Christmas at Eglin…

| January 3, 2013 | 30 Comments

Spent Christmas at Eglin AFB and am preparing a longer post about that, but…

This threw open some doors.

Reveille sounded at 07:30. I recollect it being a bit earlier?

There was no designated smoking area, BUT there was a “Designated Tobacco Use Area”. There was also a container labeled “for extinguishing only”.

I’ll offer more later, but the Ranger Up video lit a fire.

Let’s make fun of the USAF. I got stories…

Category: Geezer Alert!

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  1. OWB says:

    Give me a minute to dig out the old helmet before the AF abuse starts. Please?

  2. Biermann says:

    Glad I retired 13 years ago before the ” I need a hug” AF got into full swing.

  3. Just an Old Dog says:

    I probably spent all of 40 hours out of 20 years on Air force bases. I think I spent maybe 2 minutes actually talking to Air force People.
    They were a breed apart. Good people, smart and hardworking. They just had a problem with that whole “military thingy”.
    When Mt Pinatubo erupted in 91′ the sent a lot of the Air Force, and their dependents to Subic Bay. Our MEU disembarked to provide security for Subic and let the AF and civies evacuate up to Cebu to fly out to Guam.
    My Unit was temporarily housed in a hanger,,, one that had been used by Active Duty Air Force as billets to await evacuation. The Hospital was open and Air force personnel were working there,,, all in civies, I asked why they didn’t have uniforms and one Girl said when they were evacuated they could only have 2 pieces of luggage,,,, so there was no room for uniforms.When the Air force got to Subic, the first thing they did was let guys go out on Liberty. It took like 4 days to round them up and get them out of there. They had groups they evacuated everyday, but a few were left for a while. We had half a dozen actually volunteer to go out and help us clean away ash ( actually sand) from the roofs so they wouldn’t collapse. Of course they all wore civvies so we didn’t know what rank they were. I found out that of the 8 that were working for me on a 50 man detail 3 were E-7s or above, I was a SSgt E-6 so I asked them if they would want to split the details up so they could supervise. The idea of having to supervise Marines scared them shitless, so they just turned it down and went back to shoveling sand.

  4. 2-17 Air Cav says:

    The AF is….different. Yep, that’s what the Af is. That about covers it.

  5. CC Senor says:

    The thing I always liked about the AF was their messhalls. Whenever I could (which wasn’t often) I’d tool on over to Ramstein for lunch. Same great price, whole lotta better fare.
    The exception was the R&R flight to Manila back in ’66. (All the R&R flights were Pan Am except the one to Manila.) Boarding the plane I found a white box labeled flight ration in my seat. Upon inspecting it’s contents it struck me that an AF flight ration was the same thing as a C ration; only the color of the box and the cans inside it were colored differently. Later, the load master came around and passed out cartons of milk slices of bread.

  6. Yat Yas 1833 says:

    In ’79(?) I went to San Antonio with a Bro on leave. While there we visited Lackland AFB to see AF recruit training. We were in uniform so no one questioned us walking around. We found the training area and walked up to a “hat”, he had a sleeve full of stripes so he must have been a Cpl!? We chatted a bit then I asked if I could drill his Plt. Those poor boys had NO IDEA what I was doing!? My Toon AHten HU! (platoon, attention) was only understood by about 1/3 of the Plt! Rhi Hace! (right face) was only understood by about the same 1/3! Orwerd HU! (forward march) was gotten by most. They got the “leh-ri-lef” ok but when I started the ‘sign-song’ cadence they were lost! They didn’t even get “Hippity Hop, Mob Stop”! Their DI quietly said, “I guess they’re not Marines.” My Bro and I laughed the whole way off the base!?

  7. FatCircles0311 says:

    Acquired fuel from the Air Force for our patrol vehicle. Apparently they couldn’t be bothered to guard their fuel station because it was outside and hot, but could come out after to attempt chasing us down.

  8. Nik says:

    @6

    Oh great Geebus I would have given a lot to do that. “Lo-Right-ah-Lo-Right-ah-Lefty-Right-ah-Lay-Ho”.

