Military Review

US Air Force threatens internal enemy

In the US Air Force, a crisis imperceptible to the outside eye is brewing. Cuts, contradictory changes in standards, a decrease in the morale of the pilots and, as a result, a drop in confidence in the armed forces — this is how experts who have studied the issue of “restructuring” the US Air Force see the situation.

David Max Korzen told about the "inconspicuous crisis" in the US air force in a magazine "The National Interest".

David Max Korzen (David Max Korzen) - the former pilot of the Air Forces of the USA, nowadays consists in a reserve of the Air Forces, the graduate of the Center of studying of the Near East of the Harward university, lives in Washington.

It is not at all China and Russia are the greatest enemies of the US Air Force. The threat of the Air Force is lurking "inside," he said.

The author believes that the air forces of the United States seem to be in a state of internal war. Trying to mitigate the disillusionment of servicemen, Deborah Lee (who served as US Secretary of the Air Force), as well as Chief of Staff General David Goldfein, issued instructions that reduced the heat of the situation, but did not solve the problems. The Air Force has no uniform standards of service, no past morale, or even confidence in military service.

David Max Korzen notes that the air force faced a number of problematic aspects in the field of career, and this was especially true for fighter pilots. It is predicted that by October 1 2017, the Air Force will have thousands of pilots missing (almost a third). There is an opinion that even more pilots will leave the Air Force. The leadership of the air force believes that the most important reason for leaving the staff is hiring pilots by civilian airlines. The Air Force offered the pilots "bonuses" (up to 35.000 dollars per year), but this amount did not cause interest.

Since the Air Force already offers pilots a decent salary and good benefits in addition to “generous bonus packages,” the author writes that financial considerations are not the only reason for the shortage of military personnel. And this is confirmed by data from a survey conducted directly among pilots back in 2015 year.

The decision of 37% of staff to leave the service in the Air Force was influenced by “additional responsibilities” that go beyond the documented scope. Among the "official" undocumented duties of the Air Force - briefing on first aid courses, the management of the squadron sites, etc.

The Pentagon attempted to combat this phenomenon: a note dated 2016 reported a reduction in a number of “responsibilities”. The deadline for introducing changes is October 1 2016. That is, the new rules providing for change should have come into force almost a year ago. However, the date has long passed, and the new leadership of the Air Force recognized that "this is some kind of work in progress."

The delay is clear. The transformation of the leadership of the Air Force is “widespread”, the author notes, and the reform period mentioned earlier was too “ambitious”. Moreover, the Pentagon is limited in the very possibility of policy changes. You also need to understand that many of the "duties" are provided by US law or simply deeply rooted.

Interestingly, the leadership of the Air Force has repeatedly stated that it expects initiatives to reduce the respective responsibilities of the lower commanders, and not the top, from the Pentagon. “Do not expect this from me,” General Goldfein recently stated in the Heritage Foundation. “I trust the wing commanders who are entrusted with the task.”

The commander of the aviation wing, is, as a rule, the colonel in charge of the wing, consisting of several squadrons. This is an officer familiar with the specific requirements of his units. Therefore, such an officer is indeed the chief who is aware of all changes. And many commanders today want to completely solve the existing problem, but they are hampered by two obstacles: regulation and lack of resources. It was these obstacles that led to a “jumble of standards” in the US Air Force.

How to solve this issue command of the Air Force? “We give commanders the right to take risks and act on their own,” said Brooke Brzozowske, public relations officer of the US air force.

There is no uniform way to solve the problem, he said. Sometimes you should consider the whole plan of change, sometimes some of its aspects. “Different squadrons need different things,” said the employee.

Obviously, the Air Force prefer a decentralized approach, the author concludes. Some wings (23-wing on the basis of the Moody AFB Air Force; 4-wing fighters in the Seymour Johnson AFB; 27-th special wing of operations in the Cannon AFB) made only minor changes. At Andrews AFB in Maryland, the 11-e wing announced that they had excluded four additional duties in their squadrons. The other wings seemed to delegate even more power, allowing individual squadrons to make their own decisions about what was to be reduced. The wing liaison officer at Elmendorf AFB directly remarked: "Each individual squadron is responsible for additional duties."

The 366 Fighter Wing in Mountain Home AFB (Idaho) advocates “common sense” in practice. It abolished the position of the representative of the division of public relations and rewrote the duties of the personnel manager, engaged in programs of personnel remuneration.

How to implement a new vision of the leadership of the Air Force, without proper authority? This is a common problem of the Air Force. “We fell into the gray space,” says sergeant-technician Heather Redman, a representative of the 15-th wing in Hickam AFB (Hawaii). The rules were not updated, so the pilots have to follow the verbal instructions, the written instructions.

