returning to the UK post tour

#1
I recently arrived back from Afghan after a 6 month tour. we landed at a civilian airport in the UK, along with most of the other flights from my Bde.

We were not allowed inside the airport, and had to unload our baggage ourselves out on the apron of the runway in the dark and rain (no hassle really), but what is making my blood boil is that some week minded liberal idiot decided that our presence in uniform inside the airport may offend some local civilians. we did not even go through any customs.

Conntrast this with the recent happeninngs at Wooton Bassett and the reception given to US troops upon their homecomings.

I am more annoyed at the people that made this week decision than i would be at any potential protestators.

What do others think? After the number of years that i have been in the Army, i shoudn't be suprised, but i am just annoyed at these week people.
 
#2
im sure the vast majority of the public would have no problem whatsoever with sharing a arrivals lounge with troops coming home, just another example of some friggin liberal jobsworth who in no way represents what the the public feel
 
#4
twosup said:
I recently arrived back from Afghan after a 6 month tour. we landed at a civilian airport in the UK, along with most of the other flights from my Bde.

We were not allowed inside the airport, and had to unload our baggage ourselves out on the apron of the runway in the dark and rain (no hassle really), but what is making my blood boil is that some week minded liberal idiot decided that our presence in uniform inside the airport may offend some local civilians. we did not even go through any customs.

Conntrast this with the recent happeninngs at Wooton Bassett and the reception given to US troops upon their homecomings.

I am more annoyed at the people that made this week decision than i would be at any potential protestators.

What do others think? After the number of years that i have been in the Army, i shoudn't be suprised, but i am just annoyed at these week people.
Details please by PM - time, flight no, unit, location of airport. Back in MOD tomorrow so I'll need facts rather than opinion if you want something done but please bear in mind that there may have been mitigating circumstances (although they may not seem so to you!). :x
 
#5
twosup said:
I recently arrived back from Afghan after a 6 month tour. we landed at a civilian airport in the UK, along with most of the other flights from my Bde.

We were not allowed inside the airport, and had to unload our baggage ourselves out on the apron of the runway in the dark and rain (no hassle really), but what is making my blood boil is that some week minded liberal idiot decided that our presence in uniform inside the airport may offend some local civilians. we did not even go through any customs.

Conntrast this with the recent happeninngs at Wooton Bassett and the reception given to US troops upon their homecomings.

I am more annoyed at the people that made this week decision than i would be at any potential protestators.

What do others think? After the number of years that i have been in the Army, i shoudn't be suprised, but i am just annoyed at these week people.
Wasn't Birmingham by any chance? Similar thing happened to me coming back for RnR once as a jnr Capt. I was also - happily - the duty bod for ensuring all passengers arrived at destination safely. Can't remember the correct TLA, something like UPO?

Anyway, I was faced with the choice of either doing what the RLC mover ( :x ) said and staying on the plane (the unpopular choice), or deplaning, and marching a bucketload of soldiers - with weapons - across an active runway and into a terminal which may have been locked against us. Chose the former, and my boss later said it was the right choice, but I still have a nagging feeling... :oops:

Also on the same plane - 1 x Army Lt Col, 2 x Crab Wing Cos and a smattering of Majs. Not a sausage out of any of them! So much for support from the CoC. The flight arrival time was delayed by around 10 hours, and we had a couple of compassionates with us. :x :x

I don't think any minorities would have been offended in the slightest - I think the primary concern was cowardice on the part of the airport. I reckon they didn't want themselves associated with the Army in case some of their frequent fliers (as per the demographic in Brum) got a bit cross.
 
#6
This has happened to us returning from H4, we were smuggled under cover of darkness, waited 2 hours on the plane before getting off etc, etc...Then 3 PARA came off in the day light hours, shite it was...welcome back anyway mate!
 
#7
I cant work out what youre more pished off about, the fact that you didnt get a heroes welcome with a band and everything or that you werent allowed to mix with the civvies at the airport.
Very good of the people at Wooton Bassett to do what they have been doing, shows the kind of respect that is missing from most of the UK, however its not the home coming reception that most people would hope for.
 
