Senior Officer appointed to manage "Air Bridge"

#1
It seems the MoD is grasping the bullet with the "air bridge" issues experienced by troops transiting through Cyprus by appointing a senior officer to run it.

Following Mark Lancaster MP's exchange with the CO of the Ops Wing in the summer Adam Ingram has conceded there is a problem after a discussion in the commons:


Air Bridge

9. Mr. Mark Lancaster (North-East Milton Keynes) (Con): If he will make a statement on the air bridge between the UK and operational theatres. [122587]

The Minister of State, Ministry of Defence (Mr. Adam Ingram): I accept that we have experienced difficulties with the movement of personnel into and out of operational theatres. This has been due to a number of factors, not least the availability of the RAF fleet. The air bridges are under review and improvements are being made, including use of air charter and improvements to infrastructure and passenger-handling processes.

Mr. Lancaster: The tri-service planning process for the delivery of the air bridge is understandably complex. It is effectively a triumvirate of Permanent Joint Headquarters, Defence Supply Chain Operations and Movements and 2 Group RAF, but crucially, no single organisation is in control. Will the Minister consider appointing an appropriately ranked senior officer to be responsible for the delivery of the air bridge in its entirely, and perhaps most importantly, will he ensure that that senior officer is empowered to make the decisions necessary to ensure that it is an effective air bridge?

Mr. Ingram: I thank the hon. Gentleman for all of his input into this matter. He has been fierce in raising a range of issues, not least because of his personal experience in returning from Afghanistan, where he served with distinction. I understand also that his argument has been listened to and a new facility is to be opened at Cyprus air base, which will be named Lancaster house. Perhaps peace will break out between us if we can talk at that facility.

The hon. Gentleman raises a serious and interesting point. There is currently an end-to-end review under way to look at all the different aspects of those who make a contribution to the air bridge. One such issue being considered is his very request for a senior officer to be responsible for the air bridge. First, we have to identify the component parts, where the weaknesses are, how they are to be addressed and who then takes ownership of that process. I am most sympathetic to his point.
The question is whether the "end-to-end review" will find and fix quickly enough in time for the inevitable increase in troop movements.
 

oldbaldy

LE
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#2
woopert said:
It seems the MoD is grasping the bullet with the "air bridge" issues experienced by troops transiting through Cyprus by appointing a senior officer to run it.

Following Mark Lancaster MP's exchange with the CO of the Ops Wing in the summer Adam Ingram has conceded there is a problem after a discussion in the commons:


Air Bridge

9. Mr. Mark Lancaster (North-East Milton Keynes) (Con): If he will make a statement on the air bridge between the UK and operational theatres. [122587]

The Minister of State, Ministry of Defence (Mr. Adam Ingram): I accept that we have experienced difficulties with the movement of personnel into and out of operational theatres. This has been due to a number of factors, not least the availability of the RAF fleet. The air bridges are under review and improvements are being made, including use of air charter and improvements to infrastructure and passenger-handling processes.

Mr. Lancaster: The tri-service planning process for the delivery of the air bridge is understandably complex. It is effectively a triumvirate of Permanent Joint Headquarters, Defence Supply Chain Operations and Movements and 2 Group RAF, but crucially, no single organisation is in control. Will the Minister consider appointing an appropriately ranked senior officer to be responsible for the delivery of the air bridge in its entirely, and perhaps most importantly, will he ensure that that senior officer is empowered to make the decisions necessary to ensure that it is an effective air bridge?

Mr. Ingram: I thank the hon. Gentleman for all of his input into this matter. He has been fierce in raising a range of issues, not least because of his personal experience in returning from Afghanistan, where he served with distinction. I understand also that his argument has been listened to and a new facility is to be opened at Cyprus air base, which will be named Lancaster house. Perhaps peace will break out between us if we can talk at that facility.

The hon. Gentleman raises a serious and interesting point. There is currently an end-to-end review under way to look at all the different aspects of those who make a contribution to the air bridge. One such issue being considered is his very request for a senior officer to be responsible for the air bridge. First, we have to identify the component parts, where the weaknesses are, how they are to be addressed and who then takes ownership of that process. I am most sympathetic to his point.
The question is whether the "end-to-end review" will find and fix quickly enough in time for the inevitable increase in troop movements.
My highlight. I wonder how long they will look into it before some is appointed.
 
#4
Once upon a time in the pre-purple days there was an officer who was in charge of the 'air bridge', a spiffing Cranwell trained chap.

These days PJHQ seems to be full of officers with little experience in certain fields talking a lot but saying nothing.
 
#5
Good luck to the guy - whoever he may be. Until the RAF gets some decent, modern trooping aircraft with the appropriate DAS he is on a hiding to nothing. Any "improvements" will be marginal and cosmetic.
 
#7
If they move the 1600 from Iraq direct to Afghanistan, surely that will ease some of the pain on the airbridge?

I'll get my coat...........
 
#8
I understand the man in charge will be Wing Commander Stellios, troops will book in then perform a CFT to get their desired seat on the aircraft.

:)
 
#9
TheHelpfulStacker said:
Once upon a time in the pre-purple days there was an officer who was in charge of the 'air bridge', a spiffing Cranwell trained chap.

These days PJHQ seems to be full of officers with little experience in certain fields talking a lot but saying nothing.
What utter tosh. ACOS J1/J4 (who runs the coupling bridge on behalf of CJO) is 'a spiffing Cranwell trained chap' and is working hard to sort the problem out, however Seanbean has it absolutely spot on:

"Good luck to the guy - whoever he may be. Until the RAF gets some decent, modern trooping aircraft with the appropriate DAS he is on a hiding to nothing. Any "improvements" will be marginal and cosmetic."
 
#10
What about getting a civair charter from Brize to Akrotiri and then transfer the passengers and luggage onto a DAS equipped Tristar.

Base all the DAS aircraft in Cyprus until availability improves then we can use it as heat acclimatisation as well.
 
#11
HMG could just stump up the cash for some new aircraft. Even if it just adds to the Tristar fleet rather than replacing it.

Sorry, I appear to have wondered in to common sense land. I'll put myself on a charge.
 
#13
Air Bridge you say? Where's Freddie Laker when you need him?
 
#14
As SeanBean says, until FSTA is finally funded, little will improve. Ironic indeed given that yesterday the Times were reporting that this very project was being examined for the chop in a projected further round of cuts to enable funding of the Trident replacement/upgrade.

My suggestion to find the dosh is to cancel our order for A400M and plough the money saved back into more C-17s and FSTA A330 tanker/transports ALL with DAS.

MM
 
#15
that's some one dicked
Soooooooo I'm ic airbridge am I do I get any cash for new planes er no
how about some spare and those odd oiks in overalls to fix them er sorry no
so what eactly am I suppoused to do
take the blame mostly
cheers for that then boss :frustrated:
 
#16
Why not use Ryanair? I mean, if it lands in Cyprus, the could call it their Athens flight.
 
#18
Petardier said:
Does crabair have a sense of humour or is it a super wheeze by a spinmeister - calling the salubrious new premises in Cyprus 'Lancaster House'.
I suppose it can be argued that it both relates to one of RAF's previous a/c that served so well under the controls of many brave men (many building in the RAF are named after aircraft) and also by some happy coincidence has the same name as the surname of a rather vocal TA officer (who also happened to be an MP).
 
#19
I think it might be more helpful if they made Harry Potter OC Eng Wg at Brize.
 
#20
OldTimer said:
New Labour aren't interested in movements .........., they just don't give a s***
As opposed to the Conservative Party?
 

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