News Flash! The Air Force has more comforts than the Army

A mere 63 years after the establishment of the US Air Force, Stars and Stripes Newspaper catches on that the folks in the Air Force often have it a bit more cushy than the folks in the Army.

The second major difference between the services is that the Air Force makes quality of life a prerequisite for completing the mission. It expects to have basic upgrades like showers, air-conditioned sleeping tents and latrine tents in place within three days of airmen’s arrival.

“If you take care of the people, the people will take care of the mission,” Butler said.

For example, he said, pilots must be rested to do their demanding job. They need a quiet, cool place to sleep and to get ready for their next combat mission.

“It’s not a luxury,” Butler said. “It’s absolutely necessary so our pilots and our technicians can provide the services they provide.”

Included with the rest of the equipment and supplies labeled war-readiness material that the Air Force had pre-positioned in the Middle East before the Iraq conflict were enough “housekeeping sets” to support 1,100 troops at each location.

Those sets include 12-man air-conditioned tents, dining tents, toilet tents and shower tents.

“Those housekeeping sets need to be there before troops deploy. That’s the best-case scenario,” Butler said.

This “news” will hardly come as a surprise to anyone who’s been in the service (though seeing just how MUCH nicer the Air Force tends to have it can be a bit of a shock). It’s just a fact of life. There’s an old joke that the first thing the Air Force builds when it opens a new base is the golf course and the swimming pool. The very last thing they’ll build is the runways. They know good and well Congress will eventually fund those.

Of course, I have to admit thinking that many of the troops in both Iraq and Afghanistan actually have much nicer quarters than I ever had in the field. Every time I went into the field, my “housing” was either carried in my rucksack, or at best was the inside of an armored vehicle.

Any place you go, there’s always someone an echelon behind you, and guess what? They have it better than you. The flip side of the coin is that there’s almost always someone who has it worse than you. It just isn’t very emotionally rewarding to complain about that, though.

6 thoughts on “News Flash! The Air Force has more comforts than the Army”

  1. You know it’s wonderful that the USAF is able to provide their pilots and technicians with nice air conditioned tents…but it is no way mandatory. I seem to recall living in GP mediums at NTC and Texas in the middle of the summer and flying missions for months on end with no ill effects other than suffering through dealing with each other’s dirty socks and such. So they may be pushing it just a bit when they say this absolutely has to occur.

    Yeah, the three times I was in Iraq I lived in an air conditioned trailer…so I have nothing to complain about.

    Stars and Stripes serves as the National Enquirer for those deployed…my favorite section was the letters to the editor where Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and Marines would write in to express their anger at all sorts of things both real and imagined. That article served no real purpose as far as I can tell.

  2. Well, it always struck me as odd that Colonels quarters came with 30 yards of beachfront property at Hickam 🙂

    Hubby said there is a vast difference between his quarters in Kuwait back in Gulf I, and the one he had in 2007 in Iraq. But Air Force still has the primo stuff!

  3. I thought it was strange when the AF decided they did not have to train their folks on level 1 terrorism awaremess back in 2007. We are (were) fighting the “war on terror” at the time, AF personnel were bitching about having to put their butts on the convoy line on a daily basis and the AF had suffered losses at the hands of terrorists at the Khobar Towers previously….

    ….oh well, at least they are comfy….


  4. I’m retired AF and I certainly agree. I was a meteorologist and personnel in our field provided all the weather support to the Army–those attached to Army units lived under the same conditions. It never ceased to amaze me that all the candy-asses–especially the officers–would whine about the living conditions in the field. The problem is that it’s the corporate mindset of the leadership at the top that filters down–thinking as a business instead of as warfighters. Just my $0.02.

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