Outstanding PR from the RAF

#1
Times Online

A Hercules pilot based at RAF Lyneham, Caz (Caroline) Leavey, 26, joined the Southampton University Air Squadron while studying biochemistry, then trained at RAF Cranwell, Lincolnshire. She is currently on tour in Iraq.
Aside from the shock factor of the press interviewing a female pilot (they've never done that before!). I am appalled by some of the comments:

In Basra I’m supposed to shack up in the women’s tent, but they get up at random times for less stringent duties. If they have a disturbed night, they might drop a pencil — but I could crash an aircraft.
Obviously if you don't fly an aircraft you aren't doing anything worthwhile that could have a negative effect on Ops! I'm certain the tecchies and movers will be happy to point out that if they don't do their job properly, there is every chance of an aircraft crashing.

The guys mock me for bringing a Samsonite suitcase with me, but when their Bergens are soaked through and mine is bone-dry inside, they’re begging to put their mobiles and laptops in it.
Bloody hell a Samsonite on Ops! We don't learn do we? I thought we'd stopped doing that after the debacle of our deployment to the Balkans. Ever heard of waterproof covers etc for your bergen?

Once, a warning came up saying “engine vibration high”. I reduced the power but it didn’t go away, so I shut that engine down and returned to base. It wasn’t a panic, just something I had to do. But once I buggered up a landing, and the crew were like: “What the hell was that?”
Obviously this must have been written by her five-year old nephew for a school project.

*rant mode on*

This article has got me, and others in the RAF (it's gone around by e-mail rather quickly), quite angry. I do not wish to disparage Flt Lt Leavy, but that this made it through the MOD's PR machine is astonishing. It is poorly written, self-serving and utterly un-representative of the experiences of the majority of RAF chaps in theatre. Having worked with the herc chaps at BAS I have been impressed with the work they put in, their flying ability and their willingness to get the job done. Yes I did meet the odd c0ck, but you find them in every branch and trade. This article does the RAF a disservice.

*rant off*
 
#3
Bat_Crab said:
Times Online

I have to put up with a bit of a hoo-ha when I’m lugging it off the aircraft, but you wouldn’t be a woman in the forces if you couldn’t take a bit of stick
I particularly like this one - the ever-present 'I'm a victim but I can laugh it off' throw-away remark.
 
#4
It appears the responses on the site are of a similar vein to Bat Crabs, does not do our collegues in blue any favours - pre-supposing that the report accurately reflects what was actually said
 
#6
Mind you re the accommodation thing I had the -ahem- privilege of working on Ops with some of our sideways scuttling friends and being involved in the room plot.

I was glibly informed by the pre-advance party that each member of RAF aircrew would require a single room, and that Non-Commissioned aircrew would need to bunk in the Officers' billets for "team bonding" purposes, this in a location where Field Officers were crammed in on top of each other.

This was strange as the previous squadron (strangers to Farahs, grey slip ons etc) had managed to share accommodation; actually managed to do the odd sortie in support of the mission and which didn't involve going shopping or trying to show off to females on camp; and even risked getting the aircraft wet by flying in less than perfect weather.
 
#8
Not the first time a female pilot in Iraq has swung the lantern into the faces of others. At least she doesn't 'party so hard she didn't hear the mortars falling.'
 

elovabloke

ADC
Moderator
#9
Lady needs a good kicking - but as she is the most important person on earth it might not be a good idea. Pompus little tart - (if it is written in her own words).
 
#10
Yet another example of the 'institutional arrogance' displayed by Royal Air Force aircrew. Whilst everyone on the ground expects to be bantered for being a bluntie/REMF, Flt Lt Leavey's comments - in a national newspaper - will serve to further undermine morale of the ground personnel stationed in Basra and will drive still deeper the wedge between aircrew and groundcrew. Cloying and vomit-inducing though it can sometimes be, at least US aircrew are always quick to acknowledge that they could not do their job without everyone pulling it together as a team.

She is on her 7th tour in Iraq over a 2 year period, but of course each of her deployments will have been for a 3-week period. The ground staff at certain locations are mortared daily, and have the pleasure of a 4-month stint on the ground (not 6 months, I grant you, so no comparison with those lads patrolling the streets for a 6-month stretch).

English lessons wouldn't go amiss either. "Running like a hot potato" and people with "less stringent jobs"? Also, do we really need the mock-surf-dude "I was, like woah and they were, like way and I was, like, yes way" style of English?
 
#11
Captain Plume - Please don't tar all RAF aircrew with the same brush. Some aircrew, especially SH crews are {said through gritted teeth} really good people who will sleep where they fall.

Of course there are many tw@ts who think they are flying for EasyJet who bleat on about hotels and rates more than the servicability of their aircraft but these are mainly found in the less deployable parts of the RAF.
 
