Waco

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  1. Among the more interesting problems Dr Gilmore has helped create is his insistence on side-by-side comparison testing....for example, requiring a flyoff of the F-35 vs. the A-10 to prove which one is better. The problem is, how do you scope such a mission? Given the vastly different capabilities of the two, it is nearly impossible to write an objective scenario which fully explores both aircraft's capabilities and yet allows for direct comparison. Additionally, given Dr Gilmore's position is an appointed, political position, it is probable there will be a new DOT&E Director shortly, which could see a significant change in the direction of the program's review process.
  2. Wasn't that the premise of this thread in the first place? That it would make the false deity go away? You can see how well that's turned out.
  3. You've gotten some good partial answers above. There's lots of good reasons, starting with having nearly all the information displayed on the HUD available wherever you look. This includes things like target tags, wingman symbols, LINK-16 cues, and targeting symbology in addition to basic flight information (airspeed, heading, altitude, pitch, etc). JHMCS has proven tremendously worthwhile in air-to-ground roles, allowing pilots to synch up target descriptions, with cueing designations from ground forces (JTAC, FAC, another aircraft), and with their own eyeballs. This results in much faster target acquisition, particularly if relying on "eyes-on" target. It can also help with quickly ascertaining Collateral Damage, and min-separation distances, if you've got symbology for both the target and the good guys available through the JHMCS. Finally, some latter versions allow for selectable display of additional sensor information, such as targeting pods, etc. Air-to-air wise, even in a non-HOB missile equipped aircraft, they are immeasurably useful in picking up targets when closing to WVR, and can also help in breaking out multiple aircraft from a single track file, determining safe separation from wingman for shots into a turning fight, and for not having to turn your own aircraft to look through the HUD in order to pick up a target. You can also use the helmet to slave sensors (RADAR, IRST, Targeting pod....whatever you're carrying) to your LOS, ensuring that if you've got a visual pickup, you can put your fire control systems onto the target as well. In short, there's lots of applications for helmet mounted cueing, not just for HOBS missiles.
  4. This is 100% not an accurate statement. In fact, commands and commanders are now having formal education and discussions about using social media to bolster unit information, strategic messaging, and to better connect with their troops. Locking yourself away in a closet is not going to help connect to the new, rising generation of digital natives. We have to get better. Saying stuff like the above makes us look curmudgeonly, slow, and unimaginative to those who are growing up wiht technology.
  5. And here I was, optimistically thinking the cyber issues would've finally been the death knell of the giant stone head. Wishful thinking.
  6. I'm like a bad penny. I always turn up.
  7. Lots of very powerful features for sorting, tagging, and tracking posts. I like it!
  8. There are things in this universe that defy all attempts to classify, explain, or justify them. The great mysteries of our time which plague the sleepless minds of philosophers, scientists, and drunkards have always existed. As science advances, it discovers more things it is unable to explain than it has ever explained in the history of documented experimentation. The Moai Vincent thread is one of these: a riddle, wrapped in an enigma, displayed as an indecipherable puzzle for archaeologists and linguists of the follow-on ages. Like the sands of time, or nipples on a male cat, it simply exists. There is no explanation.
  9. The AF is totally changing its RPA operator manning module. For starters, there is going to be a major uptick in the number of enlisted RPA operators (Congressionally mandated). Step one is well underway, and the program is planned to rapidly expand beyond this after that. RQ-4 will be the threshold platform, with more platforms following. Enlisted RPA operator selection board scheduled They've also started identifying officer RPA operators earlier in the training pipeline, rather than involuntarily removing pilots from their current community to send them to RPAs. As the RPA mission has become more mainstreamed, there is also a significant uptick in volunteers to crossover into the community as well. All combined, these efforts are beginning to fix some of the manning shortfalls in the RPA community. Creation of a separate AFSC just for RPA operators (18X) is another effort to develop a separate personnel pipeline for the RPA community. It's going to take time, but the exponentially increasing demand for RPA operators means we've got to do a better job meeting those requirements. The AF has recognized and is aggressively working on that issue. Unfortunately, it's probably not fast enough to meet the actual demand signal yet. *break* F-22 pilot retention is a complex issue as well, but it has nothing to do with the aircraft being, "uncomfortable to fly." Not sure where that would've even come from, unless it was a rumor related to the oxygen system issues a few years ago. I've also never met a pilot who, "disliked" flying the F-22, which is another reason why the AF is having such a hard time answering the question, "why do we keep losing our F-22 pilots?" So far, they've not come up with a satisfactory answer.
  10. This problem is a lot more complex than any of the public articles published to date. It is both a retention and a recruitment problem, although more so on the retention side at the moment. It's also worth noting the 700 number for shortfalls does not technically include very many actual cockpits. Those are filled before any other positions. There are over 700 positions which REQUIRE a pilot or require pilot experience, but do not actually involve flying an aircraft. Many of these are staff, acquisition, test, and research positions which the AF has coded for pilots (many with good justification, some not). So it's not like there are 700 cockpits unfilled or RPA consoles unmanned. Warrant officers is not going to happen. "Technical Expert Track" vs. "Leadership Track" career path options gets discussed all the time. It's unlikely to ever be completely settled in those fashions, but it is entirely possible they will allow folks to opt out of 1 or 2 promotion boards and stay as a captain a bit longer. Opting out entirely of promotion and leadership competition becomes problematic unto itself. However, the RAAF use this model with some success, even allowing folks to step away from the service for a few years and return at their previous rank/position to resume their career. Looking at developing some of those more flexible career opportunities is definitely on the table, and almost all of these efforts are targeted at increasing the current retention rates. Changes/increases to compensation are also being considered, to include more and higher bonuses (although seldom does more money seem to solve the retention problem....typically we find we're throwing cash at people who would've stayed anyway, and not retaining the ones who want to get out regardless, so I question the wisdom here). Frankly, I think there are lots of other reasons. The F-22 is currently the platform with the lowest retention rate in the AF for pilots. I have plenty of theories as to why that is so. None of them have anything to do with money or career opportunity.
  11. Well, it was more of an observation. However, considering I had absolutely nothing to do with Nats this year, zero involvement, couldn't attend, and was nowhere near the convention, any posts I made would've consisted solely of, "Anybody hear anything about Nats this year?" Seems like a bit of waste, as I'm sure there were other folks with the same thought. I get it, this is no longer the preferred communication medium for exchanging thoughts on the hobby. However, I'm just surprised there was NO ONE at the Nats representing ARC.