General David L. Goldfein is a fighter pilot. During his Air Force career, he has amassed 4200 flying hours. He has been flying since 1983 and has averaged only 123 hours of flying time a year or a paltry 10 hours a month. A C-17 crew, on the other hand, can fly 100 hours on a single mission. During the 100 hour mission, the crew duty days are close to 24 hours each. So, a C-17 crew will fly 10 times more than Goldfein flew a month. Of course, Goldfein did not have to deal with 13 time zones and landing an aircraft safely after 24 hours at the stick. For Goldfein, a tough day was flying a 2 hour local and heading to the O club for a beer. In reality, Goldfein has absolutely no idea what it means to fly the Midnight Air Command.
Many officer pilots opt for the Air Force Reserves after 10 years of flying in the Active duty. They then get a job with a major airline. Even then Air Force Reserve aircrews fly their asses off to maintain currency and haul 60% of the DOD cargo. By the time they finish their 20-year commitment, they are simply burned out on the 24 hour augmented crew duty days and opt to just fly commercially. Even though they might fly 1000 hours a year with the major airlines, it does not compare to the C-17 augmented abuse crew duty days that can go as high as 26 hours. Now Goldfein, the guy who flew 10 hours a month, wants to pull retired AirForce pilots out of their civilian careers and put them back on augmented days again?
Since Desert Storm, the Air Force Ops tempo has been excruciating. After the 911, the Air Force increased the OPS tempo further. So, for close to 20 years now, the Air Force has been overworking and abusing aircrews. This has led to pilot attrition. of course, those that are left at the squadron then have to pick up the tab. In response, Goldfein put crew rest rules at the Wing and Squadron level and reduced CBT training time, hence, Goldfein, the pilot who flew 10 hours a month is reducing both safety protocols and technical training requirements. This means he is sending out crews that are not well rested on augmented missions while reducing technical training on a $300 million dollar aircraft with precious lives on board.
It is clear that Goldfein is a yes man for the brass and doesn’t give a shit about aircrews. The folks he will force back into the Air Force spent thousands of days deployed away from their families. They gave every single ounce of their patriotism and flew the line for our national interest.
Instead of abusing these guys again, just reduce the Ops tempo so the squadrons can retain fully qualified pilots. As it is the Goldfein types are driving them from the service with a relentless non-value adding Ops tempo that is destroying the love of flying. But then again, Goldfein only flew a few times a month around the tower. He has no empathy for the real line flyers. This man should be asked to resign for the good of the service and replaced with someone who cares about MAC aviators. It is clear that he lacks sound judgment as it relates to appropriate crew rest, safety protocols, and maintaining aviator technical prowess via CBT training. This man’s priorities are heinously skewed and a danger to our Airman and the precious cargo they haul worldwide. He is putting Air Force assets and lives at risk just to kiss the Pentagon’s ass..
lastly, Goldfein is a philosophy major from the Air Force Academy. This suggests that he wasn’t the sharpest tool in the shed. Most of his career was spent as just a fighter pilot that did not have to deal with enlisted subordinates on a MAC crew. Hence, he really has no clue when it comes to Cockpit Resource Management, heavy aviation standardization, or flying the line worldwide. The philosophy major simply doesn’t see the big picture. If he wasn’t handed a coddled job from the Air Force Academy onward, he would be flipping burgers.