Hello. If this is your first time seeing the site, scroll down a bit to read some of the introductory stuff. This post doesn’t really make sense without the first part.
I just got finished reading through parts of the WTM, and I should point out that 1) the CBM I’m using is outdated (go figure) and 2) you only need to do 80% of the flight hours required to accomplish a task. Those flight hours are CNAF approved, and therefore, beyond reproach (someone felt so insecure about their justification for those hours that they put that verbiage in the WTM). So instead of a minimum of 4.0 hours to get your ASW 201, you only need to 3.2. My previous argument nevertheless remains valid. My new argument is if you’re going to stick to minimum flight hours, and you’re saying the actual minimum is 80% of whats advertised, why not just multiply them all by 80%? Probably because that would cut our flight hour funding by 20%. Are you starting to see how we distort reality to fit our funding desires? I am.
I left off in part 1 of this post having finished describing how the CBM works and drives what the squadron has to accomplish. I then finished talking about how the flight hours requirement is illogical and dumb.
I should probably let you know that I’m having some misgivings finishing this post. As I reread my stuff, it seems like it’s turning into a point paper to be filed away in a desk somewhere and never read. And when I start to think about what to write about next on this topic, I feel like I’m cresting the peak of a mountain I was trying to climb, only to find that I’m only a 1/3 of the way up. Readiness is an almost insurmountable amount of wrongness. How did it get like this? Maybe this is what happens when you task aviators to do things they have no business doing.
Nevertheless, I’m still going to finish, but with maybe less zeal than what I started with. Before I get into the biggest problem with readiness (it’s the tasks), I do want to point out some nit picky stuff. First off, who came up with the names of the some of these things? “EP / Procedures?” why don’t they just call it a NATOPS check? Everyone in naval aviation knows what that is.
“Search, Detect, and ID ASW” doesn’t make sense… At all. That one really pisses me off. Are we searching for antisubmarine warfare? If you’re trying to define a capability by a set of skills required to have said capability, THEY NEED TO MAKE FUCKING SENSE. Jesus Cristo how are we supposed to be skilled at something that isn’t even defined properly?
Up until now, I’ve focused mostly on how the squadron’s overall readiness system is measured. An important concept to grasp is that the readiness system is really a measurement system. It measures how much work squadrons, or the individual crews within them, needs to do to have a number of skills, which translates into a number of capabilities. I’ll get more into the measuring capabilities later in the “why” section, but the reason everyone hates readiness so much is that the measuring process is very flawed.
The bulk of the measurements come from the tasks we have to do. When talking about readiness, everyone is probably most familiar with the tasks. The completion of these tasks, as I previously pointed out, yield the “skills” which culminate in “capabilities.” In review, the two major skills needed to satisfy the capability to “Attack submerged targets” are “search, detect, and ID ASW,” and the TORPEX. While I’m here, I’m going to change that skill name to “Search, detect, and ID submarines” (I will heretofore refer to it as that). It’s driving me crazy writing nonsensical stuff like how it’s written in the CBM.
Anyways, that seems pretty reasonable. To attack a submarine, you need to be able to find it, and then drop a torpedo on it. The problem is that the tasks required to be skilled at “Search, detect, and ID submarines” don’t really relate to it.
In reference to the VP Qualsman (whoever came up with that gem needs to be fired), an ASW 201 and an ASW 202 require some baseless tracking time, and a couple of attacks. The only difference between the two is the type of target. I would argue, and many would agree, that the major difference between the two targets resides in the searching thereof. Like i said before, it makes sense that to attack a submerged target, you need to find them, and then drop a torpedo on them. How does the ASW 201 and 202 evaluate whether the crew can effectively search for the target? It doesn’t.
So here’s points 4 and 5: 4) The skills required for a capability must actually be related to the capability, and not just a mirror from the old readiness system. 5) The tasks associated with a skill similarly must be related to the skill, and not just mirror the old readiness system.
What’s the end result of being evaluated at unrelated things? We fail to actually achieve the capability that we sought out to have in the first place. I ask, can we effectively search for a submarine? A better question: can we prove we can effectively search for a sub? The answer is no, and it’s because we never truly evaluate it.
One final thing before I strive to answer the question, “Why does this readiness beast exist?”. Again, it involves how the skills and capabilities are validated. Let’s take for instance the capability of “Attacking surface targets” more commonly known as ASUW. Among the requirements you’d find in the CBM are the firing of one SLAMER, Harpoon, and Maverick per squadron each IDRC, plus periodic tasks for crews. First off, one missile launched by one crew does not a capability make. Secondly, the requirements and periodicity of the tasks similarly do not adequately provide the skills necessary to validate the capability. How many of our crews are really able to employ SLAMER? How about Harpoon? How about employing in an integrated strike environment?
So point 6: The tasks and requirements to validate a skill should actually amount to something more than just an advertised, yet never used capability.
Ok so I’m going to take a little break from the readiness bit… Up to over 130 hits so far. Only sent the link out to about 20 people. Pretty good start I think. I guess that means that people either thought it was good enough to share, or are showing their friends mocking me. Either way, I suggest you subscribe to get the update notifications (your emails will be kept confidential – and I have no qualms about taking all the heat if I get busted for this). Also, I think it’s time to move to a more public forum. If you’d like to post this on facebook, be my guest. Spread it openly. And if you’re mocking me, fuck you.