SDSR and the various Armed Forces Display Teams

#1
My first post in many years. Thats jail for you!!!

1. Red Sparrows (RAF Aerobatic Display Team)
2. Red Freds (Army parachute Team)
3. White Helmets (Royal Signals Motorcycle Display Team)
4. Field Gun Crews (Royal Navy)
5. Kings Troop Royal Horse Artillary (Horses and Field Guns)
6. Flying Bummers (Motorcycle Team)
7. RAF Regt Queens Colour Squadron (Drill Team)
8. Black Knights (Inf Parachute Display Team)
9. RAF Falcons (PJI Parachute Display Team)
10. Blue Eagles (AAC Helecopter Display Team - now gone I beleive)

And there's more Inf/Corps parachute Teams out there..

My question is....What should stay, what should go....My pick to stay would be;

1. White Helmets - They have been around since 1927
2. Red Arrows - They, like the White Helmets, are an establishment in themselves
3. RAF Falcons - remember the PJI's teach all military parachuting
4. A Naval Gun crew - Shits and giggles.

What say you? Remember these teams are strong recruiting tools and KAPE/PR machines..
 
#2
Do the Royal Marines have an Unarmed Combat Demonstration Team, or is that just an urban legend?
 
#3
They do, but its made up at unit level as and when they need it. Its not a permanent team,nore permanent members. Although years ago that may have been a different case. They also had a motorcycle display team at one time.
 
#4
Do the Royal Marines have an Unarmed Combat Demonstration Team, or is that just an urban legend?
They need them to act as an OPFOR during the Chinese Knife-Fighting course
 
#6
Is that a seperate course from Underwater Knife Fighting?
Yes, you have to complete both chinese knife fighting and the divers course before you are allowed on the underwater knife fighting course (unless, of course, you completed the chinese knife fighting course before Jan 2001, in which case you have grandfather rights)
 
#8
My pick to stay would be:

1) Red Arrows.
2) Red Devils.
3) Field Gun Crews.
4) Kings Troop Royal Horse Artillery.

Everything else would be for the chop.
 
#9
So? How long do you think 2nd Bn Coldstream Guards had been around when that succumbed to the chop? Nearly 350 years.


The purple helmets, what an establishment! Couldn't the millions of pounds spent on running jets for no operational benefit at all be redirected to more needy areas? No sacred cows and all that.



Is there any point in having The Red Devils and the RAF Falcons? Come on, the RAF fly the planes, the army fall out of them.
Valid point & nothing should be exempt, if regimental history means nothing neither should display teams besides I fully understand that KAPE's have a role (i've done it & got the T-shirt)

IIRC these postings/roles were a bonus/perk if you got the opportunity & many units have a maximum of 2 year stint if your lucky.
 
#10
I thought the White Helmets were very much self sufficient as far as funding went. Triumph provide the machines and spares surely and they don't do shows for free except for Corps related ones.
I stand by to be shot down in flames on this but that was my understanding when I was in the Corps.
 
Z

Zarathustra

Guest
#11
When they're on about people loosing their jobs to save the MOD money then I think these sorts of things should go first. Of course these teams are good for recruitment and PR etc, but given the choice of some RAF pumpers zooming around in pretty red planes or people keeping their jobs, I know which I'd choose.
 
#12
Come next year.This is all we will have left.Mind you they are quite good.They are still working on getting the gun carriage across the "ravine"
 
#13
I thought the White Helmets were very much self sufficient as far as funding went. Triumph provide the machines and spares surely and they don't do shows for free except for Corps related ones.
I stand by to be shot down in flames on this but that was my understanding when I was in the Corps.
Your not far off the mark at all..

The WHITE HELMETS are self sufficient and the Team had to buy the bikes. They also have to buy there lorry,trailer,coach,car,fuel (yes fuel, they are civil vehicles and can not use the POL point),spares,No1 (blues) uniform,helmets,gloves,team dress,oils,tools,work benches,grinders,welders,vehicle insurance,public imdemnity insurance,even stamps for the mail..etc etc....The Army pay wages only.

One of the cheapest display teams (for the tax payer) as the Team raises its money from show bookings..No shows = no pay = no maintanance,fuel,etc.
 
#14
Your not far off the mark at all..

The WHITE HELMETS are self sufficient and the Team had to buy the bikes. They also have to buy there lorry,trailer,coach,car,fuel (yes fuel, they are civil vehicles and can not use the POL point),spares,No1 (blues) uniform,helmets,gloves,team dress,oils,tools,work benches,grinders,welders,vehicle insurance,public imdemnity insurance,even stamps for the mail..etc etc....The Army pay wages only.

