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Military Connection: USAF Pilot Logs 3,000 Hours of Air Time

010205-F-1631A-001  An U.S. F-16 flies towards Rimini, Italy to join with the Italian Air Force in a training mission.   U.S. Air Forces from the 510th Fighter Squadron, Aviano Air Base, Italy and Italian Air Forces from the 83rd Combat Search and Rescue Squadron, Rimini, Italy, participated in a 4-day training mission from Feb. 5 to Feb. 8, 2001.  The mission involved U.S. F-16 aircrews locating and authenticating survivors and coordinate pickup with Italian rescue crews.  F-16's were also tasked with escorting helicopters to protect them from air and ground threats.  This is the first ever tasking of a full-time combat search and rescue mission for F-16's from the 510th Fighter Squadron. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Dave Ahlschwede)

By Debbie Gregory.

An Air Force pilot with the 79th Fighter Squadron has logged an impressive amount of time in the cockpit, the equivalent of over four months of flight time.

Lieutenant Colonel Raymond Millero Jr, Commander of the 79th Fighter Squadron, has become the 260th pilot in history to log 3,000 hours of flight time in an F-16 Fighting Falcon. If you don’t have your calculator handy, 3,000 hours is the equivalent of 125 days (3,000/24).

In his more than 19 years of combined service, Lt. Col. Millero has flown with eleven different USAF and five different Air National Guard squadrons. He has also flown three different models of the F-16, blocks 30, 40, and 50. Millero credits his exposure to the different models for providing him with a variety of skill sets as an F-16 pilot. His experience in the cockpit makes Millero an effective pilot and leader.

But even those with experience still tend to rely on good luck charms. Millero takes his father’s dog tags with him when he flies. The squadron commander says that the tags remind him of his father’s sacrifice, and the opportunities that his father’s service provided him.

Included in these hours are the 611 hours flown in combat, both in Iraq and in Afghanistan. Lt. Col. Millero is a Veteran of Operation Enduring Freedom, Operation New Dawn and Operation Southern Watch.

While Millero plans to keep on flying, he intends to pass on all that he has learned to younger generations of pilots. He says that he gets the most enjoyment out of instructing others.

We at Military Connection would like to thank Lt. Col. Millero for his service and congratulate him on passing this incredible milestone. We would also like to encourage future generations of Air Force pilots to try and emulate Lt. Col. Millero’s professionalism and perseverance, and to Aim High… Fly-Fight-Win!

Military Connection proudly serves those who serve in the ArmyNavyAir ForceMarinesCoast Guard,Guard and ReserveVeterans and their Families. We are the go to site for Veteran Employment and information on Veteran education. Militaryconnection.com provides Veterans with and Directory of Employers, a Job Boardinformation on the Post-9/11 GI Bill, and a blog that offers Veterans boundless information. Be sure to visit Militaryconnection.com, the go to site.

Military Connection: USAF Pilot Logs 3,000 Hours: By Debbie Gregory

Military Connection: Air Force to Open New Nuclear Training Center

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By Debbie Gregory.

The Air Force Global Strike Command recently unveiled plans to create a new education center, designed to train leaders in the nuclear field.

The new facility will be known as the Nuclear Leadership Development Center, and will be housed at Barksdale Air Force Base, near Bossier City, Louisiana. The Global Strike Command intends for the center to help educate nuclear airmen, and make them better leaders. The new facility will help ensure that airmen get the proper training, find opportunities for assignments, and assist them in reaching their full career potential, while complementing other educational and professional development programs.

The Global Strike Command pushed for the new facility after growing concerns over the Air Force’s lack of focus on the branch’s nuclear mission, and the shortage of development opportunities for airmen in the nuclear field. The Global Strike Command hopes that the creation of the Nuclear Leadership Development Center will allow the Air Force to address those shortcomings, while bringing back a nuclear focus to the command’s education and professional development programs.

The Air Force has not yet released a date for the center’s opening, as the project is still in the planning stages. The Air Force is still developing a curriculum of both classroom and online training courses for airmen to take.

The center will first develop a curriculum of nuclear education and professional development for officers, and will later develop similar curriculum for enlisted personnel, as well as one for civilians. The purpose of the Nuclear Leadership Development Center will be to create a culture that inspires leaders and makes them nuclear experts.

A facility of this type will prove to be beneficial to the service members and civilians who are selected for education. Whether they choose to continue to serve in the Air Force, or other departments of the DOD, or eventually move on to become civilian contractors, training at a facility such as this could really boost both military and civilian careers.

Military Connection proudly serves those who serve in the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, Coast Guard, Guard and Reserve, Veterans and their Families. We are the go to site for Veteran Employment and information on Veteran education. Militaryconnection.com provides Veterans with and Directory of Employers, a Job Board, information on the Post-9/11 GI Bill, and a blog that offers Veterans boundless information. Be sure to visit Militaryconnection.com, the go to site.

Military Connection: Air Force to Open New Nuclear Training Center: By Debbie Gregory

Military Connection: Air Force Looks to Bolster Drone Pilot Pool

Drone Pilots

The United States Air Force has been finding it difficult to secure candidates for their unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) pilot program. Now, Air Force leadership is taking aggressive steps to fill the much needed drone pilot positions from their pool of National Guard and Reservist pilots.

Air Force Secretary Deborah Lee James is laying out plans to increase incentive pay in order to bring more National Guard and Reserve pilots onto active duty, and find volunteers to fill needed slots to fly drones. James has told the media that the Air Force may seek large retention bonuses for drone pilots, close to the maximum $25,000 stipend that manned aircraft pilots receive.

