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Initiatives launched to retain and increase RCAF personnel experience levels

daftandbarmy

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Fly your Dads fighter jet?

For the win

kate winslet win GIF by BAFTA
 

SeaKingTacco

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We were able to cut that list down in our community, leaving only a handful of staff jobs, directly related to fighter operations, to be filled. We are beyond the critical level however (somewhere around 50-60% PML. It may have gotten better since last year because of COVID).
Interestingly, our (MH) weak point is not really pilots, as much as it is TACCOs and SENSOs. Those occupations are really stressed and it entirely limits what we can do operationally. But, that issue does not get any heat and light upstairs- because, Pilots.
 

Halifax Tar

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Interestingly, our (MH) weak point is not really pilots, as much as it is TACCOs and SENSOs. Those occupations are really stressed and it entirely limits what we can do operationally. But, that issue does not get any heat and light upstairs- because, Pilots.
Do you think this could be helped if the MH community was formally brought back into the RCN to be the RCN Air Arm again ?

The ships revolve around helos when they are embarked and I know your capability is huge and respected in my world. Perhaps you guys would be better represented truly as the RCN Air Arm.
 

dimsum

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Do you think this could be helped if the MH community was formally brought back into the RCN to be the RCN Air Arm again ?
...so they go from the red-headed stepchildren of the RCAF (although Tac Hel probably has a good argument there too) to being the red-headed stepchildren of the RCN?

But seriously, that's another half a dozen trades (you'll have to bring the Pilots and techs in too) to manage, create higher positions for, etc. The NWOs won't like the Pilots/TACCOs taking over command/staff billets, etc.

It sounds awesome but there would be some major issues implementing it. I still secretly hope it's the case though - take LRP along as well since they seem to either fall between AF or Navy depending on the nation :sneaky:
 

SeaKingTacco

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Do you think this could be helped if the MH community was formally brought back into the RCN to be the RCN Air Arm again ?

The ships revolve around helos when they are embarked and I know your capability is huge and respected in my world. Perhaps you guys would be better represented truly as the RCN Air Arm.
I like the simplicity of having the Army/Navy own their own tactical aviation resources, so they can also own solutions/problems.

Unfortunately, I have watched in horror at how the RCN has mis-managed MARTECHs (to be fair, the Air Force did the samething with the 500 series amalgamation, until they quietly unwound it 5 years later) and NWOs, so I can only imagine how much of a mess they would make of Aviation trades that also have airworthiness implications.

We are probably past the point of returning to the RCN fold (for better or worse), baring some clean sheet redesign of the CAF.
 

Halifax Tar

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I like the simplicity of having the Army/Navy own their own tactical aviation resources, so they can also own solutions/problems.

Unfortunately, I have watched in horror at how the RCN has mis-managed MARTECHs (to be fair, the Air Force did the samething with the 500 series amalgamation, until they quietly unwound it 5 years later) and NWOs, so I can only imagine how much of a mess they would make of Aviation trades that also have airworthiness implications.

We are probably past the point of returning to the RCN fold (for better or worse), baring some clean sheet redesign of the CAF.
Fair enough. I can see the advantages of having you guys back in the family but I defer your SMEness ;)
 

Good2Golf

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Fair enough. I can see the advantages of having you guys back in the family but I defer your SMEness ;)
There’s the romantic image of the Navy or Army caring about their own aviation branch...then there’s the reality (at least based in past behaviour. Navy may have been a bit better from the sounds of it, but the Army (actually FMC - Force Mobile Command in the day) was terribly tribal and threw heavy lift aviation to the wolves back in the late-80s/early-90s and scout/recce aviation shortly thereafter, all while FMC(and later LFC) had funding responsibility for TH.

I simply wouldn’t trust the Army not to do it again...
 

FJAG

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There’s the romantic image of the Navy or Army caring about their own aviation branch...then there’s the reality (at least based in past behaviour. Navy may have been a bit better from the sounds of it, but the Army (actually FMC - Force Mobile Command in the day) was terribly tribal and threw heavy lift aviation to the wolves back in the late-80s/early-90s and scout/recce aviation shortly thereafter, all while FMC(and later LFC) had funding responsibility for TH.

I simply wouldn’t trust the Army not to do it again...
My understanding of the Loach and Chinook issue was that the Army was seeking to replace its roughly forty aircraft UH fleet and the government pushed the buy upwards to 100 thereby replacing all the tac helicopters with one all singing all dancing airframe that became the Griffon. That was more an imposed cost saving then a desired one.

That said, considering what the Army has done to the artillery over the last two decades I can't help but agree with you.

