29. July 2005 · Comments Off on Feeding the Beast · Categories: Ain't That America?, Air Force, General Nonsense

You know the drill. You’ve been tasked to put a team together to solve problem X. You gather your team, you gather your resources, you turn some abandoned old hut into your state of the art workcenter. Staff papers and action papers and point papers are all pooled to study problem X. Meetings are held. VTCs happen once the fiber is run to the old hut. There must be TDYs to D.C., Colorado, Hawaii and Nebraska because it’s that serious a problem…we must discuss face to face this serious serious problem. The discovery that the problem is bigger than it seemed is inevitbale. It’s now problem XYZ and Q(?). Everyone’s got the same problem(s) and teams just like yours are set up at key locations for all the commands. The orignal team disbands due to PCS moves and new people come in. Money is projected out for the next five years to ensure success. At some point a smart airman walks into the office with a magazine article from Wired or Computer News with a simple, off-the-shelf, solution to problem X and quietly tries to implement it, but it’s not to be. A Lt Col on loan from the Reserves and who works with Gigantic Aerospace (GA) n his “real” job knows that GA’s Information Technologies section can do a better, more military, solution and the studies begin anew. Manhours are gauged. Software development begins. The company that first released the off-the-shelf software solution is bought out. Software engineering ensues. Testing happens. Tests are studied. The hut gets knocked down and a new building with not enough power outlets and NO phone lines is built…it will be a couple more years before the comm issues are fixed so the military rents office space from GA. More meetings and TDYs occur. One of GA’s subsidiaries (made up of the original, now retired team members) gets the contract. No, military people won’t be able to use the software, this is now serious stuff with an eclectic and stiff learning curve, we need full time contractors on the job 24/7 and they’re all going to need clearances so we should probably hire retirees or actively recruit folks with a fresh new clearance.

The smart airman watches all of this and spits while he goes back to college, goes for his degree, and gets the hell out to form his own group of contractors that he can sell to GA in a couple years.

And that’s just one of the retention problems we’re having.

…end satirical rant…

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