The Tory leader discussed conditions for soldiers and the situation on the ground with Captain Julian Mitchell, a member of 42 Engineer Regiment from Pembroke in west Wales, and Captain Andrew Rodgers, a member of the Argyll & Sutherland Highlanders from Oxford.
Travel to and from Germany is not factored into the R&R plot and you waste a lot of time getting home. On the return leg you get pretty hacked off when you fly to UK the day before you are due to fly back to AFG, only to book in at Brize at some ungodly hour and find out that the flight is going via Hanover... Yet more wasted days.
I can see the operational problem on the other hand - if leave started on arrival in UK then finished on departure theres quite a scope for blokes arriving a couple of days either side of the due date. Currently half of that error (passage to UK) is absorbed by your hard-earned leave thus making planning easier and returns more predictable.
Is this right? The easy answer is no. However, is it fair if A gets 14 days leave from threat of injury or death whilst B gets 16 days because Crab Air fell apart again? If RAF AT was better funded and equiped (more airframes, more reliable, more redundancy in the system) then that would help greatly although ultimatly any journey half way around the world is going to be unpredictable.
I'm not sure how it could be fully fixed for the reasons above, however it could certainly be ammended to be far more paletable, for instance calling it 10 days in UK with 4 days traveling time (so you prof if early, dip out less if late). Even better 14 days leave in UK with 4 days traveling!
Do the travelling days actualy count as leave taken or can they be 'reclaimed' at tour end? This could be another solution.
The DCOS of 12 Mech Bde on TELIC 6 thumped the table (allegedly) and made it abundantly clear that 14 days leave was 14 days leave, which meant we had 2 days tacked onto the end of our RnR to compensate for the crab air delay. For which I am still grateful.
The other nationalities said their leave entitlement started when they touched down in their country.