Are we saying too much on ARRSE / PPRUNE etc

#1
Just came across this:

Army being scalped of Apache pilots
JAMES KIRKUP
WESTMINSTER EDITOR
THE British Army's £2 billion fleet of Apache attack helicopters could go short of pilots after a string of resignations.

Military insiders say that many of the small number of army pilots qualified to fly the aircraft have either quit or plan to leave in coming months.


Some have been lured to the private sector where their skills command much higher wages than those paid by the army.

Others say they are frustrated by rigid military career structures that force them out of the cockpit and into an office. Even frontline pilots complain that they spend too little time actually flying.

After a lengthy and complex procurement process, 67 Apaches were declared "ready for operations" last year.

The Apache is arguably the most sophisticated combat aircraft in the world, packed with weapons systems and advanced sensor packages that provide pilots with a deluge of information about their surroundings.

In all, training an Apache pilot to combat readiness takes six months and costs the MoD more than £1 million.

At least four Apache pilots are believed to have resigned in recent weeks. Army rumours suggest that several more could shortly join them, possibly as many as 11 in all.

If true, several of the Apaches, which cost about £30 million each, could effectively be grounded for lack of a qualified pilot. The Apache fleet already has suffered teething troubles in the form of mechanical and technical failures.

Such is the complexity of its systems, anything between a fifth and a half of the helicopters are grounded for maintenance at any one time. Military insiders say a shortage of qualified engineers exacerbates the situation.

While pilots are hugely enthusiastic about actually flying the Apache, the mechanical difficulty of getting the aircraft into the air and the inflexibility of the army career structure are said to have left many pilots frustrated.

One reason the Apache-qualified pilots are leaving is money. Several private companies pay generously for army-trained pilots who are then effectively hired back to the military through Private Finance Initiative training contracts.

"Now why would some of the highest calibre pilots be leaving the army? The sum of £60,000 a year springs to mind," said one military insider.

The fresh fears for the Apache are being discussed widely by Army Air Corps members on unofficial service internet forums. "A lot of these [qualified pilots] have a great deal of experience that we should not be losing before we have even finished fielding Apache," said one poster.

Other insiders blame the Army Air Corps' career profile that obliges pilots to move on from operational flying after a three-year posting. "As long as the men who fly Apache have to adhere to the career profile there will be waste," said one pilot.

But the Ministry of Defence said there could be flexibility. "Apache crews may serve for longer than three years if their careers allow, and may of course return to flying after experiencing other roles," said a spokeswoman.
Remember chaps and chapesses - Careless Talk Costs . . . . . Tut Tut Tut

The full artical can be found at http://news.scotsman.com/uk.cfm?id=62642006
 
#2
But sometimes 'careless talk etc, etc' can highlight issues that wouldnt see the light of day and may be brushed under the carpet. Double edged sword.
 
#3
mpsman............I dont think that OPSEC is a major problem on this or our sister website. Most (not all) people are aware of the security implications when they post. The Apache issue is well known by just about every aviator in the Corps and with the other 3 services. It is a shameful waste of resources by the Corps in allowing these extremely qualified individuals to leave without making some sort of effort to retain them.
 
#4
Journalists are quite happy to make up this kind unattributed quote to support their "story" if they can't get it from ARRSE/PPrunE. They, like anyone else, do not know who it is they are quoting or whether that person has any sort of relevant knowledge or credibility. So if the veracity of their story is challenged (something the MoD Press Office sadly seems to do all too rarely), they need to be prepared to correct or retract. Too late you may argue, but if left unchallenged we give them licence to print anything they like.

CONNEACH - just because it was in the papers, don't make it true! Sadly (and while supporting Flash's sentiments), the danger of ARRSE is that a few unguarded comments about AH pilots on ARRSE becomes "an issue well known about by just about every aviator in the Corps and with the other 3 Services." Just because it is on ARRSE or PPrunE, also don't make it true!
 
#5
Just because it appears in the press, doesn't mean that the reptiles got it from here either....
 
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