View Full Version : Cottesmore to close

15th Dec 2009, 10:19
The BBC has just announced Cottesmore closure

15th Dec 2009, 11:12
Unbelievable, Cottesmore has had millions and millions spent on it.

Is it the final nail or is it on Care & Maintenance?

This government needs to be told a few facts of life by the military.

15th Dec 2009, 11:19
Still unconfirmed but surely if, as the Beeb are suggesting, the Force is to relocate to Wittering, we must be looking at the loss of at least two Squadrons - unless of course the RN are to ship the NSW off to Yeovilton?

15th Dec 2009, 11:19
To pay for helicopters according to the BBC.

BBC News - Job cut fears as new Chinooks ordered for Afghanistan (http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk_politics/8413135.stm)

To pay for helicopters in a conflict that Bush's lapdog got us into for no other purpose than to back up Bush in the UN.

Hamish 123
15th Dec 2009, 11:21
In five year's time, the RAF's available fixed wing strike/AD capability will be the equivalent of something like a single US marine squadron.

15th Dec 2009, 12:44
I don't think it's melodramatic for me to now conclude that at 31, I may actually live to see the UK Defence Force.

If that...

15th Dec 2009, 12:55
This government needs to be told a few facts of life by the military.Yep - I reckon the rumoured closure is based purely on the facility sounding, to the hatchet squad, like "RAF Costsmore".

15th Dec 2009, 13:28
Someone probably noticed that the quality of life was too good. What with pleasant local villages/town, good transport links it was a sure thing it would close.

15th Dec 2009, 13:34
I was in the local government offices this morning to sort out an Inland Revenue demand for National Insurance payments that I had already made. There was a young foreign woman in there, accompanied by her social worker, to complain about her free school dinners being withdrawn. There is a high rise apartment block in the town centre that is completely occupied by "asylum seekers" and "travellers". It often seems to me that the reason we can't afford to pay for the primary services of state - Defence, Law Enforcement and Public Health - is because so much of our taxes are used to pay for services to the ever growing underclass formed by economic migrants and our own "single-mothers" and dole dependant drop-outs. In several years of working in other people's countries I have yet to find a single one that provided non-citizens with free health care, free education, or indeed free anything. We've becoma a paradise for parasites to the extent that we can no longer defend our shores - despite our government's penchant for interfering in other countries' internal affairs.

I'm out of breath; Rant over.

P.S. and they still want me to pay four years' N.I. contributions a second time unless I can find the P60s from 1989-1993. You've all kept yours of course, haven't you?

15th Dec 2009, 13:41
You never know, the Indians might take Harriers instead of the £835 Million we are giving them in aid....................

The Gorilla
15th Dec 2009, 14:01
Careful, if you start talking about uncontrolled mass economic immigration the noo labour supporters will accuse you of being a serial racist and demand your immediate arrest.

Multiculturalism is good for us don't you know, but I will have my revenge at the ballot box next year!

Hamish 123
15th Dec 2009, 14:10
I wouldn't be so sure . . . . the way the opinion polls are moving (and I can't quite believe this considering what this government has screwed up), it's not beyond the realms of possibility that Labour could get back in.

15th Dec 2009, 17:02
You can thank the last CAS for this. His lack of commitment to JFH made this inevitable. More to come across all three services.

15th Dec 2009, 17:07
You never know, the Indians might take Harriers instead of the £835 Million we are giving them in aid................... ... remind me again ... why are we giving aid to a country that can afford a space programme :confused:

15th Dec 2009, 17:20
This is disgusting.....playing with people's jobs and careers like a game of monopoly. Lets hope we have a change of Government and soon to (hopefully) overturn this. Coltishall, now Cottesmore .... lets just close them all :mad::mad::mad:. I'm sure there is other cost cutting measures which could take place. It's going to effect the local economy, both civvy and military. DISGRACE!!!!:{

Do we need these extra Chinnooks? Considering Merlins have just been sent over.

Al R
15th Dec 2009, 17:28
Shocking news for a small local economy, although I expect the quarters will stay open until Harrier finally waves goodbye. Didn't 1(F) move from Witt in the first place, because there was no room? Can someone explain how sending more of them back, when there are so many more ground units there anyway, make things easier?

So.. is locking one front gate, chopping a few jobs, a couple of Sqns and a ship really going to pay for this new ability? Come on, what are the true cuts? I expect the news will be filtered out quietly over time. Anyway, one good aspect to come out of Harriers going 'home' is that these whining cnuts will be really dripping tonight.

BBC NEWS | UK | England | Lincolnshire | Couple win jet noise claim (http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/lincolnshire/2952611.stm)

15th Dec 2009, 17:42
Is there nothing that can be done to highlight this seemingly unfair situation. Seeing as the current government only invests when pressured by the media/public, short of going on strike is there anything that can be done to raise publicity about this issue??? :(:(:(

15th Dec 2009, 18:02
Interesting that the war cry appears to be 'cut stuff to fund Afghanistan' but the two FJ types to get hit are the ones that have served in that theatre.

15th Dec 2009, 18:03
Ministry of Defence | Defence News | Equipment and Logistics | Defence Budget reprioritised to support Afghanistan operation (http://www.mod.uk/DefenceInternet/DefenceNews/EquipmentAndLogistics/DefenceBudgetReprioritisedToSupportAfghanistanOperation.htm)

From our own website (or should I say labour propoganda site). Not my bag, but if the MR2 is out in 2010 and the MRa4 is not in until 2012 (?) then what will all those guys do and what about a significant capability gap/skill fade or have I missed a "cunning plan"?
Appreciate Afghan is the main effort now, but yet again short termism (media pleasing) will be regreted before too long. Taxi anyone?

15th Dec 2009, 18:12
I wonder, is the MP for Rutland (covering Cottesmore) a Conservative and the MP for Grantham and Stamford Labour, or am I too cynical?

Pete T
15th Dec 2009, 18:25
Correct, and a turn coat at that defecting to Noo Labour possibly in the hope that they wouldn't catch him having his bell tower tarted up!!

