RAF sends air rescue helicopters to Afghanistan

#1
From The Sunday Times August 3, 2008

RAF sends air rescue helicopters to Afghanistan
Michael Smith
The RAF is being forced to pull a fifth of its helicopter crews out of Britain’s search and rescue service and send them to Afghanistan in an attempt to stop soldiers being killed by roadside bombs.

The move will drastically reduce the number of RAF Sea King helicopters available to rescue people in trouble at sea or caught in disasters such as last year’s floods.

The RAF crews respond to an average of 1,000 emergency calls a year, varying from rescuing holidaymakers in difficulties to the 2004 floods that devastated the Cornish village of Boscastle.

Cutting one of the five crews from each of the six RAF search and rescue stations around Britain will put at risk the current ability to respond to any emergency within an hour.
More on the link
http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/world/asia/article4449461.ece
 
#2
Isn't it fortunate that we have a military SAR force (read an in-great-desperation reserve of trained and skilled crews) from which to pinch some chaps... leap ahead beyond the much vaunted privatisation of SAR in 2012 and what would happen then? Would we be able to bolster the front line in extremis in such a manner? No.

I'm sure the brass would claim those crews post 2012 are permanantly released to front line and so thus this situation would not arise... but we all know that is arrse, afterall, surely the point of having reserves of strength (even if you don't call them that) is that you dont plan on using them and you maintain their availablity... no-one can know when you might be overstreached and in dire need of that support... ok, ok, so 39,000 RAF, 34,000 RN and 102,000 Army, their wives, wives' tennis partners, wives' tennis partners' friends and the whole of the English speaking world (bar ZanuLabour) have known and forseen the need for some time but you catch my drift.

Will this cause a re-think of SAR privatisation?

Will the sweeping privitisation of all manner of UK based jobs be halted or reversed because they realise the utility of having spare blokes in the system?

Will Gordon Brown admit that a better way to honour the memory and courage of fallen soldiers, sailors and airmen he talks about in his recent book would be to fully support IN ALL RESPECTS their successors who too fight and die for each other in foreign fields?

If true this is an incredible, if admittedly necessary, move. In my book this kind of thing is for the approach of WWIII - there is no way that we should be in this state over Afghan and Iraq; another indicator, as if it were needed, that we have past the elastic limit.
 
#3
They have realised that the spare aircraft do not need crews as they are unserviceable due to lack of spares or insufficient maintenance. Shows that privatising SAR really is a bad idea.

http://www.aviationjobsearch.com/employer.asp?employerid=2421&vacID=125087

When they are paying that with all the benefits you know they are getting desperate for people. Bet someone could get in with the bare minimum of experience. Not me though, don't want to live with all those sheep shaggers :D
 
#4
rockhoppercrab said:
They have realised that the spare aircraft do not need crews as they are unserviceable due to lack of spares or insufficient maintenance. Shows that privatising SAR really is a bad idea.

http://www.aviationjobsearch.com/employer.asp?employerid=2421&vacID=125087

When they are paying that with all the benefits you know they are getting desperate for people. Bet someone could get in with the bare minimum of experience. Not me though, don't want to live with all those sheep shaggers :D


That is a crap wage for what they're after, if that's what the supervising technician is getting i wonder what they're paying the air techs?
 
#6
Flot_gear said:
Will this cause a re-think of SAR privatisation?

Will the sweeping privitisation of all manner of UK based jobs be halted or reversed because they realise the utility of having spare blokes in the system?
no because spare capasity in the system = loss of profit :x still im sure that some people will be fine with this :roll:
 
#7
Flot_gear said:
Isn't it fortunate that we have a military SAR force (read an in-great-desperation reserve of trained and skilled crews) from which to pinch some chaps... leap ahead beyond the much vaunted privatisation of SAR in 2012 and what would happen then? Would we be able to bolster the front line in extremis in such a manner? No.

I'm sure the brass would claim those crews post 2012 are permanantly released to front line and so thus this situation would not arise... but we all know that is arrse, afterall, surely the point of having reserves of strength (even if you don't call them that) is that you dont plan on using them and you maintain their availablity... no-one can know when you might be overstreached and in dire need of that support... ok, ok, so 39,000 RAF, 34,000 RN and 102,000 Army, their wives, wives' tennis partners, wives' tennis partners' friends and the whole of the English speaking world (bar ZanuLabour) have known and forseen the need for some time but you catch my drift.

