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Cowardice in Leadership

A Lesson in Harassment, Intimidation and Reprisals

By George G. Sarris

I revealed to Congress in 2008 that the United States Air Force was operating a fleet of specialized reconnaissance aircraft (RC-135s) that were not airworthy. The agency retaliated with an immediate attack on my character to divert attention away from the maintenance issues that I had reported. The diversion included a trip through the Pentagon, Congress, and the Nebraska State Court system. Eventually, government investigations substantiated the non-airworthy conditions that I had reported, but not before the United States had locked in a 1.3 billion dollar foreign military sale to the United Kingdom for the same type of aircraft.

Now that I have retired and the blackmail has ended, I provide this book as a demonstration to the American public of how harassment, intimidation, and reprisals are used as a tool to control the Federal workforce when management fears that it has been caught doing something unethical or illegal, thus the title, “Cowardice in Leadership”.

George Sarris enlisted in the United States Air Force in the spring of 1977 as a tactical fighter aircraft mechanic. In 1985, he was awarded a Bachelor of Science degree from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University with a Major in Professional Aeronautics. Following completion of the required curriculum, the FAA granted Mr. Sarris an airframe and powerplant license.

In 1986 Mr. Sarris gained employment as a dual-status technician of the Air National Guard. Over the next sixteen years, he maintained the pneudraulic systems of the RF4-C and the KC-135 aircraft. He volunteered for no-notice deployments, taking part in the Kosovo Campaign as well as Operation Enduring Freedom.

Mr. Sarris transferred to the Federal civil service in 2002, where he was the senior mechanic maintaining variants of the RC-135 aircraft at Offutt AFB, Nebraska. During this same period, he transferred to a traditional status of the Air National Guard and provided training to mechanics converting to the KC-135 airframe. Mr. Sarris retired from the Air National Guard in 2005 after serving for twenty-eight years. He continued to work as a civilian mechanic for the Air Force on the RC-135 aircraft maintenance program until he blew the whistle on the 55th Wing for utilizing aircraft that were not airworthy. In 2012, Mr. Sarris became the vice president of AFGE Local 1486 representing the Wage Grade employees of Offutt AFB, including the civilian mechanics of the aircraft maintenance squadron. Mr. Sarris retired from the Federal civil service in 2014.

Format: ePub
Publisher: George Sarris



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