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US Herk

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Everything posted by US Herk

  1. US Herk

    AC-27 Cut

    Sign me up!! Bob - re-read my post above, they were originally suupposed to be plus-10 MC-130Hs. Politics changed that & left them in the "interim configuration" they're in now & they're now redesignated "W" since they will likely never be turned into MC-H. The big change was when AFSOC changed their mind about the J-model...(ie - decided they wanted them after all). And MC130fe is right, at the time, they figured they needed more drogues, but with MC-J coming online...time will tell. What Es? The wombats are all H2s.
  2. US Herk

    AC-27 Cut

    The MC-130W was NOT "instituted" (sic) to replace combat losses, rather, they were to be ten more MC-130H. They were to go through AMP/CAAP first, then the older T2 would follow. They added on up to five additional combat loss replacement aircraft - later whittled down to 2 due to politics and, yes, acquisition screw ups. When AFSOC decided to go MC-J, they pulled out of AMP (stop work order issued in Apr 07, except 241 TF radar) and decided to leave the plus-10 in an "interim configuration" and redesignate them MC-130W. As for MC-130E combat losses, does sitting in flyable storage at March count to a "political combat loss" ?? :D
  3. US Herk

    AC-27 Cut

    How's the vibe with the new 8-bladed prop and electronic valve housing? Undersand there's 2 gunships already fitted - anyone confirm? Rumor is Gunships get 'em, then Talons.
  4. We are who we are today in AFSOC and SOCOM because of these men's sacrifice. They are never forgotten. The RAF Motto is pretty appropriate in this case: Per Ardua, Ad Astra - From Struggle to the Stars
  5. Just that one, Dan? I'm not happy with several of them. In fairness, but not in defense, the SIB is given 30 days to investigate and complete their report. They have to prove nothing. They are supposed to use experienced dudes who have access to experts to come up with the most plausible course of action. All too often, they use the most convenient dudes... Quite often, they get it completely wrong. Let's not forget agendas, biases, and, yes, idiots. In comparison, the NTSB does not have a set time to determine anything, but they do need to have compelling evidence to make claims.
  6. Only guidance we have is above 5000' and not in a circular pattern...
  7. And for those aircraft not FAA certified such as our classic versions of the venerable C-130? Didn't know the FAA had a min mandated speed...and how exactly do they test that you're ahead of the flame front? :eek: I'd like to watch those certification tests!:D
  8. US Herk

    Mc-130e

    The MC-130J is going to replace the MC-130E and MC-130P. However, to my knowledge, there are no current plans for 711th to get MC-130J - when T1 retires, they will not have a plane as I understand it. The 5th is flying little planes (PC-12/U-28) as the schoolhouse & gave up their MC-130Ps. When I say "replace", I simply mean total number of drogues available, not that any specific unit will fly them...(although it's a safe bet 9th, 17th, 67th will get them eventually) MC-130J will be at all AFSOC bases (Kadena, Kirtland, Mildenhall, Cannon, & Hurlburt) - none at Duke, AFAIK. But the whims of AFSOC seem to change weekly, so there's no telling.
  9. US Herk

