirement to manage programs didn't disappear, the people that knew them well did. To further complicate matters, MAJCOMs are also taking on new leadership roles without an experience transfer because the role transferred but again personnel didn't.

I disagree. The problem isn't that there aren't enough people to manage the programs. The problem is that there are too many unnecessary programs. Making things more efficient is about getting rid of things that aren't critical to job/mission completion, not keeping more people to take care of programs that aren't needed.

Unfortunately, the Air Force (and many others, I'm sure) are stuck with fewer people AND an abundance of the unneeded programs.

FLAPS, USAF (ret)
03-27-2015, 08:49 PM
After all of these so-called downsizing efforts, how many people has the AF actually laid off? I've met none. Of every position I saw eliminated while on staff, ALL employees were found new positions. In other words, it's been nothing but a shell game. Nobody lost their jobs. No money actually saved. McCain is right. Time to actually make some cuts.

That said, if we make actual cuts, then expectations (I.e., NSS, NMS) need to be reduced...which they are not.

Rollyn01
03-28-2015, 02:11 PM
I disagree. The problem isn't that there aren't enough people to manage the programs. The problem is that there are too many unnecessary programs. Making things more efficient is about getting rid of things that aren't critical to job/mission completion, not keeping more people to take care of programs that aren't needed.

Unfortunately, the Air Force (and many others, I'm sure) are stuck with fewer people AND an abundance of the unneeded programs.

Scary but true. I couldn't tell you how many times I've seen in the Army the many people who made me wonder how they got the position they got and why that position existed in the first place. I remember when they were talking about replacing Army finance units with civilian clerks because it was thought that those soldiers were better off doing other "more" important functions and that it was a waste of resources for them to be there. Come time to make that happen, so many soldiers got their pay screwed up and had to go through hell and back just to get it corrected and that's not including the time lost in getting that stuff done. I knew of a LTC who had to wait 6 months to get her pay corrected when she was promoted from MAJ. Then she had to wait even longer for them to actually give her the backpay.

Sometimes this charge to cut the shit and act right tends to make things worst because you end up creating holes that more unqualified people are slotted into. Then you ask for more efficiency? Yeah, that crack-cocaine must be really fucking awesome.

Filterbing
03-30-2015, 11:58 AM
That is exactly the problem. McCain isn't asking what programs have been eliminated, only people. Programs are still existing, requirements to be met. The only way to actually reduce work is to re-think how we operate. The guys that knew some of these programs best had to walk. Where I'm at, about 50% of the personnel cut of the 20% are still here. I don't know why other than they were waiting for the IMSC decision. A few that have left already have been hired on some where else. Not a shell game but a different job in a different field for a different Org. Are some playing shell games, maybe, I don't know what every org is doing. I can only speak from my experience.

Bos Mutus
04-02-2015, 10:20 PM
I still think there is a lot of waste a MAJCOM HQ.

Yes, part of it is there are just too many programs, many of which are not even important, let alone essential.

But also, every MAJCOM has "functionals" for just about every career field. I don't see the need. Those functionals generally serve as little more than a conduit of information. Why does ACC really need a Medical Chief functional? A SF functional...I mean okay, in some cases they are necessary, ACC should have some maintenance input, Ops input...but personnel, services, SF, Mecial...those career fields that are cross-command, let them manage themselves. Especially when many of the functional positions are just filled as joe-blow whever happens to be coming back from overseas....they aren't really giving a "command perspective", they are just giving one more personal opinion that is no more valuable than anyone else's.

Shove_your_stupid_meeting
04-12-2015, 02:45 PM
I suppose it all depends on what you see/experience at an HQ level. I've definitely seen an HQ that could take a cut, and has to an extent, granted I'm pretty sure they fell short of the 20% goal that came out 2-3 years ago.

I've actually been part of a work section at an HQ with 7 people and 3 were considered "management." I realize that makes perfect sense to some, but perhaps that's part of the problem? That's not to say there shouldn't be a pecking order, but at some point I think you have to be honest about what you really need as opposed to what you may feel is nice to have.

MikeKerriii
04-12-2015, 10:30 PM
headquarters reductions were meant to make Defense Department operations more efficient while saving money for American taxpayers

Because that's how you get better, cutting people.

Smith! Your workload went from 4 major end items and their respective projects to 6,now make them better than before.

Or perhaps you spend a little time figuring out what needs to be done and what is being done just becasue either we have always done if or for eyewash purposes

Filterbing
04-13-2015, 02:01 PM
That's the problem, everybody is all about cutting people. At some point you need to cut the activities that these people support. when cutting bodies, every body shakes their head and gets back to work. When they finally cut flying hours due to money, everybody shat their pants.

