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Old 15-03-2015, 14:21   #46
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Re: Sailor Reported Lost Found In Gulf Of Mexico Adrift

I want to know if these Generals and Admirals are given Logoon Cats to use? If not they are not travelling in real luxury. I feel sorry for these guys who have to bounce around in Jets and are missing out on the best way to travel.
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Old 15-03-2015, 15:08   #47
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Re: Sailor Reported Lost Found In Gulf Of Mexico Adrift

You have some of your facts right:
1. The military operates some passenger planes.
2. There was a general who took his wife shopping and on vacations (he was subsequently demoted, fined, and resigned in disgrace)
3. Thank you for calling me attractive.

Most of the rest seems to be some stories a buddy told you over some beers and a Wikipedia search.

Generals are not living some extravagant life of luxury - I haven't seen my boss's $1 million in perks per year. He drives an old pickup, drinks instant coffee, and sleeps about 5 hours a night. When he goes home in the evening, usually after dark, he still has 2-3 hours of work left at his house.

I go on the TDYs. We fly coach. The rental cars are the cheapest available - we'll pack 4 of us into a subcompact. A 24-hour trip to the other side of the country and back is not usually very much fun.

Milair exists, but it is mostly used by the 3 and 4-stars. There are all kinds of ethical reviews, and it is highly illegal to bring a wife for a family vacation. Trips are the minimum time to accomplish the mission (for milair, often 6-8 hours at a base before leaving) and are avoided if secure video teleconferencing could accomplish the same task.

You have some kind of image of a bunch of lazy never-do-wells flying to Paris for a week of shopping on the taxpayer dime. I wouldn't want the job personally, but you can keep quoting things you read on the Internet if it makes you feel better. I won't respond again.




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Old 15-03-2015, 16:26   #48
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Re: Sailor Reported Lost Found In Gulf Of Mexico Adrift

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You have some of your facts right:
1. The military operates some passenger planes.
2. There was a general who took his wife shopping and on vacations (he was subsequently demoted, fined, and resigned in disgrace)
3. Thank you for calling me attractive.

Most of the rest seems to be some stories a buddy told you over some beers and a Wikipedia search.

Generals are not living some extravagant life of luxury - I haven't seen my boss's $1 million in perks per year. He drives an old pickup, drinks instant coffee, and sleeps about 5 hours a night. When he goes home in the evening, usually after dark, he still has 2-3 hours of work left at his house.

I go on the TDYs. We fly coach. The rental cars are the cheapest available - we'll pack 4 of us into a subcompact. A 24-hour trip to the other side of the country and back is not usually very much fun.

Milair exists, but it is mostly used by the 3 and 4-stars. There are all kinds of ethical reviews, and it is highly illegal to bring a wife for a family vacation. Trips are the minimum time to accomplish the mission (for milair, often 6-8 hours at a base before leaving) and are avoided if secure video teleconferencing could accomplish the same task.

You have some kind of image of a bunch of lazy never-do-wells flying to Paris for a week of shopping on the taxpayer dime. I wouldn't want the job personally, but you can keep quoting things you read on the Internet if it makes you feel better. I won't respond again.

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There must be some sort of comprehension problem here, I never once stated, inferred, insinuated or intimated that any of them were lazy.

I'm sure they're all hard working, that's how you get a star on your shoulder. But let's be honest, working hard in the backroom isn't going to get you to 4 stars like rubbing elbows with the politically elite - that's just a reality of the beltway.

You may choose to conveniently ignore the 180 luxury aircraft with C designations, but there are also many of them with civilian registrations that aren't being counted. Are you trying to tell me the military bought these planes and senior brass isn't getting flown around in them? I must have imagined the SAR operation I was involved in when the admiral's Learjet ditched off the coast of the Philippines. Yup, I must have imagined it, or worse, I'm lying about the whole thing.

