Is the AAC required?

#1
Am fairly sure that this will spark some interesting debate. A short while ago a friend of mine posed this question. My immediate answer, being a member of the Corps was yes of course, stinking crab bastards can fook off!

Then I started to think about it. Is there anything much different in the basic way we do things compared with the RAF, I am talking very basic terms here. AH generally deploys from base locations now as does the chinook force and as the harrier force used too! The AH can be field deployed again as can the chinook force. The AH force seem to be the plug in the gap left by harrier at the moment (with obvious differences range, etc). The lynx is being used in a smaller scale of Puma. Our refueling capability is similar to TSW but slightly less as we can't build pillow tanks etc. Signallers are no different on paper to any other signallers.

I know there are many different ways we do things day to day and on operations but in a broad brush sense could either the RAF become the AAC or the AAC merge into the RAF.

Personally I would rather see all rotary wing stuff become the responsibility of the AAC (which I am sure has been said before LOL)!

Am expecting a fair amount of incoming but am intrigued to see what others think?
 
#3
If we get rid of the AAC, where will we fold all the SH when the 100 year experiment crashes to an inglorious end?
 
#4
I dont think its so much of 'Is the AAC required' but more of can the AAC defend itself and survive in the current climate? What do we have? AH, fixed wing and an ageing Lynx force (in reality a bunch of 9As on deployable strength....the 7s are currently getting stripped for the Wildcat donor programme).

When I say defend, I mean have the clout to fend off the RN and RAF. Lets look at some facts. Half the fixed wing fleet is filled by RAF because we dont have enough blokes to fill the seats and the RN are quite happily filling AH courses because again, we dont have the manpower. Our policy a few years ago of almost exclusively recruiting DE AAC officers has left a massive drought in putting bums on seats and a blinkered viewpoint on retention. In recent times, we have seen a huge amount of interservice back stabbing and self protection due to SDSR.

Look at the JHC. Comd JHC is shared between the Navy and RAF because we dont have anyone of a suitable rank to fill the slot. in the 12 years of its existence, we have managed to place one AAC 2* in the job. We dont have many if any in the pipeline. Crabs have several hangars full of AVMs queuing up to fill it.

At this point in time, the RAF seem to have come out on top. Hardly surprising when you consider they're very good at justifying their existence. They played some very canny cards against the RN re Harrier. Firstly they took control of SHAR, filled the boats with crab Harrier drivers then promptly binned the Harrier completely ******* the RN over.

Green to grey Merlin is going to be a very clever bit of manoeuvring on the crabs part too. When the MoD discover its not cost effective to marinise and give the green Merlins to the CHF to replace the ageing junglie Sea Kings, the crabs will keep them as well as a handful of shiny new Chinooks. Result being CHF doesn't have anything to move booties around the beaches.

RN come in second place by 'helping the Corps out' filling Apache seats because we cant fill them. Hmm, Apache littoral ops is the flavour of the month and in my opinion, the future for any form of expeditionary force in lieu of Harrier.

RN are playing clever with Wildcat too. First Sqn to go through conversion is 847 Sqn RN...using Wildcat AH1. Effectively taking ownership of a sqns worth of army Wildcat.

AAC come in 3rd place and way behind the drag curve. We've been a bit too gentlemanly and trusted the integrity of CGS fighting our case in town. He doesn't give a **** as he is interested in the Land aspect and would probably be quite happy to release the huge financial and logistics burden of the AAC to The Andrew or CrabAir.

My thoughts are that so long as the blokes we serve (the blokes on the ground) get an integral service, I dont care who operates what.
 
#7
" the removal of helicopters to a centralized Corps in 1974 resulted in an immediate loss of flexibility at RAC Regimental level, A Taxi on call is not the same as having your own car"
R V L ffrench Blake

Almost everything I've read about JHC makes it out to be a F@cking shambles
 
#8
Not really my area, but it seems to me that on the face of it putting "everything that flies" into a single service might (very theoretically) make some sense. I include all fixed and rotory wing and UAV (larger than the all arms operated MUAVs). However there is a huge problem with this approach and one which any soldier or sailor will agree on and that is that the RAF (civilianised) culture is simply incompatible with providing the sort of service that the Army and RN require in what is currently their organic Air/Avn.

If the RAF was able to alter its organisational culture to bring itself in line with the Army, I would see no particular problem in rolling the AAC (and RA UAV Btys) into it. Unfortunately we all know that I have a better chance of being CGS than the RAF changing from a virtually civilian flying club mentality, obsessed with fighter-planes; into a flexible, adaptive, militarised force capable of supporting land, littoral and maritime operations.

Ironically, the RAF could probably best ensure it's own survival (and even growth) if it did manage to adapt.
 
C

cloudbuster

Guest
#9
Whilst it pains me to say this, the RAF SH Force seems to have evolved very successfully from the days of patchy service in the Emerald Toilet. They're acutely aware of the customer's needs, and can claim to have met those requirements in an operational environment. In addition, being less hamstrung by internecine rivalry and the traditional shortcomings that the Corps has of getting representation at the top table, they can quite easily demonstrate the capability of absorbing the AAC.