    Mc-130e

    Last I heard MC-130E was going to stay around until middle of next decade. I think it's officially begin retirement in 2013 to be done by 2015, but all the briefings I'm hearing lately, they're bandying about 2016. If MC-130J slips at all, T1 retirement will slip as well. Don't know what 711th will do post-T1 though.
  10. IIRC, I've got some time in 7850 many mango seasons ago...
  11. One more clarification (I hate written word only at times - it'd be so much easier over a beer) - my statement in post #4, "And what makes the light" was a statement, not a question. It was an add-on to your statement above about the big differences being one is AC and one is DC...I think the big difference is how the light is made. It's all good. I was just being a smart ass... ;)
  12. I think we sold our souls to become a 3-star command...we'll sell it again to become a 4-star command (that's what all this growth is about). When the AFSOC/DO says, out loud and in public, "There's not a JFACC in the world who's going to let you go in alone, unarmed, and unafraid, so you might as well get on board" it's really time to be concerned - SOF doesn't work for the JFACC... When the AFSOC/CC says, "We now have a seat at the right-hand of God (referring to CSAF) so we need to get on board" it's past time to be concerned. Things have changed indeed. After the Albania crash (which was 4 yrs ago yesterday - salute to fallen comrades), we had the bottom up reveiw panel (BURP) across all units & MDSs. With a unified voice, everyone told the AFSOC/CC our regs are screwed up, our experience levels are dwindling, and there is no selection process. Guess what's been done in the last 4 years to address those problems? Zero. Zip. Nada. Yet we have control over each of these issues if we only wanted to, or were willing to. I take that back, we have done something - we've taken authority away from the lower levels and moved approvals to higher levels. We've created a micro-managed society where everyone is afraid to make a decision because they can't get in trouble if they don't make the wrong decision. This crosses all boundaries - SNCOs - Airmen & Cols to Lts.
  13. It's still part of AC upgrade, but only in the sim. Except in AFSOC, we still do 'em in the plane. That's another problem, they're moving all training to the sim. It just isn't the same, no matter how good the sim is (and most aren't that good). LRF is doing a small group tryout where their pilots will do 100% of their qual/instm training in the sim. In theory, a pilot could leave LRF having never landed the plane! AFSOC is pushing more and more training to sims too. But the sim cannot replicate the aircraft, the environment (fog/friction of ATC, other traffic, etc.), or seat of the pants feel. Consequently, we have pilots who "fly the numbers" OK, but can't feel the plane worth a damn and consequently, fly uncoordinated, don't know how to judge changes (ie - heading rollouts, altitude captures, etc), no feel for approach to stall, sink, slip, skids - nothing. So a subpar quality product to the units who are strapped for hours, so seasoning never really occurs. On the O side, we've accellerated promotion to Major by 2.5yrs and it's taking longer to produce instructors. Typically, about the time we get a decent IP, it's time for him to go to school/staff. Consequently, you have a bunch of young, inexperienced guys, a few old guys with a decent experience level, but very few in between. We have few good captains anymore... Although I wasn't in AFSOC (or 23AF) at the time, I'm all for bringing back the low promotion rates and making guys just fly their entire careers - you'll attract the guys that really WANT to be there, the guys that judge a successful career by how many hours they have and what they've done, the guys that can get the mission done.
  14. Part of the problem is we list some things as a limit with an allowable flux, and somethings with a range. Often, we get them mixed up. Good example - generator HZ is listed as 380-420. It should really be 400 +/-20. I view the engine as being the same way - 55 +/-5, but we list it as 50-60... As for the original question, as stated, I'm with Dan on this one. I don't give a hoot where the mean is, if it's fluxing outside the limits and we're not saving the world, it's pobably coming home. If it's steady-state at a few PSI off (48 or 62 - something like that) I'd be inclined to take it & write it up.
  15. Sadly, we are now a mother-may-I command - you get castrated for initiative, they've emasculated the AC, and many crewmembers are in it because "it's cool" - also a good way to get promoted. The prescriptive vs proscriptive evaluation of the regs is still raging with the majority believing that if it doesn't say we can, we can't. :mad: I tell folks to always interpret rules to best suit your needs - find a way to do it & make it happen. But it's a vicious downward spiral - younger crew forces means commanders are less willing to give them any rope. Lower experience levels means crews aren't comfortable doing things they can. Recently caught a ride with a crew of a different AFSOC MDS. They had an ignition control relay issue. It had rained hard over the two or three previous days, so I told him to just crank it up with the CB and let it get good and warm - it'd probably dry itself out. He didn't want to do that. So I told the AC to just put the jumper plug on it & let's get going. He initially said he wasn't allowed to do that. So I borrowed my FE's HERP guide and showed him where he was specifically allowed to do that. Then he said he'd never heard of that & was going to call his DO. Really? OK. The DO basically said, if it says you can, you can - get the plane home. I was incredulous. But it's not his fault, it's an experience thing (his FE actually seemed embarrassed he didn't think of it, but was very young himself). Last year we had a starter shit the bed at an out field. We called back & actually got permission to do a windmill (in AETC!!), so MX worked feverishly to pull & pad the starter. I was in the left seat, but didn't have the A-code (I was on to give an AC upgrade eval, but we pulled the