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Thread: Flight Engineer retraining

  1. #21
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    Re: Flight Engineer retraining

    Quote Originally Posted by BigBaze View Post
    Just got the status 5 today, so I will wait around for the class date. Does 5 mean you have been approved, you are just awaiting allocation of a class date?

    Ya, it means you've been approved. i got status 5 Monday, Christmas Eve and then got status 6, which is were they show you the class dates four days later on Friday. If you dont know how to check it log in to VMPF, go to Self Service Actions; Retraining; Retraining Application Status Inquiry, and then when you are status 6 you will see the class dates on that page! Mine showed all five courses, EAUC(which is now called Aircrew Fundamentals Course), BFE, Water Survival training, Emergency Parachute training, and SERE.
    you should be finding out soon!!

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    Re: Flight Engineer retraining

    Quote Originally Posted by jkru37 View Post
    I have decided to try and cross train into Flight Engineering. My situation may be a little different from others. I was sheet metal for three years and then the F-22 came along. Sheet metal troops then became low observable troops. They plan to split the career field this fall, which will cause the low observable career field to be undermanned. Also, I have a line number for SSgt and am currently in 7 level upgrade training. Does anyone think that AFPC will see this and deny my retraining?
    Im currently Sheet Metal too, and i got approved for the FE job. Also i havent heard of sheet metal creating its own AFSC for the LO guys just yet. you should be fine to crosstrain to FE. Once your commander approves it, it goes to the CFM and then they approve it. Mine was approved by him pretty quick. i already have my class dates. Start March 14th, cant wait!!

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    Re: Flight Engineer retraining

    Quote Originally Posted by jkru37 View Post
    Sorry for stealing your thread "Big" but I didn't want to start a new one with the same subject. Good luck to you with your retraining.
    Lol no problem, no sooner did I read this post then I got status 6 today, my basic flight engineer school is on April 1, and I got dates for the survival schools too. I am sure being in sheet metal you will have no problem with the retraining. I just sewed on SSgt and got my 7 level when I sent my package in. Good luck..if you have any questions feel free to ask

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    Re: Flight Engineer retraining

    Quote Originally Posted by BigBaze View Post
    Lol no problem, no sooner did I read this post then I got status 6 today, my basic flight engineer school is on April 1, and I got dates for the survival schools too. I am sure being in sheet metal you will have no problem with the retraining. I just sewed on SSgt and got my 7 level when I sent my package in. Good luck..if you have any questions feel free to ask
    Congrat's, BigBaze; I'm glad it worked out for you.
    Retirement rocks!


    A 1911 in the hand is better than 911 on the phone.

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    Re: Flight Engineer retraining

    MY ADVICE ( retired C-5 instructor FE / 6981.5 hours)

    1) Don't retrain until you have a line number for E-6 / Technical Sergeant!!! Making rank in the FE career field is hell with much higher scores required to make rank (as compared to aircraft maintenance career fields). You want to retire as a MSgt or higher! The Air Force has too many grey haired Staff Sergeants running around approaching retirement.

    2) Go through survival school during spring or fall. There are fewer temperature / weather extremes to deal with---don't forget your goretex boots (unless you like misery). Be very physically fit when you go. Be able to run like the wind and possess great physical strength. If you smoke and drink, stop now.

    3) Try to get assigned to C-5's or KC10's. C-5's don't deploy like the other airlifters do. If you can't get a FE slot on C-5's then expect to pull rotational deployments to the toilets of the world on C130's and KC10's. On C-5's you go out for a few weeks and then return stateside to Dover or Travis. It's far nicer to stay at the Hilton on Guam then Achmed's tent at Baghdad Intl.

    4) Don't be an academic disgrace---You had better do well in your studies and upgrade training or you will be back at Pope working in Bubba's sheetmetal shop pulling 12 hour shifts and #1 on his short deployment list.

    5) Know when to retire and prepare for it. Don't worry, you will know when.

  6. #26
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    Re: Flight Engineer retraining

    Waiting to retrain until AFTER you have reenlisted will cost a member their CAREERs retraining opportunity. That will not have a significant impact on some folks, but could be a huge mistake for those AFSC's that are "balanced". While being promoted in the FE career field is challenging, it is not the toughest of the specialities. If all an Airman wanted was quick rank progression and a few "easy" TDYs I would strongly urge them to consider another line of work. We need people who want to fly and fight. If you are meeting Air Force fitness standards you will not have any problems in survival school, you are training to be an Aircrew member not a SEAL.
    If you want to work with DEDICATED professionals who put service before self every day, become a Career Enlisted Aviator.

