The UAE today

Unread postPosted: 27 Aug 2011, 14:55
by Thecrewdog
My opinion of the UAE is one of many, and should be read as just that…and opinion. It’s very simple… If you plan before coming, accept it for what it ultimately is (a job), and look for opportunities to excel no matter what anyone tells you, it is a good place to work. You will find frustration in any job that you take; however, this job presents challenges of a different kind. If you’ve worked in the Middle East, you know some of these challenges. Just remember to never compare what the locals do to what you must do. They pay us to be here. It really doesn’t matter what they do on a daily basis. It’s sort of like trying to tell your boss that he doesn’t do as much as you. Would you do that? Never… So keep this in mind when making your choice.

I am speaking from experience. This can be a good place to work. Do not, however, underestimate the power of the buddy system here. As with any location, there are groups of people who have come from various locations. Within those groups of people, there are leaders who make choices about where people work. This place is no different, and it shouldn’t be frowned upon. The buddy system has created a strong workforce for Lockheed at this location. Your best bet, if you choose to come here, is to keep your head down if you do not know anyone, get a feel for the environment and people around you, do as little complaining as possible while still getting your problems fixed, and give it 100%.

Another subject is the amount of time that one has worked at this location. It plays a large part in some of the decisions made about you. To me, this is disappointing; however, after you’ve been here for a while, you may better understand it. It’s sort of like going to battle with a group of people who have already been in the battle for a long while. You’ve got to prove yourself to those around you. You’ve got to gain their respect by doing your job well and letting them trust that you have their backs when the stuff hits the fan. It’s as simple as that. I’ve worked with Lockheed for a few years now, and was placed on the flightline, launching and recovering jets when I arrived. I have many years with varying depths of experience on the F-16. It really doesn’t matter. Just accept that you will more than likely be working directly with the locals while launching and recovering jets if you are APG. If you are weapons, you’ll probably enjoy your job very much. Other backshops and specialties seem to like it as well. APG personnel seem to have a more difficult time with this location because it is perhaps more challenging to do their job here.

The supervisors are very likeable, kind men. As with all men, they have their faults. Overall, they are looking out for the best interests of the mission here. They have goals to achieve just like any other supervisor. They make choices based on personal preference and what they have to work with, while also being a leader on the frontline for the company. It is my advice to allow them to get to know you, while not boring them with the bullet statements on your resume. I personally like the people in charge here. Never misunderstand that this is anything other than a difficult place to work. By doing this, you may better understand some of the decisions made by those above you. They are simply doing their jobs the best that they can with people they know (and have probably worked with at other locations). We all have opinions about what our leaders should do. Keep them to yourself. They are your opinions and rarely take into consideration those things which we do not see that are going on behind the scenes. My advice to anyone who makes the choice to come here is to put your blinders on. Look forward and not around you. Do what you have been trained to do and do not worry about the others. If you do this, you may eventually be rewarded with a position that you have longed to be in. If you do not do this, you will certainly become extremely frustrated.

There are, and will be, opportunities in the future here. You must be at the right place, know the right people, and make the right choices to get them just as if you were working for any other company. It is up to you as to how much you like this place. It is up to you as to how long you are here, and how well you do here. If you are a person who excels, who does the right thing when others around you may not, and who accepts this place for what it is, you should have no problem.

We are currently living in Al Ain and Abu Dhabi. There are plans to move people to a different location. I will not give too much information on this because it is not my place to do so, and everyone looks at this site for information…

Housing – 1 or 2 (mostly 2) bedroom, 1 or 2 bath, fully furnished (not my choice of furniture but it does the job) flats. You have the flat to yourself. You do not share it. They are typical Middle Eastern concrete flats with tile floors. There are many places where you can live. It depends on what is open when/if you get here. If you do not like the flat that you are given when you get here, you may move; however, you will be on a list with other people who also want to move. Your seniority will play a part in when you are allowed to move. Electricity is paid. Internet is not. It may take some time once you move to get it set up. Be patient. It will drive you crazy. Internet will cost you anywhere from $50 to $150 per month, depending on your choice of packages.

Rental cars – You are paid an amount for renting a car and for fuel. I’m not sure how much your contract will allow you for this. That’s up to Lockheed. Rental cars cost no less than $500.00 per month. Others may disagree with this; however, I have looked since arriving and have not found anything less. Fuel is somewhat cheap. While driving from Al Ain to work in a small car, you’ll use about $13.00 per day of fuel. It’s best for many to carpool. The plans for new housing would allow us to live closer to work, thereby cutting fuel costs. You can buy a car after you get your residence visa. This will take at least 30 days to get. You cannot leave the country for those 30 days. Keep this in mind. You may also get a loan for a car. I haven’t done this, but some have with success. It’s your choice.

Location – Abu Dhabi, Al Ain, and Dubai all offer nice parks, expensive malls, places to eat, and things to do. Keep in mind that the UAE likes to keep its money here. I can’t blame them. Just remember, it is costly to do the fun stuff. You can, however, go to the beach cheaply. : )

APO – We do not currently have APO privileges, and I do not believe that we ever will again. Someone messed it up for the group a while back. There are other ways to get your stuff mailed here. We have pouch service to a PO Box, and you can even go through a company to set up a service which delivers packages from the States to your door. It’s expensive, but it seems to be working for some of the guys. Most generally, you can find everything you need here. You can buy clothes, baby things, electronics, food, and much more at every mall. The grocery stores in the malls have many American items. They are reasonably priced. On average, I spend $150 per week. I’m living here alone and do enjoy buying some things which are somewhat expensive to eat.