Mr C Hinecap
15th Dec 2009, 18:33
Shocking? That an RAF station is to be closed? Really?

No - not shocking - expected. We have more real estate than is sensible to keep. We have had a need for more AT and rotary for a long time. Something had to give, so closing a base that hasn't had that much investment isn't really a big surprise. Small local economy? Do we have anywhere near a large conurbation where a closure would have no impact?

15th Dec 2009, 18:46
I'll wager that within a month of it closing, it'll be renamed Rutland Barracks, so I doubt if the locals would notice much.

15th Dec 2009, 18:49
Hmm doesn't Cottesmore provide the radar for Wittering - is the plan to save even more money and only allow flying on Blue days.

15th Dec 2009, 19:00
Shocking? That an RAF station is to be closed? Really?

I don't think that anyone would disagree that the RAF has more real estate than it needs, but is Cottesmore the one to close? Why is it better to close it than Wittering? Or Leeming with its one squadron? Or Scampton? Or an empty Kinloss? It seems an illogical decision to me to cram JFH into Wittering.

glad rag
15th Dec 2009, 19:18
It seems an illogical decision to me to cram JFH into Wittering.

You're almost there........:p

15th Dec 2009, 19:30
don't think that anyone would disagree that the RAF has more real estate than it needs, but is Cottesmore the one to close? Why is it better to close it than Wittering? Or Leeming with its one squadron? Or Scampton? Or an empty Kinloss? It seems an illogical decision to me to cram JFH into Wittering.

Because Cott was the airfield the RAF offered up to cut.

15th Dec 2009, 19:38
Let's not forget that Torpy gave up his duties as CAS and simply spent two years mounting personal assaults on FAA, JFH and carriers. (Whilst keeping up his own patented brand of in-eloquent public speaking and half-baked, low-grade oratory.)

Maybe some of the mud stuck.

And incidentally, there's an SDR coming. Save some money? What about that small force shoe-horned into Wittering? Easy pickings.

15th Dec 2009, 19:50
It seems an illogical decision to me to cram JFH into Wittering

As posted on a previous thread Cott was deemed unacceptable for the OCU to fly from. Allegedly. And the JFH management and the relevant single service staffs (both light and blue) were fully involved in the Witt vs Cott discussions together with all the other JFH options (move to Leeming / Yeovilton etc etc etc).

What about that small force shoe-horned into Wittering

Already been stated that JFH will fold earlier than anticipated as will the GR4. I suspect, sadly, that carrier/JCA will be the biggest ticket item under the microscope for the SDR - leave the next government the job of (having no choice but to) finally killing off whats left of the UK Defence Industry. :oh:

15th Dec 2009, 19:52
OK I'm going to bite.

I left the RAF last year after 18 years as I could personally no longer put up with the lack of meaningful leadership from our lords and masters, along with the never ending cuts in order to prop up some other failing arm or the Government etc etc. A hard choice as the only thing I have ever wanted to do was be in the RAF. The problem is that no matter how much people scream and shout and point out the back and white facts (something I did in my resignation letter) the bunch of useless plebs in power (regardless of the flavor) don't actually give a toss. All you need to do is look at the way the current bunch have performed (or not) to see how poor they are. I have lost count of the number of times there have been news grabbing headlines, sadly often as a result of a loss of life, but in the end it all gets swept under the now very old and thread bear carpet. Why? Those in power have no accountability; if they did then half of the current bunch would have been sacked for expense claims alone, sadly this is not the case! In stark contrast how severe is the punishment for putting in a false travel claim for someone in the Forces.

The Stations will continue to close and the RAF will continue to reduce in size and until something happens affects the great unwashed, otherwise nothing will change.

Back in my box

15th Dec 2009, 20:07
What is the most capable fixed wing A/C out in Afghanistan? Tornado or Harrier, the Harrier provides CAS and a llw level show of force, the Tornado ?? It's all well removing a sqdn of each but you cannot expect a single sqdn of each mark to provide that sort of commitment, the resulting overstretch will just cause a mass exodous of maintainers, aircrew and other support staff. You will also just have removed half of your maritmie strike force. Up until the last few years i had enjoyed my service, now i look forward to leaving before the ship is sunk under me.

Mr C Hinecap
15th Dec 2009, 20:30
Why is it better to close it than Wittering? Or Leeming with its one squadron?

Of course - the RAF ONLY has aircraft. It doesn't have any ACSUs or ACSSUs at all. The squadrons are totally self contained and can look after themselves anywhere in the world. :ok: We wouldn't have any non-aircraft units anywhere.

15th Dec 2009, 20:33
Isn't Wittering on someone else's real estate which would need to be restored before being returned?

15th Dec 2009, 20:38

I'm hungry so I'll have a nibble .....

What is the most capable fixed wing A/C out in Afghanistan?

The only UK FW FJ aircraft in AFG is the Tornado, therefore ....

But to be serious both have different attributes. GR9 has short field and smaller logistical tail, GR4 has greater range of capabilities (inc RAPTOR) and potentially better weapon load but greater deployed footprint. Being a bigger force the GR4 can handle the long term plot of AFG - JFH was only ever configured, manned and resourced for non-enduring ops. Both do an excellent job given what the penny pinching, shiney ar$ed rubber desk johnies push their way....:oh:

And just to keep orca happy the GR4 is RAF and has the full support of the previous CAS whereas JFH has those filthy dark blue wearing people in it who shouldn't be allowed to commit aviation and who were sold down the river by thier own 1SL many moons ago when he gave up the SHAR to ensure the survival of his cockers-p platforms.....;)

15th Dec 2009, 20:56
Who's up for a Military coup? :E

15th Dec 2009, 21:01
Isn't Wittering on someone else's real estate which would need to be restored before being returned?

Do you mean like Halton and the Rothschilds?

Easy Street
15th Dec 2009, 21:08

What is the most capable fixed wing A/C out in Afghanistan? Tornado or Harrier, the Harrier provides CAS and a llw level show of force, the Tornado ??

