Why does the Crab air tpt fleet exist?

Having once again been on the receiving end of another 72 b*stard delay at the hands of the above gang of inept arrseholes, can anyone explain to me why we don't just charter?

Picture the scene, you are one of 220 wanting-to-go-home troops who have worked their various arrses off on the Prarie for 6 weeks.  Your flight has already been put back 48 hours and the rest of the Bn is now on leave, the delay being probably because the crews couldn't be arrsed / "technical problems" (Mess barbeque?).  You finally get on the plane (after having checked your bags in the day before?) late because the crew didn't arrive on time (no doubt too hard to prize their arrses out of their 5* hotel bed - including the LAC, ie pte).  You eventually get on the aircraft ('scusing ranks of course) to commence the taxiing down the runway, to then be told, "sorry, hydraulic leak, we have to go back to the stand".  By now no doubt you are a little "tetchy", n'est-ce pas?  Picture then the loadmaster (assmaster) trying to empathise with you by informing you that this is pretty bad for them, especially him since he should have been off that weekend!  (By now no doubt your heart is pumping purple pi*s).  Then the pilot tries to empathise about how he too has been held up, and continues to tell you that they are going to have to fly the spares out from the UK, and thus another 36 hrs delay is to ensue.  Angry yet?

This being I am sure just one example of their corporate ineptitude can anyone justify why we cannot just charter civi firms who invariably turn up on time (ish) and if the plane breaks, get a new one on station pronto?

Don't weasels try to bluff me with the "civi airlines will not fly into trouble spots".  When was the last time you saw a VC-10 doing a TALO or dropping chaff on its way into Sarajevo?

Surely this will save cash on what is a decrepit fleet of obsolete aircraft, allowing more money to be freed for "proper and meaningful" troop lift, C-17?  Or should we wait for the overdue and probably less capable ethereal FLA?  And it would be satisfying to see all of those grow-bad wearing nancy air-steward Knobbers out of a job.  Does the "AS" on their wings express their preference or what?