  9. O-4E says:

    “The Air Force…the prefered alternative to military service”

    “The Air Force…a corporation that wears a uniform”

    Both of those I got from Air Force folks. I spent close to 7 years in a joint Army-Air Force unit. Working with, for and leading/managing Airmen. All personnel were hand selcted so yu had high quality folks all around.

    Some of my perspectives:

    1. The USAF does a way better job (than the Army) at developing NCOs who can manage. If I had a project, that I wanted done to standard, with little supervision I was fully confident with assigning that project to any of my USAF NCOs.

    2. The USAF does a horrible job at develping Officers who can lead. By any definition of the word. Smart guys and gals but by and large they had the leadership and people skills of a folding chair.

    3. Cultural differences. My Commander much of the time was a USAF LtCol who was a Master EOD guy and is the smartest person I have ever met. Ever. One of our first TDYs as a unit during our train-up period we were training on an Army base. We went into the DFAC for chow and of course the Army Officers and NCOs waited until the junior enlisted had been through the line before eating ourselves. The Commander is number 2 in the line. The 1SG (and Army 1SG) and I pulled him aside and told him that in the Army, Officers and NCOs eat last. He was dumfounded. He simply didn’t know as that practice isn’t part of the USAF culture.

    Loved that assignment. Learned a lot.

  10. Common Sense says:

    As a parent of one new Air Guard airman and one waiting for BMT dates, I have to admit that it’s not too tough on an air base. During BMT, PT is OK, but forget it after that.

    BTW, my daughter will have tech school at Ft Leonard Wood and will get extra pay because it’s an Army base. LOL!

    Don’t even ask about firearms training, it’s a joke. 50 rounds for practice and 50 for the test. Something like 23 out of 25 hits gets you the marksman ribbon. My son said he would never trust most of his flight, or his tech school class, next to him in a firefight. They would probably shoot him or themselves before they had a chance at the enemy!

  11. RaptorFire22 says:

    @10 That’s because they haven’t received any extra combat training. Before deploying to a hot zone they’ll get much more. Current active duty AF. And I’ve talked to others from other branches about BMTs. My Army cousin facebooked pictures of himself the whole way through. They pretty much baby them now. I miss BEAST week though. (Approaching 2 years of service in June.Yeah, compared to everyone else here, I’m a newbie!)

  12. SkrtSkwrl says:

    They do an excellent job of getting creases in their ACUs :)

    My experience in the joint world as a Navy junior officer is as follows:

    USAF: it’s always unnerving having a senior officer ask you to call him by his first name
    USMC: I never thought it was possible to recieve a smart, sharp and crisp salute and still show utter disdain and contempt.
    USA: My god there’s a lot of you!

    I spend quite a bit of time at McGuire AFB, they have great facilities. The lodge is excellent and I always try and get berthing there.

  13. Nik says:

    USMC: I never thought it was possible to recieve a smart, sharp and crisp salute and still show utter disdain and contempt.

    We spent most of phase one of boot learning that.

  14. Twist says:

    I remember eating at the chow hall at Hickam AFB. When I was done I tried to put away my tray and had to ask where I did it at. It blew my mind when I was told that you left your tray at the table and it would get policed up for you.

    We also had some Air Force people living on Wainwright. I couldn’t believe that they recieved extra pay because Army post housing isn’t up to their standards.

  15. NHSparky says:

    I loved being in an NEC where making rate (at least up until E-6) was pretty smooth. I put on E-6 when I was all of 26 years old and I looked a lot younger than that.

    Fast forward to one evening I was at the “Top Four” Club at Hickham when some crusty old E-4 AP demanded to see my ID because there’s no way I belonged there.

    Ah, the look on his face when he saw that ID and when he asked how long I’d been in to make rank (just over 6 years) was enough to make up for getting hassled.

  16. 2-17 Air Cav says:

    Does the AF have a haircut requirement nowadays? I can tell you that I was convinced many decades ago that they most certainly didn’t.

  17. Lerxst says:

    HAHA…former USAF troop here. I have to agree with everything here.