Tornado provides CAS and a low level show of force (in weather that would stop a GR9 doing so, thanks to the terrain following radar). Obviously the message that Tornado does CAS is still not getting through (although newspaper articles attributing DMS Brimstone firings to Harriers don't really help....)

Also, what Wrathmonk said.

Low Flier
15th Dec 2009, 21:20
How can Rutland possibly continue to exist without a viable air force?

Oh? It can?

Toddington Ted
15th Dec 2009, 21:23
"Do you mean like Halton and the Rothschilds?"

After using the Rothschilds' land at Halton as a training area during the 1st World War, the newly formed Royal Air Force decided that Halton would be a good location for either training the new apprentices that Trenchard knew he would need for this fledgling technical service or for training officers. The location was, of course, used for the former but, as I was told on many occasions during my tour there, the Halton Estate was purchased outright by the Govt from the Rothschilds and there is no requirement as such to return it, unblemished, to its former owners. I believe the sale was helped by the fact that Lionel Rothschild (1882 to 1942) had no desire for the hedonistic lifestyle of his late uncle Alfred (who died in 1918) and was unimpressed with the chalk soil of Halton as it was no good for growing rhodedendrons.

I was told that Halton will remain for the time being as it is required for accommodation for nearby HQ Air Command and, due to the termination of the in-house contract for Defence Trg Rationalisation (Package 2), the logistics training currently at Halton will remain there. Now if you want to save £12 billion (albeit over 25 years) then how about turning off the DTR Package 1 (Metrix) contract to relocate all military technical training to St Athan by 2015? Still no word of contract signature on that one expected now until Spring 2010.

15th Dec 2009, 21:28
And Rutland will never ever vote Labour.

(At least it can match St George's Barracks - ex RAF North Luffenham - as a place for any returning BAOR units)

15th Dec 2009, 21:29
It's not my R.A.F. anymore, but...

Why can't the smaller places be closed and moved to the airfields? - and don't quote tradition. The RAF (traditionally) only had bad habits.

Wyton has started the job - close that airfield - and build on it! Just think of all the office space you could put there!

There is no reason anyone really needs to be "based" in London, or anywhere in particular, anymore. Move 'em out!

Make 'em live "Life in a Blue Suit" properly!

15th Dec 2009, 21:31
Our good old boss sold us out, yes more than likely. I wonder how many miles the Shar actually had in it. I'm not trying to catch anybody out or bait people into saying anything, just a bit ticked off with seeing the cuts that really have only just started, what and where next. In 10 years it will just be seen as the evolution of the SH force, gonna tick a lot of people off though. PS my overalls are a darker shade of blue!!

Sky Sports
15th Dec 2009, 21:31
I'll wager that within a month of it closing, it'll be renamed Rutland Barracks, so I doubt if the locals would notice much.
My guess is that it will become an extension of H.M.P. Ashwell or H.M.P. Small Local River if they plan to house sex offenders:yuk: there.

15th Dec 2009, 22:27
This news made me registered and set-up a forum at RAF Cottesmore - Powered by vBulletin (http://rafcottesmore.co.uk) this PM.

Sad day for Cottesmore.

16th Dec 2009, 00:12
Isn't it obvious, the only reason the RAF want to get rid of the Harrier is to see off the RN? CAS would dance a jig if everyone in Rutand was on the dole. Forget the fact that the GR9 is a world class platform, let's be petty and small minded about the whole thing...

They say in the Air Force a landing's OK
If the pilot can get out and still walk away
but in the Fleet Air Arm the prospects are dim
if the landing's piss poor and the pilot can't swim.

16th Dec 2009, 00:46
Have a read through the operational updates for GR4 CAS (Telic and Herrick)

RAF Operational Update - Ops Update - 20 Sep 2009 (http://www.raf.mod.uk/rafoperationalupdate/opsupdate/opsupdate20sep2009.cfm)

RAF Operational Update - Ops Update - 13 Sep 09 (http://www.raf.mod.uk/rafoperationalupdate/opsupdate/opsupdate13sep09.cfm)

RAF - 904 Expeditionary Air Wing (http://www.raf.mod.uk/currentoperations/904eaw.cfm)

RAF Operational Update - Ops Update - Nov 2009 (http://www.raf.mod.uk/rafoperationalupdate/opsupdate/)

GR4 CAS role during Telic

RAF Operational Update - Op Update 08 June 2008 (http://www.raf.mod.uk/rafoperationalupdate/opsupdate/opupdate8june2008.cfm)

GR4 preparation for Herrick.

Ministry of Defence | Defence News | Training and Adventure | RAF Tornado crews train for Afghanistan with US Army (http://www.mod.uk/DefenceInternet/DefenceNews/TrainingAndAdventure/RafTornadoCrewsTrainForAfghanistanWithUsArmy.htm)


The Cakemeister
16th Dec 2009, 01:23
Mmmmm, MOD is broke and easy option to save pennies is to accelerate OSD for HAR seeing as it has now (just) completed its operational role. Bet the Flt Air Arm are sh***ing bricks at the mo though. Interesting that WIT saved over CTS even though latter is in poor condition and there is case law ref compensation for overflying private residences that will undoubtedly be revisited at some point in the future. Watch out KIS/LOS I say - MR2 loss might see GR4 move to former and close the latter, or else both may end up closing. Nimrod Fleet you have my sympathies, esp after H-C Report.

DTR 1 - another interesting scenario. If unaffordable then we may keep Cosford and Halton may be back in the melting pot for disposal - it is owned outright; no tenant issues to sort out - mag-to-grid I reckon.

Roll on SDR / FDR - bin heavy artillery, para, elements of cav and other outdated capabilities and lets equip ourselves for scenarios that actually recognise the cold war ended 20 years ago in time for Korea2.

Suggest this sin't the time to test the PVR button on JPA - no 2nd chances; no questions asked.

Per Ardua:}

galaxy flyer
16th Dec 2009, 02:53
I don't think that anyone would disagree that the RAF has more real estate than it needs

How about too few airplanes for the real estate it has?


16th Dec 2009, 04:26
Why can't the smaller places be closed and moved to the airfields?

