Future of Officer Aircrew?

#1
Here is a question for you guys from someone on the outside looking in.

What is the future for Officer Aircrew?

Will the AAC go down the route of commisioned professional aviators similar to the RAF or will commisioned aircrew disappear into the ether?

I'm sure there will be some strong views on this!
 
#4
Maybe I should elobrate further........

Does the introduction of more complicated airframes i.e Apache mean that Officers might suffer continuity and currency issues?
 
#6
rushmere said:
Maybe I should elobrate further........

Does the introduction of more complicated airframes i.e Apache mean that Officers might suffer continuity and currency issues?
Doesnt really matter so long as we continue to have lots and lots of SNCO pilots.

If an officer decides to be a career bloke, the experience gained on AH will be worthwhile when he is mixing it with the all arms fodder around the bird table.

Whats your angle, rushmere?
 
#7
Officer aircrew will continue to be the minority. Any experience gained will most likely be constrained to the desk job that is inevitable until MCM realise that they are wasting potential and talent.

Army Air Corps solution to manning and Officer retention?: STOP RECRUITING OFFICERS.

1) Those that want to stay have a second flying tour.

2) Those with experience that want to be senior officers can STILL DO IT.

3) The money saved from training people that will leave would mean improvements in a bunch of areas.
 
#8
TEMPORARILY, or at least restrict the flow.......for a short while.

Allow some capable people to stay ,not just those that want a career for the sake of it.
 
#9
Not sure where your going with that Quickstop? I havent seen any evidence of the Corps running down its Officer training, indeed quite the reverse. Have a look in the Corps directory at the lists of those passing the APC's over the last 2 years, not very many NCO's.

Furthermore, with regard to Officer Aircrew and career profiles, I know several AH trained officers whom are being career fouled because their bottoms are needed in the aircraft at the moment. Indeed they all want a full and fruitful career but are being overlooked in order to maintain the Aircraft Operability. This is unfair as we stand to lose some very good and swept up people in the long term if it isnt resolved.

But if this thread is supposed to throw up a them and us then I won't be party to it, there are as always will be good blokes along with bad, thats human nature.
 
#10
absolutely not meant to divide the two; I have to admit I have never heard of people being fouled by being kept in the aircraft, though I can see that it is ncessary with AH.

There are a lot of Officers that choose to leave at their first opportunity, meaning that the experience they have is gone; all the training and development effectively removed. Some remain and go on to do the staff jobs for command. However, there is a massive deficit of Captains in the AAC because of those that leave, hence the large number of LEs we bring in. Before this gets started, I think most LEs are brilliant and love working with them, so I'm not bashing them either.

If Officers were recruited less, then they would not have to be shoved so quickly into the desk jobs/SO3 posts etc that they try so hard to avoid. A large number of them would have the chance to do a second flying tour and consolidate on flying AND command experience ( as 2ics / Sqn Ops / Det Command). If MCM said to all the Captains due to leave in the next 12 month "you have another 3 years of flying" then how many do you think would stay? The important thing is that the ones that really want the career can still go for the SO3 posts and get all the ticks for command!

The resultant saving in terms of training would be huge and those resources could be diverted to some particularly needy areas of the Corps - applications on a postcard here....

The current policy is akin to filling a broken dam with more water. This just pushes more water out. You are actually much better of plugging the holes.
 
#11
Thats interesting to here. The reason I'm asking the question is that I was speaking to an ex AAC Officer who was of the opinion that the Army would have to offer more flying tours to its junior Officers to keep a certain amount of piloting skill and knowledge within the Officer Cadre. It seemed like a logical argument from what he was saying but equally I can see the benefit of completely removing Officers from the loop on this one.

Flash/Frog

I never write on these forums to cause arguments or wind up anyone here. Just very interested in what people in the know have to say about issues like this.
 
#12
Went to a RAeS event recently where the Commandant, SAAvn took great delight in ribbing the RAF for ONLY recruiting officers to become pilots/WSO's.

