1000 RAF jobs to go in MOD shakeup

#1
The MOD have announced that 1000 jobs are to go at the three RAF bases in Scotland (Leuchars, Kinloss and Lossiemouth). The armed forces minister was forced into making a parlimentary statement on the subject after the local MP found out the details from a well placed source.

About 1,000 RAF workers in Scotland are to lose their jobs under UK Government plans to cut the armed forces.

RAF Lossiemouth will suffer 700 job cuts, the base at Kinloss 180 and a further 160 will go at RAF Leuchars.

Angus Robertson, the Nationalist MP for Moray, said it was "a sad day" and criticised the Ministry of Defence for the way the cuts were announced.

On Thursday, the Armed Forces Minister Adam Ingram outlined in a written statement where those cuts would fall.

Under the MoD's Future Capabilities white paper, he said the RAF's total strength was to be cut from 48,900 to 41,000 by 2008.

"It's utterly scandalous the way the MoD has allowed this news to come out"

Mr Robertson said the RAF workers deserved better treatment from the MoD.

"It's a sad, sad day that we are going to see hundreds of jobs lost in Moray and the rest of Scotland," he said.

"It's utterly scandalous the way the MoD has allowed this news to come out. It has manipulated parliament and manipulated the service community. It's utterly unacceptable.

"I'm raising this in the House of Commons as a point of order.

"Quite how people feel they are being treated when they know their jobs are being lost, it must be devastating for them."


The Leader of the House of Commons, Peter Hain, said the defence secretary was aware of the concerns raised over the job losses in Scotland.

Alasdair Urquhart, vice-convener of Moray Council, said the cuts were "a major blow" to the local economy and he believed Moray had suffered a disproportionate number of losses.

Menzies Campbell, the Liberal Democrat MP for North East Fife, which includes RAF Leuchars, criticised the government for announcing the job losses in a written statement.

He said: "For every one of these 160 people, this will be a personal blow and inevitably the job losses will have an affect on the local economy.

"All the more reason for the defence minister to come to the House of Commons to explain why these proposals are being made."

Conservative defence spokesman Gerald Howarth said the job losses could leave the RAF overstretched.

He said: "The public are becoming accustomed to this mantra from this government of 'modernisation and efficiency' - words it uses to mask what invariably amounts to cuts and overstretch."

Last July, Defence Secretary Geoff Hoon announced the biggest set of cuts for a generation, with the RAF bearing the brunt with a loss of 7,500 personnel.
Mr Robertson was outraged that the MOD and the armed forces minister had chosen to bury this large scale job loss under the already controversial terorrism bill.

Smoke and mirrors anyone? :roll:
 

napier

LE
Moderator
Kit Reviewer
#3
Fair play though, the crabs have been taking the mickey with teeth to tail ratios for far too long and finally the chickens have come home to roost. Why, in relative peacetime, do we need so many airbases for so few aircraft (shades of Winston Churchill there), each airbase requiring a full complement of staff and support services/welfare. I recall in Cyprus that Akrotiri had a total complement of over 3000 personnel (plus families etc.) to keep the 3 ancient helicopters flying and to service the weekly trooper flight from Brize. Most of our bases are home to (at best) a few dozen aircraft, usually of the same type. So why not reduce bases and share facilities if that does not affect operational capability?
 
#5
napier said:
I recall in Cyprus that Akrotiri had a total complement of over 3000 personnel (plus families etc.) to keep the 3 ancient helicopters flying and to service the weekly trooper flight from Brize.
..and maintaining the air bridge for various ops, ranges for many aircraft allowing training during winter in UK, etc., etc.

Most of our bases are home to (at best) a few dozen aircraft, usually of the same type. So why not reduce bases and share facilities if that does not affect operational capability?
This is the reasoning behind the forthcoming 'superbase' concept. I live at one of them - as you'd expect, the instructions have come from TCH, but not the money, so, for example, the planned Officer's Mess rebuild (of a building which is almost falling down, full of asbestos etc.), has been cancelled and the money diverted to build a new barrack block (which still won't provide enough space), so there's nowhere to put all the new officers and most of the airmen/ratings. Latest plan is portakabins on the sports field...
 
#6
And those portakabins will be there for how many years? Yet another "temporary" structure..........
 
