longer flight time to afghanistan

#1
Defence News

A trial looking at whether alternative routing arrangements of the Operation HERRICK airbridge, which transports troops to Afghanistan, can increase its capacity is set to begin next week.

The trial, which begins on Tuesday 1 July 2008 for around six weeks, will extend the planned flight-time from the UK to Afghanistan by three hours, and from Afghanistan to the UK by one and a half hours. But it is hoped that it will reduce the overall time personnel spend in theatre.

The airbridge provides a consistent and reliable service, moving large numbers of personnel and material into hostile environments under difficult conditions and over strategic distances. Indeed from April 2007 to April 2008, 72 per cent of the airbridge flights to and from Afghanistan were on time or delayed for less than one hour. However the MOD is looking to significantly improve the Service.

...

The trial will focus on the contribution made by the RAF's Tristar Fleet, and a key element entails altering the airbridge routing so that aircraft make an additional stop (in both directions) at RAF Akrotiri (in Cyprus) to refuel and change crew en-route.

The opportunity is also being taken to capture data on weight, baggage space, catering etc, to enable a thorough assessment to be made about potential future benefits and changes. The trial is timed so that sufficient data and evidence can be gathered to be statistically valid, before the next planned roulement (which is when the Airbridge is typically under greatest stress).

Although the trial will necessitate extended flying times, the MOD asks for understanding while these conditions apply, as it is believed they will lead to benefits downstream.

If the aircraft experiences a delay during the extra stops, passengers will be deplaned and fed, if circumstances warrant and in line with existing practice, if the delay is serious enough, passengers will be accommodated overnight whilst an alternative airlift is sourced.

...

The revised routing could enable the RAF to transport up to 125 more passengers per week during a roulement, which could shorten this process by up to two weeks and help maintain a typical operational tour length of six months for the majority of personnel serving in Afghanistan.
 
#3
Countryman said:
Defence News

A trial looking at whether alternative routing arrangements of the Operation HERRICK airbridge, which transports troops to Afghanistan, can increase its capacity is set to begin next week.

The trial, which begins on Tuesday 1 July 2008 for around six weeks, will extend the planned flight-time from the UK to Afghanistan by three hours, and from Afghanistan to the UK by one and a half hours. But it is hoped that it will reduce the overall time personnel spend in theatre.

The airbridge provides a consistent and reliable service, moving large numbers of personnel and material into hostile environments under difficult conditions and over strategic distances. Indeed from April 2007 to April 2008, 72 per cent of the airbridge flights to and from Afghanistan were on time or delayed for less than one hour. However the MOD is looking to significantly improve the Service.

...

The trial will focus on the contribution made by the RAF's Tristar Fleet, and a key element entails altering the airbridge routing so that aircraft make an additional stop (in both directions) at RAF Akrotiri (in Cyprus) to refuel and change crew en-route.

The opportunity is also being taken to capture data on weight, baggage space, catering etc, to enable a thorough assessment to be made about potential future benefits and changes. The trial is timed so that sufficient data and evidence can be gathered to be statistically valid, before the next planned roulement (which is when the Airbridge is typically under greatest stress).

Although the trial will necessitate extended flying times, the MOD asks for understanding while these conditions apply, as it is believed they will lead to benefits downstream.

If the aircraft experiences a delay during the extra stops, passengers will be deplaned and fed, if circumstances warrant and in line with existing practice, if the delay is serious enough, passengers will be accommodated overnight whilst an alternative airlift is sourced.

...

The revised routing could enable the RAF to transport up to 125 more passengers per week during a roulement, which could shorten this process by up to two weeks and help maintain a typical operational tour length of six months for the majority of personnel serving in Afghanistan.
Blimey, on that logic, BA will shortly announce that flights between London and Rome will take an extra 2 hours by going via Frankfurt and 1 hour on the return journey as it will mean passengers will spend less time in London.
 
#4
This must be cost led. It's got to be about fuel costs and buying fuel in the Med being cheaper than buying it in the UK.

Looks to me like dicking the troops about to make a saving on fuel costs.
 
#5
EX_STAB said:
This must be cost led. It's got to be about fuel costs and buying fuel in the Med being cheaper than buying it in the UK.