:D

Would there be any benefit in the AAC recruiting DE officers to perform a Flight Operations / Mission Manager type (i.e. non-flying) function ? The FLT OPS syllabus would have some elements in common with the RAF course, but would also include HELARM / ISTAR tactics, comms, MPS training, FARP'ing etc. Said officers would be very much cheaper to train, so not so costly to lose to the wider army / staff postings. Using them would also lessen the requirement for LE's from other Corps.
 
#13
FrogPrince said:
Would there be any benefit in the AAC recruiting DE officers to perform a Flight Operations / Mission Manager type (i.e. non-flying) function ? The FLT OPS syllabus would have some elements in common with the RAF course, but would also include HELARM / ISTAR tactics, comms, MPS training, FARP'ing etc. Said officers would be very much cheaper to train, so not so costly to lose to the wider army / staff postings. Using them would also lessen the requirement for LE's from other Corps.
Interesting that you should mention MPS Training.... OK you have my attention.

Having now left the fold, I was always of the belief that the Corps should have DE officers in the Ground role. Most of my OC's were flyers, and all of the others were LE from another Corps. Unfortunately they had little knowledge of ground crew, or in the latter case little knowledge of the AAC.

Of course I only will mention how it was, but I do hope that the Corps makes the change – Though could I ask that you lay of the MPS Training as I need a job!!

:lol:

(edited to correct my cr@p use of the english language - Well tht's my excuse)
 
#14
Muttley said:
Furthermore, with regard to Officer Aircrew and career profiles, I know several AH trained officers whom are being career fouled because their bottoms are needed in the aircraft at the moment. Indeed they all want a full and fruitful career but are being overlooked in order to maintain the Aircraft Operability.
If an officer wants a career as a soldier then picking the AAC is a bit of a mistake.

How many current senior officers are there within the MOD (Army) that did two or more tours as an Junior Officer in an AAC Sqn?

I find it hard to understand that AH is having an effect on a poor officers career or are they trying to making you feel sorry for them since turning their back on their Original Unit would have an effect on their career until they recap to AAC or return to parent unit just like any other rank, why would CO of X and X Regt keeps his post open while Lt Biggles f%^& Off and plays with toys?

CO of X and X Regt has to keep his post open and his officers under strength while Lt Biggles thinks about a transfer to the AAC or not.

If he should return to his former unit he will be of some extra value to them since he would be able to maximise AH support with their their assists, then he can tell you that having done pilots course has effected his career because in combined ops, his boss always puts him in a coordinator role.

If the officer is on an SSC think you will find like the guys on the ground they are in the mood to p%^& off just about the same time some Tom's are thinking of becoming pilot's having reached the ranks (no coincidence then).

And like everyone wants something for the long term which can be used after their six year SSC or even after a service career what could be better in civil street than one’s career as an officer and a pilot and boy it makes an impression at the airline interview much better trained than an OR pilot that has a dam site more experience in many cases.

Didn’t the Corps have this when the High-Tech Lynx was introduced?

mpsman said:
Having now left the fold, I was always of the belief that the Corps should have DE officers in the Ground role. Most of my OC's were flyers, and all of the others were LE from another Corps. Unfortunately they had little knowledge of ground crew, or in the latter case little knowledge of the AAC.
MPSman like you I have also left the fold and during my time this was also a bone in which may teeth did sink, what I found was when new commissioned officer (some where real D^$^h^%ds) joined us they tried to bring 20+ years of the Inf or ROAC or RCT or some others way of do things, as a result there was a lot of ON THE BUS OFF THE BUS within a HQ Sqn, however very few flying Sqn had this officer introduction programme so did not get this sort of fun we did.

Correct me if I am wrong but do not all DE pilots do attachment with another unit then the pilot’s course?

If this is the case what is the difference between say a DE Quartermaster and Pilot in relation to their initial training and building of key military skills?

Would an AAC trained Quartermaster be any different to a RLC Quartermaster or MTO?

Would an AAC trained Signals officer be any different to a Royal Signals Officer?

If the answer is NO then why can’t the Corps have DE officer?

I recall was the introduction of P1/P2 done the same time as the JNCO pilot was introduced of did I just dream that?

