Anybody have MC-12 info?

Looking to change career fields or contemplating to request a new assignment? Here's where you find out if the grass really is greener on the other side...
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squirl

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Unread post31 May 2012, 02:26

Did some quick searches on the board (and many places) to no avail.

I'm a young 'un in UPT and have seen an uptick in MC-12 assignments. AFPC seems to have zilch online about this MWS (which it apparently is now). Apparently it's too new.

From what I know, experienced folks and UPT grads alike are being drawn to the MC-12 in quantity to fill the corresponding levels of the seniority pyramid for deployments in the Sandbox.

Anybody got info on career progression? Family life? Opportunities?
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checksixx

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Unread post31 May 2012, 04:37

Sure...

http://www.af.mil/information/factsheet ... p?id=15202

Career progression, family life and other opportunities, are commensurate with military progression and the military way of life.
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deadseal

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Unread post31 May 2012, 05:05

yah...dont do it...go fly a viper
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golden_eagle

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Unread post05 Jun 2012, 18:51

If you are asking questions about an MC coded flying machine vice an F coded pointy nose panty wetter you are on the wrong web site...
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twintwinsingle

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Unread post06 Jun 2012, 01:08

If you have to eat a sh** sandwich out of UPT, AND if there's minimal hope of a follow-on fighter assignment, I'd go RPA instead of MC-12. The flying stinks in both, but you actually have to go to the crummy deployed location to fly the MC-12...you get to go home at night in the RPA. IF, on the other hand, you find out that they are looking for 1-yr in the MC-12 and you get a pointy-nose follow-on (I know the RPA dudes don't get that good deal), I'd knock people over to sign-up for that one.

Best advice I got on subjects like this was my UPT flight commander (Eagle guy): "You know how you avoid an assignment you don't want? Finish first in pilot training!!" How true. My 2-pennies.
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huggy

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Unread post07 Aug 2012, 03:03

Ignore everything the above people have posted.

Golden Eagle: this page is for Careers & Assignments... the MC-12 qualifies. And I know plenty of fighter guys that never watched bad guys die... until they got in the MC-12. Save the "F-coded bravado" for a better thread.

22Single: I cannot believe you actually wrote this. You are really a pilot in the AF? And your advice is to go to RPA's? YGBSM.

Squirl: go to RPA's only if you don't mind the idea of staying an RPA operator your entire career. I know plenty of pilots that were non-vol'd there, and cannot leave.
As for locations, I would rather spend 7 months in Bagram than I would 3++ years in many of the RPA locations.
And if you end up liking the MC-12, you can volunteer to stay in it for a long tour at Beale AFB... an excellent location. For those that disagree, feel free to debate me on that.

If you go MC-12 straight out of UPT, you will do 1-year in it, then proceed to your follow on. I have not seen any UPT grads with fighter assignments go to the MC-12... AFPC isn't allowing it. I've seen graduates with B-52, B-1, and all of the C-designated heavy-types go there straight out of UPT. When they show up to their FTU a year later, they will have seen how to work a killbox, how to coordinate with some unique ground assets, and they will have watched numerous targets get engaged in a very fast, dynamic environment. Bottom line: they will be far ahead of their peers in FTU. I've also seen FAIPs show up after 1-2 years into their FAIP tour.
And as for career progression, these pilots will have 2 MWS' and a 7 month combat deployment under their belt. Right or wrong, it helps them break out for the purposes of stratification from their peers.
For the record: I flew the MC-12 from March 11 until Jan 12. It is not where I personally want to hang my hat for the long haul,... but as a young punk out of UPT, it presents a very good option. I learned a great deal in those 10 months. I logged about 600 hours in the -12,... and I flew less than most of the other pilots.
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Code3

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Unread post08 Aug 2012, 12:59

Squil, I think you should take all the opinions into consideration. Huggy gave you a great opinion from an MC-12 operator. Clearly, he's a bit partial to the aircraft. Personally, I don't buy his career progresssion arguments. Each track has their own career progressions. If you fly an Eagle, Viper, or C-17, you will not compete against MC-12 or C-130 pilots for career progression until MUCH later in your career. You will complete agains the other pilots in your unit until Lt Col.

On the flip-side, I know many people who have been non-voll'd into the MC-12. None of them, and I mean not ONE, has a good thing to say about the airframe versus their previous MWS. Yes, you get tactical involvement. However, this is not exclusive to the MC-12 like Huggy may have insinuated. If being involved at the most tactical level in support of ground troops is what you desire, helos or Ospreys are clearly the airframes for you...it's not even close. Additionally, Vipers, Strike Eagles, and A-10s all fullfill more lines on ATOs than MC-12s and get just as down and dirty (if not moreso) than MC-12s. That said, MC-12s play a very important support role, and I have no problem with MC-12 pilots having pride in their work and airframe, just like Huggy.