In a large part they already have been.

Have a look at most MOBs now and you will see that they contain numerous 'londger' units that hav been crammed - many of whom have relocated the smaller units now closed. Most of those that remain are due to geography (such as the remote radar heads).

As for London apart from Main Building (which is thinning out rapidly) we only really have Northolt left into which lots of other organisations from smaller units (Uxbridge, Bently Priory, Mill Hill) are being crammed.

As for ZoomBot's Wittering 'REMFs who contribute so little to Defence' (yes, I'll bite). I'll let you go and tell an EOD operator from 5131(BD) Sqn that. I suggest you do that just after he or she has walked back from disarming an IED - I'm sure the comment would go down well.

Mr C Hinecap
16th Dec 2009, 06:12
How else would the RAF manage to employ so many REMFs who contribute so little to defence?

Whatever you do, there are many based at Wittering who have spent far more time than you being very, very useful on ops.

16th Dec 2009, 07:06
Sorry guys but I really can't understand all the angst, CTS was going to close in 2018 anyway and that was announced years ago. That we have the "on-the-bus, off-the-bus" situation of moving the Harriers back down the road at massive expense is, for me the most frustrating bit :ugh:as they are unlikely to be there for more than 4/5 years before finally being retired.

Red Line Entry
16th Dec 2009, 08:42

If you are a Serviceman and so operationally ignorant that you can make such moronic statements about what the guys and girls at WIT do, then I suggest you have little to add to this forum!

16th Dec 2009, 08:57
I just cannot see how they will be able to move all of the needed facilities into Wittering. The old 1 (f) hanger is not the full length version and we always struggled when either 3 or 4 visited. Money is going to be have to be spent on at least one hanger to supplement whats already there....... and where will the incumbents using the hangers at the moment go?

And I'm amazed it hasn't already been asked on the forum.......... do we loose an RAF or Navy Sqn?

As for all that money spent on the Harrier servicing facility at Cot and where that is going to be relocated.....................

16th Dec 2009, 10:24
Climebear - VERY good point. :O

Red Line Entry - dry your precious eyes. :E

Alpha Whiskey
16th Dec 2009, 12:18
I've heard on the grapevine its 4(AC) for the axe, possibly as soon as Apr 10, and the RN won't get the 2nd Sqn within NSW (i.e. the 800/801 split). JFH then left as a 50/50 front line split between 1(F) and 800 NAS with a joint OCU.

Given his Bob-ness clearly stated in the House yesterday that what's left has been retained for Carrier operations, I predict some interesting times ahead!!!

16th Dec 2009, 12:22
We have had a need for more AT and rotary for a long timeThat'll be the reason for the proposed closure of Lyneham then?

Bet the Flt Air Arm are sh***ing bricks at the mo though.Don't see why. They're still going to get their floating airfields. :hmm:

16th Dec 2009, 16:03
Has anyone yet received a good answer as to why the RAF would want to close Cottesmore?

16th Dec 2009, 17:30
Not wanting to piss anyone off, or upset anyone....

The guys on the ground, and by that i mean the guys who give you the "splash, stand by for BDA" call (if you dont know what it means, dont worry). If we had our say about the chopping of a harrier or a tornado sqn? Sorry but scrap the entire tornado fleet and give us more harriers! Boys in Afghan...the harrier is king!!! :D (on par with an A10... sorry guys the 30mm evens it up a bit).

Feel free to rip me to shreds! :E

Mr C Hinecap
16th Dec 2009, 18:25
That'll be the reason for the proposed closure of Lyneham then?

Oh my! Are you telling me that we can't fly C-130 if it isn't from Lyneham? Quick! Tell someone! We MUST not let them go to Brize where many people believe their ability to take of and land again is not hampered by the airfield being in a different county! :rolleyes:

Cows getting bigger
16th Dec 2009, 18:47
I suspect that there is more than the odd Spec aircrew/PAS type with his nice little country home who would agree with such an argument.

"Sorry, you can only fly C130s from Lyneham as we need to hill to help us gain height." :)

16th Dec 2009, 18:51
There is some grade A knobbers posting on this thread. I'll leave it to you all to work out if you fill this category.

The only thing joined up or tri-service about the 3 services at the moment is the level of backbiting and petty manouvering.

If the RN was back to the wall (it would be a first - its normally everyone else when they are about) and had Choice A - bigger impact on another service, or Choice B - bigger impact on their own service, they would take choice A everytime. Thats what the RAF have done in this case. They havent taken the choice to see off the FAA, its just basic survival.

16th Dec 2009, 19:55
I stand corrected, if any offence was caused then i am sorry.

5 Forward 6 Back
16th Dec 2009, 20:47

Why? I'd be interested to hear a decent comparison of Harrier vs Tornado CAS in theatre, but with a bit of justification!

16th Dec 2009, 20:52
Probably not on this thread, or even forum if you want the real story.

16th Dec 2009, 21:41
None taken. No problem.



16th Dec 2009, 21:51
So PM they guy with your service no and he can decide if you warrant being in the know :E Me, I'd love to know about the options and which did what but I am certain I don't need to know- therefore I will have to wait for the book.


16th Dec 2009, 22:03

Certainly one of the desires expressed by our khaki brethren since '06 was the ability to strafe iot limit collateral damage, while still having a kinetic effect rather than just a SoF. I know GR9 did great things with CRV7, but the ability to do multiple engagements with the 27mm is a point in favour of Tornado. I haven't been back in the dust since GR9 was withdrawn, but with the gun and a second pair of eyes to VID fleeting targets, I'd suggest they're 2 pluses (sp?) for GR4 over GR9.



16th Dec 2009, 23:07
I'm not sold on the second set of eyes for VID, or for that matter the 'limit collateral' or 'multiple engagement' with the mauser.

wrt the VID, what circumstances, under what ROE are you talking about?

How many strafes can GR4 actually accomplish with a meaningful burst in each, and is this significantly different than a GR9 armed with CRV7? When was there ever a collateral issue with CRV7 attacks? How many attacks have we actually needed one after another?

