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NEWS Air Force leadership talks frankly about pilot retention

ChuckMK23

Former H-46 Driver
pilot
Great video of the Air Force leaders talking about the severe shortage of fighter pilots, I have yet to see a navy leader talk this candidly.

Big knowledge meant needs to come that commissioned officers in Naval aviation specialties, mainly pilots, our special and more valuable than their colleagues in say surface warfare

 

BigRed389

Registered User
None
Great video of the Air Force leaders talking about the severe shortage of fighter pilots, I have yet to see a navy leader talk this candidly.

Big knowledge meant needs to come that commissioned officers in Naval aviation specialties, mainly pilots, our special and more valuable than their colleagues in say surface warfare

Uh Air Force leadership can say that...because they're pretty much all fighter pilots...and in a service where the vast majority of their combat power is in fighter aviation.

We're not the Air Force.
 

azguy

Well-Known Member
None
Big knowledge meant needs to come that commissioned officers in Naval aviation specialties, mainly pilots, our special and more valuable than their colleagues in say surface warfare
PERS dolls out bonuses in a fairly unemotional fashion in order to retain specific skill sets at specific flow points. While going to flight school makes a pilot special in that they can now fly an airplane, it doesn't necessarily make him or her more valuable to the Navy at their MSR, as compared to other officers.

If you were talking value in a sense of aviators being more valuable in a fight, that's simply insane.

Either way, not sure where you were going with this quote...
 

azguy

Well-Known Member
None
No, market forces - i.e., significant, fleeting demand for pilots in the civilian world - make them more valuable.
Yeah...no... You highlight a point that's grossly misunderstood by...almost no one...except for the single anchor members of this website, it seems. All that matters to PERS in deciding where to set retention bonuses is how badly they need to keep that officer, at that point in his or her career. Market forces apply in the PERS world too. Your bonus is only as high as Big Navy cares about keeping you around.

Airlines are hiring, who cares? Fortune 500, defense contractors, nuclear power plants, and Wall St are all hiring too. As long as they can still fill DH and CO seats in your community, the bonuses won't change; when they can't fill the seats, the bonuses will surely change.
 

Randy Daytona

Cold War Relic
pilot
Super Moderator
I can't think of a thing that would destroy morale across a service more than some individuals getting bonuses of more than a half a million. If pilots want to leave for the airlines, then let them go - but don't destroy the cohesion of the service. A possible remedy would be to increase the aviation contract to something akin to 12 years after wings or twice passed for O-4. A lot of the manpower shortage at the rank of major and above can be filled with other occupational specialties. I have said before that the SAU concept is successfully used in the training command - I could see a SAU being added to frontline squadrons as well. There are always reservists looking to go on orders....

That said, it might be time to address our entire personnel and compensation system from top to bottom.
 

sevenhelmet

Uh oh...
pilot
Can you post a PERS-43 brief to confirm that your community isn't able to fill DH and/or CO seats?
That's like asking a used car salesman whether that shiny 5 year old sports car you're interested in has an accident-free record. What do you think he's going to say?

While I acknowledge the Navy's pilot shortfall isn't as severe as the USAF and USMC, the airline hiring boom is definitely having an effect on things. There are more people getting out now to take advantage of it. This is being exacerbated by a good economy overall, and deteriorating fiscal and material conditions in the service. Saying "so what?" loses us the opportunity to avoid more severe manning problems (although in my observation, FMC aircraft are the real long-term problem in the Navy.)
 

azguy

Well-Known Member
None
That's like asking a used car salesman whether that shiny 5 year old sports car you're interested in has an accident-free record. What do you think he's going to say?

While I acknowledge the Navy's pilot shortfall isn't as severe as the USAF and USMC, the airline hiring boom is definitely having an effect on things. There are more people getting out now to take advantage of it. This is being exacerbated by a good economy overall, and deteriorating fiscal and material conditions in the service. Saying "so what?" loses us the opportunity to avoid more severe manning problems (although in my observation, FMC aircraft are the real long-term problem in the Navy.)
Not asking for car salesman spin, just the facts. At least for PERS-41 (SWO), they post a community brief that shows both % selected for DH and CO; and manning (either surplus or deficit) at the "control grades" of LCDR - CAPT.

Lots of anecdotal evidence on AW of the "huge" effect of airline hiring. Let's see the no-shit numbers...
 

AFUAW

Active Member
pilot
A possible remedy would be to increase the aviation contract to something akin to 12 years after wings or twice passed for O-4.
A better remedy would be to address the reasons that we're leaving in the first place. I didn't quit just because the bonus wasn't big enough or the airlines are hiring. I quit because the Navy was sucking the life out of me. A worthless staff tour and the prospect of more bullshit and less flying made the decision easy. The Navy can address the QOL issues or it can watch people continue to leave.

The Air Force has already moved to wings + 10 for pilots. It may help the numbers a little in a few years, but it doesn't address the underlying problem.
 

Randy Daytona

Cold War Relic
pilot
Super Moderator
A better remedy would be to address the reasons that we're leaving in the first place. I didn't quit just because the bonus wasn't big enough or the airlines are hiring. I quit because the Navy was sucking the life out of me. A worthless staff tour and the prospect of more bullshit and less flying made the decision easy. The Navy can address the QOL issues or it can watch people continue to leave.

The Air Force has already moved to wings + 10 for pilots. It may help the numbers a little in a few years, but it doesn't address the underlying problem.
I don't disagree that there is way too much bull. However ever increasing personnel costs have resulted in a vicious circle of reduced manpower due to affordability thus having to do more with less. If manpower can be increased, then workload and deployments can be reduced.
 
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