Archive for January, 2009

SUBJECT: VOLUNTARY RETIRED RATED OFFICER RECALL PROGRAM

Monday, January 26th, 2009

UNCLAS

222120Z JAN 09

FROM: HQ AFPC RANDOLPH AFB TX//DPS//
TO: ALPERSCOM AL 8106
HQ ARPC DENVER CO//DP/DPA//
INFO: HQ USAF WASHINGTON DC//REP//

SUBJECT: VOLUNTARY RETIRED RATED OFFICER RECALL PROGRAM

REFERENCES:
A. SAF/OS MEMO DATED 06 JAN 2009, SUBJECT: VOLUNTARY RECALL PROGRAMS  IMPLEMENTATION.
B. TITLE 10, U.S.C. 688A.

1. THIS MESSAGE AUTHORIZES IMPLEMENTATION OF THE VOLUNTARY RETIRED  RATED OFFICER RECALL PROGRAM (RRORP), UNDER THE AUTHORITY OF REF B.  REF B AUTHORIZES THE SECRETARIES OF THE MILITARY DEPARTMENTS TO ORDER TO ACTIVE DUTY A RETIRED MEMBER WHO AGREES TO SERVE ON ACTIVE DUTY IN  A SPECIALTY DESIGNATED AS CRITICAL TO MEET REQUIREMENTS. REF A  DIRECTS IMPLEMENTATION OF THE VOLUNTARY RRORP.

2. THE RAPID EXPANSION OF UNMANNED AIRCRAFT SYSTEMS (UAS) AND OTHER EMERGING MISSION/RATED REQUIREMENT SETS WHICH DIRECTLY SUPPORT GWOT HAS CREATED A DEMAND FOR EXPERIENCED, RATED OFFICERS THAT IS GREATLY EXCEEDING CURRENT INVENTORIES. THIS PROGRAM IS INTENDED TO MINIMIZE THIS CRITICAL SHORTAGE.

3. FOR ACTIVE DUTY WINGS: PLEASE PASS THIS MESSAGE TO THE BASE RETIREE ACTIVITIES OFFICE.

4. APPROVAL AUTHORITY FOR RECALL TO EXTENDED ACTIVE DUTY (EAD) VIA THIS PROGRAM IS DELEGATED TO AFPC. RETIRED OFFICERS SELECTED FOR VOLUNTARY RECALL WILL BE ORDERED TO EAD AS OUTLINED IN AFI 36-2008 USING THE  FOLLOWING CRITERIA:

A. PILOTS, NAVIGATORS, AND AIR BATTLE MANAGERS RETIRED IN THE GRADE OF LT COL AND BELOW MAY APPLY. RETIRED REGULAR OFFICERS AND RETIRED RESERVE OFFICERS MAY APPLY.

B. ONLY NON-DISABILITY RETIRED OFFICERS UNDER AGE 60 MAY APPLY.  OFFICERS PERMANENTLY RETIRED FOR PHYSICAL DISABILITY ARE NOT ELIGIBLE FOR RECALL.

C. RECALLED OFFICERS WILL NOT BE LIMITED TO THE MAXIMUM YEARS OF  SERVICE FOR THEIR RESPECTIVE GRADES. OFFICERS WHO RETIRED DUE TO  SELECTIVE EARLY RETIREMENT BOARDS (SERB) OR THOSE WHO REQUESTED  RETIREMENT IN LIEU OF MEETING A SERB MAY APPLY FOR RECALL UNDER THIS  PROGRAM.

D. APPLICANTS MUST HAVE A FAVORABLE NATIONAL AGENCY CHECK, LOCAL AGENCY CHECKS AND CREDIT CHECK (NACLC) TO APPLY; HOWEVER, A HIGHER LEVEL SECURITY CLEARANCE MAY BE REQUIRED DEPENDING UPON THE  ASSIGNMENT.

E. APPLICANTS MUST BE CERTIFIED MEDICALLY QUALIFIED FOR EAD BY AETC/SGPS (FLYING CLASS II FOR PILOTS/NAVS; FLYING CLASS III FOR AIR BATTLE MANAGERS).

5. IN ADDITION TO THE ABOVE CRITERIA, THE FOLLOWING APPLIES TO THE  RRORP:

A. APPLICATION PERIOD IS OPEN IMMEDIATELY AND RUNS THROUGH  31 DECEMBER 2009.

B. RETIRED OFFICERS VOLUNTARILY RECALLED TO EAD ARE NOT ELIGIBLE FOR AVIATOR CONTINUATION PAY (ACP).

C. APPLICANTS VOLUNTEERING FOR RECALL AND ORDERED TO EAD BECOME  ELIGIBLE TO DEPLOY.

D. RETIRED OFFICERS MAY BE RECALLED FOR THE FOLLOWING VARYING PERIODS:
OFFICERS WHO NEED TO ATTEND ANY ASSOCIATED FLYING TRAINING AND/OR FILLING A FLYING BILLET WILL SERVE A MINIMUM PERIOD OF 36 MONTHS UPON COMPLETION OF TRAINING, WITH A 48 MONTH MAXIMUM TOUR. OFFICERS FILLING RATED STAFF VACANCIES WILL SERVE A MINIMUM PERIOD OF 24 MONTHS WITH 12 MONTH EXTENSIONS ALLOWABLE UP TO A 48 MONTH MAXIMUM TOUR.