Let's be honest, if ever there was a theoretical argument then this is it. Harrier isn't going back, too much egg on too many faces. Typhoon isn't going. No idea why but if it could it would have. But at the end of the day "The customer's always right". Aircrew and armchair quarterbacks can say what they like - but those of us who've been 'in the wheel' know that it's what the chaps on the ground think that matters.

17th Dec 2009, 19:25

The RAF don't own the land that Wittering stands on, instead it is owned by the Burghley Estate. If we were to close Wittering, then we would be obliged to clear up the land before we give it back to Burghley. Therefore, it is easier and cheaper to close Cottesmore.

17th Dec 2009, 21:01
Much the same reason why HMS Dryad which closed about 7 years ago is actually still open

18th Dec 2009, 04:43
Still it will be nice to have a fighter squadron operating from a Battle of Britain airfield again (albeit for a short time).

No disrespect to 32(TR) Sqn intended.

18th Dec 2009, 06:43
There is some grade A knobbers posting on this thread. I'll leave it to you all to work out if you fill this category. No there isn't, everyone is fine....

,,,Oh bollox I just remembered the saying 'There is always one **** on every course, and if you think there are none then the **** must be you!'

18th Dec 2009, 10:50
It shut this morning- Stash sent everyone home- he said it was an early stack due to the snow. Will we have a base to come back to or has the snow been artificially made to entice us out only for the door to be locked shut early???


18th Dec 2009, 11:32
Don't shoot the messenger ... but I gather from an RN colleague on another Mil Forum that Cottesmore has serious infrastructure problems that would take £MMM to sort out. He expressed his view rather forcefully. Apparently the Sgts Mess had [has] no hot water for 9 months because they haven't got the funds for a new boiler-house.

I also gather from the Pongos that Wittering is a major Logs hub, and is decidedly short on space!

Ideal for a paper exercise by Staff College students, eh?

Mr C Hinecap
18th Dec 2009, 12:37
Wittering las loads of space - acres of the stuff. No buildings empty but plenty runway and grass to dig up and build on!

18th Dec 2009, 15:42
Just out of interest as we know that we can't really afford it.....how much is the new son of JARIC costing to build?

And, erm, what is wrong with the old one?


18th Dec 2009, 16:18
You don't need to build anything at WITT -just place both stations under one command and get rid of all the admin and support at COTT. Use COTT hangars and runway as a remote site administered by WITT. Both places will close when JSF arrives anyway as that is going to be based at LOSSIE so there is no point in investing in WITT.

Mr C Hinecap
18th Dec 2009, 17:20
Bismark - do you specialise in deja vu?

18th Dec 2009, 19:33
Ahhhhh....Cottesmore, 1960...sweet nostalgia. Early morning run around the peri-track, past all those silently menacing Victors, did you know the runway was uphill from the A1 side? The early morning skylarks, besides me that is.. The sheer stunning beauty of the place when all reference points were covered in snow and you had to drive by dead-reckoning; the same method used when returning from the Sun Inn, full of Ruddles best. There was a footpath which crossed a style near the O's Mess, thus avoiding the rozzers on the gate,it took you almost to the Ram Jam Inn... Jonny Johnson sneaking in Crash Gate One because : "I can get to my office before anyone knows I'm there". How things have changed.....:(

18th Dec 2009, 20:22
New sub-thread

Tales of the RAM JAM Inn

Amuse me!


18th Dec 2009, 22:45
Bismark -how do you save money by keeping the hangars and runway open at Cottesmore?? As for Witt -the future of the base is in no way reliant on the JSF happening or not - it has a long future ahead .

Czech MaShortz
19th Dec 2009, 11:45
I remember when 1(F) and 20(R) were both located at Wittering during the 90s. It was an incredibly tight squeeze even then, and that's before Witt became the A4 hub that it is today. Where exactly will JFH put an extra 2 front line sqns at Wittering? And when they do shoehorn themselves into the tiny space that remains, who will get priority in the circuit - the OCU or the front line units? (this was always a huge issue in the past).

5 Forward 6 Back
19th Dec 2009, 12:05

I would imagine the OCU will get smaller, seeing as it's only going to be feeding 2 squadrons. The NSW, I thought, was only really about squadron size anyway, so when one of the front line units closes it'll just be 3 sqns at Witt.

Still a squeeze I'm sure, but 20(R) have already cancelled some courses.

19th Dec 2009, 18:08
My post does have a slight biased slant on it due to me having been the man down in the weeds on more than one occasion! There are plus and minuses to both aircraft, but at the moment there are just too many brucie bonus points towards the "man with one fan"!
A very capable flown by some bloody amazing pilots! One man cockpit, and in the old days a useless TIALD pod was backed up with a good pair of binos. Nowadays an upgraded pod means they could do without the binos. The crews of JHF had "booty" pilots up there, who 99% had done a tour as troop commander in a rifle company, it really does help when telling the pilot about the ground scheme of manouvere and having a guy who actually understands intamately what your talking about!
Weapons, they had a nice mix of weapons on board. The SCL was changable with a bit of pushing, the best thing was them taking off those "slick" bombs. Now if you'd only had "ret" all the time!! The SoF could of gone kinetic and shocked the TB to death. The CRV7's fired on there own were good for warning/marking and as a whole pod they had mega area coverage, and leathal against pax.
An old airframe, thats just not manouverable enough (think mercedes benz...fast in a straight line but go around a corner fast and they fall over/apart). The 2 man crew, the pilot has good vis however the nav (sorry) has restricted arcs due to the air intakes (a navs words not mine). The aircrew unfortunatly need to be released prior to going OOA and get some Ex time with the grunts on PDT and get the ground scheme of manouver weighed off.
Weapons, DM Brimstone.... no anti armour threat that im aware off (but cost a shed load to develop so by god were gonna use it) think Hellfire uses (mouseholes into compound walls etc). The 27mm gun doesnt have enough rounds and a quick enough rate of fire to make it even into the same league as the A10's 30mm, and as for the the occasional stoppages....:rolleyes:
The good weapon you have is the new EPW which gives you more choice on how you can attack the target (if the ROE permits).

