£100 MILLION RAF SHED TO CLOSE

#1
Can't find a link yet, but just watched John Reid on Sky backpeddling over the news that the "Superhangar" to service Harriers in South Wales is to close after 1 year.
When asked by Eamonn Fatbloke "what lessons have been learned from this debacle", JR replied "It's not about lessons learnt - it's about what we have achieved", and then waffled on about how many savings have been made and the huge increases in efficiency since blah blah blah.
So that's alright then - sure will gve a warm feeling to the newly jobless at the bottom end of The Valleys.
 
#2
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/wales/4621566.stm

DARA was a dog's dinner from the word go. An absolute fcuking abortion. It comes as no surprise to anybody who was there during the transition from an all RAF operation, through the contractors (most notably the Airworks fiasco) and the final act to turn the place in to Disneyland UK- the idea that a bunch of retired Eng branch Wg Cdrs and Gp Capts could run an agency as a commerical enterprise and knew enough about the aerospace industry to compete with established firms such as Marshall and FRA. Everyone else apart from the WDA, Main Building and the cnuts at the Welsh Assembly saw this coming 10 years ago.

What a waste of money. Still, 1 PARA and 1BN Welsh Guards will have the mother of all MT sheds...
 

maninblack

LE
Book Reviewer
#3
Compared to the rest of DARA the St Athan establishment was a financial disaster with the hourly cost almost double that of comparable facilities within DARA.

The staff provided no customer focus and still behaved, broadly, as if they were a part of the ministry rather than a commercial entity supplying services to the customer.

If anyone can remember the days when you sent kit off for repair and you got it back when they wanted to return it rather than when you needed it then DARA St Athan would be a familiar place to you. It was run for the convenience of the staff rather than the customer.

Time to sit back and watch fixed wing availability improve.
 
#4
Kind of bizarre really. 15 years ago, all Fast Jet major servicing was conducted by the RAF. With probably half a billion spent on marketization of servicing (including a £100m hangar and an estimated £100m+ worth of damage to F3s done by Airworks alone) what do we have? Fast Jet servicing back in the hands of the RAF.

Well played, MoD. Well played.
 
#5
This becoming more and more of a problem throughout the armed services. As a signals Technician we are seeing all of the interesting GUCCI elements of our trade being civilianised and usually not producing a better service, and leaving us with the standard and mundane elements of the job that no one else wants.
 
#6
Just to clarify a point:

Project Red Dragon (the building of the shed) was a DARA Project, not a RAF Project.
 
#7
smoojalooge said:
This becoming more and more of a problem throughout the armed services. As a signals Technician we are seeing all of the interesting GUCCI elements of our trade being civilianised and usually not producing a better service, and leaving us with the standard and mundane elements of the job that no one else wants.
Should be okay for a job when your time is up then.
 
#8
HM Gov definately have it in their heads that saving money whilst giving better service = contract every fecking thing out. :evil:

This seems to come from the idea that saving money in year one (because the contract was utter balls because the right people weren't on the project teams filled with SO1s given the job because they we're too sh*t to get comd appts, the procedures weren't in place and the contractor achieved bugger all) will be repeated year on year :x

When are they going to learn that just by calling Joe Bloggs Inc Ltd your fecking "partner" doesn't mean he's ever going to have you're best interests at heart. :roll:

MoD "Partnership" agreements always work out with the military as the bitch, f*cked at every oportunity :evil: :evil:

Its time the military was run by the military and not some fecker with a spreadsheet :evil: :evil: :evil:

GRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR

(Yes I do have an axe to grind and I thought I'd better get it in before it was sent out to contract :twisted: )
 
#9
Malariadup said:
Its time the military was run by the military and not some fecker with a spreadsheet :evil: :evil: :evil:
That's a really clever idea. Bearing in mind the current overstretch and the fact that a serviceman costs three times more then a civil servant (not to mention that they're there for less time) who would do this job?

Don't get me wrong, the current procurement processes and staff are crap, but try and think before you post drivel.
 
#10
StabTiffy2B said:
Malariadup said:
Its time the military was run by the military and not some fecker with a spreadsheet :evil: :evil: :evil:
That's a really clever idea. Bearing in mind the current overstretch and the fact that a serviceman costs three times more then a civil servant (not to mention that they're there for less time) who would do this job?

Don't get me wrong, the current procurement processes and staff are crap, but try and think before you post drivel.
Not entirely convinced on your drivel arguement. :?

You make a good point on the cost effectiveness of employing civil servants and admin contractors for use in areas such as regional headquarters. The short life span of a military chap in a staff post and constant turnover do equate to a serious lack of continuity and to the annoying point of only truely understanding all the ins and outs of the job as you collect your leaving card from the aforementioned civvies. There is also the fact that your average desk officer is only in post for the staff tick in the box before returning to an operational unit as a more rounded individual, and therefore focussed on future glory. 8O

However

The point I was trying to make is that the military is not run for the best interests of the military. The military has for many years now operated with the sole, overriding mission (supplied from above) to reduce defence expenditure year on year. This in turn leads to the drive towards outsourcing initiatives which do not achieve the promissed saving (the only reason why they were done in the first place, greater efficiency through the private sector etc. etc. etc.) :?

Therefore although your post is technically correct, your viewpoint is of a smaller picture than my original point (Rant) was about.