For someone who hasn't provided a shred of proof to back up their statements, you certainly seem confident in ignoring the facts presented to you. At some point, you're going to have to admit that not everyone is lying on the internet, some of the info, especially from gov't sources and respected national newspapers and magazines, might actually be true.

I'm sorry that you and your boss are getting crammed into a compact car when you travel. I do respect his frugality in doing so and flying commercial, I wish more felt and acted the way he does.

But there are those above him who are flying in business jets, driving around in motorcades and there are at least 200 of these business jets if not more that are used for that purpose, even if you haven't yet traveled in one. As much as I admire his conduct, it does not excuse the conduct of others, nor the 50% increase in the Pentagon budget since 1998.
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Old 15-03-2015, 18:16   #49
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Re: Sailor Reported Lost Found In Gulf Of Mexico Adrift

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My first reaction to that story of extreme deprivation is to get some Dolphins on her chest, go to sea for 6 months straight standing port and stbd watches, run drills and training during her 6 hrs off, eat canned chow because fresh food lasts even shorter on a sub than on a sailboat, do laundry and get about 3 hrs sleep per day, submerged between 30 and 90 days at a time.
Having spent a bit over twenty six years with dolphins on my chest at sea and ashore, dealing with strong willed men and the odd whiner at all levels of the chains of command, and with two tours in the Pentagon, I'll use my experience as the basis for my opinions, and you, of course, have to use yours.

I've been at sea and in the field with the Gator Navy, the Airdale Navy, the Surface Navy, Seals, Rangers, Marines, and Allied navies...and I can tell you that your tale of US submarine sailor deprivation doesn't wash. An attack sub sailor by training and aptitude (never set foot below decks on a Boomer until my eighteenth year of sub service), I can tell you, at sea and ashore the sub sailor's (and sub officer's) lot in life is far easier than most others who serve in uniform.

The only things that make the myth of arduous sub duty in the modern age linger are radio silence while patroling and the willies most get when they think of the millions of pounds of sea pressure on the hull and not seeing the sky for weeks at a time. The greatest real pressure is the pressure to maintain a level of excellence in crew and ship performance, because the environment is unforgiving of mistakes, propulsion derives from nuclear energy, and a mistake by one person can kill everyone.

Pentagon duty is a different kind of deprivation. It deprives you of a sense of principled progress toward honorable goals established by honorable people. You do know that the setting of those goals and acceptance of progress toward them is strictly controlled by political/civil authorities, don't you?
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Old 15-03-2015, 18:31   #50
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Re: Sailor Reported Lost Found In Gulf Of Mexico Adrift

I just read biscuit's response to your post and your response to her. Gotta say that based on my experience she's spot on.

You seem to have a bee in your bonnet on the subject, and it's likely no amount of relating personal experiences and detailed knowledge of actual practices are going to persuade you that your agenda-driven left wing journalist hacks are wrong.

So you just go on through life being wrong on this.

By the way, most of the 180 strong fleet of "luxury jets" you list are prop-driven puddle jumpers that are primarily used for personnel below flag rank to fly for official business when it is beneficial for economic or schedule reasons. Of the dozens of mil air flights I took for military business, only one was a jet. The remainder were on twin-prop eight pax tooth rattlers.
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Old 15-03-2015, 18:35   #51
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Re: Sailor Reported Lost Found In Gulf Of Mexico Adrift

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I don't know where you got your info from, but my info came directly from an Air Force officer in charge of the budget and constant renovation of a couple of those planes at Hickam Air Force Base.

You obviously don't know me but if there is one thing I never do - that's post something that I don't know about and can't back up. You may think I'm spouting nonsense on the internet, but you are certainly welcome to call the seasoned reporters of Salon, The New York Times, Slate, The Washington Post and The Huffington Post liars if you like. I'd love to see a copy of that letter that you're going to send them.

I'm going to expand my previous statement of facts to include that there are waaaaay too many generals and admirals and each one costs the taxpayers over $1M in perks - not counting their salaries.