Like i said on my first post, this is just my view!! But i am biased, having seen the handy work of some GR7/9 pilots...EPW2, 60m, extreame Danger Close!

At the end of the day, as long as whoevers up there keeps doing what there doing; you'll keep our boys safe.

19th Dec 2009, 19:13
I appreciate that everyone has their loyalties, but this is not the place for fighting for who has the best jet. Instead of bickering, we should be pointing out that both the GR9 and GR4 are capable jets, and cuts to both of them will leave a hole in UK defence policy. If the MOD rightly wants to buy more Chinooks and Reapers for Afghanistan, then it should come under a seperate budget. You want a war... you've got to pay for it!

My 2 cents on the GR4 v GR9 debate:

1. Both flown by committed crews doing all they can to provide the best possible support for the guys on the ground.

2. Both have very similar weapons loads and sensors, providing similar effects. I very much doubt the troops will notice a huge difference in the end product.

3. I think as the GR4 gains experience and credibility in Afghan, people will come to realise that it can do just as much, just as well as the GR9, and perhaps a little more in the shape of the RAPTOR, which gives the UK genuinely the best Recce capability out in theater.

Good luck to everyone out there...


19th Dec 2009, 19:48

Well said :D:D:D:D


Both flown by committed crews doing all they can to provide the best possible support for the guys on the ground.:ok:

Czech MaShortz
19th Dec 2009, 20:24
The NSW, I thought, was only really about squadron size anyway

So if this is the case, and now that the RAF has lost a front line Harrier sqn, will the RN at last drop the pretence of having 2 x sqns? Will NSW now rename to become 800 or 801 Sqn?

19th Dec 2009, 21:09
A cynic might suggest that 801 only "stood up" so the Navy could say that they lost a sqn as well.....

19th Dec 2009, 23:08
The Navy has been working very hard over the last 5 years to grow it's numbers and branch into 2 squadrons. There was still a fair way to go but needless to say there will be a lot of "shipmates" (particularly maintainers) having the rug pulled from under them. This is a bleak time all round and the guys at the coalface need to unite and fight for their common cause, whichever shade of blue they wear (at the moment!).

20th Dec 2009, 00:57
Perhaps the planning element of the Cott Witt move will be strung out until after the SDR, at which point the demise of Harrier will be announced.

glad rag
20th Dec 2009, 14:42
the guys on the ground with the most effective cammo,


BBC News - British Army to get new camouflage uniform (http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/technology/8422942.stm)

MultiCam.com Images (http://www.multicampattern.com/gallery.html)

Thank heavens someone at MOD listened to M Yon.!!

Flying Figgis
21st Dec 2009, 08:52
If you want to register your opposition to the closure of RAF Cottesmore, you can join these groups! The response so far has been outstanding. Over 6000 supporters in just over 5 days! A formal campaign is coming soon!

SAVE RAF COTTESMORE | Facebook (http://www.facebook.com/pages/SAVE-RAF-COTTESMORE/227670401041?ref=ts)


Save RAF Cottesmore | Facebook (http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=201382472477)


PMA's Toy
21st Dec 2009, 22:10
The response may have been excellent, but one of the groups claims that the main reason for keeping Cottesmore open is the fact it is "vital in supplying the Harrier to Afghanistan," and the other doesn't offer anything at all.

We can campaign against cuts, but I think any specific campaign to keep Cottesmore has to have some concrete reasons, and some alternatives. A few thousand people saying "because I want it to stay open" isn't really likely to cut it.

22nd Dec 2009, 03:58
With the usual caveats on the danger of assumption...

Given the dire state of the Defence budget, one could assume that the option to reduce the Harrier Force and close Cottesmore earlier than planned (it did not have a future post Harrier anyway) was put forward as the 'least bad'.

So if we transfer to fantasy land where Facebook petitions have an effect, if Cottesmore was to be saved for a few more years, those savings would still have to be made so Defence would have took look at other - even less palatable - options. It would be good to see if the originators of he petitions have identified what they will cut in Cottesmore's place.

Guzlin Adnams
22nd Dec 2009, 18:16
Cuts here, cuts there, defence cuts every bloody where.
Has anybody actually cornered a politician, in front of a camara and asked why they won't provide the budget necessary to support the forces because that's what it's all about.
2.1 % of GDP isn't it. What a joke. If they really want us to become a pacifist state why not say so and be judged on it. I'm sure that's what Brown wants. As for the other tribe, shortly to take over, we'll have to wait and see.
I'm no expert of course and all can say is for Gods sake stay safe and have the best Christmas/new year that you possibly can.
Good luck,
GA, Mrs GA and the two little GA's.

22nd Dec 2009, 18:24
What particularly grips me about politicians at present - specifically rather than my general objection - is their use of the phrase "frontline services" to mean NHS, education, social services, especially when they say "no cuts to frontline services"

There's only one front line, and only one frontline service .......DEFENCE

23rd Dec 2009, 15:58
RAF Cottesmore will close in 2013 - Rutland & Stamford Mercury (http://www.stamfordmercury.co.uk/news/RAF-Cottesmore-will-close-in.5932999.jp?)

There's only one front line, and only one frontline service .......DEFENCE

Why is defence a "Frontline" service and the NHS isn't ?

24th Dec 2009, 05:51
From the OED, only entry:
"front line

• noun the military line or part of an army that is closest to the enemy."

No mention of the health service there.

24th Dec 2009, 08:56
noun the military line or part of an army that is closest to the enemy."

Exactly. So, RAF Cottesmore is hardly "Front line" is it. Therefore it should close immediately.

24th Dec 2009, 09:12

If you believe the logic of what you have just quoted then Culdrose, Yeovilton, Devonport, Portsmouth and Rosyth should all also close immediately, along with every military facility in the UK.

Your comments on pprune seem to be getting more and more extreme/wacky/illogical of late, even for you. Senile dementia setting in, have you been at the cooking sherry early this Christmas, or have you just decided to take up fishing big time?:O

24th Dec 2009, 09:27
That is very true. I am merely trying to defend the phrase "Frontline". Frontline is not a phrase / word that is purely reserved for defence. Frontline Recruitment Ltd (http://www.frontlinerecruitment.co.uk/) for instance.

