Does the RAF have a future as an independent service?

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#21
My understanding from opposite numbers who play the MPA game (MR2 / P-3 / P-8) is that, counter-intuitively, those operators from the relevant Air Forces (RAF,RNoAF, RAAF, RNZAF) are more on top of their game than their naval counterparts (Aeronavale, USN, ITA/ ESP Naval Aviation) with the exception, when they existed, of the RNLN P-3 fleet.

Agree - May be I didn't word it right.

How do the RAN / RNZN / RCN skin the 'cross-pollination' concern? Do they have the same 'pilot-to-PWO option that we do? This is viewed in crustacean quarters as an extremely expensive way of providing aviation-minded skippers!! Ref the Amphibious SH issue, I'd offer that the Chinook Force have proven themselves time & again operating off Ocean, Albion etc, arguably providing a greater capability due to the inherent strength of the aircraft. I presume that by "having all SH under the Army" you mean the ocean-going clusterf**k that is JHC? If so, you'll hear no argument from anyone in the RAF SHF or RN CHF, I'm sure.

The RCAF don't have personnel in the maritime warfare stream. For the RN it works well as we can stream people pure aviation or allow those that wish to cross from warfare to aviation command streams. It ensures inside the RN there is a core of senior officers who have an aviation past plus a core of SQEP who are pure aviation focused.

I think a good example of this is the RN SK force. They ended up doing land ops on HERRICK so often they lost their maritime culture. I was onboard OCEAN during VELA and the re-learning by the RN Sqns at all levels was a shock to everyone. It took a month to get the Sqn and support staff, along with planning staff, to get back in the grove and find their sea legs. This happens all the time and when on TAURUS 09 the bootlicks outside of the ASRM where shocked at the loss of key skills. They had become too focused on HERRICK, in fact they sent a scratch team for the deployment as most of the elements where in HERRICK. Basics like waterproofing kit and vehicles had to be re-learnt. Understanding of the SURFLAT and HELAT was lost and we managed to regain using a RMR Sgt who was onboard as part of another team to teach what he knew from past exercises. It proved that if you do not constantly practise and have a sustainable manpower chain then skills fade to the point of danger. It was only because 1SL placed so much importance on TAURUS did awe manage to cobble together a CAF/CATF battle staff. We ended up stripping out RMs from shore jobs. If we had given up that to the Army on the promise of loaned units it would have failed. Real eye opener, even in dark blue capabilities like ASW or deploying a TG far away.

JHC - a cluster of the finest order.

Mates of mine from years ago now fly Cormorant, Cyclone and Aurora for the RCAF. Their views just don't match the 'RCN can't get air support when they need it' argument.

It is more than just supplying a helicopter. The Cyclone is only just now going on its first operational tour and even then it has significant restrictions. The history of this procurement **** up is epic but in short the RCAF provided requirements that did not get RCN buy in. Cost savings where made that made sense to the aviation world but not to the customer. I have to be careful what I say here. Cormorant is a pure SAR asset and not of concern to the RCN expect in picking up injured sailors. Cyclone is a different matter. As for Aurora they have stopped selling themselves as MPA and more as a ISTAR platform. Look at their recent capability upgrades, all land focused. Take RIMPAC 2018. Largest maritime exercise in the world. RCAF has 1 MPA attending and it is being punted as a ISTAR asset over an MPA. From reports I've seen it has done one ASW mission. Inside the MPA fleet duffers go "wet" and thrusters go "dry" (wet being ASW). Your friend might not see it that way but the view from the dark blue is different.
My understanding from opposite numbers who play the MPA game (MR2 / P-3 / P-8) is that, counter-intuitively, those operators from the relevant Air Forces (RAF,RNoAF, RAAF, RNZAF) are more on top of their game than their naval counterparts (Aeronavale, USN, ITA/ ESP Naval Aviation) with the exception, when they existed, of the RNLN P-3 fleet.

Agree - May be I didn't word it right.

How do the RAN / RNZN / RCN skin the 'cross-pollination' concern? Do they have the same 'pilot-to-PWO option that we do? This is viewed in crustacean quarters as an extremely expensive way of providing aviation-minded skippers!! Ref the Amphibious SH issue, I'd offer that the Chinook Force have proven themselves time & again operating off Ocean, Albion etc, arguably providing a greater capability due to the inherent strength of the aircraft. I presume that by "having all SH under the Army" you mean the ocean-going clusterf**k that is JHC? If so, you'll hear no argument from anyone in the RAF SHF or RN CHF, I'm sure.

The RCAF don't have personnel in the maritime warfare stream. For the RN it works well as we can stream people pure aviation or allow those that wish to cross from warfare to aviation command streams. It ensures inside the RN there is a core of senior officers who have an aviation past plus a core of SQEP who are pure aviation focused.

