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Air Force secretary says she needs more airmen; America should listen

This is a discussion on Air Force secretary says she needs more airmen; America should listen within the Air Force forums, part of the Armed Services category; Originally Posted by Flyboy56 Except that it has never happened like that. Nice feel good saying though. The truthful way of saying that is: "A ...


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Old November 22nd, 2016, 07:12 AM   #16
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Originally Posted by Flyboy56 View Post
Except that it has never happened like that. Nice feel good saying though.
The truthful way of saying that is: "A standoff through an arms race". I grew up in Houston during that "mine is bigger than yours" era.
Neighbors had bomb shelters and us kids were cynically taught to duck and cover under our desks. What sickness. But hey, the military had nice toys.

As for the necessity of maintaining the "Big Stick", the British tried that before us. Their Navy was the finest in the world for a century. By pouring their national wealth into keeping the sea lanes open they allowed other countries such as America conduct trade for free, so to speak. Britain lost. It's America's turn. To bad humans can't learn from others mistakes.
I am not disagreeing with everything you've said in this comment thread. However, the idea that maintaining a military with large numbers of personnel and equipment is somehow antithetical to what the Founders intended is a myth. The military-industrial complex of which Eisenhower warned is one in which manufacturers and those who profit from the military/war machine would gain undue influence in policy-making.

Other than crying out against a large military, you have offered no evidence that this is, in fact, going on. I will grant that manufacturers of military hardware no doubt have influence over politicians and influential folks at the Pentagon. But are they really running the show? Seems unlikely. They lobby just like everyone else does, and their competitors are lobbying against them, and there are politicians and generals who buck all of them.

You mentioned the British having "lost" because of their commitment to a large and powerful navy. Yet you only offer your own conclusion that it is so, rather than providing evidence of your conclusion.

I get the warning and I don't blame you for offering it. However, please offer some historical evidence when making your assertions. Simply saying that our participation and dominance of the Cold War = military-industrial complex is not evidence or an argument, nor is it a self-evident truth.

I would argue that our participation in the Cold War was done for more noble reasons. Did military contractors make money during Korea and Vietnam? Yes. Did they lobby the government and military? Yes. Does that mean we went to Vietnam because of undue influence of manufacturers of military hardware? No. To make such a connection would require a lot of evidence, not pure conjecture.

I say the above with respect. No offense intended.

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Old November 22nd, 2016, 10:45 AM   #17
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I know the original post is old, but the AF secretary can kiss it. America needs more Airmen? I hear that garbage, and I start grinding my teeth.

First things first, I never wanted to leave. I couldn't re-enlist because "You're career field is overmanned", and I couldn't get a CJR. My choice was being put on a waiting list, or cross train into serving chicken on serving line at a chow hall, or fly a desk at CBPO as some blues wearing pencil pusher. I saw myself as a professional Civil/Combat Engineer. So i took my chances with the waiting list. I lost, so I went on Permanent Civillian Status. Shortly thereafter I finished my contract with an active reserve CE unit. It just wasn't the same as active. Felt like a country club for guys looking to retire, so I said, "adios muchacho's".

A couple years later 911 happens. I try to reenlist. Same BS. "You're Career field is overmanned". I *almost* enlisted into the army but my Grandfather (god bless his soul) told me I had done enough, and to let someone else do their bit. When Your grandfather's a Navy vet who served in the pacific during WW2 tells you , "you've done your bit, let it go" - any sense of guilt for not being out there vanishes.

Then not long ago, I tried to re enlist yet again - TWICE. Except for needing a waiver for my eyes, i passed MEPS with flying colors. Duck walk and all. Being 40 years old and the same age as the MEPS NCOIC was an experience. My first attempt was with the ANG. Their SG kieboshed me. So then I tried again with the regular reserves-, their SG kieboshed me too.

So I think I tried to re enlist 3 times total in my lifetime, and I never wanted to leave the service to begin with. And then AF sec comes out with "we need more airman"? I was a 5 level, 5 EPR's, a hard charger, with a couple "attaboy" medals, with an SEI on my record, and I couldn't stay in, nor could I get back in.

They can suck it.

