Shortage of RAF pilots for Libya as defence cuts bite

#1
The Telegraph
Tuesday 29 March 2011
The RAF risks running short of pilots for operations over Libya as cuts to the defence budget threaten to undermine front-line operations, The Daily Telegraph can disclose.
Since the conflict began, a squadron of 18 RAF Typhoon pilots has enforced the Libya no-fly zone from an air base in southern Italy. However, a shortage of qualified fighter pilots means the RAF may not have enough to replace all of them when the squadron has to rotate in a few weeks.

The situation is so serious that the RAF has halted the teaching of trainee Typhoon pilots so instructors can be drafted on to the front line, according to air force sources. The handful of pilots used for air shows will also be withdrawn from displays this summer.

The shortage has arisen because cuts to the defence budget over the past decade have limited the number of pilots who have been trained to fly the new Typhoon.

There are also fewer newly qualified pilots coming through after the RAF was forced to cut a quarter of its trainee places due to cuts announced in last year’s Strategic Defence and Security Review.

The Government’s decision to decommission HMS Ark Royal, Harrier jump jets and the Nimrod reconnaissance aircraft — all of which could have played a role in the Libya conflict — has exacerbated the problem. Serving RAF pilots contacted The Daily Telegraph to warn of the risks to the Libya operation. “We have a declining pool of pilots,” one said. “There’s less people to do twice as much work. If we are not training any more we are going to run out of personnel very soon.”

Shortage of RAF pilots for Libya as defence cuts bite - Telegraph
 
#2
Typical RAF posturing. There is no shortage of RAF pilots, or pilots-in-waiting. Since WWII they've been paranoid about running out of aircrew and consequently have over-manned ever since. This is why so many have been, and will continue to be, culled.
 
#4
...said the representative of the lower third of the graduating class at RAF Cranwell??

Perhaps instead of giving air officers conversion training slots so they could cool around in the latest toy and putting more workaday aircrew through the machine might on reflection have been a better strategy, if indeed there is a shortage of men called Kevin who like slip on shoes and white socks and are just in a holding pattern before going on to Ryanair?
 
#5
If the RAF has so badly organised itself it can't keep a half dozen Typhoons operational, it needs to sit down and have a long stern talk with itself.



Alternatively, this could all be just more made up press crap.
 
#6
#7
I spoke to a 2-star this morning who knows more about the Typhoon world than 99.999% of the population. This is spin. That is all.
 
#8
Could be interesting to find out via a FOI request how many RAF Officers are in receipt of Flying Pay.

Then a second request to discover if the aircraft they qualified on are still in service.
 
#9
There will be a Commons Statement at 3:30 this afternoon to confirm the Red Arrows are being recalled
to the UK, and all pilots re-assigned to front line squadrons. This is due to a strain on resources across
the RAF and other capability gaps, which were identified when NATO held meetings at Lancaster House
earlier this week to discuss the long term implications of enforcing the UN No Fly Zone over Libya.

A spokesperson for the Ministry of Defence has offered an assurance that all Red Arrows commitments
for the 2011 season will be transferred to the RAF ‘Tutor Display’ representing 22 Group. When asked
how three years experience flying close formation aerobatics can be used in a combat zone, one former
Red Arrows team member (who wishes to remain anonymous) gave a wry smile and said “any skill is a
perishable skill”.
Waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah.
 
#11
Could be interesting to find out via a FOI request how many RAF Officers are in receipt of Flying Pay.

Then a second request to discover if the aircraft they qualified on are still in service.
The mahogany bomber is the most enduring type to see service in this Air Force or any other.

Also the greenest - I've never yet found one that emits noxious waste gases. Which is more than can be said of many of the folk who 'fly' them.
 
#12
Just come back from an Ex and was speaking to a Harrier A2G Instructor who was waiting for conversion to Typhoon (should have started in Sept). He has now been told that his course is cancelled as the instructors are required to do the Libya thing. Course to be re-convened some time in the New Year. Apparantly something to do with manning the QRA in UK & FI.
 
#13
I spoke to a 2-star this morning who knows more about the Typhoon world than 99.999% of the population. This is spin. That is all.
"Spin" implies that the report is essentially true, but being told in a way to exert public support for a particualr agenda.

Did you mate who knows 99.999% more than me about this care to divulge what that agenda was?
 

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