#7
ViroBono said:
This is the reasoning behind the forthcoming 'superbase' concept. I live at one of them - as you'd expect, the instructions have come from TCH, but not the money, so, for example, the planned Officer's Mess rebuild (of a building which is almost falling down, full of asbestos etc.), has been cancelled and the money diverted to build a new barrack block (which still won't provide enough space), so there's nowhere to put all the new officers and most of the airmen/ratings. Latest plan is portakabins on the sports field...
Welcome to the world of Army standards of accommodation, any one know whether the portacabins have gone from Gutersloh yet?
 
#8
napier said:
Fair play though, the crabs have been taking the mickey with teeth to tail ratios for far too long and finally the chickens have come home to roost. Why, in relative peacetime, do we need so many airbases for so few aircraft (shades of Winston Churchill there), each airbase requiring a full complement of staff and support services/welfare. I recall in Cyprus that Akrotiri had a total complement of over 3000 personnel (plus families etc.) to keep the 3 ancient helicopters flying and to service the weekly trooper flight from Brize. Most of our bases are home to (at best) a few dozen aircraft, usually of the same type. So why not reduce bases and share facilities if that does not affect operational capability?
Too right!

In Gibraltar in the early '80s, where it was my pleasure to spend two years incarcerated at Her Majesty's pleasure, we had RAF Gib at the northern end of the peninsular jealously guarding 'their' beach and doing sod all else. There were NO resident aircraft, (perversly, the only permanent aircraft on the Rock was owned by Jolly Jack down at HMS Rook!! - 1x Lynx), yet they had a one star crab, an entire Headquarters staff, air traffic controllers, cooks, RAF plod, Rockapes (similar indeed to the idle smelly namesakes living on the hillside), and hordes of self important corporal types (Heavens! some of them may even have been officers - so difficult to tell the difference). All working 'summer hours', which meant there were at least two men/women for every non-job.....what they did have was a lovely WW2 vintage wooden motor boat, on strength as a 'rescue launch' but more normally deployed as a floating cocktail party venue.

The next logical step is to roll the idle tw@ts up altogether and tack 'em on to the end of Teeny-weeny airways and send 'em back to their roots.
 
#9
Well said Queensman;

- and despite having a huge and well-appointed RAF Mess (facilities and beach off-limits to Army/RN....), transiting aircrews were still staying at the 5-star Rock Hotel!
 
#11
Don't worry, the "leaning" of the RAF is not just looking at manning and airbases, but also the 5* hotel aspect of life.

Bit of trivia for you - the reason they stay in hotels is that they must have their 8 hours rest in a facility comparable to an officers mess.

Since when was an officer's mess at the standard of a 5* hotel, let alone a decent country B&B?

My next question is when is the Army going to start trimming some more of it's HQ fat!
 
#12
4(T) said:
Well said Queensman;

- and despite having a huge and well-appointed RAF Mess (facilities and beach off-limits to Army/RN....), transiting aircrews were still staying at the 5-star Rock Hotel!
Having had the pleasure of working alongside the RAF at Honington for five years I can safely say that you shouldn't knock them for knowing how to treat their blokes well. If the Army had the same qualities of leadership amoungst its officers (rather than career management) then perhaps we would have happier chappies about!

May explain why I was perfectly happy at Honington, but had signed off at my 16 year point after 2 years of hell with Teeny Weeny Airways and Private Army at the very aptly needed What-a-Shame airfield.
 
#13
Spanner said:
Bit of trivia for you - the reason they stay in hotels is that they must have their 8 hours rest in a facility comparable to an officers mess.
Actually the comparison is with hotels used by airlines. RAF use of hotels arises because the Govt (not the RAF) applies CAA rules regarding aircrew hours. These rules also outline the type of accom to be used to provide proper rest. It's a long list, but includes things like curtains capable of completely blocking out the light, temperature limits, noise level and so on. These rules can be varied on ops - and are, as many aircrew discovered on Ex Purple Star and Saif Sareea.

In general, surely MoD should aspire to providng the best possible accom for their people? The current poor standards in so many places, compounded by a failure to properly fund ongoing maintenance, can only have a negative effect on retention.
 
