Tuesday, April 24, 2007

"Air Force pinched by Iraq ground war"

So says CSAF Gen. Moseley:
"WASHINGTON - The Air Force's top general expressed frustration on Tuesday with the reassignment of troops under his command to ground jobs for which they were not trained, ranging from guarding prisoners to driving trucks and typing.

Gen. Michael Moseley, the Air Force chief of staff, said that over 20,000 airmen have been assigned worldwide into roles outside their specialties.


He said people were being assigned to jobs they weren't trained for. He cited Air Force airmen being used to guard prisoners and to serve as drivers and cited one instance in which an Air Force surgeon was assigned typing chores after three days at her new post.

"We got her back," Moseley said.

Others are being assigned to help the Army provide security in Iraq and Afghanistan."
Something like this, perhaps?
"4/10/2007 - BALAD AIR BASE, Iraq (AFNEWS) -- An Airman performing a vehicle search might be a C-17 Globemaster III loadmaster. The Airman providing escort for local nationals could be a medical technician.

But, regardless of their primary Air Force Specialty Code, or AFSC, Airmen such as these provide force protection while assigned to the 332nd Expeditionary Security Forces Squadron have one mission: to maintain base defense inside the wire with steely-eyed vigilance.


More than 120 force protection Airmen carry this responsibility with them every day as they perform vehicle and personnel searches, provide escort, and issue identification for third-country and local nationals working.

Force protection Airmen undergo a three-day training course after arriving here to certify them as escorts for the many foreign and host nationals who work on Balad."

In another life, I very easily could've enlisted and would've (hopefully) gotten into something involving intel. If I got told that I got to fly over to the Sandbox for four months and watch over TCNs filling sandbags and emptying out the latrines, I'd be pretty damn pissed. If I was on my second or third time over there to do this, I'd be really pissed. It's one thing to send Security Forces and transporters over there to do their jobs (protecting bases, both inside and outside the wire, running convoys, etc.) It's quite another to very quickly retrain people whose jobs have nothing to do with basic force protection and send them to do stuff that has no relation to the job they originally signed up to do.

Back to CSAF Moseley:

"He said the swap-outs come at a time when the Air Force's budget is burdened, when there is little money for new aircraft and when maintaining an aging fleet of older planes, some of them going back to the 1950s and 1960s, is getting increasingly expensive.

"Operational and maintenance costs have gone up 180 percent over the past 10 years, operating these old aircraft," he said."

So our operational and maintenance costs are going up, yet our budget is being cut, and we don't get the money we need to buy new aircraft. Sounds like a plan for success.

On top of that, the Pentagon is "temporarily" stealing the USAF and USN budgets to pay for the Army's operations:
"The Defense Department also said it plans to ask Congress to approve the temporary reprogramming of $1.6 billion from Navy and Air Force pay accounts to the Army's operating account."
Does anyone else see a problem with this?

UPDATE: Just realized happened to notice what USAF and USN accounts DoD is "temporarily reprogramming" from. The PAY accounts. Gen. Moseley's response?

“Somebody’s going to have to pay us back,” Moseley said. “You have to pay people every day when they come to work. A: it’s the right thing to do, and B: it’s kind of the law,” he added.