Spouse and visa – Your spouse can join you, however, it comes out of your pocket. This includes her visa, etc. The visa will cost approx. $500 in total per person. Do not quote me on this. It changes a lot. If your wife is an American citizen, you will need a marriage certificate which is authenticated by the Secretary of State for the state in which you were married and the Secretary of State in the U.S. State Dept., with Hillary Clinton’s signature on it. There are companies which will help you with this. It is costly (around $500 to have them do it) or you can try to do it yourself. My advice…go with the professionals and get it done quickly and GET IT DONE BEFORE YOU LEAVE. They will even send it to the UAE embassy in the States to have it authenticated by them. This has caught a lot of people off guard, and is the cause of much frustration for many who choose to bring their spouses here without being informed first. There are those who get it taken care of it before coming because they were informed. I’m informing you now. If you wait until you get here you will pay for it with time, money, and frustration.

If you spouse is from another country, you must look up the requirements for that country. Some countries (33) are allowed to enter the UAE without getting a visa before coming. There are also countries which require a visa before coming. The requirements do change for visas and I do not wish to send you in the wrong direction. Your best bet is to do your research and gather all of your paperwork before coming. This process is being worked on by some people here with Lockheed, but, it is not at all simple and there is little that they can do except process the paperwork for the visa when it is all completed.

Children are another challenge. If your children are U.S. citizens, you’ll need their birth certificate authenticated as well. If they are not U.S. citizens, get their citizenship before coming if it is possible. What I have outlined here are the basic processes for residence visas. If you can arrive with all of the needed paperwork in hand, you may be able to obtain your spouse/children’s visas with little frustration.

Positive things about the UAE:

Dubai and Abu Dhabi are centrally located for your R&R’s. You can travel to many locations rather cheaply from here. You will undoubtedly enjoy your vacations.
It is said that the country is compiled of 85% ex-pats and 15% Emirates. This makes it a fairly open country to western habits.
With as much money as you will make, you may be able to buy your dream car here. You will surely see one of them driving down the road one day.
Once you find your place at work, you’ll find friends. Friends are important here, for both you and your wife/children.
There are some great places to eat with cuisines from around the globe. You can even buy pork at a pork store in Al Ain. It’s small, but the selection is tasty!
You can save A LOT of money if you are disciplined.
The sun shines nearly every day of the year.
The beaches are beautiful.
The dynamics of our work environment are changing because of the number of new openings just approved. This should create a better work environment for the months and years to come.

I think I've said enough. It's your choice. I hear that they are hiring. : )

Unread postPosted: 27 Aug 2011, 19:28
by VarkVet
Very nice write-up ... about the best I have seen for that AOR!

What's the status on Alcohol and Women? I think alot of crew dawgs would be curious.

UAE

Unread postPosted: 27 Aug 2011, 19:33
by mc5wes
Also any information about pay and benefits would be nice.

RE: UAE

Unread postPosted: 27 Aug 2011, 21:06
by discofishing
Just out of curiosity, who takes care of their Apache helicopters?

Re: UAE

Unread postPosted: 27 Aug 2011, 23:20
by VarkVet
mc5wes wrote:Also any information about pay and benefits would be nice.


I agree :lol:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tjRO89tsvOk

RE: Re: UAE

Unread postPosted: 28 Aug 2011, 01:11
by Thecrewdog
First of all, I would like to say that we are here as ambassadors for Lockheed Martin. As such, even us Crew Dawgs must put forth our best efforts to maintain a level of professionalism which is conducive to good business, even while off duty. Having said this, I do realize that some require a release from the frustrations of daily life in a country that is not our own. The UAE offers places for such releases. There are places to consume alcohol. There are also places to purchase it and take it home. It’s reasonably priced considering where we are. On any given weekend, “the guys” may get together at someone’s flat to have a BBQ and partake of beverages.

Women are not difficult to find here. I am married, and have not looked for a relationship of any kind. I cannot go into details about the women here because of this. I do know that some have found fruitful relationships, while others have had casual friendships. There are some beautiful women here from many countries, although men do outnumber them. Bring your shiny shoes, custom-fitted suits, and a great attitude to catch their attention. Enough said.

Your pay is what you are offered by Lockheed. I do know that pay was recently increased. I believe it starts at just over $25 per hour for most with per diem, car allowance, and fuel added. Keep in mind that this is tax free up to an amount around $94,000.00 - $97,000.00. I can’t remember the exact number. It’s best to contact a CPA for that information. Also keep in mind that you will be taxed on the amount of money that Lockheed pays for your flat, etc. This may sound terrible; however, the fact of the matter is that I received a $1600.00 tax RETURN last year with nothing to claim on my taxes. Do not try and read too deeply into the numbers. Taxes will be taken out of your paycheck beginning in November of each year. You may see as much as a $600.00 per week drop in your paycheck during this time. It depends on how many exemptions you are claiming. It sounds scary, but it’s not. Prepare for it, and it’s no big deal. Don’t prepare for it, and you will probably be eating grilled cheese sandwiches for a month or so.

You’ll be bringing in about $1600 (or so) per week! That’s the bottom line. You’ll receive $2200.00, four months after arriving. This is for your special leave (R&R). You’ll receive the same before the year is up, for your home leave. Lastly, you’ll receive a bonus at the end of the year which will go up each year that you stay here. Remove money for food, internet, phone, car, gas and what you have left is enough money to consider coming here for. I’ve outlined these expenses in my initial posting. Get out a calculator and see if it is worth it for you. It is for me. I’m now debt free…

Insurance is cheap, as far as I’m concerned. I have health, life, dental, and vision insurance for me and my family. It costs from $10 to $80 per week, depending on what you want and your level of coverage. I pay about $50 for me and my family.

I hope that this information helps you with your decision. It is only a rough estimate of amounts, dates, etc. Do not quote me on them. I do my best to be honest and straight forward to all who read this. We need to maintain an outstanding workforce here in the UAE. I have read many negative postings which may keep those good people from making the choice to come here in the future. My information is unbiased and without concealed motives. I have had more than my share of frustrations here. Much of this frustration was due to lack of information from those “on the ground.” This is the reasoning for my post. It is not because I was fired or am looking for a promotion. It’s simply because it all needs to be said so that we can continue to gain intelligent, experienced, and motivated people for this site.