#14
Spanner said:
My next question is when is the Army going to start trimming some more of it's HQ fat!
You've got to be kidding - we have 350 years of Old Boys networking, hence the amount of Brigadiers doing LCpls jobs in big HQs! Be like trying to get the House of LOrds to abolish itself or an MEP taking a cut in expenses.
 
#15
The Battle of Britain was not won by a load of 'I know my rights' jobsworths such as currently populate the junior service, all just working their ticket long enough so they can go on and work for the nice Mr Branson. Christ knows how todays crabs would cope with a real operational environment - and just before you ask: no, air conditioned portacabins somewhere East of Suez don't count.

There must be a budding staff officer out there in Arrseland who can tell us all how many Landcrabs there are to every one aircraft/pilot.

Physical hard work and long hours with little or no kip in bloody scary situations with crap grub were a staple diet of my now long distant operational existance (is that sandbag comfortable?). I didn't have anything so mundane as an expensive, yet replaceable, piece of machinery to command and just me to worry about - I had MEN. British Infantrymen to be precise. What could be or is more valuable than that? No one ever offered me a hotel bed! And I don't remember curtains, just revetting or blast screens.
 
#16
Sorry Q-M, gotta leap to their defence. This whole leaning process is aimed at getting rid of a lot of outdated and obsolete working practises within the RAF. Their whole engineering organisation is being cut to the bone, with a lot of their in depth work being contracted out to civvy firms. It is a massive change to their culture and way of doing things.

We went through this about 8-9 years ago, for me it was when SEME and SEAE had most of the military posts removed, and all the Civil Serpents became Serco/Landmark etc. Since then, we have had Deepcut, and the military posts have had to be re-instated.

I feel it is only a matter of time before our (Army) support functions end up going the same way - can you imagine a garrison of 4-5 teeth arm units with a shared MT Sqn, QM Sqn, QM(T) Sqn, Maint Sqn and Regtl Admin Sqn? Well that is basically the format of a current RAF station, and they are now cutting into that.

Watch this space!
 
#17
Gosh, that's a huge chip you've got on your shoulder Queenie! Some fast-jet type must have kicked sand in your face, I suppose.

No-one doubts the value of infantrymen, but without all the other elements that make up the forces they would be useless. It is specious to base the value of an individual's contribution on how uncomforatble they can be, theough it is the usual fall-back argument of the ignorant and precious.
 
#18
VB,
On the contrary, I got carpeted for breaking a nose and 2 ribs belonging to some oik of a Jaguar pilot - I found him hiding in our mess bogs having been stealing pictures off the walls during a party! Claimed he wanted a squadron trophy - so he fukking got one!!

Caused all sorts of chaos as the w@nkers had to fly yet another tw@t out to Gib to fly the first one's crate back to Blighty. Cnut.

Never got the chance to have sand kicked in my face as they wouldn't let us on their beach!!

Got my own back in the end by marrying the AOC's daughter, despite my CO telling me I was marrying beneath me!!!!
 
#19
Queensman said:
I didn't have anything so mundane as an expensive, yet replaceable, piece of machinery to command and just me to worry about - I had MEN. British Infantrymen to be precise. What could be or is more valuable than that? No one ever offered me a hotel bed! And I don't remember curtains, just revetting or blast screens.
Ye-es, but presumably you didn't ever squeeze yourself into one of your men and get him to run along at 700 knots. One would hope.

So pilots don't have to dig their accomodation, revet it and then do a stag at dark-as-f~ck-o-clock. I think there's a better argument than that against the RAF's huge G4 tail. As for its comforts: personally, when a Tornado flies over my house I'm glad the bloke flying it isn't rubbing his eyes and slapping his face going 'bleuwerwererwer' to wake up a bit. :lol:
 
E

error_unknown

Guest
#20
The three-monthly hurricane exercises in Belize were always interesting. For most of us, it required that we spend an hour or so sitting in our designated hurricane shelter at APC before heading back for work, whilst the Puma and Harrier jockeys were 'required' by the air comd to fly up to Cancun for two nights and sleep in a 4/5 star hotel with several hundred dollars worth of expenses each. I don't think there can be much doubt that RAF spending priorities are often somewhat different to their Army and Navy counterparts.
 

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