MikeKerriii
04-13-2015, 07:16 PM
That's the problem, everybody is all about cutting people. At some point you need to cut the activities that these people support. when cutting bodies, every body shakes their head and gets back to work. When they finally cut flying hours due to money, everybody shat their pants.

how do you proposes to get military empire builders to give up their empires? That take leaders with brains and guts, Getting rid of half the Generals woud be a good start since they have mutiplied like viagra fed rabbits

UncaRastus
04-14-2015, 02:17 PM
Viagra fed rabbits?

There is this cat that thinks it owns me. She never has seen the inside of the house. She won't let me pet her. She hangs out on my porch and also sleeps there, every night. She strops herself against my legs.

I did a one time trapping of her, to take her to the vet, to have her spayed.

Every time a rabbit hop onto my property, that cat becomes the protector of my lawn and goes into 'I'm hunting wabbits' mode.

Mike, I think that Danger Kitty (so named to promote her street cred) would really either love or hate the idea of feeding viagra to to bucks. The reason for hatred could be because baby rabbits are called kits, short for kittens. DK hates anything named after her that isn't hers, because she can't be popping out kittens.

The reason she might love viagra for bucks is because of the over production of kittens would be a large choice of kits for dinner, every day.

Having a feral cat and many many many rabbit kittens would present a love/hate thing to her, and I am shy of giving her xanax to cope with her mental issues.

Sorry about going off subject here. I will ban myself for a minute.

sandsjames
04-14-2015, 04:14 PM
Viagra fed rabbits?

There is this cat that thinks it owns me. She never has seen the inside of the house. She won't let me pet her. She hangs out on my porch and also sleeps there, every night. She strops herself against my legs.

I did a one time trapping of her, to take her to the vet, to have her spayed.

Every time a rabbit hop onto my property, that cat becomes the protector of my lawn and goes into 'I'm hunting wabbits' mode.

Mike, I think that Danger Kitty (so named to promote her street cred) would really either love or hate the idea of feeding viagra to to bucks. The reason for hatred could be because baby rabbits are called kits, short for kittens. DK hates anything named after her that isn't hers, because she can't be popping out kittens.

The reason she might love viagra for bucks is because of the over production of kittens would be a large choice of kits for dinner, every day.

Having a feral cat and many many many rabbit kittens would present a love/hate thing to her, and I am shy of giving her xanax to cope with her mental issues.

Sorry about going off subject here. I will ban myself for a minute.

I tried hard to follow what this is saying. No luck.

Salty Old Dog
05-08-2015, 02:27 PM
headquarters reductions were meant to make Defense Department operations more efficient while saving money for American taxpayers

Because that's how you get better, cutting people.

Smith! Your workload went from 4 major end items and their respective projects to 6,now make them better than before.

I would counter with the fact that HQ has demanded the same from every other part of the Air Force, without fail, for how many years now? Obviously, the Air Force is top heavy, and someone has noticed. So make the cuts, and leave the rest of us alone!

efmbman
05-08-2015, 03:35 PM
Looking at the strength of the USAF from MAR 2010 to MAR 2015, there have been some cuts, but the brunt of the cuts have come at the E1-E3 level:

GRADE // 2010 // 2015 // %CHG
GO 298 // 285 // -4%
FGO 28,086 // 25,505 // -9%
CGO 36,965 // 34,688 // -6%
SNCO 34,058 // 31,128 // -9%
NCO 162,814 // 160,541 // -1%
ENL 69,265 // 55,231 // -20%

FLAPS, USAF (ret)
05-08-2015, 04:15 PM
Looking at the strength of the USAF from MAR 2010 to MAR 2015, there have been some cuts, but the brunt of the cuts have come at the E1-E3 level:

GRADE // 2010 // 2015 // %CHG
GO 298 // 285 // -4%
FGO 28,086 // 25,505 // -9%
CGO 36,965 // 34,688 // -6%
SNCO 34,058 // 31,128 // -9%
NCO 162,814 // 160,541 // -1%
ENL 69,265 // 55,231 // -20%

Where do you get the E1-E3 stats, from the ENL category? What does the ENL category represent, beside the obvious (E-1 to E-9)? Also, what about E-4s? They are not NCOs.

efmbman
05-08-2015, 08:25 PM
Where do you get the E1-E3 stats, from the ENL category? What does the ENL category represent, beside the obvious (E-1 to E-9)? Also, what about E-4s? They are not NCOs.

Apologies. In most manning documents I dealt with enlisted grades were split into 3 groups of 3. E1-E3 are considered junior enlisted. E4-E6 are NCOs. E7-E9 are Senior NCOs. Mainly corresponding to entry-level / mid-career / career.