    USAF – “Work smarter, not harder.”

  18. Chip@NASA says:

    OK 23 years AF here and the last 19 Reserves at Andrews. I had to work a detail as a SSgt with a team of other SSgts (half our unit was SSgts practically) to go down the flightline to help a Marine unit pack to go to 29 palms.
    I called down there and had a Warrant and Staff or Gunny in charge.
    He knew I was the team leader and we were there to make sure they built their 463L pallets correctly.
    I show up with 5 or 6 SSgts and reported to the HMFIC.
    “SSgt Chip, where’s your team?” ” “Right here”….he looks a a bunch of AF SSgts standing around….”Nononono, Where are your WORKER BEES”….I said “We *are* the worker bees”…”Nononono…you’re NCOs!. I explained that out of over 200+ folks in my unit probably 80 were SSgts and most other folks were still in training or Senior NCOs.
    He finally said..”OK then I’ll put each of you in charge of my guys and then we go from there.
    He shouted, his guys formed up in to 5 groups with us supervising building their pallet build up and things went great.
    We tried to help get in there but we were gently reminded that NCOs supervise, they do no WORK.
    {:-D So we helped a little and mostly gave instructions.
    The funniest part was when we told them they needed to set dunnage and pallets and then the whole team of Marines charge off, grab 3 of the 4x4s to set the 463L pallet on and then they all run back and PICK UP THE CARGO PALLET and start running down the flightline. OMFG, I explained NO NO NO, that’s what FORKLIFTS are for. {:-D

  19. Twist says:

    @18, Who needs forklifts when you have Privates?

  20. FrostyCWO says:

    I spent two weeks in early 2008 trying to get from Bagram to Khandahar. Wether was crappy and we kept getting bumped. I attempted to do a drug deal to get on an empty MC-130 through my JSOAC LNO and everything was set to go when his boss caught up with us ten minutes before we were to leave for the flight line. He pointedly informed me and my compatriot that “the United States Air Force is not a taxi service!” and cancelled our seats on the empty aircraft.
    To this day, I’ve always wished I responded with “I’m sorry, I thought that was one of your two core competencies!”

  21. Chip@NASA says:

    @19 Exactly!!
    You don’t know HOW many times I saw this as an Aerial Porter. Or they’d pick up all kinds of stuff….-2 electric carts, sandbags one by one when we had them on pallets.
    They don’t call us Chairforce for Nuttin!!

  22. Devtun says:

    Until recently, the USAF was the only service to allow SSgt/E-5 to go 20 yrs for normal HYT. Now SSgt HYT is 15 yrs (to better align w/ other branches). Sewing on E-5 for many decades up to the late 90s took on average 7-8 yrs (now its about 4 yrs). Back in the day, there generally was a huge
    sense of accomplishment and relief by most career minded airman sewing on SSgt by the 10 yr cutoff – not a gimme (You had to buckle down and study WAPS review material)…I witnessed a few E-4/Sgts w/ 10 yrs service be informed that they made E-5 as they were prepping to get outprocessed. For some this was also their final promotion on the road to 20.

    Many crusty types saddened that SSgt rank in the last 10 to 15 yrs has been a giveaway…you don’t make it in 4 yrs something must be wrong. USAF blundered bigtime in early 90’s in its haste to downsize…they shitcanned or offered 15 yr retirements to many solid experienced SSgts. Than in late 90s and early 2000s the AF determined they had a SSgt shortage…great idea lets promote tons of young inexperienced SrA/E-4 to SSgt – fast.

    Also, the USAF historically has had relatively low personnel turnover, and favor a top heavy structure (E-5 to E-9 constitute over 50% of the enlisted force).

  23. Chip@NASA says:

    @22
    I never thought they should have gotten rid of “Buck Sergeant” E-4 back in the day. (I was one of the last to do that…in the coming years, they deleted it. 1992? (Google says 1991),
    There was no pay difference but that star made all the difference and the ability to really focus on training to embrace the duties and responsibilities of the NCO corps lacks a little bit (these days IMO) without it.
    That being said, I spent the better second half of my career totally busting SrA asses to get them ready for becoming a good solid NCO. If they didn’t then our Top Three and NCO corp wouldn’t let them put on SSgt. True, we had (have?) a top heavy force but it’s always been that way because of the manning slots and such.