As for the Apache’s….I wouldn’t know. I’m a hardcore F-16 Crew Chief. Apache’s are slow and ugly if you ask me. I’m kidding… I do realize that they play a part in the mission, albeit a tedious…and…boring one. Furthermore, I know which company is the best to work for over here. I’ve been working for them for a little over four years now. You’ll have to go to another site or posting for Apache information. Sorry. :cheers:

RE: Re: UAE

Unread postPosted: 28 Aug 2011, 01:35
by Thecrewdog
In addition to the above, I would like to say that if you do not work for Lockheed, would like to get your foot in the door, wish to gain experience on a block 60, and/or need to pay off some debt, this place could be for you. If you are an angry person, holding in frustration, it is in your best interest to look elsewhere. Your integrity, work ethics, fortitude, and resolve may be tested here; however, the payoff for never faltering in your values and morals could be extremely beneficial to a long and prosperous career with what I consider to be the best company in military aviation.

RE: Re: UAE

Unread postPosted: 28 Aug 2011, 05:03
by geogen
I must say that was one heck of an eloquent sales pitch for such a career move and opportunity. Well done and good luck to continue gaining the intelligent, experienced and motivated crew required for the site spoken of.

Now if they were only looking to hire personal trainers... man, I'd definitely have to give that one a thought in applying for. ;)

My entire work/health moral as it is, job wise, is about cutting fat and building muscle, which come to think of it interestingly... could well personify the block 60 as well! :thumb:

RE: Re: UAE

Unread postPosted: 28 Aug 2011, 10:12
by Thecrewdog
Geogen -

The first question which came to my mind after reading your reply was, “Why is a personal trainer so enthusiastic about the F-16?” Then I realized that “cutting fat and building muscle” is something that Lockheed Martin has attempted to do by employing Six Sigma practices. It is used to cut the fat and build muscle! Six Sigma is defined by Wikipedia as “a set of practices designed to improve manufacturing processes and eliminate defects.” Furthermore, “In Six Sigma, a defect is defined as any process output that does not meet customer specifications, or that could lead to creating an output that does not meet customer specifications.” With this said, I believe that your practices are in line with our practices. Lockheed Martin is a huge company. There may be a position out there for you to consider. :thumb:

RE: Re: UAE

Unread postPosted: 29 Aug 2011, 18:53
by cheez_1
All that info is very useful thank you. Just wondering if you possibly would know if they are hiring or any open positions for weapons loaders or weapons(armament)backshop. I'm a prior weapons loader and backshop guy. Got somewhat close a few times but never heard anything back and when i got ahold of the global hiring manager ther positions were already filled...any info would be greatly appreciated...and thanks again

RE: Re: UAE

Unread postPosted: 29 Aug 2011, 19:02
by Thecrewdog
I believe that all of the weapons positions are filled. I'm not sure how many were added with the new plus-up, if any. Again, I will check to see after the holiday. Unfortunately for you, the weapons guys seem to be VERY happy at this location. When asked, they say "I'm never leaving," or, "I'm not leaving for a loooong time." This is just what I've heard. Things change weekly here, so I can only check on the current need. Best of luck to you.

RE: Re: UAE

Unread postPosted: 30 Aug 2011, 02:05
by p0intyhead
Like others have stated, well spoken Crewdog. I myself worked that program for a while, and although I moved to another it has been tempting to return to it. It is a great opportunity and given the quality of life much better than some other programs out there right now.

You summed up most everything nicely, but I would like to add just a couple of notes for those inquiring about "women and alcohol"... yes, there are women here. Yes, most of the time the locals will turn a blind eye to the activities that go on between us (in private). But keep in mind this is still a Muslim country following Sharia Law and there has been more than one occassion where a man finds himself deported, fined, or in jail for getting stupid with women here.

Alcohol is similar. You can purchase a license to buy and drink alcohol. It runs approx $100 for a year. Most of the liquor stores here won't ask a westerner for the license unless he is being a pain, but if you get caught buying, transporting, or drinking without on you will be in jail. Even if you are sober and in a car accident here with alcohol in your trunk but without a license, the accident becomes your fault and then you go to jail as well. And don't even think of getting spotted intoxicated in public.

It's pretty simple really. Don't be the typical American: loud and beligerant in public and you'll get along well here.

RE: Re: UAE

Unread postPosted: 30 Aug 2011, 11:13
by Thecrewdog
Thank you for the compliment and your valuable input pOintyhead. After posting the information above, I’ve thought about revising some of my statements, such as the ones that you have added to. Instead, however, I believe that this posting would be better served by extruding comments from those who are currently here, and those who have previously worked here. In doing so, we may collectively paint an honest, and up to date, portrait for those who may seek employment at this location. Furthermore, this portrait would be one of collaborative efforts, rather than from the pallet of one man’s opinion.

I believe that if you should someday choose to return to this location you will lay witness to a change. This change is inevitable, and occurs at every location over time. You may be aware of the fact that every location presents its challenges during infancy. As the days, months, and years pass, site managers gain the insight, tools, and resources needed to improve the location. Changes are made to processes, personnel, and even equipment, allowing the location to improve exponentially over time. This place is no different, and is changing with time. Is it perfect? No, it is not. It is, however, changing for the better as it grows and transforms into the well tuned, well oiled machine that someone from Lockheed Martin envisioned years ago. It is only through the “filtering effect” of employees and processes that we can continue this change for the better.

