The smartest thing the Military ever did - Letting civilians do military jobs.
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Thread: The smartest thing the Military ever did - Letting civilians do military jobs.

  1. #1

    Angry The smartest thing the Military ever did - Letting civilians do military jobs.

    Strike Grounds Planes at Okla. AF Base

    Strike Grounds Planes at Okla. AF Base
    June 09, 2009
    McClatchy-Tribune Information Services

    Normal flying operations at Vance Air Force Base have been suspended temporarily after 770 civilian employees went on strike Monday.

    The public affairs office said the base is assessing the impact of the strike on its mission.

    "The Wing's response to the strike is driven by several factors," Col. Richard Murphy, acting 71st Flying Training Wing commander, said in a statement. "One is the concern for the well-being of our personnel, and the families who live here on base. While the strike continues, Air Force augmentees from Columbus AFB in Mississippi, Altus AFB and Luke AFB in Arizona, have been brought in to ensure that we have a fire department staffed to respond to emergencies on base.

    "We also have Security Forces augmentees from this base activated to ensure the safety of base personnel and property."

    The striking workers hold down dozens of different jobs at the Oklahoma military facility.

    "They do just about everything," said Bob Wood, a spokesman for Local 898 of the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers, which represents the striking Vance workers.

    Wood said nearly half of the striking workers, or approximately 350, are aircraft mechanics.

    But union workers there are also fire fighters and logistics personnel who even man the base's bowling alley and maintain the grounds.

    What's at stake?

    The strike, which started at 12:01 a.m. Monday, concerns an expired collective bargaining agreement between CSC Applied Technologies LLC and its three sub-contractors -- PRI/DJI, DenMar, and M1 Support Service -- and the union.

    The IAMAW is also filing a complaint against CSC with the National Labor Relations Board for conduct during the negotiations, Wood said.

    Wood said problems between workers and the contractor stem from contract items concerning vacation days, rules regarding paid time off, seniority, and forced overtime after CSC cut 23 percent of the work force last year.

    Workers health insurance rates have jumped, and set yearly raises are being negated by those higher insurance costs, he said.

    Apparently it's not the first time workers at the base were involved in a strike. A strike in 1965 lasted for two months, but the IAMAW did not represent the workers then, Wood said.

    CSC has been the primary contractor at Vance since December 2002, when it purchased DynCorp Technical Services. The contract, according to the defense department, is for base operations support and aircraft maintenance.

    CSC said in a statement it has worked to reach an agreement, and is committed to continuing to serve its customer.

    The Air Force is impartial to the strike, Vance's public affairs office said, although some steps have been taken to keep operations going.

    Meanwhile, Enid Police responded to multiple 911 calls Monday morning reporting a man on an overpass trying to jump in front of cars.

    Spokesman Lt. Eric Holtzclaw said officers took a 57-year-old male who appeared disoriented and depressed into protective custody. The man, who works as a civilian contractor at Vance, said he was upset over the strike and people at the base and wanted to kill himself.

    Officers investigating found the man had gone to the base's main gate and used the telephone. The security guard indicated the man was upset after talking to someone on the phone and left the keys to his car and photo ID on the counter and walked out toward the South Van Buren overpass.

    The man was taken into protective custody, which is done when a person is "a danger to themselves or others," and was evaluated by Northwest Center for Behavior Health in Enid, Holtzclaw said.

    Police did not release the man's name, saying it was considered a medical issue and because he was not placed under arrest.
    A citizen who shirks his duty to contribute to the security of his community is little better than the criminal who threatens it.

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  3. #2
    I am an Air Force aircraft mechanic at Nellis AFB, NV. They too have have hired CSC (Computer Science Corporation) personnel to do 100% of all backshop functions on the flightline. I could see the same thing happening at Nellis. It's not just that they are civilians who can quit or go on strike at any time, the main issue is that they are not held liable for their actions. A friend and coworker's hand was badly burned during maintenance because the CSC employee failed to adhere to Technical Orders (basically a Haynes manual for jets) and didn't pull a circuit breaker during electrical power application. CSC employees have caused hundreds of thousands of dollars in aircraft damages due to their negligent maintenance practices. To make matters worse, their Union states that in order to fire someone they must first establish a trend of bad behavior or actions. Apparently destroying a flight control surface by placing a ladder under it while cycling flight controls isn't good enough grounds for dismissal. How many more incidents am I going to have to clean up as an Active Duty Air Force NCO after CSC messes something up? I am getting sick of dealing with these lazy, mostly incompetent people the Air Force sees fit to work on multimillion dollar aircraft. I personally would not have let this contract happen. Unfortunately that decision is above my pay grade. Now that they have repeatedly proven that they don't know what they are doing, and they don't care about their impact on the Air Force mission, it's time for them to be shown the door.
    Last edited by 702XD45; 06-09-2009 at 06:38 PM. Reason: rant continued...