  24. CaptJim says:

    If this abuse of the AF continues, i’ll be forced to pull out my supply of jokes about the navy’s semen, the army’s groundpounders & the marines leatherwhatever! ! I strive to “remain above” this type of humor, but I must defend the honor of my service !

  25. 2-17 Air Cav says:

    “but I must defend the honor of my service!”

    She offered her honor,
    He honored her offer,
    And all night long it was…

  26. Yat Yas 1833 says:

    CptJim, what you say is very true, there are many jokes about the lesser branches of the service and even the Marine Corps but unfortunately, what is being said about the air farce is true!?! :o *Running for cover*

  27. Hondo says:

    CaptJim: didn’t you mean to say, “. . . I must defend the reputation of my corporation”? (smile)

  28. Robert says:

    Did 21 years, but was enlisted aircrew, so you did the same primary job as an E7 as you did an E4, just had to do a lot more of the admin crap as an E7. To top it off, I was on helicopters, never enough enlisted around to fill the schedule for the number of pilots. Can’t remember the number of times on a cross country we would land at an AFB, and get the “Didn’t know we had these helicopters!” Had one assignment where we were stationed with a Marine Security Company, they always made me nervous, I could handle being addressed by sergeant, but the whole Master Sergeant title made me think I did something wrong. That was where the Navy guys always said, “at least it ain’t a ship”, and I would tell them that they should raise their standards, because a base should never have to be compared to living shipboard, even the carriers I saw. Only Army I ever worked with were Rangers and SF, different kind of guys.

  29. AF E-7 says:

    Ive been active duty AF for 19 years…lived on Ft DIx, Lakehurst NAS, and Camp Foster…all were nicer than the five AF bases ive lived on! The biggest shock ive had from other services was staying in billiting at Ft Bliss for one night for $90 bucks and after asking why it was so $$ i was told that billiting was run by Holliday Inn!…i also got a 30 min drunken AF bashing from a Marine in Okinawa followed by him apologizing and telling me he would have joined the AF if he had scored higher on the ASVAP!

  30. Former3c0 says:

    @29 I’ve had a few experiences like that,

    I remember when I used to live in Rota (dad was a sailor) I used to have a lot of friends who were young Marines, I was 19 at the time and already older than some of them were. I remember them asking one time what I planned on doing with my life seeing as how I was at the time just passing time working at the NEX. I expected to get an earful when I told them I was on the USAF delayed entry program, but much to my surprise they all told me what a good decision I was making. Some even said that if they’d gotten the chance to do it over again they’d have gone that route.

    Different time (again in Rota) I took my first stint of leave and headed back to Spain to visit my parents and took a friend with me (who could pass up free room and board for 2 weeks in Spain?). We went out to Molly Malone’s (an Irish bar in Puerto) and there was a young Navy Lt (O-3 Of course) and some other sailors there drinking. Of course the shit talking began back and forth, and of course the Lt was providing all the drinks to both parties. In the end I don’t know if I’ve even been sicker but damn we had a lot of laughs and a hell of a time in that bar.

    No one can argue that the AF is a different beast altogether from the other services, I didn’t join so I could kick in doors or bunk with other men, to be honest my motives were quite selfish. I joined for college money and experience with technology with a plan to bounce out as soon as the opportunity arose. Here I am 8 years late, and I absolutely love the AF, I’ve seen some pretty cool stuff, stayed in both good billeting and bad cockroach and mice infested billeting, good and bad food (they’d called DFACs now btw *rolls eyes*), it’s all what you make of it I suppose.

    I think I’ve only ever had one bad run in with another branch member, an Army reservist in Terra Haute at about 2 AM in a Denny’s. He had a bit much to drink and his comments went beyond jabs to insults. In the end he bragged about his two DUIs he’d had (he was drunk again)so I wrote him off, quality soldier that one.

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