As you may also understand, while being a self proclaimed “pointyhead,” a mathematical equation may be used here as we filter out those people/processes which may make this place negative. Bear with me here. I’ve never written down this theory before and am not a mathematician… By using the formula f(x)=(a positive or negative place to work), we can see that for every value of “x” we create a more positive or negative environment. While finding the factors of f(x), we are able to manipulate zero points on a graph to position the vertex of people, working conditions, etc. into the first quadrant (both x and y positive). A real number (those who have worked here or currently do work here/processes used) combined with an imaginary number (those who may choose to come here/hypothetical processes) create a complex number (example: 2+1i). It is through mathematical methods that we deduce (example) f(x) = x3-2x2+4x-8 when (2i) is given as a zero, that x=2, x=2i, and x=-2i. Knowing this, we can then manipulate the vertex(s) by flipping, mirroring, reflecting, and/or rotating it/them into the favorable quadrant. (my exponents are not showing up on here correctly)

Because we have unknowns (i), we are never able to predict precisely a positive or negative vertex, as complex numbers always appear in conjugate pairs. Because of this, we can simply “do our best” to force a positive outcome by knowing the (i) factor as well as possible. It is my belief that as time passes, the (i) becomes more clearly defined, although never completely so. Through education about the working environment here, personnel changes, housing location, increases in income and benefits, etc. we are able to filter out those (i)’s who would bring a negative change rather than a positive one. As you can see from older posts, some of the negative (i)’s have already been filtered…

I realize that this may be a bit much for some to read; however, this information may be my feeble attempt to show how much thought is going into the process of making changes at this location. I am only one employee; however, a positive outlook can go a long way while attempting to make changes. I would appreciate any elaboration on the subject, and welcome any comments.

RE: Re: UAE

Unread postPosted: 30 Aug 2011, 16:19
by cheez_1
Thanks again crewdog for that info, that would be greatly appreciated. I look forward to whatever info you can give me. Yeah i here that about the weapons guy's especially, the arm shop...i use to be stationed with a guy who was actually tasked with a bunch of civilians to build up there Armament shop from ground up all equipment and everything and he said he wants to work there when he retires, so i believe it...thanks again.

cheez_1

RE: Re: UAE

Unread postPosted: 04 Sep 2011, 21:37
by Thecrewdog
Okay Gentlemen, here is an update to the positions which are available. Please, keep in mind that you must have F-16 experience to be considered. There was a time when F-15 mechanics were hired due to their fighter aircraft experience; however, this (from what I am told) is not going to happen again in the near future. Please read the requirements on the Lockheed Martin careers web page to see if you meet them.

Please send your resume to Travis Brookes: travis.brookes@lmco.com. If you have any questions that I have not answered in my post, please contact Travis. There is a filtering process for hiring that can be rather lengthy. Give it some time. I’m sure that Travis will forward your resume if you meet the requirements outlined for the position.

I’m sorry cheese 1, but there are no weapons positions open at this time. As I stated previously, they like it here very much. Check the website often and keep Travis’ email address just in case a position should open in the future.

Vacancies:

APG
E/E
Avionics
Supply

As I stated previously, this site is changing for the better. With newer apartments, more people, shorter drives to work, and a more understanding management, this place could be at the top of the list of best places to work in the near future. I do know that the site manager is taking notes and making corrections as he sees fit. With input from his L3's, he is molding it into a better place to work. In order for this change to continue, we need to add intelligent, experienced professionals such as you. Good luck to all of you who apply.

RE: Re: UAE

Unread postPosted: 04 Sep 2011, 21:57
by Thecrewdog
By the way, I'm not writer or an editor and realize that I have made some type-o's, etc. in my post. I can no longer edit it. I should have given it a look before submitting. I'll try harder next time. :D

RE: Re: UAE

Unread postPosted: 04 Sep 2011, 22:37
by rpgrynn
brother Dog - This is one of the finest post here, "Typos" and all - Don't sweat it man! :)

Unread postPosted: 04 Sep 2011, 23:50
by VarkVet
So ... with the final Raptor being bolted/screwed, and glued together, what are the chances of these LM guys applying for the jobs in the UAE :?: They would be hired first, correct?

http://www.f-16.net/f-16_forum_viewtopic-t-16067.html

Unread postPosted: 05 Sep 2011, 08:50
by Thecrewdog
It is my belief that the final production of the F-22 will have little effect on this program. Why? It is because we are talking about two completely different animals. The F-22 is produced in a factory, flown by only U.S. pilots, and will not be sold to foreign militaries. The F-16 is also produced in a factory, however, this is a flight operations base in a foreign country. We do not produce the F-16 here; we make it fly on a daily basis with foreign military members. Those who move from the F-22 factory positions will more than likely move into other factory positions if available.

Lockheed Martin has a VERY large factory in Ft. Worth, TX. They do perform flight operations at that location to test aircraft and accessories that have been built there, but, you would be best served not to compare what they do to what we do. If you want to travel the world and work with foreign military operations, look for Greenville, SC positions. I’m not sure if you are aware, however, there are many “parts” to Lockheed Martin. Most of those who work at this location are from the part of Lockheed Martin which resides in Greenville, SC. A large number of employees who work for Greenville are prior military, and act as contractors working in the field on various aircraft. Many of the people in Ft. Worth are factory sheetmetal workers. They cannot fill any of the open positions here, and probably wouldn’t want to change from Ft. Worth to Greenville if they could.

The short answer to your question is no, they will probably not be hired here first unless they have the experience on F-16’s. We are looking for F-16 experienced personnel to train the Emirates. We are not here to train Americans. Some of those who work on the F-22 may move into positions for the F-35 and F-16. I can’t say for sure without knowing all of the variables. I do believe that because the F-35 is still “new,” they are more willing to train those who have previous fighter experience. At this location, one would need to be able to hit the ground running. There is very little time for training Americans. We are here to work with, and train, the Emirates. It’s just that simple.

Re: RE: Re: UAE

Unread postPosted: 05 Sep 2011, 16:52
by ViperDude
Hey "The crewdog", that was interesting reading. Having spent 3yrs in the Middle East before, I was curious about the vacation/R&R. In the old days you would get 1 week vacation after 6 months, a 30 day after 1yr, and then a 1 week after the next 6 months, and it would just keep repeating as long as you stayed there. For the 30 day you were paid all the way to your home of record and you had to leave the country. For the 1 week you were paid round trip to London.

Also, at the end of your tour you got a 5% bonus, and it increased every year by 5% until it maxed out at 25%.

Oh and the company took care of doing your taxes, is this still true?

Can you talk to these issues?

