Discussion in 'The Intelligence Cell' started by Mike444, Feb 14, 2005.
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Why is it that the army is the only service that allows its soldiers to fly it s aircraft.
Suspect you mean NCOs. I guess the simple answer is that the army is mean - or watches the pennies anyway. The other two (three if you include RM) decided long ago that you had to pay people lots of money to fly. Although I gather there are rumblings about the RAF not having any NCO pilots whereas, for example, the US does. We all know of course, that if the US does it - it must be right.
Probably better to ask in that other group PPRUNE.
The USAF has NCO pilots?
The USArmy and USMarines have Warrant Officer Helicopter pilots, but I don't think they have NCO pilots.
Remember a US Warrant Officer is fairly different from a British/Commonwealth Forces WO
But, the RAF had Sgt pilots before, why not now?
ISTR seeing a couple but I could well be wrong. I'm not too au fait with colonial crabs.
I think the RAF did away with NCO intake because of jets. The entry education requirement for jet aircrew was degree level. That isn't to say NCO's don't have degrees (before someone beats me up) It just made things simpler and warm and fluffy for the dears..
Without going off track please explain - Those that hold the Royal Warrant are no different IMHO
Nuclear weapons are the answer. Long, long ago both the RAF and RN were tasked to drop nukes. Many, mostly tactical were provided by the US. The US required that only commissioned officers pushed the button and so the RN and RAF got in line so as to keep flexibility over who flew what aircraft.
The AAC were never a nuclear armed organisation hence they never made the change.
OOh thats one to remember for after dinner trivia...
US Warrant Officers are different in that they are in a rank category separate from ORs, and Officers. They are in a way like a "specialist" Officer, while not being Commissioned. I'm not sure they have "command" status.
They are members of the US eqivalent of an Officer's mess, not the Sgt and WO mess.
Maybe a fine line, but still "different"
A very correct statement, however, the US warrent does not hold an equal rank in the NATO structure. We have OR1 to OR9, and for officers OF1 to OF11. We all know that the NATO rank structure is based on the US structure. Having worked along side with US warrent officers, I can equat them to a senior FofS, YofS, Artificer etc.
I often work along side US CW (Chief Warrant Ranks). Unless I get the numbers backwards, the CW1 = 2LT, CW2 = Lt, etc, through to CW5. Or maybe it's the otherway round. Basically, it is the same as the LE commssion structure - the US commissions them as a Commissioned Warrant Officer, whereas we make ours officers (LE). Takes abit of getting used to and not directly equating them to a UK Warrant Officer. That said, the one in particular I work with is gleaming and beats a lot of our offcers hands down, DE or LE.
Also, if you look at the RAF, their int branch is all officers. There is an int trade group for non-commissioned ranks but the structure, posts and career development don't directly paralell ot the Int Corps.
Don't think the US armed forces have any NCO pilots. Army helicopter pilots may be W1 to CW5 as well as commissioned, USAF, as far as I know, is all officer, as are USN and USMC.
So what we're saying here is, NCO's in the British army are the equivalent of officers in the other services and countries. Sounds about right.
One of the Strange is dead right about the nukes business. One of the best navigators I knew had been non-commissioned aircrew on Shackletons. When the nuclear depth bombs came in he found he was an officer almost overnight.
As for why the AAC has NCO pilots, including cpls, while the other services don't, the answer lies in what else you want your aircrew to do besides poling. The pushmepullyou part of flying is pretty easy, but if you want people to lead formations, take mission decisions, plan complex routes when away from base, even just fly on instruments to a high standard and operate rather complex systems, you are looking at a level of personal qualities, education and training that says 'officer'.
And, of course, both RN and RAF have non-commissioned aircrew anyway, it's just that they aren't in pilot/nav/observer roles.
The last non-commissioned RAF pilot served until the late 70s or early 80s, though latterly in a non-flying role. His rank was Master Pilot, equivalent to a WO.
Current senior airmen aircrew rank is Master Aircrew (MAcr), usually expressed as MALM, MAeOp, MSig or MEng. They are equivalent to, but not not addressed as, Warrant Officer.
Never remotely approach would be a better description ... they do imagery analysis and that's about it. Or rather they do plotting (which the Int Corps doesn't bother with as being too bone to get out of bed for) and then get onto analysis after a few years. Of course that doesn't stop some gobby SAC trying to convince everyone that they can do the same job as a qualified Op MI but they tend to blow it by then asking what a tank bn should look like plotted on the map. Not that I've worked with them or anything. Most of them are good people though in their rather narrow field.
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