Looks to me like dicking the troops about to make a saving on fuel costs.
The MOD saving money at the expense of serving troops - who'd've ever thought that they would stoop that low. 8O

Maybe if they trooped all the self serving politio's around on tri-stars they'd be more inclined to fund the purchase of a newer and more reliable air frame. Or more likely some new second hand planes off some dodgy geeza! I wonder what BA and Air France did with all the old Concorde's! :wink:

Edited for being a mong! :twisted:
 
#6
No actually, its about justifying troops on an Island in the med that is supposedly strategic!!!

From where I am sitting, it makes perfect sense and the spare uplift can be used by the Island both ways. Not everybody deploys from the UK!!

Mind you i'm on my 8th bottle of beer and sunburnt so hey ho!!

Then again, I am going to be a lot busier over the next few weeks.

I am still trying to figure out why Cyprus wasn't used as the staging area any way. I know fuel is a limiting factor for some areas but the logistics (to me) make sense. Don't need guys in other locations then.

Whats 3 hours with a saving of hundreds of man hours?

Fair enough the AT fleet is shite. This is planned to reduce that stress and hopefully still have aircraft that actually work. Unlike Telic 7 deployment from UK which was a cluster.


CW (pissed up and bar)
 
#7
Oops just read the other bit.........

Tristar fleet will fall down so everybody will by stuck in Cyprus.......Party on.....or more likely sit in a stinking hanger with no air con and no food because Sodexho do PAYD here now and only take cash!!
 
#8
Chummers_Warn said:
No actually, its about justifying troops on an Island in the med that is supposedly strategic!!!

From where I am sitting, it makes perfect sense and the spare uplift can be used by the Island both ways. Not everybody deploys from the UK!!

Mind you i'm on my 8th bottle of beer and sunburnt so hey ho!!

Then again, I am going to be a lot busier over the next few weeks.

I am still trying to figure out why Cyprus wasn't used as the staging area any way. I know fuel is a limiting factor for some areas but the logistics (to me) make sense. Don't need guys in other locations then.

Whats 3 hours with a saving of hundreds of man hours?

Fair enough the AT fleet is shite. This is planned to reduce that stress and hopefully still have aircraft that actually work. Unlike Telic 7 deployment from UK which was a cluster.


CW (pissed up and bar)
Chummers, the last time I got stuck in Cyprus because of lack of parts for airframe, there were 300 of us crammed into a building designed to house 30, with sh!t food, and lousy rain and windy weather. :roll:

Plus we weren't allowed to 'go' anywhere - security blah, blah blah. When you've been on tour for X number of months and get a chance of 2 weeks R & R, you don't want to spend them in Cyprus! :x

Sorry if I sound grumpy about you're post - but it's not all sunshine and cocktails. =(
 
#9
EX_STAB said:
This must be cost led. It's got to be about fuel costs and buying fuel in the Med being cheaper than buying it in the UK.

Looks to me like dicking the troops about to make a saving on fuel costs.
Well you're wrong. Read the article - it's being done because, if it's successful it will reduce the RiP by two weeks and mean that an average tour length will reduce to what it's meant to be - 6 months. That's got to be worth a little longer in the air.

It's got sod all to do with cost - it's never a key factor in any of the ATF's routings.
 
#10
Bubbles_Barker wrote:

It's got sod all to do with cost - it's never a key factor in any of the ATF's routings.
Yeah, and pigs can fly. :pig: And people are better off on the new pension scheme. :twisted:

Call me cynical, but I agree with EX_STAB. It's ALWAYS to do with cost - they just like to hide the bitter pill inside a spoonful of sugar. ;P
 
#11
Lesleycape said:
Bubbles_Barker wrote:

It's got sod all to do with cost - it's never a key factor in any of the ATF's routings.
Yeah, and pigs can fly. :pig: And people are better off on the new pension scheme. :twisted:

Call me cynical, but I agree with EX_STAB. It's ALWAYS to do with cost - they just like to hide the bitter pill inside a spoonful of sugar. ;P
You are cynical, and probably know nothing about strategic AT :D . It honestly has nothing to do with cost, it has all to do with maximising the humbers of pax the aircraft can carry, in order to rotate a formation more quickly.

Why not give it a chance - it's a trial. If it works the lads and lasses will spend a a couple of weeks less in theatre, the RiP will be over more quickly, allowing commanders to have their troops on the ground faster instead of waiting for them to arrive.

