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US Herk

Photo of the Week 10-08-07

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Sadly, I believe that XV205 was the one lost in the RAF\'s most recent landing mishap. Excellent pic of her - I\'ve got a couple hours in that one I think...

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Yes - I\'ve recently heard some of the particulars - if what I heard was true, could be a difficult time ahead for OC 47...

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Current photo of week is, I believe, taken from the ramp of a Talon I over the English countryside on a Stalwart Friend Exercise...

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If memory serves me correctly, that is Pope bird (39th or 40th TAS) over in the UK in the early 90s. Want to say the bagpiper\'s name is Mike Underkoffer (sp)...Can remember the guy playing on the edge of tent city in Thumrait during Desert Shield.

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I could very well be wrong - something I was told a long time ago, so secondhand info at best.

Like your name - new name or new member? ;)

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Been watching & reading for a while... Will ask some of the old Pope guys at HRT. Can\'t remember if it was a SOLL II crew or not.

P.S. Sit in your old desk, atleast for now... AFSOC/CV told us Tue that we will be at Cannon next year. We shall see...

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Well, that narrows it down a bit! ;)

I did 27SOW/CC key staff crse a few weeks back - he doesn\'t think it\'ll happen, if at all, until 2011-13 timeframe.

There is no money.

AFSOC/CC can wish in one hand & crap in the other - see which one fills up first. ;) The rapid deployment of wombat to CVS is indicative of someone running scared & trying to squat before it gets yanked...

I also know Olsen isn\'t a fan of GSP in general & AFSOC\'s \"merger\" of GSP & Cannon in particular...

We shall see...

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Can\'t get into the particulars on the web page, but AFSOC vision changed three weeks ago concerning acft movement. If you remember correctly we were all suppose to be moving starting this month. :woohoo:

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Seems that AFSOC is attempting to \"pure fleet\" the MC force. Trying to use CWB as a reason to consolidate O/S T2s at Cannon. Tampa says they are not footing the bill. AFSOC must think money coming from big blue. Interesting that CV was very forward about T2 move. Wonder what they are up to?

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Well, if there ever was a reason to pure-fleet us, CWB is it. They could alleviate it somewhat by contracting for more than one company to do more than one acft at a time! It will drag out to 2013 at the earliest...

We\'ll see. I don\'t think it\'s going to happen. I think the closest they\'ll get is centralized control of the tail number at Hurby so the tails will go \"tdy\" places so they can manage the fleet.

Of course, these are the same folks that \"managed\" to get us in this predicament in the first place with the great tail swap of \'04 - instead of CWB burning out one at a time, they\'re all burning out at the same time...

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I\'ll go ahead and put my 2 cents in on the cwb train wreck since I\'ve been so involved with the first T2 move through the current iterations.

Back in \'04, someone hade an \"aww damn\" and figured out that, due to higher than expected SF and subsequent accelerated EBH usage, the CWB\'s for T2\'s were going to ground earlier than projected. The tail moves back in \'04 bought us a little over a year, to avoid grounding until we could get boxes on them.

Then surprise..surprise.. someone had a \"aww double-damn\" and figured out that the origional lockheed wing couldn\'t get us to 60K..guess what? 38K was the magic number with restrictions, grounding at 45K.

You definately hit on the fact that CWB\'s need to be built/delivered faster, but therin lies the problem, lockheed is the single source until the later CWB\'s buys. I believe that\'s when it may get competed, but by then it will be too late for SOF.

Lot\'s of people think that the boxes can be built faster by Lockheed, I\'ve been told many times that it is a manufacturing limitation (something about limited availability of a specific alloy) but it appears to me that they really don\'t have much incentive, hmm..aren\'t they the same folks that are trying to sell C-130J\'s?

No one else builds new ESL C-130 wing boxes today. Plenty of contractors want to take old boxes and refurb them, guess what? You just spent 2-4 million and 6-8 months downtime and then just turn around and do it again in 9-10 years. Granted, the slick fleet could probably get 18-20 years out of refurbed wings, but as far as I know, AMC didn\'t bite.

We just have to face facts, the CWB issue is about as ugly as a baby can get. We may get some boxes accelerated, but that\'s not going to have a huge effect on the overall picture.

The only way to get through CWB replacement is to think outside the box when it comes to managing the aircraft fleets and for the SPO to look at alternative engineering solutions (good luck). It may not be perfect, but that\'s the cards we were dealt.

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And the first T2 (1212 I think) got Jockey 14\'s CWB - already bought & paid for.

I was told Boeing, Snow, & others have offered (bid) to fab SOF-specific CWB, not just refurb, althought that was given as an option as well.

I still maintain the great tail swap of \'04 was penny wise & pound foolish. It didn\'t \"buy\" us anything - it kicked the can down the road into an uglier baby. Instead of burning EBH on CWB incrementally, they moved low-time boxes to high-time flying units & vice verse virtually guaranteeing the current train wreck where they all burn out w/in 18mo of each other...

Meanwhile, I\'ve just lost 175 hours for this year & am about to lose a tail for who knows how long?

Train wreck worsened, but not caused by, mismanagement...

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As far as \"pure fleet\" goes, an old staff officer saying might just apply: \"planning, without funding, equals hallucination\"

Also, no one is talking about what the GCC\'s think of losing their airplanes / capabilities. I agree that the tails may become \"centrally managed\", meaning swapping tails around more and more as we get more and more desperate, but bottom line is that there is a finite shelf life on even that plan, and real world needs keep creeping in.