FLAPS, USAF (ret)
05-08-2015, 09:29 PM
Apologies. In most manning documents I dealt with enlisted grades were split into 3 groups of 3. E1-E3 are considered junior enlisted. E4-E6 are NCOs. E7-E9 are Senior NCOs. Mainly corresponding to entry-level / mid-career / career.

AF manpower documents show it that way? I'm looking at a UMD right now and it's not broken down that way at all. That's also weird how E4s are considered NCO.

sandsjames
05-08-2015, 10:01 PM
AF manpower documents show it that way? I'm looking at a UMD right now and it's not broken down that way at all. That's also weird how E4s are considered NCO.

Pretty sure it's because the E4 is "assumed" to get promoted at their next base so they fill the E5 slot.

Does the UMD showing rank or skill level?

efmbman
05-09-2015, 12:14 AM
AF manpower documents show it that way? I'm looking at a UMD right now and it's not broken down that way at all. That's also weird how E4s are considered NCO.

Good grief - does every conversation on this forum have to turn into a argument over something silly? Most of you guys on here simply argue for the sake of arguing. Just forget it.

Mjölnir
05-09-2015, 12:38 AM
Looking at the strength of the USAF from MAR 2010 to MAR 2015, there have been some cuts, but the brunt of the cuts have come at the E1-E3 level:

GRADE // 2010 // 2015 // %CHG
GO 298 // 285 // -4%
FGO 28,086 // 25,505 // -9%
CGO 36,965 // 34,688 // -6%
SNCO 34,058 // 31,128 // -9%
NCO 162,814 // 160,541 // -1%
ENL 69,265 // 55,231 // -20%

I can't remember if you work USAF manpower or DoD. Do you have access to the same type of break outs for all the services?

efmbman
05-09-2015, 01:21 AM
I can't remember if you work USAF manpower or DoD. Do you have access to the same type of break outs for all the services?

When I was doing manpower, it was at a combined joint HQ. Sandsjames is right - at the joint and/or DoD level, E-4s are considered interchangeable with E-5s. That is, unless the USAF is the only service that does not adhere to the 2 up, one down rule.

You can spend hours on this page:
https://www.dmdc.osd.mil/appj/dwp/dwp_reports.jsp
Lot's of great manpower data and some of the reports go back to the 1950s (when there were still O-11s on the rolls.

FLAPS, USAF (ret)
05-10-2015, 06:46 PM
Good grief - does every conversation on this forum have to turn into a argument over something silly? Most of you guys on here simply argue for the sake of arguing. Just forget it.

Good grief, I wasn't trying to call BS on you, but perhaps learn of a manning document that differs from the UMD. The UMD and UPMRs are all I am famaliar with.

FLAPS, USAF (ret)
05-10-2015, 06:47 PM
Pretty sure it's because the E4 is "assumed" to get promoted at their next base so they fill the E5 slot.

Does the UMD showing rank or skill level?

Yes, both.

Salty Old Dog
07-31-2015, 02:26 PM
headquarters reductions were meant to make Defense Department operations more efficient while saving money for American taxpayers

Because that's how you get better, cutting people.

Smith! Your workload went from 4 major end items and their respective projects to 6,now make them better than before.

Well, sure! Why not? The rest of the Air Force has been forced (no pun intended) to do this, for years now, and also put up with being told, over and over and over again, that we were then more "efficient" for the cuts!

Sorry, but the Air Force is top heavy, and needs to make cuts at the top end. Not saying that they necessarily need to cut positions, just cut some of the rank out. There's no reason for all the brass they have, and many jobs could easily be done by lower ranked individuals. They've cut back on the "indians" for years....now it's time to cut back the number of "chiefs".

FLAPS, USAF (ret)
07-31-2015, 02:37 PM
Well, sure! Why not? The rest of the Air Force has been forced (no pun intended) to do this, for years now, and also put up with being told, over and over and over again, that we were then more "efficient" for the cuts!

Sorry, but the Air Force is top heavy, and needs to make cuts at the top end. Not saying that they necessarily need to cut positions, just cut some of the rank out. There's no reason for all the brass they have, and many jobs could easily be done by lower ranked individuals. They've cut back on the "indians" for years....now it's time to cut back the number of "chiefs".

Unless you consolidate organizations, then you still need leaders of those organizations, and deputies to those leaders.

MikeKerriii
07-31-2015, 04:46 PM
AF manpower documents show it that way? I'm looking at a UMD right now and it's not broken down that way at all. That's also weird how E4s are considered NCO.

E4s used to be NCOs. They still are in the other services. The AF is just a bit weird. that weirdness is why we don;t have WOs also.

