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RAF Mover

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1. n. A tedious jobsworth cunt.

Let me expand on that a little. It's the job of movers to get men and equipment from A to B (where A is the start point and B is the destination) as efficiently as possible.

Fly-by-night civilian charter airlines, which briefly come into existence every year with the sole purpose of moving thousands of Chavs from Gatwick or Manchester to Ibiza and Corfu, generally find that despite deliberately handicapping themselves by recruiting only recent immigrants with learning disabilities, they can get four hundred or so drunken, unruly civilians checked in and loaded onto a plane, together with all their chattels, in about two hours.

Not so RAF Movers: to check in and move a hundred highly disciplined soldiers, whose kit has already been centrally organised at an MCCP, requires that they arrive at a disused airfield in Gloucestershire some twelve hours before the flight time, so that a small, ginger RAF Mover Corporal can insult the officers, Warrant Officers and SNCOs, arrange for the RAF Police to confiscate various items of essential field equipment, copies of FHM and Loaded and pretend to be amazed when reminded that these soldiers need feeding.

After he's 'managed to persuade the 'cookhouse' to prepare a meal of chips, chips, chips and beans, and ascertained that the passenger list that was faxed the day before is still correct, he instructs the Chalk Commander (usually a junior subaltern who's been jiffed by the Adjutant) that nobody is to leave the building and then disappears for nine hours, probably in order to wank over the confiscated FHMs whilst picking his toenails with newly acquired Leatherman tools.

He returns two hours before the scheduled departure time and again checks that the passenger list has not changed, before informing the Chalk Commander that the transport is there to take the troops to the airhead. Transport in this case inevitably means some fucked-up old coaches with seats that are slightly too narrow for fully dressed soldiers who are all carrying daysacks and that, if the chalk consists of 92 pax, there will only be 86 seats. A short journey through the delightful English countryside follows, before arrival at Brize Norton.

At Brize, another rude, ginger RAF Corporal appears, pauses briefly to insult officers, WOs and SNCOs, and then makes everyone check in again and undergo another hand baggage check, during which even more innocuous or essential items are confiscated as 'Dangerous Air Cargo'.

All military pax then go through into the 'Airside' waiting area where the Corporal springs his next surprise: an estimated 9 hour delay. Unfortunately, as you have now been checked in and gone through security, you can't be allowed to leave the terminal and you're stuck there with nothing to eat or drink but Ginsters sausage rolls out of the machine and repellent instant coffee. You aren't even allowed out for a smoke. Occasional glimpses are caught of RAF Aircrew in growbags carrying cases of duty free beer.

Finally, the aircraft - usually a Tristar - is ready to board, sleeping soldiers are woken and detritus thrown in bins; at which point the RAF passengers appear. They've been miraculously exempted from having to go to South Cerney and allowed to report direct to Brize, and they somehow got warned off about the delay, so they've spent a few pleasant hours drinking beer in the bar at Gateway House and they're now sufficiently mellow to face their 10 hour flight to Basra with equanimity.

See also The movements game.

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