Sunday, November 06, 2005

O daiji ni........

Feeling better today. 18 hours of sleep works wonders. And its just as well because I have to travel down to Okinawa tonight for an audit there tomorrow. I also have to spend an hour with some stupid Air Force pogues, trying to convince them to stop being stupid. Also to present them with a bill.......

As I have pointed out before one of the dirty little secrets about USAF military transportation is the fact that the Air Force charges the other services for use of their aircraft. The Navy and Marine Corps do not operate that way, preferring instead to capture all the cost with in the operating budget. So from the customers standpoint Navy airlift saves them money. The Marines are particularly adept at this and exploit every loophole they can to use Naval airlift, since their own C-130 aircraft are "tactical". If you have to send something on a USAF aircraft it will put a big dent in your budget for travel.

Well the clever people in Okinawa have been billing the Navy for people traveling on Navy aircraft. It is quite simple you see, they collect orders from people at the terminal when they check in for travel. The same stack of orders gets sent off to the big USAF comptroller shop and in about 6 months a charge comes back to the unit who wrote the orders. We've been doing some post mortem research and found out that these people rode out of Okinawa on Navy aircraft, so in effect the Navy gets to pay twice for the same lift. Well now its time for the USAF to give up a refund.

The Air force's system is very inefficient and instead of matching the right aircraft to the right lift, cost becomes a scheduling factor. That may be required for a commercial company, but for the armed services it means that the respective services do not make the best use of the transportation available. The solution of course, is to make the USAF fund their airlift operations the way the Navy does, pay the bill up front then have one joint activity do all the scheduling for a particular theater (including Marine airlift). That's not going to happen any time soon. However it is fun to win little victories like this one.......The real trick is keep them from doing it again.

Lots in the news to talk about, just no time to talk about it. But when I get back tomorrow night(it is a quickie trip....not even any time for golf and Okinawa is a great place to play), I'll write about it, so until then:



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