ViperDude

RE: Re: RE: Re: UAE

Unread postPosted: 05 Sep 2011, 22:42
by Thecrewdog
ViperDude – Thank you for the compliment. It has changed a bit from when you were in this area last. It seems to change constantly with today’s economy, so don’t quote my exact figures or description. If offered a position, your contract may be different than that which is outlined below.

Please understand that with the unstable economy of today, Lockheed is tightening the belt to find profit in places that we may not like so much. In doing so, we are seeing some changes with the contracts. This has also affected the Ft. Worth side of the house. I feel as though the package is still very reasonable.

1. Rather than deal with finding the current ticket prices to London, per diem in other countries, etc. the company seems to have found a nice round number to give to us. We are paid $2200.00 after four months on station. This is used for “special leave” (we know it as R&R). We may take our R&R anytime after four months. I believe that this is because of the number of people on station needing to take it within a year. It is a one week (5 business days) paid vacation. We purchase tickets with the money given to us. We may also just stay here and pocket the money. I’m not sure if leaving the country is a requirement because of the way it is now paid.

2. We receive the same amount at the 10 month mark for our home leave. It is not 30 days. It is only one week; however, we may take longer if we request it in advance. We may request the extension if we have PTO time or just want to take some unpaid time off. This is up to the manager. Also understand that we are allowed 20 days away from our duty station per year. These twenty days do not include the R&R and home leave. They do, however, include PTO time (earned at a rate of 2 hours per week) and unpaid days off. Furthermore, it does not include local holidays. By the way….we just had a week off for Eid, and there is another Eid in Nov or Dec. Don’t let the numbers scare you. We have plenty of time off. Added up, that is already over three weeks of vacation for the first year of employment, and there are more holidays than mentioned. What other companies offer this many days off per year….for the first year of employment?

3. The bonus has recently changed, and I do not know the exact numbers for anything beyond one year. At the end of our first year, we receive a $2000 completion bonus. We must remain here for a year to receive it… I believe that it goes up by $1000 per year after, all the way to the cap of $7000. That’s a nice paycheck at the end of the year!

4. Taxes are up to you! Lockheed Martin will take no responsibility when it comes to doing taxes. We are tax exempt up to a certain amount. Consult a CPA for any additional information on the subject. They know best. I have an Ex-pat CPA who does my taxes. I have received a return every year that I have been overseas. I do believe that Lockheed has someone who we may contact for tax information, but, I do not have that information in front of me.

I am sure that some of you out there did not realize all of the fine details about contracts overseas. I hope that all of my information helps you to gain a better understanding of the situation and just how great it can be to live here. Following our Eid holiday, I’ve heard nothing but fantastic stories about where people traveled to during their days off. Two men went to Cyprus, Greece, others went to the Philippines, Thailand, Oman, and even back to the U.S. I ask you, could you do that while working in the States? Probably not. “Hey honey, I know it’s last minute but pack your clothes and get the kids in the car….WE’RE HEADING TO GREECE FOR A WEEK!” I simply love it.

I will also add that my daughter joined me for a year at my last assignment. While overseas she blossomed into a more confident, intelligent, and open-minded little lady. Children tend to “bend” more easily after being submerged into a completely different culture. They absorb things that most of their classmates in the States will never be able to. I know that it made a huge difference in my daughter. Don’t get me wrong, being away from her has taken its toll on me; however, I know that I am made for this kind of work. She now better understands this about me, and she’s already talking about coming to stay with me again. Overseas contractor work is not for everyone, but, I believe that many have found a nice balance while doing it.

I hope that this information is helpful. Please ask if you have anymore. Just remember that I am giving my opinion and round-about figures. Other contracts/conditions may be different, so don’t quote me.

RE: Re: UAE

Unread postPosted: 12 Sep 2011, 16:33
by cheez_1
i appreciate the update...thanks again...

RE: Re: UAE

Unread postPosted: 24 Sep 2011, 20:08
by bluestation
Hello to the company here.First of all, forgive my english I try to do my best.I am Greek, F-16 Weapon Loader and made some thoughts about these jobs, because of the economicall crisis in my country, as most of you, might know. I must say that the details that I found here, because of Thecrewdog and the rest were very very usefull. Despite this fact I have some questions, you might could answer.
1.Do I need to be a us citizen to work for LM?
2.Working for LM, you work as a civilian personel?
3.Is there any connection at your duties, with UAE airforce or not?
4.Is it sth like a squadron for rent to UAE?
5.What is the minimum and the maximum contract time for these flight line jobs?

I would appreciate any answer to these.
Thanks in advance
http://www.freewebs.com/sacwpn/1H.jpg

RE: Re: UAE

Unread postPosted: 25 Sep 2011, 07:55
by Thecrewdog
bluestation- Thank you for your interest in our company. Firstly, I would like to say that I can understand your English just fine. I am sure that my ability to speak or write Greek is far worse than your English. Thank you for taking the time to ask the questions. Secondly, the current economic situation is unfortunate, and many are affected by it. My hope is that the economic situation will bring countries of the world closer so that we may avoid such negative downturns in the future. To the best of my knowledge, here are the answers to your questions. I am not 100% sure of all of the details. These answers are based on my knowledge of company rules, etc. They may, or may not, be correct, and should not be used for contract negotiations. The information contained throughout this post should only be used for general reference purposes.

1.Do I need to be a us citizen to work for LM?

Yes. Employees for this position are required to have a secret security clearance. You must be a U.S. citizen to get one.

2.Working for LM, you work as a civilian personel?

Yes. LM employees are civilian. Many LM employees were in the military before.

3.Is there any connection at your duties, with UAE airforce or not?

Yes and No. LM employees in the UAE are not a part of the UAE Air Force, however, we do work directly with them. It is like two companies doing the same job together.

4.Is it sth like a squadron for rent to UAE?

No. It is the UAE Air Force operations. There is no squadron for rent. We are a company working with the UAE on U.S. built fighter aircraft. We support and train the UAE AF.