🍻
 

TCM621

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Most of this thread is focused on Pilots and that is part of the problem with OP Talent. Part of it is messaging, you look at any OP Talent material and it is still highly focused on Pilots despite Pilots being the focus of their own OP. It just increases the perception the the RCAF cares about Pilots more than anyone else. This is increased when you realize that while Pilots have all these great initiatives to pay them more, get more flying time, more qualifications, etc. everyone else gets some arm patches and a T-shirt with a Rondell meanwhile techs are leaving at a rate much faster than we can replace them and when we done replace them it is usual with some one with much less experience and training. I can't speak to other Sqns but where I work, if we had more, better trained technicians and a supply system with parts, Pilots would be flying about twice as often as they do now.

Now that the rant is out of the way, OP Talent and OP Experience will not have the desired effect for two main reasons. The first is that the vast majority of the issues people have are outside the control of the RCAF and in some cases (PLD) the military. There is not much they can do about that unfortunately. The second problem (and this is also shared throughout the CAF IMO) is that they have started from the wrong premise. They are asking themselves what can we do to remove the reasons people leave. While there are some cases where that has to happen, I think it is more important to increase the reasons people stay. Why did we have to buy people out during FRP at a time when people were treated like garbage, you moved every 3 years, you were always away and the pay was crap? What we need to do is provide incentives to cancel the disincentives. What would make someone be willing to move every 3 years? What would make someone put up with long absences from family?

In a lot of ways it comes down to the fact the military used to be fun when it wasn't sucking. Fun meant different things to different people but I rarely hear people express joy at their job anymore. Once they are a journeyman, or equivalent, it just becomes a job to be completed with a CoC to be avoided if possible. We need to change that. Some of you are old enough to remember the old US Navy slogan "It's not a job, it's an adventure". We need to go back to that mentality. It doesn't have to be a physical adventure travelling all over the world, all the time, but it should be an adventure in the sense that we are constantly learning new things, fixing complex problems and growing. We need to give people a Why rather than focusing on minor How issues.
 

Good2Golf

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FJAG, no, the decision not to recapitalize MTH was well before CFUTTH was a glimmer in the politicians’ eyes. CFLH was also allowed to wither on the vine in the late-80s.

CFUTTH ‘replacing MTH, UH and LOH’ storyline was a ridiculous, reactive, PR-driven backwards engineering. Quite simply, the ‘Army’ (and ‘Air Force’ along for the ride) did not want the MTH and LOH capabilities enough. It should have never supported the 147/135/136->146 charade.

The 146 simply replaced green and yellow 135s, full stop. The 100 qty was purely political. The pre-146 SOR was for 50+3 (green, yellow and new black reqr).

Regards
G2G
 

Loachman

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Interestingly, our (MH) weak point is not really pilots, as much as it is TACCOs and SENSOs. Those occupations are really stressed and it entirely limits what we can do operationally. But, that issue does not get any heat and light upstairs- because, Pilots.

FEs are traditionally a problem in Tac Hel. They get broken a lot, and fewer Techs want the job as it's no longer a stepping-stone to the transport world as neither CC130Js nor C17s have FEs.
 

CBH99

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FEs are traditionally a problem in Tac Hel. They get broken a lot, and fewer Techs want the job as it's no longer a stepping-stone to the transport world as neither CC130Js nor C17s have FEs.
I don't think I'm remotely alone in asking why techs wouldn't want to be a FE?? It seems like a pretty sweet gig, from an outsiders perspective?

Also, how/why do they break a lot? Is it burnout, no longer a stepping stone, high deployment rate, etc etc?
 

dimsum

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FEs are traditionally a problem in Tac Hel. They get broken a lot, and fewer Techs want the job as it's no longer a stepping-stone to the transport world as neither CC130Js nor C17s have FEs.
True. Fixed-wing FE spots are really only the Aurora, Twin Otter, Buff, and Kingfisher now.
 

Loachman

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I don't think I'm remotely alone in asking why techs wouldn't want to be a FE?? It seems like a pretty sweet gig, from an outsiders perspective?

Also, how/why do they break a lot? Is it burnout, no longer a stepping stone, high deployment rate, etc etc?

An applicant has to be a qualified Tech with a certain minimum level of experience. Starting rank for an FE is Cpl, which generally involves a reversion in rank. Pay is vested, however, and supplemented by Spec Pay plus Aircrew Allowance but it could involve a change in Mess plus a loss of prestige. Warrant Officer and Sergeant positions in Tac Hel Squadrons are very limited. The transport community would only accept Sergeant FEs, so they always bled ours away, but now the ability to return to a previously-held rank or move to a more hotel-oriented world is severely reduced.