The fly in the ointment, is, of course, how well they can support littoral ops, although having considerable sea-time with the Harrier, even this shouldn't be too difficult to overcome. They've had Royal driving GR7, so integrating the Apache could keep the One Hundred Year Experiment ticking along, and may even give the Regiment something to do.
 
#10
I to believe the corps has not stood up for itself very well in the grand scheme of things. Also where does the corps fit in with the Multi Role Bde plans? Its a shame we don't have multi roled regiments to support the bdes as in 2 AH sqns and a BLUH per regiment to be allocated per bde, so we will be a pool of aircraft allocated to each bde as required very similar to how we are now and how SH is allocated!
 
#11
Whilst it pains me to say this, the RAF SH Force seems to have evolved very successfully from the days of patchy service in the Emerald Toilet. They're acutely aware of the customer's needs, and can claim to have met those requirements in an operational environment. In addition, being less hamstrung by internecine rivalry and the traditional shortcomings that the Corps has of getting representation at the top table, they can quite easily demonstrate the capability of absorbing the AAC.
Fair point, but unfortunately for the RAF it is run by fighter pilots, for fighter pilots (or so I am lead to believe); fast jet pilots and people who want to be fast jet pilots is the way it was put to me. This means that while the SH team may now have "got it" and understand the requirement, the remainder of the RAF is busy extolling the virtues of the Red Arrows and trying to re-live the Battle of Britain (but without NCO pilots of course!)
 
#12
...where does the corps fit in with the Multi Role Bde plans? Its a shame we don't have multi roled regiments to support the bdes as in 2 AH sqns and a BLUH per regiment to be allocated per bde, so we will be a pool of aircraft allocated to each bde as required very similar to how we are now and how SH is allocated!
Great idea, if we ever had enough to make it work! I like the way that the USMC MAGTFs are configured in this respect. While each is force generated according to the requirement, in a Bde sized MAGTF, I'm told you could expect to find (in addition to the ground BGs and OSG, etc.) a Sqn of SH (either V-22, CH46/53 or a mix) , a Sqn of AH and a Sqn of Air (Harrier or F18 ). Therefore not only is all of that under the same 1* command, they are all of the same armed force and even cap-badge. Amalgamate with the RAF, anyone?!
 
#15
Sorry to jump here, but why is the AAC struggling to fill AH seats?

Nick
More AH drivers leaving than can be replaced. Plus all those DE AAC officers we filled it with a few years ago are either at their 'I'm getting the **** out of dodge' point or 'SO3 Toilet Roll Procurement' somewhere in the back of beyond career point. Less than 30 NCO AH drivers in Watt to cover the shortfall......
 
#16
Easy solve.

Chop SH and Rescue to AAC, inc CHF (3 Cdo should chop to Army contorl too).

Chop MR(if we have it) over to the RN.

Leave the RAF an RAAF full of Transport and AAR. RAF full of fast air types giggling at each other in the mess. Chop all support to the army, and make the RAF Regt a specialised Inf regt in the Army.
 

Auld-Yin

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#17
The trouble with this argument is that it could be applied to just about any part of the armed services, leading to the over-arching question "Do we actually need three separate armed forces?"

To a bean counter that is a wonderful question but for practical purposes we do need 3 x AF. Sailors do what sailors do and soldiers do what soldiers do, and that includes the AAC. IMHO.

Handing over the AAC to the crabs would be a totally retrograde step which would benefit the RAF and give them more purpose in life, but it would not benefit the army and would be a loss of capacity.
 
#18
Easy solve.

Chop SH and Rescue to AAC, inc CHF (3 Cdo should chop to Army contorl too).

Chop MR(if we have it) over to the RN.

Leave the RAF an RAAF full of Transport and AAR. RAF full of fast air types giggling at each other in the mess. Chop all support to the army, and make the RAF Regt a specialised Inf regt in the Army.

We already have a specialised regiment doing what the RAF Regt do (apart from snipe sheep). The MPGS!
 
#19
It's the question do we really need a RAF?

AAC can have the transport and logistics of the RAF- fixed wing and rotary, plus cover air space over land, the FAA (including CHF) can cover fixed and rotary wing over sea (basically bring back the RAC and the RNAS).
 
#20
UKMC.

OR ranks from the Army (in the main).
02 - Serviceman
02 - Senior Serviceman
03 - LCpl
04 - Cpl - bombardier for gunnery trades (inc navy).
06 - Sgt
07 - SSgt - flight, colour, boat etc.
08 WO 3
08 WO 2
09 WO 1

01 sub lieutenant
01 lieutenant
02 first lieutenant
03 major
04 Lt Col/Lt Cdr
05 Col/Capt
06 Vice Marshal
07 Rear Marshal
08 Assistant Marshal
09 Marshal
10 Marshal of Her Britannic Majesties Armed Forces.

Job jobbed.

Standardise dress,
 
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