Another factor hindering changes in individual divisions is the lack of adequate resources, that is, personnel. There is a desire to reduce even more responsibilities, but how to do it in conditions when there are not enough people in the Air Force? “There are no resources,” said one of the active officers on this issue, who wished to remain anonymous. If you refuse to perform certain duties, then these duties will simply be none!

Moreover, whatever the Pentagon may have thought, none of the local activists reported significant changes at squadron level.

“Theoretically, they [these duties] were reduced,” said the unnamed pilot, “but, frankly, I haven’t seen any real changes other than closing one or two [online courses].”

The bosses of the Air Force, it seems, intends to still make the appropriate changes. But the constant shortage of personnel probably will only aggravate the crisis. Pilots say they are disappointed with promises of change in the past, and therefore are not sure that the current restructuring in the Air Force will be crowned with success.

“I don’t think they intend to reduce additional responsibilities,” says Mike Walters, a former Air Force pilot. “For twelve years of service, I have heard a lot about this at the highest level and at the squadron level.” However, according to Walters, the promise "did not happen again and again." And the staff begins to be skeptical of this kind of leadership ideas. “Even when they promise to improve something in the future, you just don’t believe them anymore,” Walters said. “People think that there is no light at the end of the tunnel.”

The USAF has other problems. As noted by I. Plekhanov, who analyzed for "InoSMI" military newshaving not reached the front pages of the publications, statistics on the state of US bombers indicate the following: out of 75 B-52 planes, only 33 are ready for sorties, out of 62 B-1 planes - 25, and out of 20 B-2 planes - only seven or eight are ready to fly at all. According to a former deputy chief of staff aviation US Air Force intelligence by Lieutenant General David Deptula, quoted by the Military Times, today's US Air Force is the smallest and most unstable for all history USA. The tension in relations with North Korea shed light on this crisis in the Air Force.

The material points out the lack of pilots, which was already mentioned in the article of David Max Corzin. It is indicated that the shortage of personnel is felt among both fighter pilots and bomber pilots.

The Air Force also has a shortage of drones operators. Moreover, the transfer of pilots to drones operators is carried out in the form of an order, and people who are accustomed to fly on their own rather than sit at the control panels are unhappy with this.

Another reason for the loss of personnel of the Air Force: according to the forecast of “Boeing”, the planet will need 2036 thousands of new pilots by 637. 117 thousand will be required by North America alone. And the struggle for military pilots who have flown a large number of hours will become even more aggravated. Requests will come not only from US airlines, but also from Asian countries: they are ready to pay big money to pilots.

The US Air Force also lacks technicians and service personnel. 3500 is missing for today.

In conclusion - the cherry on the cake. The average age of airplanes in the USAF is already 28 years old. The same indicator for civil aviation is only ten years.

Conclusion: military aircraft in the United States are aging. And a smaller number of personnel keeps cars in a state of combat.

Observed Oleg Chuvakin
- especially for
Photos used:
to Reuters

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  1. Victor Tsai
    Victor Tsai 22 August 2017 07: 07
    Everyone has their own hemorrhoids !!!! That's right, comrade Stalin said, cadres decide everything !!!
    1. gladcu2
      gladcu2 22 August 2017 17: 00
      Yes, nooo .....

      Here everyone has the same hemorrhoids .... This is a well-known decrepit economic system that squeezes resources from all possible sources.

      As if these web sites are not pulling loot from the army, and in this case, these command courses will always be imposed. Command with this kickback has.

      He is capitalism and in Africa capitalism.
      1. zarya
        zarya 23 August 2017 07: 57
        Quote: gladcu2
        Yes, nooo .....
        Here everyone has the same hemorrhoids .... This is a well-known decrepit economic system that squeezes resources from all possible sources.
        As if these web sites are not pulling loot from the army, and in this case, these command courses will always be imposed. Command with this kickback has.
        He is capitalism and in Africa capitalism.

        In general, yes. One may not agree with the name "capitalism", but the fact remains: a system is being imposed around the world that encourages the draining of resources through various holes. Moreover, it is imposed cruelly, as in "1984".
  2. aszzz888
    aszzz888 22 August 2017 07: 13
    It is indicated that a shortage of personnel is felt both among fighter pilots and bomber pilots.