Will this cause a re-think of SAR privatisation?

Will the sweeping privitisation of all manner of UK based jobs be halted or reversed because they realise the utility of having spare blokes in the system?

Will Gordon Brown admit that a better way to honour the memory and courage of fallen soldiers, sailors and airmen he talks about in his recent book would be to fully support IN ALL RESPECTS their successors who too fight and die for each other in foreign fields?

If true this is an incredible, if admittedly necessary, move. In my book this kind of thing is for the approach of WWIII - there is no way that we should be in this state over Afghan and Iraq; another indicator, as if it were needed, that we have past the elastic limit.
excellent post, but your preaching to the choir here. perhaps you could send a copy of that to your MP.
 
#8
Skynet said:
From The Sunday Times August 3, 2008

RAF sends air rescue helicopters to Afghanistan
Michael Smith
The RAF is being forced to pull a fifth of its helicopter crews out of Britain’s search and rescue service and send them to Afghanistan in an attempt to stop soldiers being killed by roadside bombs.

The move will drastically reduce the number of RAF Sea King helicopters available to rescue people in trouble at sea or caught in disasters such as last year’s floods.

The RAF crews respond to an average of 1,000 emergency calls a year, varying from rescuing holidaymakers in difficulties to the 2004 floods that devastated the Cornish village of Boscastle.

Cutting one of the five crews from each of the six RAF search and rescue stations around Britain will put at risk the current ability to respond to any emergency within an hour.
More on the link
http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/world/asia/article4449461.ece
From the article;
However, budget cuts could mean total helicopter numbers dropping from 525 to 220 within eight years.
Anyone got idea where these figures come from, or is it 'journalistic interpretation' ie pulled out of a hat?
 
#9
Anyone got idea where these figures come from, or is it 'journalistic interpretation' ie pulled out of a hat?
No they are a compilation of MoD responses to written answers

Total fleet if all programmes happen
2009
525
2011
470
2013
425
2015
400
2017
340

Total fleet if LEPs on contract but Future Lynx goes ahead
2009
525
2011
465
2013
400
2015
365
2017
255

Total fleet if no LEP but Future Lynx goes ahead
2009
525
2011
460
2013
330
2015
325
2017
290

Total fleet if no LEP and no Future Lynx
2009
525
2011
455
2013
315
2015
280
2017
220

Source: compilation of Hansard answers
 
#10
Can't see us dropping to such a low figure, i'm also struggling with this 'future lynx' and 'LEP', aren't they one and the same, Future Lynx was all about the Lynx airframes coming up for Lifex and needing to replace them to keep the Lynx flying, so in short a life extension program?


At present though i would have thought we had programs for a lot more helicopters, with the medium lift cargo, FLynx and others on the horizon.
 

the_boy_syrup

LE
Book Reviewer
#11
Where it says total fleet if all programes happen
I take it that shows helicopters which are still in storage and my be still being built?
I also assume it includes airframes with limited troop carrying capabilities (Gazelle,squirrel etc)
Is there a seperate figure for heavy lift or troop carrying helicopters?

I smell fudge and not in a nice way

I could produce a receipt showing I own 600 helicopters but if you call my bluff I may come unstuck
 
#12
Where will they get the Sea King techies from, now that all the support went civvy at the start of the year ? The SAR aircraft are also pretty much on their last legs, and struggle to provide cover with 2 aircraft per unit!
 
#13
Can't see us dropping to such a low figure
Can I take you back to the spring of 2004 and ask you, could you then see, amid Iraq going pear-shaped and in the full knowledge that we were committed to a major deployment to Afghanistan (agreed between Blair and Bush in April 2002) that the government would axe three infantry battalions; a dozen ships and a quarter of the RAF?

It is certainly true that it is difficult to see how anyone sensible would let helicopters numbers go so low. Taylor declined to confirm at Farnborough that the government would go ahead with Future Lynx which the government has always insisted when touting it would cost around £1bn. The MoD accounts say it will cost £1.9bn, which is an oddly steep and completely unexplained rise in costs.