Comments weasels in blue?
A Game for 500 Or More Players
1.      Air Mobility is a game of skill played between two teams - the first is called the 'Army' and is usually represented by an infantry battalion and the second is called the 'air force' and is selected from part of the RAF movements organisation.  The game is played on a four
dimensional board - to be purchased separately - and involves the transportation of the first team by the second from one corner of the board (the departure airfield) to the other corner (the destination).  Progress across the board is the subject to a series of handicaps.
2.      Play is initiated by an external agency called 'The Central Staffs'  The unit to be moved and its destination are selected at random and to achieve maximum surprise and regardless of the actual amount of notice available, teams are to be informed at the last possible moment to make the move remain feasible and without regard to any other contrary instructions already issued
3.      Following the signal of 'play', each team tries to score points off the other until the destination is reached, the army runs out of troops or the air force runs out of serviceable aircraft.  The army team can 'resign' from play by adapting its exercise to the Salisbury Plain Training Areas.  Points are awarded at each development in the play
4.      During basic planning, the Army scores 50 points if it can persuade the RAF to emplane the unit at an airfield within convenient distance to the unit being moved.  The score is doubled if the airfield is devoid of all ground handling equipment and normally confined to light aircraft.  The Air Force gains 50 points if the army is compelled to leave from Lyneham or Brize Norton and bonus points are issued if the road journey to these airfields exceeds the subsequent flight distance.
5.      The payload quoted by the army in planning should in no way resemble the freight actually delivered for loading.  The manifests however should be so worded that no formal reproach is possible subsequently between parenting headquarters.  If the air force can identify such a discrepancy it gains 20 points and 50 points if the correspondence can be escalated to Brigadier level
6.      When allocating aircraft to the airlift, the air force gains 20 points for every Hercules it can configure in the full passenger role with a bonus of 10 points if the journey time exceeds 5 hours.  The score will
be doubled if the Hercules are overtaken in flight by VC10s or Tristars configured in the freight role and carrying the air force support personnel
7.      Each team may make full use of conflicting or loosely worded orders and 20 points will be awarded for any change not acted upon for which the recipients' own administrative service can be found to blame for
ignorance of changes to times and place of departure.
8.      It will be appreciated that the time of the army unit's arrival at the departure airfield and the actual departure of the aircraft will bear no resemblance to any published information.  The army may claim 1
point for every minute by which this time interval can be shortened whilst the RAF can claim a similar score for the unnecessary early arrival of the army.  Both sides may make full use of obscure phrases hidden deep in the annexes to operation orders saying 'all times ZULU' etc
9.      The army may be permitted to play a joker by loading freight to the aircraft themselves and by agreeing to supervision of this activity.  The army will be awarded 50 points for each aircraft loaded on time and
about which the captain and loadmaster can find no valid reason for insisting on reloading or relashing: it will be appreciated that this will be exceptional.  The air force will allocate troops to individual aircraft and so ensure that no plane contains any recognisable sub-unit of the army's organisation and may claim I point for each man separated from his company.
10.      Each soldier is to be briefed at platoon, company and battalion level as to his baggage allowance and the list of prohibited articles  
This information will be repeated by the Air Transport Liaison Officer and the Duty Air Movements Officer, as well as the loadmaster Ten points will be awarded to each soldier who exceeds his baggage allowance by more than 20% and a further 10 points awarded for any man who reaches the aircraft steps openly carrying a hexamine cooker, butane lighter or thunderflash
11.      En route the air force will be penalised for any
unserviceability at Laarbruch or Goose Bay requiring an overnight stop.  Points will be recouped if the aircraft can be declared unserviceable at Nairobi, Singapore or Hawaii.  The air force will gain points if it can persuade the army to remain in the departure lounge by claiming imminent departure and these points will be doubled if the aircraft can be declared serviceable but then delayed for a further 10 hours because the crew has
exceeded its duty time.  The RAF can gain a substantial lead if an overnight delay can be arranged.  One point is awarded for every soldier compelled to stay in transit accommodation and bonus points are added for
each man made to share in excess of the room's normal capacity.  The RAF gain further points if they can allocate an officer to the same room as his orderly and score 50 points if at the same time, the crew secure hotel
accommodation in the nearest city with points increasing according to the star rating of the selected hotel.  Aircrew will of course gain heavily in
this phase of play.
12.      Arrival at the destination offers both sides the opportunity for good scoring.  A prompt arrival is valued exceptionally at 50 points for the RAF.  The army reduce this score for each piece of baggage mislaid
and this will usually be a weighting to achieve parity.  The RAF can claim 10 points if it can announce that the unit commander's baggage was offloaded en route and 20 points if this proves to be true.
13.      On arrival, the scores are compared and if the air force wins it begins the return move with a bonus of 200 points.  If the army win they can opt for a return by sea.  In any event the game will be one of many.
14.      It will be perceived that the game is open to infinite variation and can be played throughout times of peace.  It is, however, deserving of one final accolade; it completely defies operational analysis, team management or resolution by computer simulation - Can one say fairer than that?!
Outstanding post QRK2.....and with your permission, I'd like to deploy this on the other means....... ;D
;)  And would any Crabs care to comment on what a little bird has told me about the booties chartering their own planes coz they were fed up with the p*sspoor service from the air transport lot in afganistan ?
Excellent post!
Could you add a "Tropical Destination" clause, whereby army personnel in transit are obliged by the RAF to travel in jacket and tie because the RAF aircraft will stage through a civilian airport en-route, but will have to unload their own baggage in 45 degree heat on the tarmac?

-10 points to the RAF for achieving this on a VC10 flight
-20 points for a Herc (with seats)
-30 points for a Herc (cargo rigged)
-200 points for a parachute op (SAS personnel excepted)

Could also add 1 point for every degree above 30 on the flight pan, and 5 points for serious damage to any clothing owned by a soldier. ;D
Outstanding post. And could some crab please explain why some officious RAFPOL Sgt took my nail clippers off me, while allowing me to retain 9 SA80s and 10,000 rounds of 5.56 in the body of the herc with me?
Anyone remember the classic experience when departing FRY via Split airport when all weapons had to be bundled in hessian.  These were then passed through the X-ray machine!! I often wonder what they were expecting to see.....

Answers on a postcard please.


Anyone remember the classic experience when departing FRY via Split airport when all weapons had to be bundled in hessian.  These were then passed through the X-ray machine!! I often wonder what they were expecting to see.....

Answers on a postcard please.
I was there and saw it happen!  Perhaps they were x-raying them in order to understand what a "weapon" is.  After all, it must be terribly confusing for the poor dears to have to deal with a military organisation...

BTW, I saw a report a few weeks ago in the Telegraph saying that there would be worldwide lack of polyester in twenty years time - given the crab's tasteful uniforms perhaps this is the first sign of their imminent demise.

It would save billions if we did away with them and reabsorbed them (with suitable retraining of course!) back into the RN and Army.

The retraining would be fun... perhaps material for a whole speculative thread!
Two useless pieces of information about the Crabs.