stud out of the left seat, so the A-code was in the right seat). I asked the AC if he'd ever done one for real. He said no, so I told him to swap seats with me as I'd done a couple and besides, he was the A-code. MX buttoned it up just as "official" sunset occurred. Now the AC was hemming and hawing about "day" VFR - it was still broad daylight, effectively. We were on a 12000' x 150' RWY. In my best "always interpret rules to best suit your needs", I pointed out that Ch 9 was titled "Training Restrictions" and we were doing a real windmill. No dice. We RONed in place and they trucked a starter to us. The AC just wasn't willing to "take that risk". That's the environment we're in. Granted, it's going to be a little bit more conservative here in AETC (ATC for us older guys), but still, we're SOF. We're mission hackers. We're Talons. Oh well, I get to return operational in May. Two years and I'm about done with my 20...
  16. Yes...but I was alluding to the difference between DIRCM & LAIRCM...perhaps "how" the "light" is made would've been better.:D
  17. FWIW, I don't view the experience requirements as "paying dues" necessarily, rather, being able to have enough air sense and SA to conduct the AFSOC mission. That said, the few slick crewmembers we are getting are not what they once were (nor is AFSOC, this isn't rock-throwing). Gone are the days of the FE having to fly supervised for his first 100hrs - the schoolhouse is enough. Gone are the days of proficient low-level crews - they go currency to currency & fly hi-level trash hauling downrange. Gone (for the most part) are mission hackers - now it's the big-MAC entitlement mentality (good hotels, per diem hounds, etc). We washed out an FE for GK and he was an IF in slicks. We should've washed out a 1500hr slick AC (with that many hours, you wonder why he wasn't an IP). We've washed out Navs for lack of low-level navigation ability. Sad, really.
  18. We've chatted about this on several occasions. I believe AFSOC is growing too big, too quickly, and there is no selection process anymore. My belief is they're bucking for that 4th star and it will continue the downward spiral in capability begun when we became a 3-star command. They've decided the manning goal is to be 70% "experienced". What does that mean? In our Vol 1 (training reg), we've followed ACC's lead and gone to experienced-based training. As an "experienced" guy, I only have to do 2 TF sorties in a semi-annual. The less experienced guys do more. I recall in slicks there was a time when CP did 125% of the requirements, AC did 100%, and IP did 75%, (but that pre-dates me) so this is similar. In fact, apart from the few events that still have a currency, I can log all of my semi-annual training events in a single sortie as an FTL-A (or "highly" experienced) guy - preposterous (and I do NOT consider myself "highly" experienced - especially when compared to the level of training we formerly had). So, what constitutes an experienced crewmember? 1000 total time and 300 PAA time. This is the middle, or FTL-B (Flight Training Level) and is what everything is based on - flying hours, PFT for the schoolhouse, funding, manning, etc. It is the single most important number in any of our books because this is what AFPC and AFSOC/A1 (personnel) looks at to determine everything. Yet, it's BS. This is a good CP, not an experienced pilot. I proposed 1500 total, 750 PAA, and at least 1000hrs in a plane with a low-level mission (for us low-level guys) at the last Vol 1 re-write conference. Everyone agreed in principle, yet nobody wanted to do anything. Sickening. Another challenge nobody seems to have noticed is we lost about 30% of our flying hours after 9/11. We were busy flying combat missions - and still are to a large extent. But the problem is, we're not doing our primary mission any longer (nor are we allowed to, for the most part), so these are "hollow" hours that don't count for much. Couple this to the 30% fewer hours at home and what loses out as continuation training. Some leadership is even proposing getting rid of capability since we're not currently using it downrange and it's hard to maintain back home...crazy. This is why we are where we are. That, and this ridiculously rapid expansion. Remember, one of the SOF truths is you can't mass produce SOF.
  19. OK...guess that answered my question. May be different nuts too as pointed out by Tiny...I just assumed they were all the same.
  20. Any word on why they're only inspecting the top nuts? I mean, if it's a material problem, they should be inspecting the bottom nuts as well, shouldn't they? I haven't seen the actual TCTO, but I saw the message traffic that outlined the work & only saw Top Nuts... Unless the slide-rule engineers believe the failures to be caused by shock loading during landing (unloading of the wings) vs fatigue or general stress (in that case, bottom nuts would be more critical for inflight). But if it's an embrittlement issue, that's materiel, and all nuts should be inspected/replaced, no??
  21. I left in Oct '06 - Air Fete was gone (The War Against Terror - TWAT) put paid to that - security. They talked about bringing it back in '06, but didn't happen - who knows? Maybe it'll return one day. Bird in Hand was still there, as was Mickey's Tea Bar, but he's now inside the fence, so he didn't have any business. It would surprise me if he's still open. Good lunch. The G-Club has been turned into an all ranks club and ruined (like the rest of the club system) - the Officer's club isn't called that anymore - Middleton Hall or something like that. I head back in May for 2 more years...can't wait!
  22. US Herk

    8 bladed Prop

    Thanks for the insight & update. As a pilot, I'll take high Vmca anyday - it means my powerplants are producing more thrust overall and I will very likely be able to reduce assymetrical power and still remain airborne if an issue. High Vmca are a red herring, IMO - FAA be damned. ;)
  23. US Herk

    -1 on line

    Wow - surprising since it post-dates the Arms Export act of '79... Still, basic OPSEC tells us to protect unclassified info...
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