Valour award, 11,000 miles from combat

Discussion in 'Current Affairs, News and Analysis' started by OldSnowy, Apr 11, 2007.

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  1. OldSnowy

    OldSnowy LE Moderator Book Reviewer

    This from The Herald (a North British daily) today:

    Valour award, 11,000 miles from combat

    IAN BRUCE, Defence Correspondent April 10 2007

    A group of RAF, Royal Navy and Army Air Corps pilots has become eligible for US gallantry medals awarded for conducting secret strike missions over Iraq and Afghanistan.

    The difference with these awards is that the crews who might win them are sitting at consoles 11,000 miles from the nearest battlefield and in no danger of being hit by anything deadlier than a flak-storm of angry text messages.

    The 45-strong British contingent, known as 1115 Flight, "fly" armed Predator robot drones from a US desert base at Nellis in Nevada via remote-control satellite uplinks. The two-man "crews" manning the joysticks not far from Las Vegas consist of a pilot and an observer seeking high-value targets via real-time video cameras. The first batches of UK volunteers were sent to the US more than two years ago to train for the missions against al Qaeda commanders spotted by special forces' reconnaissance teams or surveillance satellites.

    Now the Pentagon has decided that the US and allied Predator crews, who operate between 700 and 800 drones armed with Hellfire missiles, qualify for the Distinguished Flying Cross, the Air Medal and the Aviation Badge.

    The DFC ranks just behind the US Silver Star as an award for outstanding valour in combat and can also be awarded for "devotion to duty while flying in active operations against the enemy".

    One RAF critic said last night: "They're working long shifts on a glorified arcade game. Their biggest danger will be spilling coffee into the controls at a crucial moment

    And it's not even April 1st, I checked that one already. Still, I admit that I'm impressed. No fear, no fuss, no unpleasant bending......
  2. Imagine being British on a USAF base? Why the possibility of being killed by friendly fire must be enormous!!

    Lets hope those medals bear no resemblance to Iraqi armour eh lads?
  3. Not the RAF's but the American system's fault I think.... but would it be internationally acceptable to turn the medals down?
  4. They could sell their stories of valour to the press mayhaps?
  5. Why? when they get out they could flog em on E Bay!
  6. Biped

    Biped LE Book Reviewer

    I think anyone who does anything at all with US forces and lives to tell the tale should be given a CMH!!
  7. Ord_Sgt

    Ord_Sgt RIP

    I think if any were to be awarded it would be the ultimate waltishness to actually wear it. You can't commit a brave act if there is no possibility of being hurt. Thats not bravery thats......everyday life.
  8. It's not April 1st according to the old calendar, by any chance?
  9. Is the same critic who says its wrong Peelots should stay in 5* Accom, the boys should hide in stores sheds during exercises and - oh what the fcuk :?:

    Steel hats on - stand by for incoming :twisted:
  10. I've played computer games my whole life. I feel i am uniquly qualified to do this demanding operation to the best of my abilities.

    Now, which way to Vagas and the slot machines?
  11. Biped

    Biped LE Book Reviewer

    The only downside to doing that job (apart from the ever-present risk of friendly fire) is the lack of sounds. You either have to get 5.1 surround or sit there going "neeeaaarrgghhhh kabloooiee!"
  12. I won the Victoria Cross playing Red Baron11 - do I get precedence?
  13. Play Battlefield 2 and be a hero!!
  14. During the First Gulf War the ground staff at the RAF bases in Cyprus got the Gulf Medal for refueling the aircraft and many other tasks as well. Cyprus was classed as war zone for the RAF only
  15. Mr Happy

    Mr Happy LE Moderator

    Yes, I worked with a ATC type chap a few years later. He was good enough to point out that he didn't go anywhere near the gulf to get his GW medal, though it was quite hard work (hmmmm) in Cyprus.