Here's an article discussing generals' flotillas.

7 absurd ways the military wastes taxpayer dollars - Salon.com





The average cost to the taxpayers PER GENERAL or ADMIRAL is estimated at over $1 MILLION PER YEAR.

Robert Gates wants to eliminate 50 generals from the military. Will that save a lot of money?



Here's an article from Huff Post discussing how a 4 star general flew his wife everywhere on a military plane and made a nice refueling stopover in Bermuda...

William Ward, Four Star General, Demoted For Lavish Spending, Ordered To Repay $82,000




I think the tripwire for the investigation was his acceptance of Broadway tickets from a government contractor. That's an absolute no-no. His other behavior is pretty normal, but after the Patraeus incident, it looks like they were looking for a nail to hammer, to make an example out of him.

As a gov't contractor, I wasn't even allowed to give a gov't employee a ride in my rental car or drive his rental car. When we took trips, the travel arrangements were all made separately, we each had our own rental cars and either we both drove to the base, or I could ride in his rental car, but he was never allowed to ride in mine, so that it couldn't be misconstrued as some sort of "gift" of any sort.
Sorry, you are confusing "generals" with "top generals" -- two very, very different things.

My favorite uncle is a U.S. Army general, and I can assure you, he does not have access to a C40 or any other kind of plane for personal transport, nor does he get any perks much different from what any officer gets. U.S. Army generals' salaries start at $137k -- less than the starting salary for a young associate fresh out of law school in my old law firm. And army generals' salaries top out at $180,000. $1 million in "perks" is probably mostly security, for a handful of top generals. And even if you had a dozen or a few dozen, even, people, getting $1 million a year in salary and perks in an organization which spends $600 billion a year, then that seems very, very modest compared to what big companies spend on their top management.

This is a rounding error, in the context of the cost of maintaining the world's most powerful military. Whether we need such a thing or not is a completely different question, which I will not touch with a ten foot pole on here.
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Old 15-03-2015, 18:43   #52
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Re: Sailor Reported Lost Found In Gulf Of Mexico Adrift

I wonder what a "Top General's" peer in industry has for perks?
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Old 15-03-2015, 20:54   #53
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Re: Sailor Reported Lost Found In Gulf Of Mexico Adrift

I have read most of the comments related to "Generals and Jets."

I don't want tax payer dollars spent needlessly. Who does?

And I know that human nature leads some to abuse "rank" but there are means to deal with that in a well-disciplined military. Sure, there may be occasional abusers, like with any human organization.

On the issue of whether a top ranking Admiral or General should fly commercial coach or fly on a US Govt owned or military jet?

As a citizen, I would want my nation's top military commanders to have the best and most secure means of transport and efficient transport (fast) that a designated military jet provides to do their duty (which may involve national or international travel).

I would have this, rather than have them fly on a commercial flight with just anyone (non-military) and others who may have bad intent. They have great responsibilities, are part of our nation's defense/security, work very hard, need to have some staff with them at all times, and I would not want them at risk from some crazies on an open commercial flight.

Also, I don't begrudge an admiral a wood paneled and larger stateroom on board his flagship or an "Admiral's Barge" either. He won't be the only person to use it during the life of that ship.
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Old 15-03-2015, 21:00   #54
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Re: Sailor Reported Lost Found In Gulf Of Mexico Adrift

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Originally Posted by fryewe View Post
Having spent a bit over twenty six years with dolphins on my chest at sea and ashore, dealing with strong willed men and the odd whiner at all levels of the chains of command, and with two tours in the Pentagon, I'll use my experience as the basis for my opinions, and you, of course, have to use yours.

I've been at sea and in the field with the Gator Navy, the Airdale Navy, the Surface Navy, Seals, Rangers, Marines, and Allied navies...and I can tell you that your tale of US submarine sailor deprivation doesn't wash. An attack sub sailor by training and aptitude (never set foot below decks on a Boomer until my eighteenth year of sub service), I can tell you, at sea and ashore the sub sailor's (and sub officer's) lot in life is far easier than most others who serve in uniform.