One of the cheapest display teams (for the tax payer) as the Team raises its money from show bookings..No shows = no pay = no maintanance,fuel,etc.
Oh yea, and Iam sure they charge military units for shows, with a disscount, even Royal Signals..
 
#15
Yes, you have to complete both chinese knife fighting and the divers course before you are allowed on the underwater knife fighting course (unless, of course, you completed the chinese knife fighting course before Jan 2001, in which case you have grandfather rights)
I thought roll mats were the weapon of choice these days?
 
#16
[video=youtube;32s4qCCFnmk]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=32s4qCCFnmk[/video]

Can't quite match this i'd argue - i'm not sure even the pompey demonstration team is still going?

Not beyond Brickwoods anyway which although pretty good, can't quite match the Command runs.
 
#17
10. Blue Eagles (AAC Helecopter Display Team - now gone I beleive)

As a full team of 1x Lynx and 4x Gazelles (prior to that; 5x Lynx), yep. Current AAC display consists of 1x Lynx and occasionally 1x Apache plus the AHAF (Army Historic Aircraft Flight). The AHAF is primarily funded by a Trust. As with a lot of teams, heavy corporate sponsorship takes a lot of the financial burden. For example, the Blue Eagles were primarily sponsored by Breitling, AW and BAe. Vehicles were supplied by Mercedes and even the team had to pay for their own kwik fit coveralls and leather jackets. The actual cost of operating the aircraft is the only real thing 'paid for' by the military. The amount of hours allocated to the aircraft was minimal. The aircraft used wasnt a special display aircraft (apart from a G meter being fitted) and the aircraft were used day to day to teach students. Btw, venues get charged for the the team to display so it aint free.

But do tend to agree with your sentiment that if we're skint, we shouldn't be forking out on 'luxury items' such as display teams.

Regarding your obvious bias toward the White helmets, you'll actually find that most of the free fall teams you mention are self funding. Red Freds mostly are and they pull in a huge amount of cash when not actually doing displays (they get paid to display at non mil events and they are ALWAYS busy). They also make money out of doing tandem jumps and doing various PR tours. Their cost to the tax payer is more than likely zero but their value far outweighs their cost. You'll find that quite a few of these teams dont cost the MoD.

Totally agree about the Red Arrows. Bin em, bunch of arrogant twats. They think they ****ing own the display circuit and airshows are purely put on for them!
 
#18
My pick to stay would be:

1) Red Arrows.
2) Red Devils.
3) Field Gun Crews.
4) Kings Troop Royal Horse Artillery.

Pretty much agree with the above especially Kings Troop, these guys (and girls) are truely unique and un- matched by anything any other country has to offer. They are a true representation of living history of our armed forces and a huge crowd pleaser where ever they go. They also carry out all of the state / royal slautes up in London. I think thier PR / recruitment value is worth every penny and without getting too sentemental think they are one of the shrinking pool of examples which show case a part of what Great Britain is all about.

It's a shame they cut back the field gun crews who were another 'institution' and also relevant to the service they represent.

As for the others they all have a role to serve but as tommyhutch said do we need the Red Falcons and the Red Devils and the Black Knights? Same goes for the motorcycle display teams.
 
#19
(pull pin and throw ...)

Don't forget the higher cost ones as well - you probably want to add the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight, HMS Victory (commanded by a 1* IIRC), and doubtless a few others as well. That's before you get onto the various PD roles...

Even if some parts of them are sponsored by QuikFit, Aldi, Brylcream, etc, many of the fixed costs (infrastructure - barracks, white fleet, etc) and personnel (wages, pensions, training, etc) still need to be covered. There's probably a few battalions's (or equivalent's) worth of personnel tied up in these - either officially, or on the "black".

I don't doubt the wider benefits that they bring, but if they don't make a direct contribution to defence or security (as per the SDSR), why should they be funded from the defence budget? If "good for recruiting", where's the cost benefit analysis versus , say, ACIOs in dole offices? Otherwise, treat them as a form of MACA ("Services to Tourism"?), and get another department to pick up the (real) tab.
 
#20
Battle of Britain Memorial Flight -- would be a shame to lose this. I enjoy seeing a spitfire/hurricane/lancaster still flying. Not sure how much is privately funded or costs met by the RAF? Might have to go down the path of the Charitable Trust that runs vulcan.
 
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