Also, I don't think any MC-12 pilot going to a follow on will be ahead of their peers in FTU. The bottom line is they will have one less year of experience in their airframe compared to their peers, meaning they will be BEHIND their peers. Yes, they will coordinate and work within killboxes and support JTARs, but this experience is irrelevant in most MWSs. You'll be taught how to do all that in FTU, and you will most likely get 1-2 years of experience on the wing watching your flight lead perform the coordination before you are asked to do so yourself. As far as combat time goes: Vipers, Strike Eagles, and A-10s all deploy regularly. Spending a year in the MC-12 may very well mean missing out on a deployment in your follow-on MWS.
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huggy

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Unread post09 Aug 2012, 02:39

Just to clarify a few points, since I gave some impressions I didn't mean to. Plus I need to rebut a few points:

- Like most in the MC-12, I was only there for a year. I don't consider myself "an MC-12 guy", and have no real parochial views. There's plenty I didn't like about it, and I can discuss that off-line. But I also hear from too many people who have never been in an MC-12, but who think they know all about it.

- I was a non-vol to the MC-12. But it beat going to Baghdad for a year non-flying. In retrospect, I learned a TON more than I would have in the BD-700.

- Much of what I posted above was to counter the suggestion of going to an RPA assignment to dodge an MC-12. That is just poor advice all around,... unless someone strongly desires to be a permanent RPA pilot.

- I flew with some MWS folks that wanted to leave their MWS and stay in the MC-12. While Code3 has not met any, I have. And some of those were fighter pilots that left their fighter to become MC-12 pilots.

- Career progression: I was referring only to the brand new 2Lt's, and generally not those from fighters... since the young fighter pilots are pulled to the MC-12 after being at their home station around 18 months. Bad deal for them, since it really seems to kill their opportunity for FLUG and beyond. However, the non-fighter pilots that are sent to the -12 right out of UPT lose less than a year in their MWS and gain a lot of airmanship during that 11 months. I've asked FTU IP's and A/C's from heavies what they think of the Lt's that show up after doing a post-UPT MC-12 gig: every single one I've talked to says they stand out. They are not behind their peers, since they are so junior, their PCS clock hasn't started, and they are viewed as "new Lt's" anyways. Caveat: I'm not talking about fighter pilots that are yanked away at the 18 month point.

- More lines on the ATO might be a valid metric,... but there is no manned aircraft in the USAF that is flying more hours per week than the MC-12. The numbers may be confidential, so I'll just say that they are staggering. And when we can fly 6 hour vuls, we might have fewer "lines", but the MC-12 is on station as much as anyone.

- Killbox experience, working with Pyramid, AOR operations, etc... is not what I'd call 'irrelevant'. It is part of what builds SA and mission ready pilots. For a new 2Lt that is soaking this experience up like a dry sponge, it is valuable.

- If you are in a fighter, yes, it may screw up your upgrades, since those communities are very competitive. However, if you are going to spend 12 months at the CAOC in a non-flying role, you may prefer to spend that time flying in an MC-12. The MC-12 pilot that ran the tactics shop at Bagram came from F-16 Aggressors, and was instrumental in developing new TTP's that we incorporated. He worked hard, applied his FAC/JTAC experience, and excelled. He stayed tactically relevant. And it got him his #1 choice for a follow-on assignment. I'd say it was a win-win.

- Not everyone goes to a fighter after UPT. I'm proof of that. And many of Code3's points are based on being a fighter pilot. However, many of those points do not apply to non-fighter pilots.
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cmdro

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Unread post09 Aug 2012, 04:16

huggy wrote:But I also hear from too many people who have never been in an MC-12, but who think they know all about it.

This.

Huggy has it right (I was deployed with him). If you want REAL info about the program find an IP at your UPT base that has done a tour in the MC-12, there are probably a few floating around if you look for them. They won't be able to talk about everything, but they will be able to give you an informed opinion, not the nonsense that most of these people are talking about.
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Code3

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Unread post09 Aug 2012, 07:44

Good points Huggy. Just for clarification, I did not mean to insinuate flying in real-world killbox scenarios is irrelevant. Certainly it's an incredible opportunity and learning experience. My only point was FTU teaches that anyway, therefore after graduation it isn't neccessarily a "leg up" for those who did so before FTU.

Squil, I would definately take Huggy and Cmdro's advice if you have the opportunity and speak with an MC-12 pilot or a pilot who has experienced working with them. First hand knowledge is always going to beat an internet message board.

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