    ... sewed into the wall - and on the demobilization. laughing there is a lot of desert in the meritosia where you can put one or another cemetery of airplanes, and the flyers will go to the guards ... bully
  3. Astoria
    Astoria 22 August 2017 08: 42
    As the saying goes, the more it falls, the better.
  4. Vadim237
    Vadim237 22 August 2017 09: 20
    The article is not complete.
    1. Pete mitchell
      Pete mitchell 22 August 2017 09: 43
      Very incomplete. It is worth adding that the lack of pilots was provoked by the American authorities, forbidding several years ago to take pilots into civil aviation with a flying time of less than 1500 hours on decent equipment, and how to fly them to a mere mortal. If I am not mistaken, this is the third wave of robbery of the air forces by air companies: regional companies are forced to postpone development due to a lack of pilots - it is easier to lure the military, all the more prepared.
      We won’t worry, but we need to look “in both”, these problems are now around the world: Hindus need 1000 captains each year from the outside, Arabs need to recruit almost a hundred pilots a month, and China is also insatiable.
    2. creak
      creak 22 August 2017 09: 57
      Quote: Vadim237
      The article is not complete.

      And the conclusions are that everything in the US Air Force is so bad that they can be taken with your bare hands? To some extent, similar problems to the US are typical for aviation in most countries - and our aerospace forces are no exception in this respect ... More importantly, what is being done (or not being done) to correct the situation - this is just not there in the review .. ..
      An objective assessment of a potential adversary is a guarantee that in the event of a conflict with him you will not encounter "unpleasant surprises", as has already happened in the rich and very difficult history of our country, even in relatively recent times ....
      1. Vadim237
        Vadim237 23 August 2017 01: 31
        Here is the full -
        War news that did not hit the front pages

        The aggravation of relations between the United States and North Korea has revived discussions in the foreign press about the state of the US air force: will there be enough planes, pilots and bombs for the Americans to bomb North Korea in case of war. The whole burden of air strikes from the air will fall on the bombers B-1, B-2 and B-52. In the worst case scenario, tactical nuclear strikes will most likely be carried out precisely from the US Air Force aircraft, since intercontinental missile launches can be perceived by Russia and China as a threat to their own security and will exacerbate the situation.

        Military Times published statistics on the status of bombers. According to this publication, out of 75 B-52s, only 33 are ready for sorties, out of 62 B-1s, only 25, and out of 20 B-2s, only seven or eight are ready for simple flights.

        Former U.S. Air Force intelligence chief Lieutenant General David Deptula said the country's current air forces are the smallest and least operational in US history and the crisis in relations with the DPRK at least sheds light on this.

        B-2, designed to deliver nuclear strikes, in January 2017 was used in a conventional role against the IG (an organization banned in Russia - approx.ed.) In Libya. Two aircraft were in the air for 34 hours and 15 air tankers were used to refuel them.

        But basically, they try not to use the B-2s so that machines that are already over 20 years old do not produce a resource and so as not to distract them from the pilot training process. Of the 20 B-2 aircraft, two are constantly undergoing scheduled repairs, two are undergoing long-term modernization, and one is being used for testing. Of the remaining 16 vehicles, only half are ready for flights here and now, and, according to the Air Force, only four are ready for direct sorties.

        Three B-2016s were based on training flights in Guam in 2, but there is only one hangar on the base for the full service of the B-2. That is, in the event of an attack on the DPRK, nuclear bombers will have to fly from their base in Missouri. Today, Guam does not officially have a B-2.

        As for the B-1, only six cars are based on Guam. Squadron rotation took place on the island in July, and according to statistics it turned out that the previous unit could support 74% B-1 combat readiness, that is, in case of an unexpected order, only four aircraft would immediately take off. At the same time, it is worth noting that B-1 no longer carries nuclear charges and their use in the DPRK will therefore not be so nervous about Russia and China.

        It can also be said that since May of this year, B-1s in Guam have been actively conducting training flights to Korea, including night ones, where bombing is being practiced at the South Korean training ground. In August last year, for the first time in history, joint training flights of the entire air strike trinity took place in Guam: B-1, B-2 and B-52 simultaneously took part in the exercises.

        Not everything is smooth and with the pilots. According to the Air Force, by October 1, 2017, the U.S. Air Force will miss one thousand pilots, and maybe more. And the shortage is felt not only among fighter pilots, but this also applies to bomber pilots.

        The Air Force believes that the main reason for the outflow and shortage is the best conditions in civil aviation. The Air Force offered pilots bonuses up to 35 thousand dollars annually and up to 455 thousand in total for 13 years, but this did not correct the situation. Another reason is the transfer of pilots to units working with drones. In this direction, there is also a shortage of drone operators. In this case, the transfer of pilots is carried out in an orderly manner, which people who are accustomed to flying themselves, rather than sitting at the remote controls, do not like.

        In 2015, they conducted a survey of why pilots leave the US Air Force. As it turned out, finances are not the only reason. 37% of respondents said that they were not satisfied with the “additional duties”. These duties (61 additional duties on the official list) included not only working with papers, but also conducting first aid courses, training online or, for example, maintaining sites on the Internet. In 2016, the Pentagon even had to issue special instructions to prevent non-core pilot loading.