My experience was far different. I was the LPO of the ET division on USS Plunger (SSN-595), my first boat. Since I augmented a lot of guys for all of the advanced schools I could get for them, we did often end up port and stbd ESM watches and got an avg of 3 hrs of sleep per off watch cycle. We trained a lot, drilled a lot, hot racked and got mail once every 2-3 months, when ever they could get it to us. Our optempo was far higher than average, we spent 340 days at sea one year, probably about 330 days at sea another year. Not even the other boats in our squadron had the schedule we did, because they wanted to squeeze every last bit out of her before we decommed it in 1989.

I rode as a guest on a surface ship for 2 weeks one time, and the experience was vastly different. We had regular deliveries of fresh fruit and veggies, along with mail from helos once or twice a week. I didn't hot rack - I don't believe anyone onboard did. But it wasn't in the middle of the ocean, just a few hundred miles from a base in the Philippines. They ran on a 24 hr day vs a 6 hr on/12 hr off cycle, so they all seemed to be getting a lot more sleep and certainly had a lot more free time for studying, quals, entertainment, etc.


The only things that make the myth of arduous sub duty in the modern age linger are radio silence while patroling and the willies most get when they think of the millions of pounds of sea pressure on the hull and not seeing the sky for weeks at a time. The greatest real pressure is the pressure to maintain a level of excellence in crew and ship performance, because the environment is unforgiving of mistakes, propulsion derives from nuclear energy, and a mistake by one person can kill everyone.

I never worried about any of that on my first boat. While they all looked and acted like Kelsey Grammer's diesel boat crew from Down Periscope (seriously, the CO, XO, cook, radioman and engineman were carbon copies of guys on my crew!) we were so well trained and drill performance was so high (4 Battle E's in 5 yrs, etc) I honestly never worried about anyone making a mistake.

As a defense contractor that worked on boats for 15 yrs, I know for a fact that level of knowledge and standards for qualification have dropped significantly since I got out. More often than not, crewmembers couldn't even operate some of their own gear beyond a rudimentary turn on procedure, I had to show them how to switch heading inputs, slew the DRAI, etc and that tended to make me glad I wasn't going to sea with that crew.

Perhaps the current fleet of sub sailors received email, but we weren't quite there yet when I left. Sleep deprivation, long periods without mail and hot racking even as a first class were really my only concerns. Being able to go home every night, see my family and sleep in my own bed was a huuge improvement.


Pentagon duty is a different kind of deprivation. It deprives you of a sense of principled progress toward honorable goals established by honorable people. You do know that the setting of those goals and acceptance of progress toward them is strictly controlled by political/civil authorities, don't you?

Of course.

I'm not sure what exactly this has to do with the fleet of luxury aircraft that the military owns, but there are plenty of them, and senior brass are flying around in them, or they wasted a lot of money for nothing.
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Old 15-03-2015, 22:05   #55
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Re: Sailor Reported Lost Found In Gulf Of Mexico Adrift

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Originally Posted by fryewe View Post
I just read biscuit's response to your post and your response to her. Gotta say that based on my experience she's spot on.

You seem to have a bee in your bonnet on the subject, and it's likely no amount of relating personal experiences and detailed knowledge of actual practices are going to persuade you that your agenda-driven left wing journalist hacks are wrong.

I don't have a bee in my bonnet, just having a hard time swallowing what someone posts with no proof. Meanwhile, I can give sources for my info, including the military itself, in terms of what aircraft it has.


So you just go on through life being wrong on this.

That's just it, not only do I know I'm right, I formed the opinion AFTER seeing the evidence. I can provide the evidence. So far, no one with an opposing view can provide anything except personal anecdotes, but they seem to clash with the evidence.