BTW, until they build some infrastructure at Cannon that can support airplanes bigger than an F-16, I don\'t see anyone but the third floor at the white building doing much about moving stuff out there.

Could be wrong.......

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Rumint on the street has another tail shuffle between the groups in the very near future - not as big as the last shuffle.

HQ LG has mandated management by tail# by flying hours/month. Which is still very short sighted as the EBH is figured after you log the time into aircat...

EDIT: This is inaccurate - the FH/mo is a target only based on historical usage rates. The limits are annual EBH.

Lockheed, meanwhile, has been awarded what amounts to an exclusive contract to fix the CWB one at a time...

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The very near future starts next month according to leadership here. We have a plane at depot that we will not get back and we should get our new tail next month some time. This oughta be good times since we are getting ready for an MSET/UCI in December and now we have to have this on our plate as well. :angry:

Hope all is well in the community!

Cheers!

DaveB)

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Here\'s an apology to all before they read this, this post is drawn out and probably a little boring, but I thought it is necessary to try and provides some facts about T2 CWB saga. I\'ve addressed it to US Herk, but it is for everyone who has wondered WTF. (and I\'m not US Herk bashing)

US Herk,

I\'ve just got one question, have you read the message? If not, you need to get a copy of the message sent to the field and share it with your bretheren. Tail number management is NOT by Flying hours per month, but by EBH per FY. The flying hour by month you are referring to is used for illustration for the message. The unit may decide to burn up all the EBH in the first 2 qtrs of the year and coast the rest of the way, it\'s up to them. The total allowed EBH expenditure by tail per FY is the thing to key in on.

Think of it as a checkbook that every month needs to be balanced, verified you are on budget and oh by the way..you aren\'t getting more deposits. The unit P&S will have to do this for each tail, every month. (They are the one who will be in scheduling hell)

This has to be a T2 community effort, the LG folks are doing their damndest to keep the aircraft available to the crews and the ops folks have to do their part to ensure maximum efficiency for EBH expenditure. The days of launching a sortie just so one guy can get his training has got to be the rarity and not the norm.

And since I\'m on my lecturn, here\'s my response to your \'04 T2 move comment. If tails didn\'t move, the school house would have had two outstanding T2 ground trainers today and another ground trainer within 6 months. With the exception of the donor box from the ACH (and installed on 1212) the first production box doesn\'t deliver until the 2nd qtr of the FY, you can figure out how long it would have taken to get the school house out of the ground trainer business again. The swap of \'04 was a pain in the ass for all involved, but the alternative would have tapped out the world supply or Prep H. Opinions are great for conversation, just don\'t confuse it with facts.

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HeyChief,

No bashing taken - each of our perspectives is colored by the hat we wear, the seat we sit in, and the information available to us.

I actually re-read the message just yesterday trying to figure out the numbers. You\'re 100% right - the FH/mo was a target, the \"thou shalt not surpass\" was the yearly EBH. I stand corrected - I misread it the first time.

My little world gets hurt more due to a depot input this year, but that\'s just part of it & nobody\'s fault. What is subject to the blame-thrower is the fact the planes don\'t come out of depot on time because they decided to extend the depot cycles or skip them altogether back in the late \'90s. Probably seemed like a good idea at the time to someone, but we\'re paying for it now. That\'s mismanagement. As we\'re seeing now, the engineering models that dictate what we need to do to Herks when is fairly accurate...

I stand by my statement that the great tail swap of \'04 merely kicked the can down the road. They (AFSOC & SOCOM) should have procured $$ to begin the CWB mods back then. They did not. The contract was not let until Aug. Three years is far too long. I know it takes time to get money, but there weren\'t even any discussions on it back then. And to only use one contractor to fix such a large problem one aircraft at a time is short sighted. That\'s mismanagement.

Yep, it\'s going to be a T2 community effort alright...just not voluntary. There has been mismanagement of the AFSOC fleet (not just T2). AC-130U is not far behind T2 WRT CWB. Most of this is due to ongoing commitments downrange, but small fleet dynamics have really compounded other issues, but illustrates that this problem is bigger than just T2 & should have been attended to with more urgency.

For example - in FY05 (latest year I have figures handy) T2 acft availability was 52% & mission capable rate was 73% - translating that into pure numbers - that means on any given day there were only seven (7) T2 available for 3 operational squadrons, 1 training squadron, & deployed operations. A significant portion of the aircraft availability portion was scheduling by LG. There were at least two major mod programs underway as well as depot. Plenty of fault all around for this one (XP, LG, AFSOC, SOCOM), but it still amounts to mismanagement.

The root cause of all this, IMO, is that AFSOC is too big, too bureaucratic, & too slow to react anymore. Read the latest AF Times back page by Maj B. Braden - Process over Purpose. I\'ve been saying this for years in a different way, \"Process over product.\" With the bureacracy as thick as it is, we\'ve got to lead-turn the problems a lot earlier than we\'re used to. I don\'t think current thinking will allow that to happen though.

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US Herk wrote:

Read the latest AF Times back page by Maj B. Braden - Process over Purpose. I\'ve been saying this for years in a different way, \"Process over product.\" With the bureacracy as thick as it is, we\'ve got to lead-turn the problems a lot earlier than we\'re used to. I don\'t think current thinking will allow that to happen though.

I laughed my a** off reading that articleanim_bannana.gif

Boy if he didnt just hit the hammer on the head with that one

3tenskv6.gif

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