In 1977 we (Vance AFB, OK) picked up an ACE (Accelerated Copilot Enrichment) mission, using T-37s at 4 or 5 ‘northern tier’ SAC (Strategic Air Command) bases. This was a program where ATC (Air Training Command, now AETC) provided SAC copilots with either T-37s or T-38s to fly for proficiency. The thought was that they could gain flying experience in trainers that weren’t as expensive to operate as the bombers and tankers they were assigned to. It was a good program, and it worked well.
I don’t recall exactly ‘why,’ but the Flight Safety Division at Vance was given the responsibility for developing and maintaining the operating procedures for the ACE program. Well, okay.
One way we have to communicate information that pilots need to know before flying is the Flight Crew Information File, the ‘FCIF.’ We used to have to sign off the FCIF before each flight – or acknowledge that we were ‘current’ with it. Not a big deal at all. So, in developing the operating procedures for our ACE bases, we included a paragraph that required each pilot to review the FCIF before flying.
After we had it all together we submitted our 71st FTW (Flying Training Wing) ACE Operating Procedures to HQ ATC/DOT (Training) for approval. Everything was fine, except our use of the term “FCIF.” The little staff Nazi didn’t like us using “FCIF.” He thought that it could be easily confused to mean the host base FCIF and wanted it changed. Three or four months of work, and our Operating Procedures get bounced for this! Okay, fine.
So, I had it changed to read, “Aircrew will review the Basic Aircrew Read File before flying,” and resubmitted it. The staff queer was satisfied, and it was all approved.
About a year or so later we received notification that our ACE Operating Procedures would be up for an annual review. This is what I was waiting for! The only change we had for them was to add “BARF” to the paragraph explaining, “Aircrew will review the Basic Aircrew Read File (BARF) before flying.” The implication being, ‘Aircrew will BARF before flying’… The staff Nazi was incensed when he saw our change; but both he and I knew there was nothing he could do about it!
Mikey and I are still laughing about this one…