By the way, most of the 180 strong fleet of "luxury jets" you list are prop-driven puddle jumpers that are primarily used for personnel below flag rank to fly for official business when it is beneficial for economic or schedule reasons.

Of the dozens of mil air flights I took for military business, only one was a jet. The remainder were on twin-prop eight pax tooth rattlers.
Here's a breakdown by branch, model, etc. Most of them are business class jets, some of them are turboprops, but it's difficult to pin those down because they call them C-12s, or T-44s, or C-6, etc. They also have a number of them that are civilian registered.

Air Force

Gulfstream C-20 = 7


Learjet C-21 = 17


Boeing C-32A/B = 8


Gulfstream C-37 = 11


Gulfstream C-38 = 2


Boeing C-40B/C = 11 That's actually a 737, a bit bigger than a puddle jumper, and they come equipped with bedrooms and a kitchen.


My totals were incorrect before, I missed the C-37s, (11) which brings the Air Force total to 56 luxury aircraft.

Army

C-12 Huron = 48 this one's a torbuprop


Gulfstream C-20 = 4


Fairchild C-26 = 11 this one is a turboprop


Gulfstream C-37 = 3


Cessna UC-35 = 27


Totals: 59 turboprops, 34 jets, 93 total

USCG

Gulfstream C-37A = 2


Total = 2 jets

Marine Corps

C-9 = 2


Cessna UC-35 = 12


Total = 14 jets. My apologies, my previous count included 9 VIP helos, not counting the 11 Sea Kings used as Presidentai ltransport

Navy

Gulfstream C-20 = 8


Gulfstream C-37 = 4


Boeing C-40A = 14


CT-39 Sabreliner = 1


Cessna UC-35 = 1


Total = 12 jets.

totals in this list = 134 luxury jets, plus probably an equal number of business class or commuter class turboprops, mostly Beechcraft King Airs.

That is a very nice stable of non combat aircraft.
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Old 15-03-2015, 22:12   #56
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Re: Sailor Reported Lost Found In Gulf Of Mexico Adrift

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I wonder what a "Top General's" peer in industry has for perks?
Probably a business jet or a fractional ownership.

The difference is: who paid for it.
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Old 15-03-2015, 22:21   #57
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Re: Sailor Reported Lost Found In Gulf Of Mexico Adrift

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Originally Posted by fryewe View Post
Having spent a bit over twenty six years with dolphins on my chest at sea and ashore, dealing with strong willed men and the odd whiner at all levels of the chains of command, and with two tours in the Pentagon, I'll use my experience as the basis for my opinions, and you, of course, have to use yours.

I've been at sea and in the field with the Gator Navy, the Airdale Navy, the Surface Navy, Seals, Rangers, Marines, and Allied navies...and I can tell you that your tale of US submarine sailor deprivation doesn't wash. An attack sub sailor by training and aptitude (never set foot below decks on a Boomer until my eighteenth year of sub service), I can tell you, at sea and ashore the sub sailor's (and sub officer's) lot in life is far easier than most others who serve in uniform.

The only things that make the myth of arduous sub duty in the modern age linger are radio silence while patroling and the willies most get when they think of the millions of pounds of sea pressure on the hull and not seeing the sky for weeks at a time. The greatest real pressure is the pressure to maintain a level of excellence in crew and ship performance, because the environment is unforgiving of mistakes, propulsion derives from nuclear energy, and a mistake by one person can kill everyone.

Pentagon duty is a different kind of deprivation. It deprives you of a sense of principled progress toward honorable goals established by honorable people. You do know that the setting of those goals and acceptance of progress toward them is strictly controlled by political/civil authorities, don't you?
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Old 15-03-2015, 22:29   #58
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Re: Sailor Reported Lost Found In Gulf Of Mexico Adrift

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I have read most of the comments related to "Generals and Jets."

I don't want tax payer dollars spent needlessly. Who does?

And I know that human nature leads some to abuse "rank" but there are means to deal with that in a well-disciplined military. Sure, there may be occasional abusers, like with any human organization.