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Old November 22nd, 2016, 11:01 AM   #18
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Serious question: Has there every been a time when ANY head of the Army, Marines, Navy or Air Force told Congress...'We really have enough of men and equipment---but Thanks Anyway!'

Isn't it just in the 'nature of the beast' that they always want MORE!?'



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Old November 22nd, 2016, 11:44 AM   #19
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Serious question: Has there every been a time when ANY head of the Army, Marines, Navy or Air Force told Congress...'We really have enough of men and equipment---but Thanks Anyway!'
Kind of sort of. A few years back the Army told Congress they didn't want any more tanks. Congress ignored them and bought more for the simple reason that representatives in districts where the tanks or parts for tanks were made, didn't want to be blamed for putting anyone out of work.

The tank debate between the Army and Congress goes back to 2012 when General Odierno testified that "we don't need the tanks. Our tank fleet is two and a half years old on average now. We're in good shape and these are additional tanks that we don't need."

http://www.military.com/daily-news/2...esnt-want.html

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Old November 22nd, 2016, 12:28 PM   #20
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Kind of sort of. A few years back the Army told Congress they didn't want any more tanks. Congress ignored them and bought more for the simple reason that representatives in districts where the tanks or parts for tanks were made, didn't want to be blamed for putting anyone out of work.

The tank debate between the Army and Congress goes back to 2012 when General Odierno testified that "we don't need the tanks. Our tank fleet is two and a half years old on average now. We're in good shape and these are additional tanks that we don't need."

http://www.military.com/daily-news/2...esnt-want.html
I recall that and agree...
The same has been true of certain aircraft and missile systems, etc...
It's a recurring scenario where a Senator/Congressman pushes a 'product' made in their State/District regardless of whether that branch of service wants it or not.
And even in Congress authorizes more $ just for that airplane or missile system...the military knows that having those items is not 'free', because of the added on costs of staffing and maintaining them.
Each 'Secretary' has their own vision of what they want their branch to be and to become...and no doubt they would prefer to do that without serious Congressional interference.
That said...I still doubt any Secretary...Ever...asked for Less Personnel!

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Old November 22nd, 2016, 12:47 PM   #21
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Case(s) in point:

http://breakingdefense.com/2016/05/m...186000-troops/

http://www.military.com/daily-news/2...es-milley.html



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Last edited by CAVman; November 22nd, 2016 at 12:49 PM. Reason: More...
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Old November 22nd, 2016, 01:01 PM   #22
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I do think the Navy may be an exception.
My perception, with no claim on my part to be knowledgeable on this subject...is that the Navy has accepted smaller personnel numbers as a trade-off for more and better ships...because modern ships don't require the same level of personnel as older ships...

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Old November 22nd, 2016, 02:41 PM   #23
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Originally Posted by CAVman View Post
Serious question: Has there every been a time when ANY head of the Army, Marines, Navy or Air Force told Congress...'We really have enough of men and equipment---but Thanks Anyway!'

Isn't it just in the 'nature of the beast' that they always want MORE!?'



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The tanks,as Garrard pointed out, a few years back is all I can recall. We've(forum members) talked about that before don't recall the thread.

Senator and/or congressman don't tend to vote for something that will close Jobs in their district.

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Old November 22nd, 2016, 03:08 PM   #24
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F-35 is going to be the last piloted fighter flown by the USA. Drones ARE the future. Autonomous drones, capable of high level digital thinking, able to pull in excess of 10G will push humans out of the air frame completely. Getting rid of the human support hardware just increases weapons and fuel payloads.

Heck, last year drones were landing and taking off aircraft carriers. No AF pilot has ever done that!

Drones are the biggest fear for the AF right now. To get to a Star or two on your lapel you almost have to be a fighter pilot.

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Old January 1st, 2017, 05:32 AM   #25
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I will never understand why they kicked out so many great Airmen over the past few years and now suddenly say they need them back. I wish I had the numbers on hand... but it was only what, 2 years ago? They forced out thousands.
I lend my insight as an MTL here. Big Blue seemed to value new recruits far and above E4/5/6/7. Trying to get kids pushed out that couldn't hack it was a momentous task. They had to actually be criminal/Art15/CM level offenses just to get on the Cols radar. Serious offenses like drug/alcohol/assault.
One reply was always to say how much was invested in each individual to separate them was madness, given the investment that had been made.
But then you flip it around and take those same pay grades and you F up one-time, and you're gone...it wasn't survivable and people were thrown away. Literally. Let alone all the DOS rollbacks and other "force-shaping" that BigBlue used.
All a rather curious personnel policy.