It makes it easier to pretend that shortages don't exist in the UMD if you continue to consider E-4s NCOs

retiredAFcivvy
07-31-2015, 05:11 PM
Before 1968 (I believe)a 3 striper (E4) in the AF was an A1C. The AF at that time converted the E4s to NCOs and called them Buck Sergeants. Not sure when they discontinued considering them NCOs and changed to term to Senior Airman.

Bos Mutus
07-31-2015, 05:23 PM
Pretty sure it's because the E4 is "assumed" to get promoted at their next base so they fill the E5 slot.

Does the UMD showing rank or skill level?


When I was doing manpower, it was at a combined joint HQ. Sandsjames is right - at the joint and/or DoD level, E-4s are considered interchangeable with E-5s. That is, unless the USAF is the only service that does not adhere to the 2 up, one down rule.

You can spend hours on this page:
https://www.dmdc.osd.mil/appj/dwp/dwp_reports.jsp
Lot's of great manpower data and some of the reports go back to the 1950s (when there were still O-11s on the rolls.


E4s used to be NCOs. They still are in the other services. The AF is just a bit weird. that weirdness is why we don;t have WOs also.

It makes it easier to pretend that shortages don't exist in the UMD if you continue to consider E-4s NCOs

It's got nothing to do with assuming anyone is going to get promoted...or trying to hide shortages...I can't speak to other services, but, to my knowledge any "1 up, 1 down" "2 up, 1 down" rules are a myth, at least in the AF.

The UMD does not have people on it...it has positions. It tells what the authorized positions for a unit are and what the funded positions are. Sometimes, you can have authorized positions that are not funded...or you can have them authorized at one "rank" but funded at a lower, etc.

The UMPR is the document that has the people on it...ideally it would match up to the UMD, but never does, especially stateside. You will make frequent changes to this moving people to more appropriate positions to keep it balanced as best as possible...for example, guy at stateside base gets promoted a couple times since he got there, he'd move positions...it doesn't impact the shop all that much really, but everything makes more sense as the data feeds upstream.

All that said...for positions and assignments, the Air Force uses the Control AFSC...which is not necessarily your primary AFSC. In the Control AFSC E1-E3 are all 3-levels, doesn't matter if you actually earned your Primary AFSC 5-level or not.
E4-E5 are 5-levels...again doesn't matter if that E5 has gotten "Upgraded" to 7-level in his PAFSC, for assignment/authorization purposes he/she is a Control 5-level and will remain so until he promotes to E6.
E6-7 are 7 levels
E8 is 9 level
E9s are authorized and assigned on CEM Codes.

...unless things have changed in the last 5 years

garhkal
08-01-2015, 02:19 AM
I disagree. The problem isn't that there aren't enough people to manage the programs. The problem is that there are too many unnecessary programs. Making things more efficient is about getting rid of things that aren't critical to job/mission completion, not keeping more people to take care of programs that aren't needed.

Unfortunately, the Air Force (and many others, I'm sure) are stuck with fewer people AND an abundance of the unneeded programs.

Along with imo too many different groups who all control or have some input into the same project. Each general/admiral etc has HIS support staff, then those have their support staff, which often have their own support.


how do you proposes to get military empire builders to give up their empires? That take leaders with brains and guts, Getting rid of half the Generals woud be a good start since they have mutiplied like viagra fed rabbits

Highly agreed. IMO we have way too many officers of O6 and above level. Especially the Stars!

MikeKerriii
08-01-2015, 03:37 AM
Unless you consolidate organizations, then you still need leaders of those organizations, and deputies to those leaders.
Many f the HQ including numbered AF could simply be abolished since almost all the work is done higher HQs. I served in two of those and it ma was mostly makeweight and a place to hide a few Stars

Salty Old Dog
08-25-2015, 03:59 PM
Unless you consolidate organizations, then you still need leaders of those organizations, and deputies to those leaders.

I won't disagree with that statement, but would then bring up the question of WHY do they need to be of such high rank?

Being at war tends to produce "rank creep", and the war on terror has been no exception. But we've had the whole "do more with less" and "become more efficient" crap shoved down our throats for the past dozen years or so, by the brass. Meanwhile, as the numbers have diminished below them, their numbers have remained the same.....so why haven't they consolidated the organizations, and become more efficient themselves??

My answer? Because RHIP, and the brass tends to cover for themselves. They won't EVER voluntarily diminish their own numbers, because that would as much as admit what the rest of us already know as a fact...that there's too damn many of them! The good ol' boy network LOVES passing along the high ranking positions to their underlings when they retire. Especially when they realize that they can easily step into a new position as a "civilian mentor" to their ex deputy, who now holds their old position, and rank.

Sorry, but there's too much narcissism up top, and it's past time for them to feel the cuts, too.