If you are discussing a frontline service then surely the NHS is the only frontline service.

26th Dec 2009, 19:57
Can any Harrier Jocks out there confirm that the 188' elevation difference between Cottesmore (461' AMSL) and Wittering (273') prevents the T12 operating at Cottesmore?

26th Dec 2009, 20:32
The higher airfield elevation certainly doesn't prevent the T12 from operating at Cottesmore. If you are referring purely to hover and vertical landing performance, then the approx 7 millibar difference between the stations will have a marginal detrimental effect at Cott.

In any case Wittering is easily the better station for Harrier VSTOL trg in my opinion becaue of the multitude of strips and pads, the ramp and the Vigo wood for bouncing around on.


John Farley
26th Dec 2009, 20:35
The Peg 11 exchange rate was 13lb of thrust per millibar

26th Dec 2009, 21:26
Back to basics...

Defence is bankrupt. The recent Financial crisis saw to that. Next years defence vote has been shrunk, and has already been spent. Long term forecasts reach no further than 12 months ahead.

We knew back in 2003 that Afghanistan was going to be the long-term focus, as Iraq was meant to be wrapped up quickly...as has been bourne out in the recent enquirey highlighting the woeful lack of post-op planning.

Our near recent CAS's are at fault for failing to identify the changing role of our airforces; for failing to recognise that projection of military capability was a global requirement. For too long we adapted cold war tactics, and therefore our stance/equipment as and when required.

How long have our SF Chinooks sat in their hanger for? How long did it take for us to act on the need for true strategic airlift? How long did our chiefs allow the Government to get away with going beyond the terms of SDR?


Anyhow, Lyneham will stay as the home for the C130 and A400M. Brize has no room; the resource requirements outlined for accommodating Lyn have not been met; there is no money in the budget to allow for anything other than FSTA.

We live in changing times. Lets hope Dalton doesn't let us down - we need a strong hand at the tiller (yoke)... :ok:

Guzlin Adnams
27th Dec 2009, 14:17
Wonder if Marshalls might be interested in Cottesmore?
Is the runway long enough for their purposes? :hmm:
It doesn't look like their plans for Mildenhall or Wyton will come to anything.

aw ditor
27th Dec 2009, 14:36

All very quiet in the Cambridge area on Marshalls possible move. They haven't even started building the potential 10,000 houses at Northstowe yet (old RAF Oakington site) so my guess is a Marshalls move to free-up further building space is at least 10 years away. No sign of any improvement to the infrastructure around Cambridge to cope with extra housing except for the further delayed misguided-bus' and the A14 re-route to start maybe in 2012, with a public enquiry to be overcome as yet . (I prefer Greene King IPA.)

Guzlin Adnams
27th Dec 2009, 15:03
I say AW,
I know this is thread creep plus but IPA!
Apart from Adnams, Woodfords Wherry, Norfolk Nog, Bartrams AH 64 plus many many more. IPA indeed!

Sorry about that, had to get it off me chest.

The market is dire for any sort of development and construction at the moment, I've suffered as well as many others who work in that industry.
Alconbury has now gone as well so long term if Cott is to be sold and not be given to the army Marshalls would get it for a pretty good price long term. That's bad for the MoD obviously but thinking about business in the world outside of the armed forces, they just might see it as a good time to speculate. It will be interesting.

My own humble view is that it shouldn't close, there should be no Treasury enforced changes/reductions in order to fund the present conflict and the budget should be enhanced. Somebody needs to stand up to these blasted politicians.

aw ditor
27th Dec 2009, 16:31

Oooops, thats' wound you up! I'd of thought you'd support your local (Bury) brewery? Cottesmore runway more than adequate for any aircraft Marshalls operate now or are likely to in the future.

28th Dec 2009, 09:49
Don't know if its been mentioned but there are 2 petitions to sign.

Petition to: keep RAF Cottesmore open. | Number10.gov.uk (http://petitions.number10.gov.uk/Cottesmore)

Petition to: SAVE RAF COTTESMORE. | Number10.gov.uk (http://petitions.number10.gov.uk/SAVECOTTESMORE)

Also added a CMS portal to RAF Cottesmore - The Front Page (http://www.rafcottesmore.co.uk)

28th Dec 2009, 10:47
Not entirely popular petitions are they. Circa 300 on one and just about double figures on the second.

However, I've said it before and I'll say it again. It is not the Prime minister closing Cott. It is not No 10 closing COTT. The decision to close COTT was made by the Royal Air Force. The RAF offered up COTT to close as a saving measure to save money. The petition should be aimed at the RAF.

28th Dec 2009, 12:27
The decision to close COTT was made by the Royal Air Force. The RAF offered up COTT to close as a saving measure to save money

To be fair it was one of a number of options offered up by all 3 Services (which would have included cancellation of the carriers, JSF, FRES, The Reds etc etc [there are no sacred cows]) that the Defence Board (which includes the 1SL and CGS) selected as 'viable'. As has been said before the decision to close COTT was probably one of the less painful options that Defence needed to take to try to get close to balancing the books - if it was so important to the 1SL and the RN he would have fought harder to save it (but in doing so would probably have to offer something up to "pay for it" - guess that shows what the 1SL thinks of FW FAA .....!). The Defence Secretary can over-rule any decision on options/savings measures made or offered up (but I guess the Carriers are more useful than COTT;))

But why let the truth get in the way of another attempted crab bashing!

28th Dec 2009, 13:14
Why would 1 SL complain about a measure which doesn't really alter the amount of JFH cockpits available to the RN and maintains as many [email protected]<hidden> as the CVS can accomodate?

28th Dec 2009, 13:17
If people think the closure of Cottesmore (5 years earlier than already planned) is bad news, wait until after the general election when the next government (of whichever party) takes the inevitable axe to the defence budget....