 
Old January 1st, 2017, 06:35 AM   #26
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Originally Posted by Flyboy56 View Post
Yep, the good old perpetual war machine needs feeding.

This country got along just fine without a Military-Industrial complex or a standing army until the end of WWII. (Indeed, the founding fathers warned us about one) We won every war and in between the nation's wealth grew.

After WWII we ignored Eisenhower's repeat of the Founder's warning. We've been at war ever since we've never won any of them.(We never will. That's not the goal) The nation's wealth has slowly been poured down a rat hole. But we sure have a lot of nice toys - unless they get "too old".

The A-10 works just fine but the Air Force wants to retire them - 'cause the F-35 is just too cool don't you know.

Oh yeah, we "need" a new pistol also.

What a racket.
A few things about the A-10:

1) Aluminum only lasts so long.

The A-10 was designed with a 6,000 hour life, unfortunately, the service loads were higher than expected and about half- to two-thirds through production they had to beef-up the wing. These later aircraft had an 8,000 hour life. The portion of the A-10 fleet that was retired had reached the end of their service life.

2) The company that design and built the aircraft no longer exists, this means all of the original contractor corporate knowledge on the aircraft is gone.

3) A BRAC closed McClellan AFB, the USAF rework center in 1995, and moved rework to Hill AFB. 80% of the A-10 rework and engineering support workforce was gone in five years (elected not to move to Utah), with the associated loss in USAF corporate memory.

4) Shortly before Fairchild close shop, they sold the design rights to Grumman Aircraft, later Grumman merged with Northrop, to become Northrop-Grumman (NG). DLA decided in 1997 to compete the A-10 sustainment contact, and NG did not get it, Lockheed-Martin did. How the prime contractor was outside the sustainment effort.

5) In 2006, Boeing won the contract to manufacture new wings for the (173 were made) remaining aircraft to extend the life out to 16,000 hours. (Boeing making wings for a aircraft who's design is owned bu NG, and maintained by LM!) That limits the number of airframes available to the USAF.

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Old January 1st, 2017, 06:52 AM   #27
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Mandatory draft. 3 years minimum. 18 months overseas in a rat-hole like Diego Garcia or Thule AFB Greenland.

BTW: the US Navy submarine forces have already gone through this - lack of male volunteers forced putting women aboard subs. Not saying women can't do the job, they CAN. More to the point of something a crusty Chief said to us at Fire Fighting training in San Diego maybe 45 years ago, I paraphrase:

"You want a 135 pound guy or a 135 pound gal dragging your unconscious butt out of a burning compartment?"

In the AFB's situation the fighter pilot problem can and will be "solved" by autonomous drones. Of course there is the debate about human decision making in the cockpit vs superior flight performance and endurance. The robots will win in the long run.

'Nuff said.

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Old January 1st, 2017, 06:58 AM   #28
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Just like the work force, with technology, more can be done with less human input. Get autonomous killer drones! (Terminator?)

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Old January 1st, 2017, 07:02 AM   #29
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I do think the Navy may be an exception.
My perception, with no claim on my part to be knowledgeable on this subject...is that the Navy has accepted smaller personnel numbers as a trade-off for more and better ships...because modern ships don't require the same level of personnel as older ships...

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I've been out of the Nuke navy for way longer than I was in. All the boats I ever set foot on have been chopped and reactor compartments staged in a pit in eastern Washinton for eternal burial.

Subs are getting a LOT more automated and sophistocated meaning a LOT more hardware that has to be in a PM system, meaning more man-hours to service. The number of humans billetted to a sub has not changed very much since the Nautilus slid down the ways. Basically it's how much room do you have for bodies, not how many you need. You ALWAYS need more people than you have.

So CAVman's last statement is correct, but implies fewer people, not more. This might be true for those POS Littoral skimmers, but not subs.

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