On the issue of whether a top ranking Admiral or General should fly commercial coach or fly on a US Govt owned or military jet?

As a citizen, I would want my nation's top military commanders to have the best and most secure means of transport and efficient transport (fast) that a designated military jet provides to do their duty (which may involve national or international travel).

I would have this, rather than have them fly on a commercial flight with just anyone (non-military) and others who may have bad intent. They have great responsibilities, are part of our nation's defense/security, work very hard, need to have some staff with them at all times, and I would not want them at risk from some crazies on an open commercial flight.

Also, I don't begrudge an admiral a wood paneled and larger stateroom on board his flagship or an "Admiral's Barge" either. He won't be the only person to use it during the life of that ship.
I agree with you, for the sake of security, I would rather they fly private jet than commercial, but a Boeing 737...

really? Something that big? If his entourage is really that huge, perhaps it's time to cross train the uniform presser how to polish shoes, and the aides how to do a little more, etc. If one has more than 3 aides and a chef and isn't some sort of head of state, I begin to question the real value of an entourage that size. I think we all should.

Also, with the advent of videoconferencing, it seems to me that would have drastically reduced the number of flights necessary, saving a lot of time and money.

There are obviously direct costs to having a military and we all picture planes and tanks and ships and payroll, but just imagine the maintenance expenses of the current fleet of luxury jets and turboprops that most people had no idea was in their inventory.

I'm obviously not the only one who has noticed, look at all of the articles digging into the expenses associated with top brass. I suppose if I were a reporter and saw a large motorcade go by and found out it was a 4 star general, that might pique my interest and prompt a little research.
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Old 16-03-2015, 07:42   #59
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Re: Sailor Reported Lost Found In Gulf Of Mexico Adrift

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totals in this list = 134 luxury jets, plus probably an equal number of business class or commuter class turboprops, mostly Beechcraft King Airs.

That is a very nice stable of non combat aircraft.
I get agitated when people view private aircraft as some sort of symbol of extravagance.

For some, sure, they are. I saw pictures of Jordan's Gulfstream a few days ago. I doubt he gets the full "business benefit" of having a ~$25m jet and it is a luxury item. He can afford it and good for him.

For those operating businesses, it's a tool, and a valuable one that allows business to operate more efficiently.

For example, I worked at a company that owned a small jet, it required a crew of two and carried 8 people. The operating cost was roughly $3,500 per hour.

Most of the people who flew on the airplane made regular multi-destination stops, often having to leave at the last minute. Access to an aircraft allowed them to leave on a moments notice, without spending hours at the airport (which saved the company money), and the operating costs weren't that far off from what you'd pay with an airline ticket on the same timeframe (in some cases it was less). Further, getting 5 or 6 people to a single destination on a tight timeframe via airline travel can be near impossible. In some cases, it is impossible.

In some cases, the business hinged on the success of the people flying in the airplane. In others, our customer's business did. Getting them all where they needed to be was very important and there was no other way to near-guarantee it was going to happen.

Many people saw this as an extravagance, but it wasn't, it was a necessity for our ~1000 person company. In many cases it was the C-level & VP level executives flying around, in others it was peons like me that just needed to be somewhere. There was a business need.

Was it nice? Sure it was, it's a luxury, but it also saved the company money in the long run in tax benefits, time saved, and allowing us to do business in ways we otherwise may not be able. It was a tool, tools cost money, but they make otherwise difficult jobs easier.

That said, I see these military officers as a sort of VP-level status within a very large organization. They have entourages, equipment, and obscure travel schedules. IMO, for many, it's a business necessity to have access to private aircraft and allows them a level of flexibility that increases efficiency and, as a result, decreases cost.

That's not to say some don't abuse the system, but I think that's a case for more accountability, not reduction of capabilities.
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Old 16-03-2015, 08:10   #60
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I really don't give a ****..!!
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