"Burnout" Plagues Air Force Nuclear Missle Crews

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"Burnout" Plagues Air Force Nuclear Missle Crews

Postby nasa1974 on Fri Nov 22, 2013 2:41 pm

Interesting articles dated November 21st.

This is from Defense One; "A draft U.S. Air Force-commissioned study found a significant number of personnel who oversee the service's ground-based, nuclear-armed ballistic missiles suffering from "burnout" over what they described as a high-pressure job environment offering few opportunities for advancement, the Associated Press reported on Thursday..."

Hopefully the links work.

http://www.defenseone.com/management/20 ... f=d-skybox

http://news.yahoo.com/study-nuclear-for ... 03750.html

A different generation keeping our nuclear arsenal safe.
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Re: "Burnout" Plagues Air Force Nuclear Missle Crews

Postby nasa1974 on Fri Nov 22, 2013 2:45 pm

I forgot to add that some of the comments are also very interesting.
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Re: "Burnout" Plagues Air Force Nuclear Missle Crews

Postby TerrorOfTucson on Sun Nov 24, 2013 1:53 am

From http://op-for.com/2013/11/stray-shots-f ... ition.html , I extract:

" Our USAF Missile Men stuck in the silos in the middle of North Dakota and Wyoming feel under appreciated, stress, and face burnout. The USAF, since the end of the Cold War has dissed (yes I use that word) it strategic nuclear force. When the service is dominated by fighter jocks one should not be surprised. I would love if a former member of this august body would provide an anonymous comment as to the veracity of this article."

If any would like to respond there, do so. I'm way too former to comment.
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Re: "Burnout" Plagues Air Force Nuclear Missle Crews

Postby Capt. Bill on Sun Nov 24, 2013 4:15 am

When I was on crew in the early 1970s, I don't think there was any burnout. Of course a lot people were eager for their tours to be over so they either go back to their primary AFSC or leave active duty. We did have the fact there was a lot of time off, just 3 maybe 4 days a month of non-alert duty. With the right timing of back to back alerts you could have 10 days off with maybe one day of training in that period.

If the crews today are having most of their alert time taken up by training and testing, I would not be surprised if they are getting burned out.
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Re: "Burnout" Plagues Air Force Nuclear Missle Crews

Postby TerrorOfTucson on Sun Nov 24, 2013 5:57 am

I don't recall ever having anything like even a week off, except for leave. I do recall getting an eval in the morning and the squadron calling me in for a blood drive that afternoon.
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Re: "Burnout" Plagues Air Force Nuclear Missle Crews

Postby Batman on Sun Nov 24, 2013 1:43 pm

"With the right timing of back to back alerts you could have 10 days off with maybe one day of training in that period."
In the 70s we never got that long off without some "work" to break things up. It was usually a trainer ride, which was never a stress-free thing. Toward the end of my time we could always count on one alert cycle off between alerts, because of undermanning.
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Re: "Burnout" Plagues Air Force Nuclear Missle Crews

Postby Capt. Bill on Sun Nov 24, 2013 6:01 pm

That 10 day streak with just one day in the middle was unusual but I remember it happened to me at least once. Four and sometimes five days off counting the day back was more common. When they have eliminated the back to back alerts the alerts are became more spread out during the month. A back to back gave you two alerts in 5 days, Depending on how they scheduled you could pull 4 or half your monthly alerts in 10 or 11 days. I don't remember ever having anything including briefings on the day you got back from alert.

My point was we had a lot of time off back in the early 1970s,
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Re: "Burnout" Plagues Air Force Nuclear Missle Crews

Postby SAC Killer on Mon Nov 25, 2013 12:11 am

My personal best was a 5 day break in the early 70s on 40 hour alerts. After that, it was mostly 2 days, sometimes 3 days, off. We learned early on to schedule leave over the middle of the month. Because if we took leave at other times, the schedulers would cram 5 alerts into the duty time. We could go to wingg scheduling and ask them to block time off and they would accommodate if they could. Some days were half days due to MPT or monthly classroom training. When I was an instructor (most of my time at Wing I), I actually had fewer days off because our MPT was always operating and I was also qualified as an MPT operator. Our MPT worked 24/7/363 with only Christmas and New Years off. I spent a LOT of time on the 0000-0600 shift in the MPT (two 3 hour rides for the line crews). Toward the end of my tour, we finally got a second MPT. That helped a lot.

We always thought 24 hour alerts would be soft duty.
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Re: "Burnout" Plagues Air Force Nuclear Missle Crews

Postby Capt. Bill on Mon Nov 25, 2013 1:50 am

I would be curious to know what the rationale behind eliminating the 24 hour back to back alerts was. I did not find them to be an undue hardship and they did provide you with more consecutive days off. This the reg covering it.

4.3.4.2. (20 AF units) Do not schedule back-to-back alerts unless requested in writing by the MCC or missile combat crew member (MCCM). Unscheduled back-to-back alerts necessitated by unforeseen situations must be approved in writing by the scheduling authority. Annotating the MADO will suffice
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Re: "Burnout" Plagues Air Force Nuclear Missle Crews

Postby Capt. Bill on Mon Nov 25, 2013 2:10 am

These are the regs covering crew utilization

•4.3.5. Utilization. The following guidance applies under normal conditions. When situations exist, such as austere manning (not caused by poor unit management), higher state of readiness, execution of EWO, or other emergency situations, units may deviate from these limits, the minimum amount necessary, to ensure mission accomplishment.
•4.3.5.1. Squadron MCCMs should perform no more than eight alerts per month (20 AF units). Duty shifts will be no more than 12 hours, with a goal of eight hours (14 AF units).
•4.3.5.2. MRCs perform, as a minimum, the number of alerts or duty shifts required by chapter three to preclude placement in restricted status . When MRCs are performing alerts or shifts, they may be in addition to the normally assigned crew members.

4.3.5.2.1. (20 AF units) Personnel with unauthorized launch (UL) access will not perform alert duty with only one other crew member. When MRCs with UL access perform alert, they will be in addition to the normally assigned crew. When rest periods begin, UL personnel will not remain in the LCC.
•4.3.5.3. (20 AF units) Flight commanders and the Operations Support Flight crews should perform no more than three alerts per month.
•4.3.5.4. (20 AF units) DOT and DOV/OGV MCCMs should perform no more than three alerts per month.

4.3.5.5. (20 AF units) C2 R2 period will be equal to at least 50% of the total alert time.
4.3.5.5.1. Total alert time is the time between the beginning and end of alert related duties.
4.3.5.5.2. C2 R2 begins when the MCC completes alert related duties after return to the support base.
4.3.5.6. (14 AF units) The maximum authorized rest period following a duty shift will not exceed 96 hours.
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Re: "Burnout" Plagues Air Force Nuclear Missle Crews

Postby TerrorOfTucson on Tue Nov 26, 2013 3:22 am

I suspect the back-to-back would be worse if you went to a far site the first day, and worst if you went that far or farther on day 3. I don't remember having any b2bs, but I could have suppressed it to retain a semblance of sanity. Also if you had a big load of mnx throughout your flight on day one, and day 3.
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