I expect it to make the current "cuts" seem like chickenfeed, still, I could be wrong...:}

28th Dec 2009, 22:54
doesn't really alter the amount of JFH cockpits available to the RN

... or perhaps it is that it reduces the amount of cockpits available to the number the RN can actually fill!

maintains as many [email protected]<hidden> as the CVS can accomodate

So this is a long overdue reduction then?

29th Dec 2009, 09:34
The RAF appears to be saying, that it can (or is prepared to) now do everything required of it (FW FJ wise) with GR4 or FGR4 (tee hee- are we still calling it that? ). CVS is the gaping hole in its otherwise perfect argument. Therefore JFH has probably survived due to CVS. To cut the force to a level commensurate with CVS Ops isn't overdue, as anything you can do from CVS you can do elsewhere, in some cases using support and surfaces that GR4/FGR4 cannot hope to.

I've said it before, but anyway...A RAF organised into Expeditionary Air Wings, forged by a COIN war...favouring the two platforms that aren't ideal for either.

golf 8 delta
29th Dec 2009, 09:59

'A RAF organised into Expeditionary Air Wings, forged by a COIN war...favouring the two platforms that aren't ideal for either.'

So when will we use an expeditionary air wing? never, COIN is inside the procurement cycle, but the assets available are able to prosecute the current target set, 2 platforms that the seniors have decided are the future of the air force at the expense of all other capabilities.

My point, we cannot predict the political will to match our future capabilities therefore we hedge our bets and produce what we can, backed up by UORs such as UCAV.


Alpha Whiskey
29th Dec 2009, 14:05
"Therefore JFH has probably survived due to CVS."

There's no probably about it. CVS is the only reason the Force has survived in any shape or form. Sec of State even said as much in his statement to the House.

It seems anyone left in JFH better get used to life at sea!

29th Dec 2009, 15:43

Completely agree with your post - with a caveat. The EAW construct always appeared a little like a re-branding exercise to me and didn't fit into any enduring commitment. I also agree that with the GR4/FGR4 you can service the current target set, and will continue to do so as long as (here's the caveat) HNS and well found international length runways are available and you are prepared to feed the beast that is GR4 logistics. I have assumed in accepting this that FGR4 is full-up A-A (which i hope it is, but can't confirm) and has a clear air mass to employ LGB. This strikes me as a lot that has to be going your way when a small foot print, flexibly based option with GPS weaponry was available. (But that's my opinion and i don't expect everyone to agree - we're all human and agreeing is boring)

You make a valid point about UCAV. It appeared to me in theatre that the RA in particular favoured organic fires and couldn't wait for a mix of loitering munition and GMLRS to remove air from the equation. Not an approach i favoured, but we were only there to do what the Ground Commander wanted, so if he didn't want us then who were we to argue?


Half of JFH is dark blue. They'll cope with being at sea. Let's see if Fleet can cope with actually giving them something meaningful to do when they're there.

Czech MaShortz
29th Dec 2009, 18:03
And the other half of JFH is light blue and they'll cope with being at sea also. Just like they have been for the last 15 years. I agree with orca regards FLEET, most specifically CSG...it's time for those within the RN to realize that Carrier Strike depends on JFH...they are one in the same. Hence, it's time the tasking for cvs reflected realistic training for the Harriers.

Alpha Whiskey
29th Dec 2009, 19:30

I would argue quite the opposite. It's about time the JFH ATP reflected meaningful embarked time for the jets, then the CVS could go and conduct realistic training for the whole Air Wing and associated Task Group - they all need training for CS ops. Deck bashing with no other a/c types embarked in "Lake Cottesmore" will never generate a CS capability.

I agree that both light and dark blue elements of JFH have undertaken the seagoing aspects of the job over the last 15 years with good grace. However, in order to achieve a realistic CS capability, and one that justifies continued retention of any Harriers, will require much closer alignment between Fleet and Air Cmds in order to develop a realisitic and sustainable capability. Illustrious had her programme for 2009 completely subjugated to what the jets wanted and Ark's for next year is being tied and adapted in a similar fashion. Not clear, therefore, on what basis you claim Fleet are failing to deliver meaningful tasking.............

30th Dec 2009, 00:38
Excellent. So we all seem to sort of agree that with the closure of COTT and the reduction in JFH we will have the right numbers of the right aircraft in order to complete the role required (at present;)). Given that (so I'm told) JFH is where the top boys and gals go can we now man JFH with the right calibre of pilot (i.e. best man/woman for the job) and stop this 50/50 b0llox. Each course that grads from Valley should (and I agree this is a sweeping statement and don't want to offend (too much) the Typhoon pilots and GR4 nose gunners) send the top 'x'% to JFH (regardless of colour of uniform) and work other role disposals from there on in. If that means all are light blue or dark blue on a particular JFH OCU who cares. If it means dark blue go to the Typhoon or the GR4 does it matter (it's been done before on the GR1/4 after all ....)? We are meant to be on the same side. It's been said many a time before - continual inter-Service bitching and a refusal to be flexible in jointery will only have one winner - the Treasury!

And this is as much a dig at my own Service before anyone bleets about stove pipes and cold war dinosaurs ....:}

30th Dec 2009, 08:36
Isn't the GR4 for those that failed Valley? (or 20 Sqn)

30th Dec 2009, 09:03

Isn't the GR4 for those that failed Valley? (or 20 Sqn)

And with that one comment you have shown your true colours. :mad: Shame really because up until now you have come across as having a more 'open mind' than some of your colleagues.

And no, I am not a GR4 nose gunner, nor have I ever failed Valley. Not tried 20 Sqn!

30th Dec 2009, 15:47
Now now Wrathmonk, all in jest I'm sure!!!!!!!!!!!



30th Dec 2009, 16:02
Isn't the FAA for those that failed to make it into the RAF?

(Again, all in jest!)

30th Dec 2009, 16:54

Couldn't agree more

31st Dec 2009, 08:22
Dear Fellows,

Please excuse a quick foray into the world of fishing..Can i chalk myself up for a bite?

(Won't do it again...promise)

Happy New Year, eyes out, fly safe.

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