Happy Hour


Mother, Mother Ocean

Mother, Mother Ocean, I've heard you call
Wanted to sail upon your waters since I was three feet tall
You've seen it all, you've seen it all
Watched the men who rode you, switch from sails to steam
In your belly you hold the treasures, few have ever seen
Most of 'em dream, most of 'em dream
Yes, I am a pirate, two hundred year's too late
The cannons don't thunder, there's nothin' to plunder
I'm an over-forty victim of fate
Arriving too late, arriving too late


"Size matters not. Look at me. Judge me by my size, do you? Hmm? Hmm. And well you should not. For my ally is the Force, and a powerful ally it is."
―Yoda, to Luke Skywalker

Counted the Stars

Counted the stars on the 4th of July
Wishing we were rockets bursting in the sky
Talking about redemption and leaving things behind
I have these pictures and I keep these photographs
To remind me of a time
These pictures and these photographs
Let me know I'm doin' fine
We used to be so happy once upon a time
Once upon a time
But the sun sank west of the Mendocino County Line
And the sun sank west of the Mendocino County Line


Friday, May 04, 2012

Systemic Failure or Simply Sand Bagged

This post may cause those of my readers who are or were in the Air Force some discomfort and possibly disgust. Keep in mind that my predominate airplane background is that of twenty years in Naval Aviation Maintenance. The Rating: Aviation Structural Mechanic(H), Hydraulics First Class or AMH1 for short.
I have been both an organizational airframes system mechanic on three different types of Naval Aircraft as well as a Hydraulic/Pneumatic Component Repair Technician and Test Stand Operator. I speak from experience, perhaps not as a Subject Matter Expert but still have the miles and experience to back it up.
So to Buck and others, bear with me. It ain't the Air Force you were in. Not even close............

My day started as usual, morning meeting/muster in the break room. Assignments given. I have had a steady one lately as my jet is in phase. This occurs in the large hangar that is owned by the maintenance group. Take careful note of that term, maintenance group. Group in the AF is one level below Wing. Our Wing is the 412 Test Wing. Starting to get complicated, isn't it!

As part of the 00-whatever instruction the crew chief goes to phase with the jet. I do not work for them. It is what I can only describe as a maintenance controller/logs and record yeoman/storekeeper. Not what one bargains for from the beginning. I am a WG-10. That means according to the HPO concept, I am to be a launch and recovery man. Nothing more. Nothing less.
As we shall see later, that is not the way things run in this world at times.

Under the way business is supposed to be done, all those personnel involved have a meeting usually in the work week prior to the jet entering phase. This is to go over what all needs to be done, obtaining parts for the incorporation of certain items related to hours on the aircraft.
I have not been included in this process, even though my name is on the starboard side of the jet below the canopy. This also occured when the jet was sent in for it's six year landing gear change last October. I showed up at Heavy Maintenance Flight and got yelled at for certain items not being delivered. The individual at HMF learned in no uncertain terms about how things really are at times.

Back to my Pro Super and Expiditor. Both of these individuals are in spots that I would say should have gone to folks who are not just interested in the flyers every day. And for a ten plane AMU we fly the jets a lot. But it is go to your jet in phase and let us know what they are doing and how things are progressing. As I am not around for swing shift, I have to wonder as to the thought process at work here.
As an aside, neither of these individuals was an NCO in the Air Force. One of them did not even finish his enlistment due to an "Air Force Restructure"  he was "offered a reserve spot" to fulfill his obligation. This occured at a point in history that as far as my memory is concerned there was no RIF in place at that time. All the Forces are under the same rules when the active force is downsized. It goes across the board. Something is not quite right here. Just sayin' ya know.

Not having the information necessary to do my job from those whose ultimate responsibility it is to do so. There are co workers of mine who wonder why I am trying to get a position at either of the nearby Naval Air Installations, either NAWS China Lake or NAS Lemoore. After one has been sand bagged by your immediate supervisors, they should be able to get the idea.

On to more events of the day shall we?

At the big hangar, when I handed a small bracket to the phase dock chief and was going to let him know what had transpired in finding out some information that went along with it, I was met with we have the structures shop making one. The one you(me) brought will let us finish a certain item and then we will send the new one to your AMU. Our chain of command here has it covered. No one where I normally work was in the loop with this one. Nope. Not one bit. And I am left between all of it.

I filled out a sick leave request and hauled it home. The wife was in bed ill. It works for family members as well.

The symptoms may be a result of Edwards being mostly a civilian operation. I would hope the regular Air Force operates a bit differently. That being said, the maintenance organizations are all structured pretty much the same.

Unwieldy, over thought and over managed. That is where the systemic failure thing comes in. Perhaps not so much systemic failure but simple over doing everything. This place has meetings for the meetings, for crying out loud!
That about sums it up, I think.


Buck said...

The symptoms may be a result of Edwards being mostly a civilian operation.

I'd wager a dollar against your donut that this is the case. You might know SN1 is a maintenance officer and he specializes in Lawn Darts, too. I'll ask for his opinion on this.

As for me? I don't know Jack about airplanes. The Ol' Man told me to avoid them at all costs and I did EXACTLY that.

Glenn Mark Cassel said...

Sometimes I think I should have gone to work on the BN in Havre when I finished High School.

Glenn Mark Cassel said...

Saw SN1's response. All points taken. It is possible that I am stuck with two borderline inept individuals in charge as well.

I will not go down and tell my children I didn't have the courage, the conviction, the commitment or the character to fight for this country...Don't go home and let your children down~~ LTC Allen West

Publius Flavius Vegetius Renatus

‎"Igitur qui desiderat pacem, praeparet bellum.("Therefore, he who desires peace, let him prepare for war")" from "Epitoma Rei Militaris," by Vegetius (Publius Flavius Vegetius Renatus)