I understand that their particular shade of blue had less to do with the sky than with the Russian Revolution.  It appears that the Tsar had ordered some new uniforms for one of his Hussar Regiments.  However, Comrade Lenin rather put a stop to that.  This left some businessman in the Midlands with acres of material that nobody wanted.  Then the RAF was formed and a rare marketing opportunity arose.......

The name Crab was given to the RAF because their uniform was the same colour as an anti-louse powder in use at the time.
Which brings me onto the next question.

Why do the Crabs exist at all?

Surely we can do all of their jobs with a third of the manpower since unlike them we do not generally do shift work.
We fly helicopters negating the need for arrseholes like the Pumadonnas we so love in the Emerald Toilet.  
Flying fast jets cannot be that hard, any eight year old with a flight sim can do it.
Guarding air bases (the only justification for the elite 'Regiment') is a piece of cake, ask any grade 3 soldier on the gate.
We do air defence.
We mend things well.
We wouldn't need to manufacture ridiculously coloured uniforms any more.
Virgin planes turn up on time for troop lift.

Have I hit onto something here or what?  We could save a shed load of cash, get better rifles, boots, radios, ideed we could really square ourselves away.

Come on blue jobs, send justification?
I recently flew to Op FINGAL and the flights (all RAF) were pretty much on time the whole way there AND back!! Amazing I know - won't stop me knocking them at every opportunity but I was fairly impressed.
Problem with civ companies is insurance, they won't touch the military due to the massive premiums. Plus wage increase for flight staff for flying in to a:In to supposed trouble spots and b: your average squaddie isn't the best passenger on long haul flights, not with 200 of his mates anyway!! :eek:


Regarding the hessian wrapped SA80 and the x-ray machines.

It wouldn't be the first time other items have been slipped in the package (dangerous air cargo), including cordex, grenades, and souvenirs from pakistan such as loaded and working replica HKs.

Which brings me onto the next question.

Why do the Crabs exist at all?

We fly helicopters negating the need for arrseholes like the Pumadonnas we so love in the Emerald Toilet.  
I spoke to a couple of infantry lads back in 1987, and they told me how the year before they we patrolling through the New Lodge area towards Cliftonville.   Typical day, misty rain, dark, poor visibility.  They came under attack from 30+ youths with petrol bombs, stones, etc.  They were chased for a few streets and retreated into Cliftonville FC and called up for a crab air chopper to get them out.  Crabs, apparently, refused, citing bad weather !!  Next thing they saw was this Lynx, literally, fall out of the foggy sky on to the pitch, cab door opens and a crew member beckons them in !!  On taking off, they witnessed the pilot giving the 'V' sign to the mob on the ground!!  Excellent stuff !!
Sounds familiar, The only pilots I rated in the Emerald Toilet were the NAVY Lynx pilots attached to the AAC, they'd drop a mk 7 right next to you in the dead of night with a F all visiblity, storm blowing and surrounded by pylons ;D

RAF, sorry chaps weathers a bit dodgy, mind if I give it a miss :mad:

The AAC Pilots were pretty good as well ;)
Never mind having to wrap rifles in hessian then have them x-rayed.  I have had to put my rifle through the machine along with my stable belt.

No doubt many of us are soon to be messed around again by the 'scuse ranks nonces.  


almost as good, but not quite, are the RLC movers at South Cerny.

Wagon Wheel Nazis

And charter can be toss too, flying back from Thessaloniki after dropping off the OP BESSIMER wagons on the boat, we waited 3 days for a civvie 747,
had to load the baggage ourselves, then we're cheerfully told by the crew we couldnt watch the inflight entertainment because the MOD hadnt paid for it .......

But enjoy the flight........ :mad:


Problem with civ companies is insurance, they won't touch the military due to the massive premiums. Plus wage increase for flight staff for flying in to a:In to supposed trouble spots and b: your average squaddie isn't the best passenger on long haul flights, not with 200 of his mates anyway!! :eek:
PP not true the company I now work for did a lot of charter flights last year for the MOD, and the crew loved it. No winging civvies, No kids and if they gave jip just speak to their boss....easy the girls were inundated with phone numbers. The crew do not get any extra pay for going to these places, as the MOD will not send us to dodgy airfields its more a case of if the crabs have no aircraft avail then they offer the job out the cheapest quote. All off our aircraft carried a full alcoholic bar but we were only allowed to serve juice and that policy came from the MOD, sham the crew were more than happy to sell it. Not sure about the film thing though sounds like they just didnt bother to carry any films as we always put a film on, probably more to do with not being allowed to sell the head sets required. Personally I always preferred to fly civi cos they had the best birds and didn’t serve mi scoff in a white box… ;D

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