Was it not the RAF that had questions raised in the House as to why they had to have Officer pilots when the Army was looking into JNCO pilots and the Navy was looking at the lowering of their pilots ranks to PO.

Okay there many be a few good officer that fly in and with the Corps but there are and have been some that I would not give the steam of my pooh bear too even today.

Sgt, SSgt or even a WO2 and may be a WO1 can do the job better than many officers so leave it at that.

Dam I didn't care about this when I was in why oh why do I now?
 
#15
I have often wondered why the Corps never went along the route of having DE ground officers but I think I may have an answer. Said DE ground officer (supposing he never went aircrew) could probably never get above the rank of Maj. Im sure the AAC would not want a non aircrew officer as the Commanding Officer of a flying regiment so it sort of limits his ceilling. What job is he going to do above SO2? Whats the point? As most DE officers will tell you, they are selected with the view that they will 'go to the top'. Most dont really want to and most wont, I know but thats the way it is in the Officer Corps...regardless of cap badge.

To sponsor and accept a chap who will be career capped at Maj even before he's joined his first Regt is not exactly a sound investment or good use of limited spaces at RMAS. Ok, some may say the putting a DE through pilots course, CTT etc is a huge waste of money due to him possibly having a limited flying career but I have to disagree. The investment is in where that chap may end up at staff level. The flying bit of the future staff officers career is akin to Pl Comd/Tp Comd. Its where he cuts his teeth. It just so happens that our chaps cost a little more to train.

Remember, we are still fairly new in comparison to the traditional duffers within Whitehall; Inf, Tanks, Arty. Our top chap at present is Comd JHC. Its still going to take a few years for the investment to filter up with all the younger blood currently doing 'short tours' flying. As Ive previously said, I dont think its terribly important that our DE's are 'Above Average pilots' and have flying qualifacations up the ying yang. As long as they have a sound foundation within Aviation, thats all that counts. Its the SNCO's who should be the subject experts on flying and operating the machines. The balance is right IMHO. Our LEs may need a bit of a tweek but thats not for me to say. ;)


Sgt, SSgt or even a WO2 and may be a WO1 can do the job better than many officers so leave it at that.
If you are on about flying then so they should. An officers job is to lead, a SNCOs job is to make it happen.

I also know quite a few SNCOs who are not exactly worthy of their pay. 8O
 
#16
Seal master…..I can see where some of your points come from but they are misguided.

The whole AAC argument of…’You’re just a bunch of fly boys etc…etc… You can’t expect to be a soldier etc…etc..’

Well, we don’t expect to be soldiers (do RLC officers?) but you cannot compare the career of an AH trained pilot to an infanteer, Cav or RE officer. And we do not do attachments now unless there’s a gap before the pilots course you need to fill. You then spend 18 months on the pilots course before starting AH CTT. You will then be a front line AH pilot at the 3 year out of RMAS point (if you’re lucky). You are not a ‘junior officer’ as you put it. As a Captain you are operating the weapons systems and mission commanding a £40+ million aircraft. No one would belittle the role of junior officers in other trades, but it is not quite the same as bluffing your way through a year (if you’re lucky) with a platoon out of Sandhurst before getting carted off to a Pl Comd job at some trg facility (and yes I’ve done a Pl comd stint).

You will find that the role of E3s (transferred officers) is now limited (if they don’t change cap badge) and many transfer to the AAC anyway. They know they aren’t doing themselves any favours by pulling themselves out of the structure of their original unit so I don’t really understand your point. However there are many OCs (and COs) who are ex-Infantry or even RLC and have done very well post transferring.

Yes, there are shite officers in the AAC, but, relative to what I’ve seen in other units, not a high number and especially not in the AH programme. The pilots course can be a good leveller. There are also poor SNCOs etc etc…..so please don’t pull the whole NCOs are better than officers willy waving card.

Lynx (or Gazelle) is a great helicopter with some kit on board (although now no TOW sadly) so a few years in the seat and then some desk jobs before OC is not the end of the world. AH is a different kettle of fish.

