Ive heard that load masters fly 1-2 weeks then are home for a few days? is this all year round or only during a deployment? if that schedule is year round that must be horrible only being home to see the wife 1-2 months total time out of the whole year?
Or is my reasoning all wrong? little help here on the deployments of loadmasters?
That is a very extreme schedule and not typical at all. That is also not typical for all loads. If you get C-130's, you don't fly schedules like that at all. That sounds more like a C-17 or C-5 loadmaster lifestyle, but again, that isn't probably typical for them either. For C-130's, you will spend a lot of time at home till it is time to deploy, then do your 120 days over seas, then come home.
I can only speak for my schedule as a C-5 load, and that was almost 10 years ago. I liked to fly so I flew a lot of missions. I averaged 2 weeks on the road a month, but many guys didn't fly that much. I was young and single, so I had no problem waiving my post mission down time to go back out again.
My experience as a load was if you were willing to go and fly missions most people didn't want that the schedulers were more likely to remember you when good missions came up. I think being a loadmaster is the best job in the Air Force. I flew for three years, and managed to go to over 30 countries on every continent but Australia and Antartica.
Originally posted by caninedale: That is a very extreme schedule and not typical at all. That is also not typical for all loads. If you get C-130's, you don't fly schedules like that at all.
Also, most new AD loads are getting C-130's.
My son is in training at Little Rock (he's completed BLM, SERE, etc.) He said in the last 3 classes that graduated BLM (which is when you get your airframe and base slot) about 85% of pipeliner loads got 130's.
It's a perfect job for a young and single airman who wants to travel. If you're married, you need to decide if being away from home fairly frequently is what you want. However, it shouldn't be anything near as drastic as what's listed in the OP...except when you deploy.
My AD load buddies out at Travis on C-5's are gone for 17-21 day trips, making good per-diem 1/2 the time and enjoying themselves, and then it seems like they never go anywhere again. (i.e. we can't get them off the boat or off our couch). I ask them every now and then if they actually HAVE a job.
One Loadie fellow I know volunteers a lot, and is on the road a lot, but he also banks the travel money like there is no tomorrow. He is on a mission to buy his house outright, and so all he does is fly...and I STILL see him all the time.
I wish I'd have done that job out of the gate (initially), but if you have a young family, there are other considerations you'll have to make.
Family and fatherhood/motherhood are one's PRIMARY assigned duties (from the highest authority)...everything else is 'secondary employment', and must be compatible with the primary. (IMHO).
1-2 weeks is a little much, normaly you do a 4 month deployment, other than that the active guys are gone maybe 7-10 days a month, maybe more or less days here and there. But you will also fly locals, maybe once a week or so, but you should be home that same day with thoose.
Also remember that a LOT of people wash out of ATC. Lots of people go in for it, but not as many make it out.
Not dissuading you from shooting for it...many jobs are like that in the military...just giving you some reality.
Search this website...you'll find several people who have been through ATC, and more who didn't make it, and had to switch to a different AFSC.
I say this because when and if you don't make the cut in ATC, you DO NOT get to say "OK, now I want to be a load". You can ASK...but they do NOT have to give. The AF will put you where they need you.
So like the old knight said in Indiana Jones 3...you must choose, but choose wisely.
If you were to train as a load...and then put in for re-training later on for ATC...and THEN fail out of ATC...you might still get to remain a load. (I could be wrong there, so if I am, someone will clear that up, but I think that would be an option).
This is the same conversation I had with my Troops back in my Army days when they wanted to put in for Special Forces under the 18X program. My little bro succeeded in that program, but I know others that did not, and ended up as Infantry Grunts for a 5 year hitch.
Any time you are shooting for a high washout position, you MUST consider the chance that you won't make it, and have a plan that will be workable in case that occurs. NOT to say you don't 110% commit yourself to making it...but I am a firm believer in planning for the worst, and praying for the best. (why do you think we have a reserve parachute? It's called 'a plan')
Ponder that while you make your decision. Just my opinion on it...you need to formulate your own.
Sorry to bring back an old subject, but I have a couple of questions and this seemed like the most appropriate place to ask.
I'm a SSgt with over eight years in the AF and I'm considering re-training into this career field. I know this thread is over two and a half years old, and I was wondering if the loadmaster ops tempo has changed. I want to know what I'm getting myself, and even more so my wife and kids into if I apply for this job. From what I've read it doesn't look like I would be gone too much to deter me form trying for loadmaster, but I don't know if that information is still accurate.
Also, I was wondering how long I would still be flying, because I know in my current career field (ICBM missile maintenance); once I get TSgt I won't do much maintenance. I am wondering how much time spent flying changes as a person progresses through the ranks.
I am a MSgt who has been in 20 years. I have been a loadmaster for 17. I am currently at Little Rock in C-130J conversion course from C-130E/H. As a loadmaster you fly the line till you retire. Any flying AFSC is like that. Your job is to fly missions. Granted a new A1C loadmaster is going to fly a little more than a MSgt because he doesn't write EPR's/decorations and what not, but you will fly the line just like him. You will likely have instructors who are more knowlegable than you when you are a MSgt, but again, that is their primary job.
I am a c130 loadmaster stationed overseas and currently I am deployed having the time of my life (just as a loadmaster not necesarily deployed though its not bad), send me a message if you want to know more I will try to help you how I can. As for the schedule, for us its more of a fly a few times a week for training missions and small stuff and then we get on trips as we want them. Never for too long. Deployed its a different story but I don't believe I can talk about that stuff just know its not too bad. Let me know if you have any questions.
Thanks for the info. Of all the available jobs I can train into loadmaster looks the best. I think it will be at the top of the list when I am eligible to apply in a couple of months.
I am also aware of all the schools that are required before a person even goes the thier first base. I was wondering after all is said and done, approximately how long it will take to get to my first base from the start of the first school (Aircrew Fundamentals I believe).
Again, thanks for the info. I appreciate it because this is not a decision I'm taking lightly, especailly since I have a family to think about.