I think a good example of this is the RN SK force. They ended up doing land ops on HERRICK so often they lost their maritime culture. I was onboard OCEAN during VELA and the re-learning by the RN Sqns at all levels was a shock to everyone. It took a month to get the Sqn and support staff, along with planning staff, to get back in the grove and find their sea legs. This happens all the time and when on TAURUS 09 the bootlicks outside of the ASRM where shocked at the loss of key skills. They had become too focused on HERRICK, in fact they sent a scratch team for the deployment as most of the elements where in HERRICK. Basics like waterproofing kit and vehicles had to be re-learnt. Understanding of the SURFLAT and HELAT was lost and we managed to regain using a RMR Sgt who was onboard as part of another team to teach what he knew from past exercises. It proved that if you do not constantly practise and have a sustainable manpower chain then skills fade to the point of danger. It was only because 1SL placed so much importance on TAURUS did awe manage to cobble together a CAF/CATF battle staff. We ended up stripping out RMs from shore jobs. If we had given up that to the Army on the promise of loaned units it would have failed. Real eye opener, even in dark blue capabilities like ASW or deploying a TG far away.

JHC - a cluster of the finest order.

Mates of mine from years ago now fly Cormorant, Cyclone and Aurora for the RCAF. Their views just don't match the 'RCN can't get air support when they need it' argument.

It is more than just supplying a helicopter. The Cyclone is only just now going on its first operational tour and even then it has significant restrictions. The history of this procurement **** up is epic but in short the RCAF provided requirements that did not get RCN buy in. Cost savings where made that made sense to the aviation world but not to the customer. I have to be careful what I say here. Cormorant is a pure SAR asset and not of concern to the RCN expect in picking up injured sailors. Cyclone is a different matter. As for Aurora they have stopped selling themselves as MPA and more as a ISTAR platform. Look at their recent capability upgrades, all land focused. Take RIMPAC 2018. Largest maritime exercise in the world. RCAF has 1 MPA attending and it is being punted as a ISTAR asset over an MPA. From reports I've seen it has done one ASW mission. Inside the MPA fleet duffers go "wet" and thrusters go "dry" (wet being ASW). Your friend might not see it that way but the view from the dark blue is different.
 
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#22
... how much RAF is there left?. Fast jet squadrons-down to 7, SAR choppers, gone, MPA 9 aircraft on order, these could easily become part of the RN, the SHF helicopters to the army.
If you're going to use that 'logic', why not disband the Naval Service instead? It's already the smallest in numbers of personnel, and once you give the Booties, junglies and any amphib assets to the Army, and the carriers and their escorts to the RAF along with the deterrent and TLAM-equipped SSNs, it's just a matter of who gets the MCMVs. Coastal patrol craft to the Borders or Fisheries and RFA are effectively a contract anyway. Simples,
 
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Joker62

ADC
Book Reviewer
#23
Check out all the roles that the modern RAF perform.
I suppose keeping pilots in the style that have become accustomed to is essential:- RAF Recruitment | Catering & Hospitality Specialist
Basically, a waiter!
Here's a list of their duties:-
Preparing and clearing areas for table service,
service of food at the table,
providing a silver service,
maintaining food safety,
holding and serving food,
accommodation duties and reception duties.
 
#24
I suppose keeping pilots in the style that have become accustomed to is essential:- RAF Recruitment | Catering & Hospitality Specialist
Basically, a waiter!
Here's a list of their duties:-
Preparing and clearing areas for table service,
service of food at the table,
providing a silver service,
maintaining food safety,
holding and serving food,
accommodation duties and reception duties.
That’s exactly what they are. the Peak of their career is being selected to be trolley dolly’s on the AT fleet.
 
#25
And for the inevitable "Sirs, Ma'ams, ladies and gents, 'Scuse ranks......Peach, Richards, Carter..."!

But seriously they don't half earn their keep in the air with all the hassle they get and the flight safety checks they have to carry out throughout the flight.
 
#26
Banter aside, it genuinely amazes and amuses me in equal measure that this topic keeps getting regurgitated! However, when it does, the inevitable and simplistic 'FJ to the RN/rotary and AT to the Army/Drones make it inevitable' arguments quite frankly illustrates exactly why we need to retain independent air forces!!!

Given the extent to which the RAF has been corporatised already, ie, the prospect is that the RAF will have so few of it's own techs working on it's own aircraft, that it will restrict it's ability to go overseas in an offensive role.
Not at all. Nor does contract support necessarily preclude deployed offensive ops in any way as several of our assets prove 24/7/365.

I suppose keeping pilots in the style that have become accustomed to is essential:- RAF Recruitment | Catering & Hospitality Specialist
Basically, a waiter!
Here's a list of their duties:-
Preparing and clearing areas for table service,
service of food at the table,
providing a silver service,
maintaining food safety,
holding and serving food,
accommodation duties and reception duties.
The relatively small number of RAF stewards are restricted to VIP flights and some of our larger stations where Royal, ministerial and other VVIP activity is more common (eg Marham due to its proximity to Sandringham). Their role is particularly valued during Defence Engagement and when hosting foreign visits.

I'd be happy to compare and contrast their value to those of British Army farriers, saddlers or the 42 full time regular and reserve bands! ;)

Regards,
MM
 
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#27
Even if it came to pass (which it won't), how long before the inevitable calls for "should we return to single service"?

Canadians have experience here...
 

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