        In July, Boeing published its forecasts for the number of pilots needed for commercial airlines. According to the forecast, by 2036, with an increase in the number of aircraft in operation and with an increase in air transportation, the world will need 637 thousand new pilots. Of these, 117 thousand is the need of North America. Today, pilots quit and retire faster than new ones join the industry. Civilian companies are forced to cut flights and lose money. Therefore, the struggle for military pilots, who already have a large number of sorties, will only escalate and they will be offered all the best conditions until the market stabilizes. Moreover, the request will come not only from airlines in the United States, but also from Asian countries that are willing to pay pilots a lot of money.

        At the same time, the problems of the Air Force are not limited to a shortage of pilots. The low percentage of combat-ready bombers is also explained by the fact that in addition to the US Air Force pilots, there are not enough technicians and maintenance personnel. Their missing number is estimated at 3500 people. Another problem is the age of the machines. The average age of aircraft in the US Air Force is 28 years. While in commercial aviation, this figure is only 10 years. Military aircraft are aging and fewer people are willing to keep them in combat-ready condition.

        And, finally, the question arises of the banal sufficiency of bombs and missiles for warfare. During the recent hostilities against IS in Syria, Iraq, Libya, against the Taliban in Afghanistan and against terrorists in Somalia and Yemen, the Americans spent 56 thousand units of high-precision and "smart" weapons (ammunition with laser and infrared guidance, JDAM (Joint Direct Attack Munitions ), Hellfire rockets, etc.). Over the past three years, these numbers are even higher. In the year, the Pentagon as a whole spends about two billion dollars on these types of ammunition.

        US Air Force Major General James Martin said current military campaigns are causing difficulties in supplying the Air Force with ammunition. In 2018, the air force would like to make up for more than 39 thousand precision and smart weapons, and the Air Force’s requests for an urgent increase in the budget for the purchase of these ammunition have been heard for at least two years now.

        And this is without taking into account possible military operations against North Korea. US Air Force Chief of Staff General Mark Welsh warned that bombs are being spent faster than they are being purchased.

        As a result, last year Lockheed Martin announced an increase in the production of Hellfire missiles from 500 to 650 per month, and quadrupled the production of laser-guided Paveway II bombs. Boeing plans to increase the production of GBU-39 bombs next year by five times (from a thousand units to five thousand). In 2015, Boeing produced eight thousand units of JDAM, and in 2018 it will produce at least 36 units. Arsenals are actively being replenished and increased, but it is difficult to say whether there are enough current reserves for the campaign against the DPRK.
      2. Vadim237
        Vadim237 23 August 2017 01: 38
        “An objective assessment of a likely adversary is a guarantee that in the event of a conflict with him you will not encounter“ unpleasant surprises ”We have them, one of them is a catastrophic shortage of BTA transport planes. Altogether 111 Il 76 and An 124 are per million payroll of the Russian Armed Forces.
    LAWNER 22 August 2017 10: 39
    Some wall newspapers do not want to draw. Others say the planes are old, why repair them?
  6. UAZ 452
    UAZ 452 22 August 2017 12: 25
    US Air Force threatens internal enemy

    I thought, again about Trump, but no - the pilots are forced to write wall newspapers, to engage in sanitary enlightenment. Really, our political leaders in the USA emigrated, and serve on a profile? Then the truth is - the US Army kirdyk - these will ruin any army, since there is experience.
  7. Old26
    Old26 22 August 2017 15: 00
    Quote: Vadim237
    The article is not complete.

    In one of those, someone gave this article a footnote on the defense industry news. The author Ilya Plekhanov is not always correct in his calculations. In particular, the strategic aviation of the United States. Where, from which finger he sucked out this information - these are his problems, but the fact that they are fake leaves no doubt.
    Further, what is meant by additional responsibilities. This is not the case in the above article; Plekhanov's article mentions that these duties (61 additional duties on the official list) included not only working with papers, but also conducting first aid courses, training online or, for example, maintaining websites on the Internet. Something, of course, is clearly not specialized, something is by no means superfluous (for example, first aid). Yes, and I am tormented by vague doubts that for these "duties" they simply pay extra little, so kmk is "dispelled" from them.
  8. guerrilla
    guerrilla 22 August 2017 22: 04
    Wow loss - 1000 pilots. 1-3 billion to prepare a new thousand, but most importantly 2017 + 6 years in reserve, at least.
    Now I believe that the world will change ...
  9. voron770247
    voron770247 26 August 2017 20: 22
    Ungrateful business to make predictions ... Och. you often get your finger in w ***. As the saying goes: "Wait and see. Wait and see." Do not rush to bury the sick Sherkhan - for disappointment will be bitter.