As the previous boss of AAC/Cav MCM said at MW a couple of years ago….(pointing at pretend wings) ‘It’s not about these, it’s about these (pointing at pips).’

As (one of the few experienced DE QHIs) said, ‘Look Sir, I’ve been flying this beast for two years now and I’m still nowhere near being able to fully exploit it’s capabilities’. The response:

‘Look you lot, when I went from Challenger 1 to Challenger II I had to do a two week conversion so I know exactly the situation you are in.’ This is what the AAC has to deal with.

The sad thing is, the more the non-aviation punters think this sort of stuff (that the AAC's a bunch of flyboys, why do we care about career structures….blah, blah) and disregard the problems the Corps is facing, it is you will lose the AAC and end up with the RAF for everything. Including Close In Fire Support, which is what the AH is extremely capable at doing. Believe me, you do not want to go down that road.

I agree though, the RAF and the Navy have all officer pilots - and it’s hard to justify why. The MOD asked why they’re spending a fortune on the RAF’s massively over inflated rank structure (Wing Commanders commanding Sqn’s?????). I think the crabs are in for a shock. But don’t disregard quite how good the soldiers, NCOs and officers the AAC manages to attract are at hitting the capabilities we achieve with very limited resources, especially compared to the Crabs.
 
#17
As the previous boss of AAC/Cav MCM said at MW a couple of years ago
I was at that briefing too. The bloke was a gold medal, prize winning tool on an Olympic level.

He did as much for the AAC as Hermann Göring did for masculine and natty uniforms.

Thankfully, the current incumbent seems to have an idea about Aviation.
 
#18
The Lord Flasheart said:
If you are on about flying then so they should. An officers job is to lead, a SNCOs job is to make it happen.
I was waiting for someone to say that when all the officers went off flying and all thats left was a few REME's and AAC WO2, SSgt, and Sgt I now see why things never got done to many people trying to make sure it happend so in the end nobody did it?

Do JNCO have an place in your AAC Flash or should they return to the dark ages, looking back I can see why there was a need for the reduction to the SG scores for Airtroopers in 1987.

The early DE Airtroopers were a cut above the rest the and since it was such a young Corps it need a base of thinking JNCO, it took from 1976 - ? to fill most of the unit appointment with DE staff from LCpl - RSM.

Sorry to say I can not remember but I think it was in or around 87- 90's the first DE RSM was appointed.
 
#19
Do JNCO have an place in your AAC Flash
Of course they bloody do! Did you think I was implying that they do not?

They are more important now than they have ever been. Where do you expect us to get the future of the Corps? The Tankies, Inf, AGC? No thanks.

I was refering to Officers and SNCOs because alas, we have taken the JNCO out of the front seats as pilots.

Officers dont have much time to go flying now so I would suggest things are quite different from your day. :wink:

Our ground crew have probably the biggest responsibility on thier shoulders than they have ever had. The JNCO on the ground must be a cut above the rest by default. One hopes they soon get the pay to reflect this.
 
#20
The Lord Flasheart said:
Of course they bloody do! Did you think I was implying that they do not?.
Yes I did.

The Lord Flasheart said:
They are more important now than they have ever been. Where do you expect us to get the future of the Corps? The Tankies, Inf, AGC? No thanks.
Thats where groundcrew came from before even the Navy and RAF provided them with the current and future plans why not just take already trained people and give them new jobs, where did those QM's, MTO etc first come from?

The Lord Flasheart said:
I would suggest things are quite different from your day. :wink:
To right there, in view of PanfOOkMayday comments I now support the idea of a SINGLE Helicopter Defence Force able to select the cream of the crop from the other three service allowing OFFICER to move from one aircraft to another as they see or feel would best suite their career of course SNCO will only be allowed to fly aircraft with a budget of £40 million or less. A Captain just a bit more and Major no limit any rank above that can take just pick.

The Lord Flasheart said:
One hopes they soon get the pay to reflect this.
How will they get that when there's talk of reducing future costs and reducing the size of our current forces.

:D "Remember its the lowest bidder that gets the contract". :D
 

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