Valour award, 11,000 miles from combat

OldSnowy

LE
Moderator
Book Reviewer
#1
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
Plant-Pilot said:
Not the RAF's but the American system's fault I think.... but would it be internationally acceptable to turn the medals down?
Why? when they get out they could flog em on E Bay!
 

Biped

LE
Book Reviewer
#6
I think anyone who does anything at all with US forces and lives to tell the tale should be given a CMH!!
 
#7
Plant-Pilot said:
Not the RAF's but the American system's fault I think.... but would it be internationally acceptable to turn the medals down?
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
OldSnowy said:
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......
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?
 

Biped

LE
Book Reviewer
#11
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!"
 
#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
 

Mr Happy

LE
Moderator
#15
W.Anchor said:
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
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.
 
#16
W.Anchor said:
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
Actually it was a "war zone" for army as well, the resident bn and even the lads on the UN tour got the Gulf medal for being there
 
#17
The_Cad said:
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?
I hope they are allowed to wear US military kit they will be a target to all US Airforce wearing UK kit. I wonder if the flight over will qualify for more combat medals there must be a hat full of combat medals from countries they fly over
 
#18
wellyhead said:
W.Anchor said:
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
Actually it was a "war zone" for army as well, the resident bn and even the lads on the UN tour got the Gulf medal for being there
As I recall it was a result of someone pointing out that Cyprus was closer to the Scud launchers than some of the 'in theatre' troops in Saudi. Could be wrong though.
 
#19
western said:
wellyhead said:
W.Anchor said:
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
Actually it was a "war zone" for army as well, the resident bn and even the lads on the UN tour got the Gulf medal for being there
As I recall it was a result of someone pointing out that Cyprus was closer to the Scud launchers than some of the 'in theatre' troops in Saudi. Could be wrong though.
That was the rationale.
 
#20
W.Anchor said:
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
I know a lot of lads tried to get them for working at Hemden docks Germany loading up the ships but think it was thrown out in the end. Half the unit I was with stayed at Blackadder camp in Saudi and got theirs.
 

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