#8
Bubbles - PM sent

Rats - yes Birmingham

Fox - the homecoming i wanted was with my wife and kids, no bands. i said clearly
I am more annoyed at the people that made this week decision than i would be at any potential protestators.
you are off track
 
#9
Filbert Fox said:
I cant work out what youre more pished off about, the fact that you didnt get a heroes welcome with a band and everything or that you werent allowed to mix with the civvies at the airport.
Very good of the people at Wooton Bassett to do what they have been doing, shows the kind of respect that is missing from most of the UK, however its not the home coming reception that most people would hope for.
Speaking for myself, I couldn't care less about the marching bands etc. More upset about the delay in getting home, and the wastage of RnR time. Clearly the compassionates were also fcuked about. Why hold people on the plane until it gets dark? Why not have coaches ready to pick us up on the apron immediately after landing? The excuse given (to me, at least) was some sort of BS about passport control, although when we eventually arrived at Brize via coach, we were waved through the passport control station.

the overall impression was one of knee-jerk-c0ck-up by the Movers, and anti-Army sentiment by the civvy airport, not of the well-oiled Airbridge machine that should be in place.
 
#10
Bubbles_Barker said:
Details please by PM - time, flight no, unit, location of airport. Back in MOD tomorrow so I'll need facts rather than opinion if you want something done but please bear in mind that there may have been mitigating circumstances (although they may not seem so to you!). :x
A few points:

It would be nice to see justice being done - or at least hear a report of it being done.

Mitigating circumstances there may have been, but clearly Twosup did not get to hear of any at the time. Those meeting this return flight clearly didn't think to inform - and that is a demonstrable failure on their part. How many returning personnel do they wish to antagonise?
 
#11
twosup said:
Bubbles - PM sent

Rats - yes Birmingham

Fox - the homecoming i wanted was with my wife and kids, no bands. i said clearly
I am more annoyed at the people that made this week decision than i would be at any potential protestators.
you are off track
Resend - no PM received.......................
 
#12
[/quote]Wasn't Birmingham by any chance? Similar thing happened to me coming back for RnR once as a jnr Capt. I was also - happily - the duty bod for ensuring all passengers arrived at destination safely. Can't remember the correct TLA, something like UPO?

Anyway, I was faced with the choice of either doing what the RLC mover ( :x ) said and staying on the plane (the unpopular choice), or deplaning, and marching a bucketload of soldiers - with weapons - across an active runway and into a terminal which may have been locked against us. Chose the former, and my boss later said it was the right choice, but I still have a nagging feeling... :oops:

Also on the same plane - 1 x Army Lt Col, 2 x Crab Wing Cos and a smattering of Majs. Not a sausage out of any of them! So much for support from the CoC. The flight arrival time was delayed by around 10 hours, and we had a couple of compassionates with us. :x :x

I don't think any minorities would have been offended in the slightest - I think the primary concern was cowardice on the part of the airport. I reckon they didn't want themselves associated with the Army in case some of their frequent fliers (as per the demographic in Brum) got a bit cross.[/quote]


No need for a nagging feeling - marching your men across an active runway would have been just a bit daft however you may have felt at the time.............
 
#13
Unsworth said:
Bubbles_Barker said:
Details please by PM - time, flight no, unit, location of airport. Back in MOD tomorrow so I'll need facts rather than opinion if you want something done but please bear in mind that there may have been mitigating circumstances (although they may not seem so to you!). :x
A few points:

It would be nice to see justice being done - or at least hear a report of it being done.

Mitigating circumstances there may have been, but clearly Twosup did not get to hear of any at the time. Those meeting this return flight clearly didn't think to inform - and that is a demonstrable failure on their part. How many returning personnel do they wish to antagonise?
I'll see what I can do - depends if my 2* is 'in'. If he is then heads will roll if required.
 
#14
having trouble with PM. i dont feel any of the following is sensitive though.

we arrived in birmingham sat 04 Oct from Cyprus (decompression). on plane was Royal Irish and REME, sat on plane for one hour, not sure of flight no but could get it.

be interested to hear of any info u can get.

confident it was due to week managers though.
 
#15
I've lived in the USA for some considerable time so apart from a few short visits to the UK I'm a little out of touch with Brit public opinion vis a vis their Armed Forces (in my day it ranged from indifference through disdain - though never hatred - IRA supporters in Ireland and certain major mainland cities excepted). Why are 'minorities' feelings taken into account to the detriment of British service personnel? What do the 'majority' i.e. patriotic British people think? Why no protests by the 'majority' against the demands of the seditious minority? No wonder the British Army has a retention problem.