  7. #27
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    Re: Flight Engineer retraining

    I can give you a BIG reason why class dates come slowly for those retraining to be Flight Engineers. I'm a schoolhouse instructor flight engineer and can speak from a little experience.

    Pretty much all the school houses (C-130, C-5, KC-10, E-3, E-8) are all backlogged due to the mass influx of new students. Over the last 3 years, my school house has recieved an average of 4 students per year. I now have 13 inbounds for FY08 and have no other training slots left.

    We have retrainees that want to come to our school house, but they can't because we have no training available until FY09. The C-130 school house at Little Rock is just as bad off as us we are right now. Their Initial Qualification Training slots are full through September and on into the first few months of FY09. I can't speak for the C-5 or KC-10 school houses, but am sure they are just as backed up as everyone else. This is all due to a change in the manning documents AF wide. Just about every unit out there has increased their manning, causing the backlog.

    As far as waiting to make E-6 (TSgt) to retrain, that is now a farse in our career field. I retrained in 1997 as a SrA, made SSgt in 2000, and sewed on TSgt in 2006. I'm testing for MSgt for my first time this year and will have 5 years to try to make it before I retire. Promotions have come easier after they merged us with 1A1X1B (Flight Engineer, Rotary-Wing) and with the number of deployments, a large number of us have been able to rack up quite a few Air Medals and Aerial Acheivement medals (3 points each). 10-20 years ago, it was not unheard of for a Flight Engineer to separate as a SrA at 10-years or retire at 20 as a SSgt. Things have now changed and it is more common for a Flight Engineer to retire as a MSgt, after coming into the career field as a SSgt. The promotions to SMSgt and CMSgt are still just as hard as they ever were.

    The deployments are rough for everyone, including the C-5 guys. Everyone deploys, that's the new mindset. I don't think there is an airframe out there that isn't going somewhere for 3 months a shot.

    For those who have submitted paperwork to retrain, just keep your hopes up. It WILL HAPPEN and you WILL get a class date. We are all just a little backlogged and trying to catch up. Keep your patience as we all try to figure out how we are going to increase our training capabilities while we support the ongoing operations overseas.

    Good luck to all and let me know if there are any questions I can answer for you.

    Jim

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    Re: Flight Engineer retraining

    Thanks a lot Jim. I applied back in August and my medical was disapproved by AFMC because they said I needed to drop weight. I am not out of shape by any means, I am 6'5 and muscular type, but the Air Force LOVES skinny people, so that's how it goes I guess. I dropped the weight and reapplied in December. I got notified of acceptance about the last week of January, and they assigned class dates a few days later. I will spend a little over a month at Lackland for the basic course and the 3 level awarding course, and go to survival school at Fairchild a week after that. I think that is a little over 2 weeks, then i come back and go to a couple days of water survival school in Pensacola. The waiting game begins after that for a flight school slot, I know of two guys in my maintenance squadron here who just came back from survival school, and are waiting 4 and 6 months respectively for HH60 and C130 flying schools. The entire process from application to flying school is a really long process, so if you are willing to deal with that, go for it. Just if you apply, keep on AFPC and make sure they update all the application forms etc you fax to them because getting answers out of them is like asking for a pot of gold. I am really excited about this new career, and I am not concerned about making rank etc. I have my pilots license so I just love flying, as a 5 year jet mechanic it is good to move on to this career field. I'll let you guys know how it goes.

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    Re: Flight Engineer retraining

    Oh one more thing, once you get a tech school date, they require you get 48 months retainability from the end of the initial 2 week class, so you basically have to extend or re-enlist. I am a first term SSgt, and was not in my window yet to re-enlist, so all I could do was extend the maximum 23 months, and I will have to re-enlist while I am at tech school. I was told I am not eligible for the flight engineer SRB until I re-enlist for the second time, which is a little disappointing, I mean come on..we all would love $20,000 (approx)! I can think of worse things though If you do not get the retainability within 10 working days of being notified for training, AFPC will withdraw your classes.

  10. #30
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    Re: Flight Engineer retraining

    Quote Originally Posted by BigBaze View Post
    Oh one more thing, once you get a tech school date, they require you get 48 months retainability from the end of the initial 2 week class, so you basically have to extend or re-enlist. I am a first term SSgt, and was not in my window yet to re-enlist, so all I could do was extend the maximum 23 months, .

    I had to do the same thing.

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