E. RETIRED RESERVE OFFICERS WHO WOULD ENTER ACTIVE DUTY RETIREMENT SANCTUARY AT SOME POINT DURING THEIR TOUR ARE ELIGIBLE TO APPLY.

F. RETIRED OFFICERS ON ACTIVE DUTY ARE NOT ELIGIBLE FOR PROMOTION.

G. RETIRED OFFICERS CANNOT REMAIN ON ACTIVE DUTY LONGER THAN THE  FIRST DAY OF THE MONTH FOLLOWING THE MONTH IN WHICH THEY BECOME 62 YEARS OF AGE.

6. APPLICATIONS FROM APPLICANTS MEETING ELIGIBILITY CRITERIA WILL  MEET A RECALL BOARD. OFFICERS FAVORABLY CONSIDERED BY THE RECALL  BOARD WILL RECEIVE AN ASSIGNMENT OFFER AND BE ASKED TO SIGN AND RETURN A STATEMENT OF INTENT ACCEPTING OR DECLINING THE OFFER. UPON RECEIPT  OF THE STATEMENT OF INTENT AFPC/DPSIPR WILL FINALIZE EAD PROCESSING.

7. APPLICATION REQUIREMENTS AND PROCEDURES CAN BE FOUND ON THE AIR FORCE PERSONNEL CENTER’S “ASK” WEBSITE  (HTTP://ASK.AFPC.RANDOLPH.AF.MIL) BY  ENTERING “RETIRED RATED RECALL PROGRAM” IN THE SEARCH TOOL ON THE  WEBSITE.
APPLICANTS HAVING ADDITIONAL QUESTIONS AFTER REVIEWING THIS  INFORMATION SHOULD CONTACT THE AIR FORCE CUSTOMER SERVICE CENTER AT  1-800-616-3775  (AFTER 22 FEB 09, PLEASE CALL 1-800-525-0102), COMMERCIAL  210-565-5000, OR DSN 665-5000. APPLICANTS CONTACTING THE CUSTOMER  SERVICE CENTER SHOULD CHOOSE THE “ACTIVE DUTY” MENU OPTIONS PROVIDED.  APPLICANTS MAY ALSO E-MAIL AFPC.RECALL.OPS@RANDOLPH.AF.MIL.

WILLIAM D. FOOTE, COLONEL, USAF
DIRECTOR, PERSONNEL SERVICES

UNCLAS

Why Did Israel’s Deterrence Fail?

Sunday, January 18th, 2009

If deterrence is supposed to be about who’s the strongest, why did it fail in the Gaza strip?

The Gaza strip is a densely populated area about twice the size of Washington D.C. on the Mediterranean Sea bordering Egypt and Israel.  Under a series of agreements signed in the mid to late 1990s, Israel transferred its security and civilian responsibility to the Palestinian Authority (PA).  Not so surprisingly, autonomy was short-lived and Israel moved its military back in September 2000.  After much international effort, another “final settlement” was reached and Israel moved its forces and settlers out again, but then Hamas replaced the PA via local elections, and Gaza’s provocation towards its former master has been nearly nonstop.

The most provoking habit the folks running around the Gaza Strip have is their addiction to launching missiles into Israel.  Not that one missile isn’t enough to provoke a military response, but the missile launchings have numbered into the hundreds and even thousands.

After Israel had had enough, they initially inflicted punitive strikes on the police and Hamas headquarters throughout Gaza–assuming that even if a government wasn’t actually performing the indiscriminate attacks, they are responsible for policing the people within their border.

In the fighting that followed, it appeared Israel was trying to reduce Hamas’ leadership and their inventory of missiles.  The missiles are called Qassam rockets, which are basically three-foot to seven-foot long rolls of sheet metal (with fins) filled with 1 to 20 pounds of explosives made from fertilizer.  The largest missiles have a range up to ten miles.  Easy to make, easy to launch and run, hard to counter-fire against.

But the ability to launch rockets indiscriminately across the border pales in comparison to Israel’s Defense Force (IDF).

So why didn’t deterrence work?

The answer is fairly simple.  Hamas leadership decided it was worth more to fire the missiles than the price they would pay for firing them.

Sounds almost too simple, doesn’t it?