5.What is the minimum and the maximum contract time for these flight line jobs?

Employees will sign an offer letter with all of the contract details written in it. The contract changes nearly every year, however, it seems that the minimum is one year with an extension for each year following. Some people have been here from the beginning of the contract (5, 6, and 7 years). I do not believe that there is a maximum at this time.

What is your experience level? Did you gain your experience from the Greek Air Force? What aircraft have you loaded? I will try to direct you in the best direction for employment.

RE: Re: UAE

Unread postPosted: 25 Sep 2011, 10:18
by bluestation
Thanks for your quick answer.Despite our different nationality, seems that the motivations, to leave our country for a better paid job are all over the world the same.Also thank you very much for your detailed answers.I guess that my biggest problem to all this is the security clearance.I have to apologize, but I cannot give such informations, you ask for, in public.You see I 'm still on duty, so if you don't mind I 'll sent you a pm.It might sounds strange having already a job and look for another one but believe me, the 1000 euros, that we earn in Greece, per month, are not enough, even for our car gus and our house rent!!!
As you said, I also hope this strange worldwide economic situation have a happy end for everybody.

RE: Re: UAE

Unread postPosted: 26 Sep 2011, 09:59
by Thecrewdog
You are welcome, bluestation. I have sent a reply to your email. Good luck, my friend. :)

RE: Re: UAE

Unread postPosted: 27 Sep 2011, 23:04
by Thecrewdog
To all weapons loaders, two new positions are posted on the LM Careers web page for the UAE. I'm not sure if they have been filled, but, it would probably be a good idea to submit your resume to Travis (contact listed previously) to be considered. Good luck!

RE: Re: UAE

Unread postPosted: 29 Sep 2011, 19:30
by os7
Sent an email to Travis and awaiting a reply. Having spent time in the Middle East previously (Sounds like ViperDude and I were in-country on the same contract). Thanks for the very detailed posts. It's food for thought.

RE: Re: UAE

Unread postPosted: 29 Sep 2011, 20:11
by tbirdegress95-98
Anybody know if any Egress positions will be opening soon?

RE: Re: UAE

Unread postPosted: 29 Sep 2011, 22:27
by Thecrewdog
Excellent os7! Good luck to you. You are very welcome for the info.

tbirdegress95-98 - I do not know of any egress positions opening soon. You should continue to check LM's careers page for any open positions. I'll post them if I see them first. Good luck!

RE: Re: UAE

Unread postPosted: 07 Oct 2011, 16:07
by spisnasco
Hey yall, this is Spisnasco in Saudi Arabia. I am looking for a position in UAE but am not too savvy on this lingo. I am a weapons loader with 26 yrs of exp., where would I apply and what is the time frame that I am looking at to post for a position? Any help in this process would be greatly appreciated. Thanks yall.

Spisnasco

RE: Re: UAE

Unread postPosted: 10 Oct 2011, 14:28
by railmonkey
Crewdog....all that info was fantastico!! I've never really had much interest in going to the Middle East but after reading your posts....they've piqued my interest!

I'm in Italy right now but our contract is due to end June 2012. Does LM have any engine mechanic postions (JEIM) there?

Thanks for any info,
Ron

Unread postPosted: 18 Oct 2011, 12:42
by jcray01
I am interested and looking to see if there are any fuels positions open

Unread postPosted: 21 Oct 2011, 08:14
by Thecrewdog
This is LM's career website. Take a look to see if they have any open positions. If you have any further questions about job openings, please direct them to Travis Brookes, as stated earlier in this post. I was picked up on another program and have moved from the UAE. I'm happy to have helped some of you with your job search. Best wishes to each of you. http://www.lockheedmartinjobs.com/index.aspx

RE: Re: UAE

Unread postPosted: 16 Nov 2011, 16:33
by cloudtl
I was wondering if anyone has brought thier wife and kids with them, and if so how is it there for them?

RE: Re: UAE

Unread postPosted: 26 Dec 2011, 12:01
by us
Thank you Crewdog for all the good honest information. I hope one day I'll be one of the Team Players where you're at. Again :thanks:

Unread postPosted: 05 Jan 2012, 09:07
by Thecrewdog
quiter wrote:
Thecrewdog wrote:I have moved from the UAE.

quitter
One is not considered a quitter while making a move within the company to a position in which he/she is better suited and/or more capable of gaining valuable knowledge. I moved for better opportunities within a different arena. Frankly, your comment says a lot about you. Thank you for your input; however, perhaps you should keep your simple minded comments to yourself…unless, of course, they add to an intelligent conversation. I doubt it... : )

Re: RE: Re: UAE

Unread postPosted: 05 Jan 2012, 09:08
by Thecrewdog
us wrote:Thank you Crewdog for all the good honest information. I hope one day I'll be one of the Team Players where you're at. Again :thanks:


No problem. Please let me know if you have any questions in the future that I might help with.

Unread postPosted: 09 Feb 2012, 03:26
by slim1297
Hello all I have worked on the F-16 for the past 8 or so as a weapons loader and 1 man. So I was wondering if anyone know of a company hiring for my qualifications

RE: Re: UAE

Unread postPosted: 13 Feb 2012, 04:43
by bountyhunter
I am a spec with 22yrs of hydraulics exp. Any luck I can get in anywhere over in the middle East? I have been deployed/TDY there many times and know what to do and how to do it. Besides, I love the heat. Please, I am close to retirment and need an "in". I would love to apply but don't know where. Can someone with some insight email me some info? Postaldog2k2@hotmail.com

Saudi

Unread postPosted: 13 Feb 2012, 10:12
by mc5wes

RE: Saudi

Unread postPosted: 17 Feb 2012, 09:27
by Thecrewdog
Lockheed might be the place for you Slim1297. You'll have to keep an eye out on the Lockheed Martin Career page. As stated in the post previously, there are weapons positions open from time to time. And, yes, you could also apply for a position in Saudi on the F-15's on the web page listed above. We do not have weapons positions at my current location. Good luck!