That said - on returning from active service tours via civilian charter airlines (quite common in the 1960s after sea trooping ceased) - we would invariably arrive at a cordoned off terminal area in Gatwick or Heathrow, always in the middle of the night, to be confronted by hostile immigration officials (though back then - unlike two I saw at Heathrow last year none wore burqas) and surly Customs officials who would take sadistic delight in ripping the MOW's kit apart not in the least impressed we'd just returned from an operational tour - the Jocks would then be hustled out of the Airport environs lest they be seen by the public.

I guess, then, nothing's changed!
 
#16
In my 23 years of being in the Regs, my experience on returning from tours is that a lot of peoples attitude is that when youre back, youre back and most people are concerned with the ones that are actually deployed.

I came back from one tour, we arrived on a herc at Lyneham at midnight, all that was there to meet us was the coaches. Back down to our unit by 2 am, CO wasnt there so we had to wait for 30 mins while his driver picked him up. He eventually arrived and did his welcome back speil, several trays of sandwiches that had been made at lunch time the day before were then brought out. All our families had been made to wait outside, they had seen the coaches come in but werent told they would be waiting for another hour plus to see us.

When my wife came back from Telic 1, they arrived at Brize but all families were told not to be there and to wait down in Gosport. When I came back I was given a hire car at 3am which turned out to be on the other side of camp.

As for arriving at a civvie airport, could you imagine the chaos of X number of squaddies with all of their kit swamping the place! Probably nothing to do with protesters or offending people, more likely a command and control issue. However as always passage of information has never been a strong point of the military.
 
B

Biscuits_AB

Guest
#17
twosup said:
We were not allowed inside the airport, and had to unload our baggage ourselves out on the apron of the runway in the dark and rain (no hassle really), but what is making my blood boil is that some week minded liberal idiot decided that our presence in uniform inside the airport may offend some local civilians. we did not even go through any customs.
You have evidence of this? You were told this perhaps? Maybe a note was sent round for you to read?

Maybe the manner in which you described your 'ordeal' would have been one of logistics, making it quicker for you to get your transport home, rather than have you drag your arrses round an airport?

So what are you looking for? Sympathy or a story?
 
B

Biscuits_AB

Guest
#18
twosup said:
having trouble with PM. i dont feel any of the following is sensitive though.

we arrived in birmingham sat 04 Oct from Cyprus (decompression). on plane was Royal Irish and REME, sat on plane for one hour, not sure of flight no but could get it.

be interested to hear of any info u can get.

confident it was due to week managers though.
You sound like a journalist mate.
 
#19
twosup said:
some week minded liberal idiot decided that our presence in uniform inside the airport may offend some local civilians
Biscuits said:
You have evidence of this? You were told this perhaps? Maybe a note was sent round for you to read?

Maybe the manner in which you described your 'ordeal' would have been one of logistics, making it quicker for you to get your transport home, rather than have you drag your arrses round an airport?
I agree with Biscuits, can you imagine what it would be like at a civvie airport when a plane load of squaddies with all their kit plus waiting families? Chaos!

confident it was due to week managers though.
I'm pretty confident it was probably all due to good planning so as to get you all home ASAP without losing people or kit.
 
#20
Biscuits_AB said:
twosup said:
having trouble with PM. i dont feel any of the following is sensitive though.

we arrived in birmingham sat 04 Oct from Cyprus (decompression). on plane was Royal Irish and REME, sat on plane for one hour, not sure of flight no but could get it.

be interested to hear of any info u can get.

confident it was due to week managers though.
You sound like a journalist mate.
Yes you do twosup.

I also came back into BHX recently via this route on a MoD charter and we had to unload our own bags , with the help of the 'roving mover' team (Thanks guys)

Kit off aeroplane onto wagon, bodies on coach, leave airport. Dead simple, minimum stress , and no customs enchanced fuckeries. Cheers Easy!

Contrast that with putting 200 pax through Civvy arrivals, grips, Bergans, specialist kit etc? The process was even faster than coming back through BZN.

Rather than moaning about not receiving welcome of some description, and putting it down to some dark anti-squaddie forces at work, why not look at the reduced processing time to get you back to your family.

I said it in the previous thread, and I will say it again. I am unaware of another airport in the UK, that does as much as possible for Forces flights, including Medevac. The welcome given by BHX and it's staff and passengers to the STAFFORDS on their return was something to see, with standing ovations for the boys from staff and civpax, and close to live coverage

Birmingham is VERY strongly pro-forces.

There isn't a pernicious plot to hide squaddies from the public view, to my mind, this is about efficently processing returning troops.
 

Similar threads

Latest Threads

Top