  4. #3
    Being retired Air Force Security Forces i can tell you that you won't have to put up with it much longer. They will get rid of you like they got rid of CE, and Services, and even the cops.

    When the caca hits the fan, the civilians are going to be out sick that day.
    A citizen who shirks his duty to contribute to the security of his community is little better than the criminal who threatens it.

  5. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by 702XD45 View Post
    I am an Air Force aircraft mechanic at Nellis AFB, NV. They too have have hired CSC (Computer Science Corporation) personnel to do 100% of all backshop functions on the flightline. I could see the same thing happening at Nellis. It's not just that they are civilians who can quit or go on strike at any time, the main issue is that they are not held liable for their actions. A friend and coworker's hand was badly burned during maintenance because the CSC employee failed to adhere to Technical Orders (basically a Haynes manual for jets) and didn't pull a circuit breaker during electrical power application. CSC employees have caused hundreds of thousands of dollars in aircraft damages due to their negligent maintenance practices. To make matters worse, their Union states that in order to fire someone they must first establish a trend of bad behavior or actions. Apparently destroying a flight control surface by placing a ladder under it while cycling flight controls isn't good enough grounds for dismissal. How many more incidents am I going to have to clean up as an Active Duty Air Force NCO after CSC messes something up? I am getting sick of dealing with these lazy, mostly incompetent people the Air Force sees fit to work on multimillion dollar aircraft. I personally would not have let this contract happen. Unfortunately that decision is above my pay grade. Now that they have repeatedly proven that they don't know what they are doing, and they don't care about their impact on the Air Force mission, it's time for them to be shown the door.
    Aren't you happy about the A76 our prior Lt Col implemented? I was blown away when I heard about everyone but Ammo was going civilian. My job hasn't been affected much other then the different commanders in a short time, but I've heard plenty of stories like yours from friends that work the line

    Maybe Red Flag will get delayed if this happens here, at least we'd get a break from the heat

  6. Maybe the Gov't will buy-out the Air Force next.... oh, wait.

    I have seen this crap coming for some time now. The waste, fraud and abuse I saw KBR accomplish in Iraq when they took over the maintenance mission was astounding.

  7. this very issue scares me...I work B-1Bs....they started having civilians doing the Phase inspections and "attempting" to fix what they found. Ended up with us "buying the aircraft" back from them with 2 wks worth of work, and on a B-1 it definately isnt a picnic!

  8. #7
    I know what you mean. What's supposed to be a 10 day phase for F-15s often takes 2-3 weeks and when they finish we find screw bags and loose bolts under panels, hydraulic leaks, and often a worse jet than before we sent it to them. Their R&R (repair and reclamation) shop takes months to fix problems that GIs could fix in days. I'm surprised their fuel shop gets anything done because they are so lazy. They find any excuse to work on fuel tanks we send for repair. One guy had the balls to tell me not to bring any tanks in from 1900-2000 because that was their lunch hour. All he had to do was open the gate so I could drop off the tank and put it on a stand for them.

  9. #8
    You can call me tin foil hat wearer. However, I think there is a reason they did that (civilians hired).
    The result is obvious as told here in this thread. Been saying that since the 70's.

  10. #9
    Being a "contract" maintenance guy and retired military I can say this doesn't happen very often. The military has used contract workers in many areas and for many years to free up personnel for deployment. In the early 70's, while in the Air Force, I worked side by side with contract maintenance and supply workers with very few problems. It all boils down to how the contract is maintained and ran. Remember also that these are in relatively non-vital areas that can be moved elsewhere rather quickly, mainly training positions and supply. By the way our contract was monitored by military Quality Assurance and we had an extremely high pass rate on all evaluations, this included our phase guys.

  11. One of the biggest reasons I am EX Navy is because of, well, I was on a ship in overhaul, I would have to stand an 8 hour watch. My duty while on watch was to roam the ship with a camera and take pictures of civillians defecating in the empty compartments. I guess they couldn't find the porta-johns located all over the ship, or the bathrooms on the pier. Talk about a worthless use of my time.
    You can have peace. Or you can have freedom. Don't ever count on having both at once.
    Robert A. Heinlein

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