Queep: From the flightline to the Pentagon, airmen can be found grumbling about it.
In an April 19 memo, Maj. Gen. Michael Fortney, vice commander of Global Strike Command, told leaders that they need to get serious about identifying and rooting out queep.And now, one general officer wants to actually do something about the pointless, annoying duties that are the bane of airmen everywhere.
"We've been talking about this for too long ... let's do something!" Fortney scrawled at the bottom of the memo.
In the memo, Fortney defined queep as "mandates that exceed wing capacity, 'don't make sense,' and/or add little or no value to mission accomplishment (and possibly detract from it)."
"We are empowered to stop doing the things that don't make sense and detract from the mission as long as it does not violate law and endanger our airmen," Fortney said, citing recent guidance from Vice Chief of Staff Gen. David Goldfein.
Fortney said he first tried to tackle the problem when he sent another memo in December, asking commanders to relay instances of queep that their own airmen had identified. But that memo only yielded one example of queep being reported, Fortney said. So Fortney is asking commanders again to try to find examples.
But in what may have been an effort to avoid creating queep while trying to end it, Fortney cautioned that his memo shouldn't result in a bunch of new busywork for airmen.
"The intent of this is not for your airmen to have to do a great deal of research/validation," Fortney wrote. "Their role is simply to identify to you things that don't make sense (queep). Then, if you agree with their assessment and you need some sort of policy relief to deal with it, you then submit the suggestion to us in the HQ for a more detailed review. We'll take it from there."
Former airman Steven Mayne posted the memo on his unofficial Air Force amn/nco/snco Facebook page April 30.
Global Strike Command spokeswoman Linda Frost confirmed Fortney signed the memo, but said he was unavailable for further comment.
"Queep exists throughout the Air Force," Frost said in an email Tuesday. "It's the additional duties and requirements often levied through [Air Force Instructions] and [major command] supplements that don't make sense or offer little value to the mission. They end up taking away the time, focus and energy of the airmen who are working to accomplish the mission. This is a part of Global Strike's effort, which is in its infancy, to rein in queep."
But in an aside in the memo, Fortney acknowledged that it won't be easy.
"This will take a while," Fortney wrote.
Stephen Losey is the air warfare reporter at Defense News. He previously reported for Military.com, covering the Pentagon, special operations and air warfare. Before that, he covered U.S. Air Force leadership, personnel and operations for Air Force Times.