#12
Even Hercs are split into 2 breeds:

Tac Crews usually very good, get on with the job.

Route Crews, oh my, cant fly for the bleating and queen sized beds.

I wonder which one she was.
 
#13
THS wrote

Captain Plume - Please don't tar all RAF aircrew with the same brush. Some aircrew, especially SH crews are {said through gritted teeth} really good people who will sleep where they fall.
Erm, without breaching OPSEC, the people I was referring to were SHF!
 
#14
CaptainPlume - 6 years working on TSW, with the majority of our 'customers' being members being either AAC or SHF and currently being on a unit that has both AAC and RAF squadrons has taught me that apart from the different berets (Blu Tac blue or crab fat blue sir?) they were all very much the same.

Of course there are exceptions, much as I've met awarkard SHF crews I can distinctly remember some very arrsey AAC pilots, including an ex-Guards officer pilot at R850 who seemed hell bent on being an arrse, but overall most are there to do a job and just get on with it.
 
#15
CaptainPlume said:
Mind you re the accommodation thing I had the -ahem- privilege of working on Ops with some of our sideways scuttling friends and being involved in the room plot.

I was glibly informed by the pre-advance party that each member of RAF aircrew would require a single room, and that Non-Commissioned aircrew would need to bunk in the Officers' billets for "team bonding" purposes, this in a location where Field Officers were crammed in on top of each other.

This was strange as the previous squadron (strangers to Farahs, grey slip ons etc) had managed to share accommodation; actually managed to do the odd sortie in support of the mission and which didn't involve going shopping or trying to show off to females on camp; and even risked getting the aircraft wet by flying in less than perfect weather.
This reminds me of when two CH-47s got weathered in at my sqn´s remote location in Bosnia. We were told that the aircrew would need officers´accommodation. The Sqn Cpl Major obliged by providing them with two roll mats each instead of one.
 
#16
This reminds me of when two CH-47s got weathered in at my sqn´s remote location in Bosnia. We were told that the aircrew would need officers´accommodation. The Sqn Cpl Major obliged by providing them with two roll mats each instead of one.
And to counter that, whilst serving at GV a Chinook was 'weathered in' and had to stop the night.

After they had left the next day the CO of the tomato factory bollocked the three of us on the TSW det because we hadn't annoucned the arrival of a 'senior' officer on the unit (the captain of the Chinny was the CO of RAF Odiham, a Group Captain). Instead the crew had split themselves between sleeping in a spare 'OR' corrimec and the spare bunk in the TSW room/office.

I can give you an example of an arrsey AAC officer if you like but it'd be a pointless willy waving exercise. Pilots are human beings and some humans are gits, plain and sinple, regardless of the beret they wear.
 
#17
TheHelpfulStacker said:
This reminds me of when two CH-47s got weathered in at my sqn´s remote location in Bosnia. We were told that the aircrew would need officers´accommodation. The Sqn Cpl Major obliged by providing them with two roll mats each instead of one.
And to counter that, whilst serving at GV a Chinook was 'weathered in' and had to stop the night.

After they had left the next day the CO of the tomato factory bollocked the three of us on the TSW det because we hadn't annoucned the arrival of a 'senior' officer on the unit (the captain of the Chinny was the CO of RAF Odiham, a Group Captain). Instead the crew had split themselves between sleeping in a spare 'OR' corrimec and the spare bunk in the TSW room/office.

I can give you an example of an arrsey AAC officer if you like but it'd be a pointless willy waving exercise. Pilots are human beings and some humans are gits, plain and sinple, regardless of the beret they wear.
You´re right, some aircrew will always try it on. I was just telling an amusing anecdote about my SCM´s wit. As a matter of interest, one of the ac comds was an AAC officer on exchange.

Ref your story about GV, I flew once with CO 33 Sqn in´93 when he came out to visit his lads in Belize. Would it have been the same bloke?Absolutely top man, who I later had the pleasure of working with when he was a v senior bar code in the MOD running the NATO policy desk.
 
#19
[quote="Bat_Crab]
26, joined the Southampton University Air Squadron
[/quote]

Working out the maths she must have started at SUAS in my last year of Uni......which means there is a damn good chance at least one of the lads in my year at the OTC had her several times over the CO's desk at a party....she is probably mentally scarred for life if that is true!

SUAS bunch of incestuous pond life generally...wonder if they still have the 'secret' web forum that they set up back in about 1999/2000 for all thier gossip..;)

S_R
 
#20
My sixth birthday was spent in the cockpit of a 747, gaily munching cake on the captain’s knee.
Must .......... resist .......... temptation ........... to ........... comment ................
 

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