The Air Force has struggled with manning drone operators. The demands of ongoing operations around the world, including persistent airstrikes in Iraq and Syria, have only made the problem worse. And according to General Mark Welsh, Air Force Chief of Staff,  plans to reduce the number of combat air patrols by drones have instead  increased, mostly due to the airstrike missions in Iraq and Syria.

There are currently 988 active-duty pilots for the Predator and Reaper drones – the two most lethal unmanned aircraft commonly used for surveillance and strikes. More than 1,200 pilots are needed.

Gen. Welsh says that the Air Force can only train approximately 180 drone pilots a year.  But the annual need for drone pilots is closer to 300. And the Air Force loses about 240 drone pilots a year, as drone operators move to other jobs, or leave the military for higher paying jobs operating drones for the drone manufacturers that sell them to the military.

In an attempt to combat the issue, James said that she will more than double the monthly incentive pay for some drone operators, from $600 to $1,500, in order to persuade them to stay in the Air Force. The incentive would be targeted towards those who have finished their initial six-year service commitment. All drone pilots now get the $600 monthly stipend, but current policies do not allow for any retention bonuses, unlike the up to $25,000 given to manned aircraft pilots to encourage them to stay in the service.

Ms. James also said that she will shift funds in order to bring some National Guard and Reserve drone pilots onto active duty, and will ask other trained drone operators to volunteer to deploy for six months to some of the more strained units. It is expected that 33 current drone pilots will be asked to voluntarily stay in their jobs, rather than going back to their original aircraft, as planned, later this summer.

Military Connection proudly serves those who serve in the ArmyNavyAir ForceMarinesCoast Guard,Guard and ReserveVeterans and their Families. We are the go to site for Veteran Employment and information on Veteran education. Militaryconnection.com provides Veterans with and Directory of Employers, a Job Boardinformation on the Post-9/11 GI Bill, and a blog that offers Veterans boundless information. Be sure to visit Militaryconnection.com, the go to site.

Military Connection: Air Force Looks to Bolster Drone Pilot Pool: By Debbie Gregory

Military Connection: More USAF Officers Disciplined: By Debbie Gregory

3 commandersIt can be argued that the function of the Air Force’s nuclear missile community is among the most sensitive operations in the entire U.S. military. But recently, issues with discipline, leadership, morale and training have plagued the USAF commands in charge of nuclear missiles. Consequently, two nuclear commanders were fired and a third was disciplined.

On November 3, 2014, Col. Carl Jones, vice commander of the 90th Missile Wing at F.E. Warren Air Base in Wyoming was relieved of his duties, and reassigned as a special assistant to the wing commander. The 90th Missile Wing is responsible for 150 Minuteman 3 nuclear intercontinental ballistic missiles. It has been reported that Col. Jones was dismissed “for a loss of trust and confidence in his leadership abilities.” Reports of multiple incidents of extreme behavior prompted allegations of conduct unbecoming an officer and a gentleman, as well as cruelty and maltreatment of a subordinate.

The other officer who was relieved of command was Lt. Col. Jimmy Brown of the 741st Missile Squadron at Minot Air Force Base in North Dakota. Brown was relieved of his duties for apparent “loss in confidence” in Brown’s ability to lead his squadron by Col. Michael Lutton, commander of the 91st Missile Wing, which oversees the 741st.

One of the main incidents that led to Lt. Col Brown’s dismissal occurred in March, 2014, when crew members under his command fell ill due to exposure to fumes. Air Force leadership believe that Lt. Col Brown failed to fulfill his responsibilities as a commander by ensuring the safety and well-being of his airmen.

Another officer in the 91st Missile Wing disciplined after the investigations at Minot AFB was. Col. Richard Pagliuco, commander of the 91st Operations Group, which is in charge of all three missile squadrons at Minot.  The Air Force found that Col. Pagliuco “failed to promote and safeguard the morale, well-being and welfare of the airmen under his command.” Although Col. Pagliuco received disciplinary action in the form of a letter in his personnel file, he remains at his position.

The punishments issued to these three commanders were the latest in a series of dozens of disciplinary actions against senior nuclear officers over the last two years.

In June, 2013, Lt. Col. Randy Olson, commander of the 91st Operations Support Squadron was fired. Olson was responsible for the training and proficiency of launch officers at Minot. Shortly after his dismissal, stories emerged that 19 launch officers had been taken off the job.

In August, 2013, Col. David Lynch was fired as commander of security forces for the 341st Missile Wing, following a failed nuclear inspection.

And in March, 2014, nine officers were dismissed at Malmstrom Air Force Base in Montana, following an investigation into an exam-cheating scandal. Col. Robert Stanley resigned, and wrote in a goodbye message that he regretted having let down the American people. On the same day, the 90thMissile Wing at F.E. Warren disclosed that it had fired Col. David Holloway, but never released a full explanation as to why.

Military Connection proudly serves those who serve in the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, Coast Guard, Guard and Reserve, Veterans and their Families. We are the go to site for Veteran Employment and information on Veteran education. Militaryconnection.com provides Veterans with and Directory of Employers, a Job Board, information on the Post-9/11 GI Bill, and a blog that offers Veterans boundless information. Be sure to visit Militaryconnection.com, the go to site.

Military Connection: More USAF Officers Disciplined: By Debbie Gregory