Hamas’ objective appears to be acceptance and belonging to the community of Islamic governments around the world.  Sometimes it seems the only thing they completely agree on is that Israel needs to be destroyed.  Of course Hamas doesn’t have the power to push Israel into the sea, so they launch crude terror weapons to terrorize the Jews and to inspire those who hate the Jews. They’ve got enough sheet metal and fertilizer to keep building rockets for a long while.  The folks who launch the missiles require little training and support, thus they’re well inventoried to continue.  They probably feel quite good about themselves when they launch the missiles.  In addition, it appears that no contextual elements (population, legalities, economic, environmental, or diplomatic factors) work towards dissuading them at all.

Israel has plenty of military means and will to punish the Hamas-led Gaza Strip for their missile attacks– nobody believes Hamas could out fight the IDF.  Hobby-shop missiles can kill regular people going about their normal lives but they can’t stop a column of tanks.   But the attacks did increase Israel’s population and government support enough to persuade the IDF to strike back.

Almost immediately, journalist began to feed Americans and others stories about how disproportionate the use of force was.  Someone even said it wasn’t a fair fight.  Imagine that.   Does anyone really believe pirates should be fought with fishing boats, or a thug with a knife should be fought with a knife, or thieves should have their stuff stolen as punishment for their crimes?

No.  The forces that seek to stop pirates, thugs, thieves, or missile launching neighbors will always go in better armed, seeking to use overwhelming force to stop the activity.  That tactic is actually better for everyone.  When the sides are close to being evenly matched, the historically proven results is a protracted war of attrition–shades of Rome and Carthage or the American Civil War or World War II–thus bloodshed is greater.

So, knowing that Israel was so much more powerful than Hamas, why didn’t deterrence work?

Deterrence is a value-based decision equation, where the perceptions of the antagonist decide if deterrence will work or not.  The protagonist has to adjust the factors of the equation enough to tilt the value towards their desired outcome.

The equation looks like this:  If PV(cA/xA) > OV(e∆/x∆) then Σ∆ = a∆ = D

I know. It seems kind of complicated.

If you want to know all the details, you can read my book on line–or even buy a copy if you want to impress the folks you work with.  But for the sake of this specific situation, let me simplify it even more.

Basically everything–except the two objectives (PV and OV)–were the same values.  The unacceptable behavior (e∆) wasn’t just expected–it was on-going.  Some Hamas leaders have said the behavior was about security, but it seems more likely the actions were meant to insult or provoke Israel to military action with the firing of missiles in the quest of Hamas’ objective (OV), which is to belong  to the exclusive club of Islamic nations that hate the Jews.

The advertised threat (PV) from Israel was a military response to punish Hamas.  Which was limited to showing the world that Hamas is weak–which would reduce their esteem.  Israel has never tried to maximize death or destruction when they wage war. Their enemies know that.

Since “loss of esteem” is less valuable than “belonging to the club” the deterrence equation tipped to the right and the antagonist (Hamas) was not motivated to alter their behavior.  Thus deterrence failed.

When Israel executed the predictable punishment, Hamas defiantly continued to launch missiles.  So Israel was forced to attack other factors in the deterrence equation–they went after the will and the means of the antagonist to fire missiles at them.  Even though Hamas has lost some of its leadership and its fielded forces, it still has enough means to generate some missile attacks.  So they continued to fire missiles even after Israel declared a cease fire.

So did Israel’s actions solve anything?

Yes–a little–it reduced the means of the attacks but did not eliminate it.  So it has not solved the problem, its just made it more tolerable.

In order for the Israeli deterrence strategy to have worked with Hamas, they needed to reduce Hamas’s ability to produce and launch the cheap rockets down to zero.  Not very easy.

The Gaza strip area would have to be reduced nearly back to the stone age to make that possible.  For now, not even Israel is ready to extract that price from the people who live there.

Does that mean Israel can’t deter the firing of missiles at them?

No.  Deterrence can work, but the factors of Israel’s deterrence strategy must change.  Before they can have successful deterrence, Israel has to up the ante.

When the certainty of success is congruent on both sides of the deterrence equation, the precious possession has to be more valuable than the value of the antagonists objective.   Possessions are myriad but can be placed in one of five main categories:

    Category of Values       Relative Values
        Survival                  Highest
        Security                  High
        Belonging                 Middle
        Esteem                    Low
        Actualization             Lowest


Israel’s deterrence planners need to select an objective that has a value at least equal to the category of “belonging” or of a higher value, and the value standard has to be according to the value-set of the antagonist decision-makers.  Then Israel needs the antagonist to be certain that they will follow through with divesting Hamas of that particular precious possession unless they alter their behavior.  Only then, will deterrence be successful.

Deterrence is a little like a dance.

It takes two to tango.  The protagonist must lead by providing the motivation.  The antagonist follows by deciding if the motivation is sufficient for deterrence.

It just makes sense.