Browne and Taylor have an in-tray full of helicopter programmes, including life extension programmes for the RAF’s Puma, the RN’s Sea King HC4 and the AAC Lynx AH.9., and yes they do need to life extend it to meet up with the ISD for Future Lynx whenever that might or might not be. Decisions are also needed soon on the modernisation of the bulk of RAF’s Chinooks and the launching of a competition to replace the troop carrying Puma and Sea Kings from 2017 with around 50 brand new helicopters.

None of these contracts have been given the go-ahead and more than four months into the financial year PR08 has still not been signed off by No 10. It is as I say difficult to see how anyone sensible would let helicopter numbers go so low but having provided you with a whole raft of evidence I would like to see your evidence that anyone sensible is making the decisions.
 
#14
tin fiol hat moment.

Is it just me or does it seem like labour are deliberately degrading our armed forces as a means to force us to join with the united states of europe armed forces as it will be the only way left to protect us?

Call me paranoid, but broon has treasonously signed us up to become part of the USE, so maybe this is just part of the plan. there has also been talk of signing over our aircraft carriers for european use, an idea floated in the media to gauge public opinion, and rapidly denied what said opinion was very negative.

I cannot believe any intelligent person can think that the cut-backs imposed on HM armend forces are sane considereing what is happening in the world, so perhaps ......
 
#15
Argee, the techs are on approx 1500ish less a year. Unusually for a newspaper the headline implies something other than the content of the article, Aircrews are going, not Airframes as I read it, funny that innit?
 
#16
SkiCarver said:
I cannot believe any intelligent person can think that the cut-backs imposed on HM armend forces are sane considereing what is happening in the world, so perhaps ......
Well whilst i doubt he could be sectioned sane perhaps intelligent no. there is no real long term plans for anything let us not forget the coastguard has gone on strike twice this year...and there not just striking over there piss poor pay...

labours plans require privitising everything they can so then they canblame market forces, SAR has always depended in the UK on the forces in the main and the RNLI a charity, and we are a costal nation i have never been able to work that out.

And also i think we could even go back to the farce at westlands with the EH101 to show that air manoverabilty has never been funded of tanken seriously by any government.

I think it might still be true that the American national guard have more airframes than all three of our services, as probally does the US coastguard! although yes they have a larger area to cover.
 
#17
Library_Soldier2 said:
Argee, the techs are on approx 1500ish less a year. Unusually for a newspaper the headline implies something other than the content of the article, Aircrews are going, not Airframes as I read it, funny that innit?

So they'll be really hoping on getting some ex chief tech/CPO/SSgt who has a nice pension, as that's not a very good pay package, most would be better off joining the MoD, DSG or god forbid, Westlands!

Airframes are going, they'll be Lifex soon enough, the Puma LEP from what i was told was going to be a new program to buy a replacement, not extending the life of the fleet, i was also under the impression that this would be more Merlin Mk3s as we have them already, so the ILS is already there, plus they're Westland made.
 
#18
The pisspoor headline was changed at midnight when I saw it on the web. It is accurate on the web from midnight onwards and in the late editions of the print edition. One of those things and certainly not deliberate - there is a very short space of time between decisions as to what goes on the front page and the paper going to press in which articles are cut to length and headlines put on them - but as you say no evidence in the article to justify the headline and cant see how the headline writer thought it was sensible.
 

seaweed

LE
Book Reviewer
#19
Like to see numbers of SAR missions split between (a) rescue of genuine seafarers and (b) idiots in private boats who get into difficulties from either bad seamanship or inadequate equipment (latter is child of the former) and then put SAR, RNLI etc lives at risk saving them from their own foolishness.
 

the_boy_syrup

LE
Book Reviewer
#20
seaweed said:
Like to see numbers of SAR missions split between (a) rescue of genuine seafarers and (b) idiots in private boats who get into difficulties from either bad seamanship or inadequate equipment (latter is child of the former) and then put SAR, RNLI etc lives at risk saving them from their own foolishness.
Don't the RAF/RNLI claim off the boatpersons insurance
I remember getting a briefing at Akrotiri about it costing £5000 per hour to keep a Wessex flying and if they had to come and get you they would look to recuperate costs (unless you were on duty at the time)

Like wise when my brother visited on holiday from Germany he had to get private holiday insurance incase he got admited to the hospital you got billed aswell
 

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