Your point though underlines my arguement and therefore I thank you :lol:
 
#11
Hagar said:
smoojalooge said:
This becoming more and more of a problem throughout the armed services. As a signals Technician we are seeing all of the interesting GUCCI elements of our trade being civilianised and usually not producing a better service, and leaving us with the standard and mundane elements of the job that no one else wants.
Should be okay for a job when your time is up then.
Yeah, but isn't the problem that sigs techs will see that "time up" being a lot closer than it was before?
 
#12
Malariadup

Ok. I get your point. Apologies for accusing you of driveling. I mistook you for the bog standard arrse ranter.

You rightly point out that the mission from the grown ups is to reduce the cost to a budget. This gets done but with a set level of service.

Something like Telic crops up which requires additional service which leads to .....Increased costs.
 
#13
Project Teams :roll:
 
#14
The govenments use of contractors to suppliment or even replace military engineers is,to my mind,a recipie for disaster.A Pilot on my old RAF Tornado squadron was killed when he took off in his Hawk jet . The jet had been in for work & a split pin was re-used instead of being replaced when the joy stick was worked upon.It failed on take off,causeing his jet to go into a spin.He ejected but as he was too low & the jet flipped over on ejection.
He survived a stay in one of Saddams 'hotels' during Op Granby.
And all because of a 30p f****** plit pin!!!

Here's a link to the story,

http://www.findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_qn4158/is_19960215/ai_n14032122
 
#15
gingwarr said:
Hagar said:
smoojalooge said:
This becoming more and more of a problem throughout the armed services. As a signals Technician we are seeing all of the interesting GUCCI elements of our trade being civilianised and usually not producing a better service, and leaving us with the standard and mundane elements of the job that no one else wants.
Should be okay for a job when your time is up then.
Yeah, but isn't the problem that sigs techs will see that "time up" being a lot closer than it was before?
To be honest the whole corps is in upheaval to convert to new equipments and therefore a new job structure however the initial knee jerk for computerisation was a joke with info sys engineer and techs amalgamating, strangely the amount the technician trade is overmanned is roughly the same number as the number of IS engineers in existence (for those not in the know the work was carried out by technicians previously).
 
#16
spike7451 said:
The govenments use of contractors to suppliment or even replace military engineers is,to my mind,a recipie for disaster.A Pilot on my old RAF Tornado squadron was killed when he took off in his Hawk jet . The jet had been in for work & a split pin was re-used instead of being replaced when the joy stick was worked upon.It failed on take off,causeing his jet to go into a spin.He ejected but as he was too low & the jet flipped over on ejection.
He survived a stay in one of Saddams 'hotels' during Op Granby.
And all because of a 30p f****** plit pin!!!

Here's a link to the story,

http://www.findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_qn4158/is_19960215/ai_n14032122
Top quality spanner-monkeys at Valley... "Shall I remove the seat pins for you, Sir?" as Sir continues to perform the walk-around. 8O
 
#17
As someone once said 'The only thing you get for less, is less'

Everyone knows that when you contract out to civvies, they have a hard time understanding when you REALLY need something. It might have been more expensive when we serviced all of our eqpt ourselves but it was for a reason. When you needed something operationally the guy would stay up all night ensuring that it was done. Some civvie engineer will not unless paid copious amounts of overtime. As J6 is finding out in Iraq now.
 
#18
It wasn't the civvies that screwed up at least three harrier airframes or rigged the blowdown handle on the F3 in the operated position a la Leuchars (RAF). If you think the crabs can handle fast jet servicing themselves look around Marham to see all the contractors. Or Warton where they had to send some harriers because cottescrap can't handle the workload. I have seen it from both sides and all i can say is thanks for the payoff Adam (Ingram) see you in a couple of years when there are no more fast jets in our hands and we are relying on the frogs to defend UK airspace. You army fellas should be happy as i can see the crabs being disbanded and all support helicopter units being given to the AAC only problem is where to post all the lardass crabs to.
 
#19
sc_obvious said:
As someone once said 'The only thing you get for less, is less'

Everyone knows that when you contract out to civvies, they have a hard time understanding when you REALLY need something. It might have been more expensive when we serviced all of our eqpt ourselves but it was for a reason. When you needed something operationally the guy would stay up all night ensuring that it was done. Some civvie engineer will not unless paid copious amounts of overtime. As J6 is finding out in Iraq now.
The one critical truth about "efficiency" that seems to escape senior officers and civil servants is that a truly efficient organisation is one that has zero excess capacity. That is, it cannot surge at all. The excess capacity that the military needs to cope with peaks in demand (like a war) is seen by business as waste - or muda, if you're into kaizen at all.

Put another way, to be an effective military force in wartime an organisation must be inefficient in peacetime.
 
#20
To quote crabtastic "transition from an all RAF operation" i think you will find that the Mod have had civvies working fast jets and larger aircraft for quite a while longer than 15 years. The supposition that it will be all in the hands of the RAF is also flawed as a lot of it will be put out to BAeS and whoever they subcontract to. Maninblack, dont know what members of DARA you met but it must have been the c***s in the support building and especially commercial,the shop floor is highly focused on the product as most are ex forces and have many years experience on many aircraft types. As to the Paras having a large MT shed it still belongs to the WDA so i am putting in a bid to turn it into the UK's biggest indoor go karting circuit.
 

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