If it doesn't work we'll look at other ways of meeting the requirement.

And actually, I am better off on the new pension scheme :twisted: .
 
#12
Bubbles_Barker said:
Lesleycape said:
Bubbles_Barker wrote:

It's got sod all to do with cost - it's never a key factor in any of the ATF's routings.
Yeah, and pigs can fly. :pig: And people are better off on the new pension scheme. :twisted:

Call me cynical, but I agree with EX_STAB. It's ALWAYS to do with cost - they just like to hide the bitter pill inside a spoonful of sugar. ;P
You are cynical, and probably know nothing about strategic AT :D . It honestly has nothing to do with cost, it has all to do with maximising the humbers of pax the aircraft can carry, in order to rotate a formation more quickly.

Why not give it a chance - it's a trial. If it works the lads and lasses will spend a a couple of weeks less in theatre, the RiP will be over more quickly, allowing commanders to have their troops on the ground faster insteading of waiting for them to arrive.

If it doesn't work we'll look at other ways of meeting the requirement.

And actually, I am better off on the new pension scheme :twisted: .
Well time will tell. 8)
 
#13
Whether its do with costs or not its nothing to do with fuel costs. The fuel that is in RAF Akrotiri would not see any significant hit with this trial in place.
The fuel is supplied from the cheapest supplier at the time of procurement anyway and the ship that brings it in goes on to Ascension and the Falklands.
 
#14
CH512O said:
Whether its do with costs or not its nothing to do with fuel costs. The fuel that is in RAF Akrotiri would not see any significant hit with this trial in place.
The fuel is supplied from the cheapest supplier at the time of procurement anyway and the ship that brings it in goes on to Ascension and the Falklands.
CH,

It must be nice for you to revert to trade instead of all of this Man SV talk you're coming out with! :D
 
#15
A friend of mine,who's son is a TA sapper(and MP), might disagree with this new 'method' of routing flights!! His report on his own return to Uk,courtesy of the RAF,is a classic of it's kind!!!
 
#16
lsquared said:
'Change Crew' ! Ah well, can't have them tired or dusty!

PS: I am/was a pilot.
I've always wondered why you have had the longest running O2 tag and now I know.

Can someone explain (in thickie terms so I can understand better) how it shortens our tours? Isn't it the same plane with the same amount of people on it taking a longer route
 
#17
No it isn't

It is the same aircraft taking a slightly different route. Taking the different route and flying earlier / later / different speeds / different altitudes can bring different factors into play. Aircraft fly with an 'all up' weight, including the aircraft, passengers, fuel and freight in that. There is a tipping point for max passengers and freight compared to fuel. Also, the crew can only fly so many hours in a day / week / month, so changing them at more optimal times makes better use of them, possibly getting more flights out of their time.

If you can make the aircraft 'more efficient' and, for example, fly a little bit slower and re-fuel in a more optimal place, you can get more people on board. If we can get more people on board, then the bottleneck is less, especially at RIP time, therefore people move quicker rather than waiting for spaces.

Hope that helps.
 
#18
Mr_C_Hinecap said:
If you can make the aircraft 'more efficient' and, for example, fly a little bit slower and re-fuel in a more optimal place, you can get more people on board. If we can get more people on board, then the bottleneck is less, especially at RIP time, therefore people move quicker rather than waiting for spaces.

Hope that helps.
It does help I think I see what you mean.
It will be intresting to see just how much fuller a flight can be, They are normally 2/3rd full of passengers and even with that every spare space is rammed with peoples body armour and helmets ( + normal carry on luggage), Cram even more people (plus kit) in there and have a longer flight is going to be a very uncomfortable trip. Still, I suppose if its true (we will have to see) that people could spend less time in theatre it will prove popular.
 
#19
I don't see why the need to complain before the trial even starts, it reads to me like they are trying to do something to better what is happening now so why not give it a chance.

Not everyone is OUT to get the Armed Forces.
 
#20
muhandis89 said:
A friend of mine,who's son is a TA sapper(and MP), might disagree with this new 'method' of routing flights!! His report on his own return to Uk,courtesy of the RAF,is a classic of it's kind!!!
post? link?
 

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