RE: Saudi

Unread postPosted: 17 Feb 2012, 09:33
by Thecrewdog
Bountyhunter, what type of experience, and what airframe(s)? Again, keep an eye on the LM Careers page as well as the JSFirm page. Lockheed has a hand in many programs around the world. It would be difficult for me to point you to one that fits your wants and needs. When/If you find a position that you are interested in, send me a message and I'll let you know if I have a contact for you. Check the MANY jobs also posted on JSFirm, Boeing, L3, as well as others. JSFirm has listings for many companies. Good luck.

RE: Re: UAE

Unread postPosted: 20 Jun 2012, 18:43
by bountyhunter
The CrewDog, I just finished reading your original post and this is what I found on the requirements on visas for family. If they are just visiting and have US issued -, they do not need any sort of entry visa. Check it out...good info for anyone that is going to be living/working there!

http://www.uae-embassy.org/travel-cultu ... -passports

Bounty Hunter!

RE: Re: UAE

Unread postPosted: 28 Jun 2012, 12:29
by Thecrewdog
Good luck with that! Yes, I understand that if he/she has a US pp and is only visiting....there is no need for an entry visa. As I mentioned in my beginning statement....my spouse needed to come and live with me, not to visit. We intended on the UAE being a home, not a vacation spot. If a member's spouse is to visit he/she would need to make a border run if they wished to spend more time than thirty days in the UAE. My situation was far different my friend. My spouse is not yet an American citizen, thereby multiplying the the requirements ten fold. Oh...and did I mention how poor the mail system is in the UAE? The frustration continued at every turn. Two days before leaving the UAE, I had finally gathered all of the documents for her arrival. Unfortunately, it was too late and I'd had enough of the frustration. Thank you for the info. I am sure that it will help someone who wishes to have their spouse visit. If I was given all of the information that I have presented here before leaving the States, I could have made a more educated decision about the situation ahead. Without it, I was trying to find my way in the dark. This is why I posted the info. :)

Re: The UAE today

Unread postPosted: 08 Sep 2012, 06:17
by grampa
Thecrewdog wrote:My opinion of the UAE is one of many, and should be read as just that…and opinion. It’s very simple… If you plan before coming, accept it for what it ultimately is (a job), and look for opportunities to excel no matter what anyone tells you, it is a good place to work. You will find frustration in any job that you take; however, this job presents challenges of a different kind. If you’ve worked in the Middle East, you know some of these challenges. Just remember to never compare what the locals do to what you must do. They pay us to be here. It really doesn’t matter what they do on a daily basis. It’s sort of like trying to tell your boss that he doesn’t do as much as you. Would you do that? Never… So keep this in mind when making your choice.

I am speaking from experience. This can be a good place to work. Do not, however, underestimate the power of the buddy system here. As with any location, there are groups of people who have come from various locations. Within those groups of people, there are leaders who make choices about where people work. This place is no different, and it shouldn’t be frowned upon. The buddy system has created a strong workforce for Lockheed at this location. Your best bet, if you choose to come here, is to keep your head down if you do not know anyone, get a feel for the environment and people around you, do as little complaining as possible while still getting your problems fixed, and give it 100%.

Another subject is the amount of time that one has worked at this location. It plays a large part in some of the decisions made about you. To me, this is disappointing; however, after you’ve been here for a while, you may better understand it. It’s sort of like going to battle with a group of people who have already been in the battle for a long while. You’ve got to prove yourself to those around you. You’ve got to gain their respect by doing your job well and letting them trust that you have their backs when the stuff hits the fan. It’s as simple as that. I’ve worked with Lockheed for a few years now, and was placed on the flightline, launching and recovering jets when I arrived. I have many years with varying depths of experience on the F-16. It really doesn’t matter. Just accept that you will more than likely be working directly with the locals while launching and recovering jets if you are APG. If you are weapons, you’ll probably enjoy your job very much. Other backshops and specialties seem to like it as well. APG personnel seem to have a more difficult time with this location because it is perhaps more challenging to do their job here.

The supervisors are very likeable, kind men. As with all men, they have their faults. Overall, they are looking out for the best interests of the mission here. They have goals to achieve just like any other supervisor. They make choices based on personal preference and what they have to work with, while also being a leader on the frontline for the company. It is my advice to allow them to get to know you, while not boring them with the bullet statements on your resume. I personally like the people in charge here. Never misunderstand that this is anything other than a difficult place to work. By doing this, you may better understand some of the decisions made by those above you. They are simply doing their jobs the best that they can with people they know (and have probably worked with at other locations). We all have opinions about what our leaders should do. Keep them to yourself. They are your opinions and rarely take into consideration those things which we do not see that are going on behind the scenes. My advice to anyone who makes the choice to come here is to put your blinders on. Look forward and not around you. Do what you have been trained to do and do not worry about the others. If you do this, you may eventually be rewarded with a position that you have longed to be in. If you do not do this, you will certainly become extremely frustrated.

There are, and will be, opportunities in the future here. You must be at the right place, know the right people, and make the right choices to get them just as if you were working for any other company. It is up to you as to how much you like this place. It is up to you as to how long you are here, and how well you do here. If you are a person who excels, who does the right thing when others around you may not, and who accepts this place for what it is, you should have no problem.

We are currently living in Al Ain and Abu Dhabi. There are plans to move people to a different location. I will not give too much information on this because it is not my place to do so, and everyone looks at this site for information…

Housing – 1 or 2 (mostly 2) bedroom, 1 or 2 bath, fully furnished (not my choice of furniture but it does the job) flats. You have the flat to yourself. You do not share it. They are typical Middle Eastern concrete flats with tile floors. There are many places where you can live. It depends on what is open when/if you get here. If you do not like the flat that you are given when you get here, you may move; however, you will be on a list with other people who also want to move. Your seniority will play a part in when you are allowed to move. Electricity is paid. Internet is not. It may take some time once you move to get it set up. Be patient. It will drive you crazy. Internet will cost you anywhere from $50 to $150 per month, depending on your choice of packages.