Jan BoB

Wednesday, January 14th, 2009

Edwards Duck ReserveGooseHowdy all,

Hunting

blind.jpg

Time to catch up since the last post. Not allot going on over the Christmas Holiday.

Andy, I did some duck hunting with a retired SSgt (Slackjaw) Waldon I met here at NGC. Strangely enough it was on Edwards AFB in the middle of the desert! (see pics) Just like Barksdale AFB… the enviro types feel it’s necessary to attract large flying animal targets into the area where high speed jet aircraft fly….Sux for the pilots and tax payers but make for a hell of a good time for those who own shotguns.

As you can see we bagged a few spoons a widgeon and a snow goose. The snow goose was a gift from another group of hunters who spooked it off a lake north of us while driving along the access road. Damn thing nearly flew into the blind with us, as we hunkered down in disbelief.

It was clear blue and sunny that day and geese are well known for there great eye sight and distrust of anything that resembles a duck blind. This was a young one so it got culled from the heard for lack of experience or a stupid gene…don’t know which one…though the results were the same.

I tired a Louisiana (tur-ducken) recipe by de-boneing the goose and stuffing with sausage before stuffing both into a de-boned chicken. Worked out rather well.

Still waiting on the mirror for our new telescope. I guess the mirror maker is either slow or a perfectionist. I hope the later.

Jim, don’t remember a Kawalski at Wurstmith other then the Buff co-pilot type who went on to the KC-10. I ran into that Kawalski in Hawaii a few year back. If it’s the same guy…very interesting he would make BG.

Cheers

Ponch

2009 BoB

Tuesday, January 13th, 2009

Haven’t written in a while, but then, not much has been happening.  Still taking care of the little old ladies, making small renovations, and traveling to see my sons in Omaha.  Wrist is doing about the same, still stiff and sore at times, but I guess that is the way it will be.  It is definitely useable with minor limits, so no big deal.

 I’m curious about some of the news I’ve been reading, wonder if anyone cares to comment or add.  BGen Jim Kowalski is going to head up the provisional SAC-redux Global Strike Command.  I knew him at Wurtsmith, early mid-80’s, pretty mellow, quiet guy.  Anybody know him later as he’s gone up in rank–is he the right guy to get this thing off the ground?  I respect his rank, he wouldn’t have made BG without something on the ball, and I know he won’t be the final commander, but this will still meet lots of institutional resistance, in spite of any top down leadership or presidential panels, in the competition for resources, and you can bet the fighter pukes won’t give up a thing.

Second, according to Air Force Magazine on-line, “The new B-52 unit that the Air Force intends to establish at Minot AFB, N.D., will apparently be called the 69th Bomb Squadron. So reported the Minot Daily News Jan. 10, citing a senior Air Force civil engineer who briefed members of the Minot area chamber of commerce on the previous day on the service’s basing plans.”  I guess if it was good enough for Loring, it’s good enough for Minot?  Still has the permafrost attached to the name… but I think it should have been the 72nd Bomb Squadron, which was the unit there from 1994 – 1996.

Cheers to all, hope that you have a great 2009!

Elwood

12 January…

Monday, January 12th, 2009

I hope everyone survived the New Year’s celebration & festivities!

Christmas went well this year; everyone around the tree, gifts exchanged, and fellowship with family was wonderful!  No returns, so we didn’t have the fight off the crowds the day after or those after Christmas sales.  Pretty much stayed home this year.  Heather & I did make it down to Natchitoches, LA for their Saturday Night fireworks and Christmas lighting – we go there just in time for the fireworks!  Then we headed into one of their local eatery for some dinner and then strolled along their Riverwalk to see the entertainment & lights.

Duck season finished up this week around Barksdale.  I managed to bag about 22 ducks; split between Wood ducks and Gadwalls (close to a Mallard, but not as colorful).  Jim Melvin and I are planning to head towards Corpus Christi, TX for a weekend shoot, mainly Red Heads.  He plans to take his son along and maybe my son…if he can get time off from work.

Chuck…good luck on your writing contest.

Ponch…hang in there among the “Liberals”.   Just remember, they too shall pass…like kidney stones, but they do pass! LoL

James…how is the research going into your family’s history?  Weren’t you also looking into Lt Frank Luke’s story?

Elwood…how’s your health?

Anyway…wife is home and most go.

Until next time, take care!

Andy

11 Jan 2009 – The Chuck

Sunday, January 11th, 2009

Hey guys, 99% of my typing time (when I’m not at my day job) is devoted to getting my novel in submission condition for the 2009 ABNA contest.

Last year I won third prize, along with 736 other folks.  Since then, I’ve tried to improve my skills.

This year I’d like to win–of course–wish me luck.  The deadline is before next month’s 11th, so I’ll talk more then.

Wishing all of you the best during this lap around the sun.

The Chuck