The End of the Fiscal Year! Huzzah!


Well its that time of the year again. The time when OPSO’s get all pissypants about this thing called the OPTAR budget. You are in one of two situations – you either fly as little as possible to accomplish the objective, or you fly as much as you can to accomplish getting hours. This is all to satisfy a magical number of flight hours for the fiscal year.

Doesn’t anyone see how idiotic this is? We can’t finish the year 1 hour short? What the fuck’s going to happen? More importantly, who gives a fuck? This is symptomatic of a culture of consumption. I’m not talking about the American consumer culture, but merely trying to point out that in the face of HONA, we fly the planes to get hours, and don’t strive to make what limited flight hours we have left count.

I thought we were supposed to extend the lives of the planes because the P-8 won’t be getting here in a timely fashion? “But the OPTAR Budget!!! We have to fly a set number of hours!!!!” Yelling it doesn’t make it right.

For some added levity, I’ve attached a picture of this choaderrific patch.

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  1. #1 by Mark on 22April2013 - 2:20 am

    I remember one year we dump fuel to up OPTAR. Flight after flight after flight. Amazes me to this day.

  2. #2 by A tired FE on 27July2013 - 12:54 pm

    Or fueling / defueling aircraft all night with the MMCO constantly badgering you to “GET IT TO THE PENNY! What a fraud. Don”t they realize the commodore was once a witness to this BS

  3. #3 by Anonymous on 1August2013 - 9:07 pm

    P3 Navy was/is all about corruption and crookery. I might write a book on it.

  4. #4 by matt on 24November2014 - 8:18 pm

    I remember this from Fiscal 1979… the more things change the more they remain the same.

  5. #5 by Vasily Zaytsev on 8July2015 - 3:51 am

    We’re approaching the end of FY 2015, and it’s all the same years later. If we under-fly the community gets butt hurt, if we over-fly they’ll also be butt-hurt, but they’ll expect that many hours next year (I believe this was a common theme in Stalin’s USSR).

    The P-3 keeps getting older, maintenance costs man-hours keep going up, and our hours continue to increase, maintenance budget decreases, and manpower on both the maintenance and aircrew side keeps going down. Most of our parts are not made any more, so they have to be stripped from another plane and shipped over, or they have to be sent to a repair shop outside of the Navy. We are so undermanned that, upon completion of ARP, only five Navs went through between the twelve crews (two guys did four crews each).

    But at least we got our hours…

  6. #6 by Slipp McGurk on 30October2015 - 8:25 pm

    It’s a problem throughout the Navy. I managed to get out of the NFO community (thank God) through a lateral transfer, but I had to call around to the different communities to see what was available. The number of times I heard “The community is full through the end of the fiscal year” was astounding. If they fudged the numbers as much as my VP command, I know that means they’re 70% manned, tops. Even the communities I was highly qualified for wouldn’t even look at me without consulting their manning chart.

    Now, I’m not a detailer or a community manager, but I tried to see this from their shoes. If a candidate pops up who is highly qualified and highly motivated, why wouldn’t you pick them up? Especially out of VP, where they’d be desperate enough to take any orders you give them? No, instead they look at their manning, regardless of your qualifications beyond the low-standard, and fill the empty seats on a first-come, first-serve basis. Just like hours, the system would not be merciful if you came up under- or over-manned.

    Anyway, word of advice for those of you trying to avoid P-3’s but stay Navy, lat transfer AFTER October, when everything is available. I lucked out and found a community I was interested in that had plenty of room, but if VP has taught me anything it’s that hope is more the exception than the rule.

    -Stay jaded

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