From the Griffon perspective (I cannot discuss the Chinook sit as I have no experience therein, nor was I even remotely interested) FEs do the bulk of walkarounds while the front-seaters plan missions, so they're outside more often regardless of weather. They only have the same crappy rag-and-tube seats that grunts get. Those are not designed for long-term occupancy, and are literally a pain to sit in, nor do they give the same level of crash protection as the two front seats give. FEs tend to sit hunched forward as a result of the perfectly-vertical seat backs but have to keep their heads up while wearing a helmet and vibrating. The FEs move around the cabin fairly frequently, but have to remain hunched over or crawl about on their knees while the aircraft vibrates and occasionally lurches. They have to open the cabin doors during take-offs and landings and certain other manoeuvres and lean out regardless of weather to clear the aircraft, and occasionally have to lay flat on the floor with their heads out to clear underneath the machine. For hooking up slung loads (absent a TAMS team for real vice training loads), they have to slither underneath the machine on their backs regardless of rain, snow, mud, stones etcetera. This is all aggravated while wearing NVG with the extra weight well out in front while vibrating, and they have to be extra-careful to ensure that they don't bang the goggles on something and damage them or knock them off.

They also have to maintain their Tech quals.
 

CBH99

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An applicant has to be a qualified Tech with a certain minimum level of experience. Starting rank for an FE is Cpl, which generally involves a reversion in rank. Pay is vested, however, and supplemented by Spec Pay plus Aircrew Allowance but it could involve a change in Mess plus a loss of prestige. Warrant Officer and Sergeant positions in Tac Hel Squadrons are very limited. The transport community would only accept Sergeant FEs, so they always bled ours away, but now the ability to return to a previously-held rank or move to a more hotel-oriented world is severely reduced.

From the Griffon perspective (I cannot discuss the Chinook sit as I have no experience therein, nor was I even remotely interested) FEs do the bulk of walkarounds while the front-seaters plan missions, so they're outside more often regardless of weather. They only have the same crappy rag-and-tube seats that grunts get. Those are not designed for long-term occupancy, and are literally a pain to sit in, nor do they give the same level of crash protection as the two front seats give. FEs tend to sit hunched forward as a result of the perfectly-vertical seat backs but have to keep their heads up while wearing a helmet and vibrating. The FEs move around the cabin fairly frequently, but have to remain hunched over or crawl about on their knees while the aircraft vibrates and occasionally lurches. They have to open the cabin doors during take-offs and landings and certain other manoeuvres and lean out regardless of weather to clear the aircraft, and occasionally have to lay flat on the floor with their heads out to clear underneath the machine. For hooking up slung loads (absent a TAMS team for real vice training loads), they have to slither underneath the machine on their backs regardless of rain, snow, mud, stones etcetera. This is all aggravated while wearing NVG with the extra weight well out in front while vibrating, and they have to be extra-careful to ensure that they don't bang the goggles on something and damage them or knock them off.

They also have to maintain their Tech quals.
Ooooffff....

And here everybody I served with would watch the Griffons fly around and think 'Ya know, we can't be pilots. But that FE position looks like a sweet gig!"

Thanks for the insight from the other side
 

Loachman

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My understanding of the Loach and Chinook issue was that the Army was seeking to replace its roughly forty aircraft UH fleet and the government pushed the buy upwards to 100 thereby replacing all the tac helicopters with one all singing all dancing airframe that became the Griffon. That was more an imposed cost saving then a desired one.

That said, considering what the Army has done to the artillery over the last two decades I can't help but agree with you.

🍻
The CFLH (Canadian Forces Light Helicopter) programme to replace the Kiowa was cancelled by the Mulroney government, quoting "Peace Dividend" as an excuse, in 1988 along with all of the White Paper kit promises even though it was not actually one of them. Strangely enough, it lasted a day longer than all of the others and we where hoping that they forgot about it and wouldn't notice.

Kiowa would have required at least an engine upgrade to keep going towards the end of its life as spares for that ancient engine version were becoming hard and expensive to find, but lack of long-range sensors had rendered it ineffective on the battlefield anyway. Commander 10 TAG supported the increased all-Griffon fleet as it was that or nothing, but, yes, it was also very much political. The factory is in Mirabel, which was the then-defence ministers riding so it made a good (theoretical) get-me-re-elected programme. It didn't work, though as that was the year that the Progressive Conservatives were reduced to two seats and his was not one of them - the Griffon's first failure.

Had we kept the Griffon purchase to the Huey replacement numbers and bought a viable Kiowa replacement from Bell as well, we'd still be in a much better place - with fewer FE worries as well.

Chinook was killed off due to the cost of upgrading to D-model status, although, as the cost per flying hour would have been halved, by my math of the time it would have paid for itself in just less than twelve years. The Dutch were not so stingy, and I saw a couple of them in Dutch paint in KAF many years later.
 
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