Rental cars – You are paid an amount for renting a car and for fuel. I’m not sure how much your contract will allow you for this. That’s up to Lockheed. Rental cars cost no less than $500.00 per month. Others may disagree with this; however, I have looked since arriving and have not found anything less. Fuel is somewhat cheap. While driving from Al Ain to work in a small car, you’ll use about $13.00 per day of fuel. It’s best for many to carpool. The plans for new housing would allow us to live closer to work, thereby cutting fuel costs. You can buy a car after you get your residence visa. This will take at least 30 days to get. You cannot leave the country for those 30 days. Keep this in mind. You may also get a loan for a car. I haven’t done this, but some have with success. It’s your choice.

Location – Abu Dhabi, Al Ain, and Dubai all offer nice parks, expensive malls, places to eat, and things to do. Keep in mind that the UAE likes to keep its money here. I can’t blame them. Just remember, it is costly to do the fun stuff. You can, however, go to the beach cheaply. : )

APO – We do not currently have APO privileges, and I do not believe that we ever will again. Someone messed it up for the group a while back. There are other ways to get your stuff mailed here. We have pouch service to a PO Box, and you can even go through a company to set up a service which delivers packages from the States to your door. It’s expensive, but it seems to be working for some of the guys. Most generally, you can find everything you need here. You can buy clothes, baby things, electronics, food, and much more at every mall. The grocery stores in the malls have many American items. They are reasonably priced. On average, I spend $150 per week. I’m living here alone and do enjoy buying some things which are somewhat expensive to eat.

Spouse and visa – Your spouse can join you, however, it comes out of your pocket. This includes her visa, etc. The visa will cost approx. $500 in total per person. Do not quote me on this. It changes a lot. If your wife is an American citizen, you will need a marriage certificate which is authenticated by the Secretary of State for the state in which you were married and the Secretary of State in the U.S. State Dept., with Hillary Clinton’s signature on it. There are companies which will help you with this. It is costly (around $500 to have them do it) or you can try to do it yourself. My advice…go with the professionals and get it done quickly and GET IT DONE BEFORE YOU LEAVE. They will even send it to the UAE embassy in the States to have it authenticated by them. This has caught a lot of people off guard, and is the cause of much frustration for many who choose to bring their spouses here without being informed first. There are those who get it taken care of it before coming because they were informed. I’m informing you now. If you wait until you get here you will pay for it with time, money, and frustration.

If you spouse is from another country, you must look up the requirements for that country. Some countries (33) are allowed to enter the UAE without getting a visa before coming. There are also countries which require a visa before coming. The requirements do change for visas and I do not wish to send you in the wrong direction. Your best bet is to do your research and gather all of your paperwork before coming. This process is being worked on by some people here with Lockheed, but, it is not at all simple and there is little that they can do except process the paperwork for the visa when it is all completed.

Children are another challenge. If your children are U.S. citizens, you’ll need their birth certificate authenticated as well. If they are not U.S. citizens, get their citizenship before coming if it is possible. What I have outlined here are the basic processes for residence visas. If you can arrive with all of the needed paperwork in hand, you may be able to obtain your spouse/children’s visas with little frustration.

Positive things about the UAE:

Dubai and Abu Dhabi are centrally located for your R&R’s. You can travel to many locations rather cheaply from here. You will undoubtedly enjoy your vacations.
It is said that the country is compiled of 85% ex-pats and 15% Emirates. This makes it a fairly open country to western habits.
With as much money as you will make, you may be able to buy your dream car here. You will surely see one of them driving down the road one day.
Once you find your place at work, you’ll find friends. Friends are important here, for both you and your wife/children.
There are some great places to eat with cuisines from around the globe. You can even buy pork at a pork store in Al Ain. It’s small, but the selection is tasty!
You can save A LOT of money if you are disciplined.
The sun shines nearly every day of the year.
The beaches are beautiful.
The dynamics of our work environment are changing because of the number of new openings just approved. This should create a better work environment for the months and years to come.

I think I've said enough. It's your choice. I hear that they are hiring. : )



Anyone work in Oman.......

RE: Re: The UAE today

Unread postPosted: 08 Sep 2012, 18:09
by F31CrewDawg
Grandpa your treatise is precise and concise when it comes to the locale. Are we talking about Lockheed or AMMROC??
Geez laweez APG has it tuff everywhere it seems. What types of specific challenges are germaine to APG there??
Good job love to hear your response. cheers

RE: Re: The UAE today

Unread postPosted: 08 Sep 2012, 23:13
by grampa
I think the company is called Dyncorp International with Omani F-16's

Re: RE: Re: The UAE today

Unread postPosted: 09 Sep 2012, 09:12
by de82
grampa wrote:I think the company is called Dyncorp International with Omani F-16's


You are correct, that is who has the contract right now in Oman.

You gave a very detailed assessment of most everything that you should expect out of signing on for working in the UAE. Let it be noted though, that if you are signing on with Lockheed that most people will not find the housing area up to their standards of living unless they get on board as a Supervisor. 95% of the work force (Blue Shirts - and my % may not be totally accurate), reside in the area known as Mussaffah (otherwise known to LM as Mohammed Bin Zayed City). If you have ever seen the movie The Kingdom, picture that and that's where you live, no other way to explain it. The apartment buildings they would have you up in are actually adequate and somewhat nice. The area is a different story. You would be surrounded by TCN's of all nationalities, the buildings you live in are not secured, and overall just a non desirable place to live.

RE: Re: RE: Re: The UAE today

Unread postPosted: 09 Sep 2012, 17:43
by F31CrewDawg
well thanks de82 u shed lite on a few things. Gramps must have went on qt :D

RE: Re: RE: Re: The UAE today

Unread postPosted: 10 Sep 2012, 02:15
by madrat
My first thought of that description was of the movie 'The Kingdom'. Insecure. If you disappear there is no news of it. You may or may not show back up.