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RAF flies squaddie hom to see dying mum

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RAF flies squaddie hom to see dying mum

Old 17th May 2005, 00:37
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RAF flies squaddie home to see dying mum

I read today that the RAF (and the army) went out of its way to fly a squaddie home from Iraq to see his dying mum before she passed away. Well done all of you. Its good to see that such compassion and thought still exists. I'm sure our all thoughts are with the family of the chap concerned. Good work.

Last edited by Navaleye; 17th May 2005 at 03:54.
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Old 17th May 2005, 01:47
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Full story here:

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Old 17th May 2005, 07:34
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Fat Albert
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Thankfully it appears to be one of the things that we can still do well.

The Herc, and occasionally the VC10 on the 1312 Flt Det at MPA is regularly used for this purpose, taking compassionate cases to an international airport for onward transport.

Sometimes its comforting to know that the system can work.
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Old 17th May 2005, 08:57
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What navy bloke?? am sure your lot have Comp A cover as well. In fact I know you do. One of the last remaining things we have left that still works well. I know that out there in the emerald isle a certain little plank flight cover it 24/7 and do a great job of getting people back in rapid time. Because a couple of years ago they got myself back "just in nick of time"
Cheers !!
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Old 17th May 2005, 09:33
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This is something called a 'Compassionate Case', and it happens quite frequently as indicated by C130 Techie above.

There are different categories according to the reason for repatriation, with A being the most serious and I think it goes down to C.

I myself have been the beneficiaryas a Category B, and I was extremely grateful for the help I received getting back from the Falklands. Within 8 minutes of the door of the ac opening at Brize, I was being driven up the road towards Norwich by a nice man from my home unit. I was collected by a Mover and first off the plane, taken to the terminal and told to stand in a specific place for my bag to be brought to me. Sure enough it arrived about 2 minutes later, and I walked through a door to find my driver waiting for me.

Only a tiny fraction of them get into the papers, perhaps because the people who benefit don't necessarily want the publicity (as it should be).

I believe this type of repatriation is common across all the 3 Services, though I will stand to be corrected.
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Old 17th May 2005, 11:09
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All the stops are pulled out for Comp A's.

I was once northbound from MPA on Timmy, when she was turned around to go back for one.

Of course, no-one on board batted an eyelid. We were on our way again within a couple of hrs.
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Old 17th May 2005, 12:32
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Two stories spring to mind, one personal and the other apocryphal.

I was on exercise on the IGB when my brother was taken dangerously ill. My brother in law, a nice but clueless civvy was given the job of contacting me - we're talking 1980 here - no cell 'phones. All he had was my regimental number and my unit so he calls the MP's in Aldershot at about 1200 on a Saturday afternoon, why Aldershot? - "Home of the British Army" I suppose. By 1400 I was in a Gazelle on my way to Dusseldorf Airport.

The second tale relates to one of the Toms in 1 PARA in Berlin. He hatched a plan with his girlfriend back in the 'Shot whereby she would send him a message that his mum was dying in hospital and he was required at her bedside. Good plan and it seemed to be working as the wheels went into motion, what he didn't realise though is that they check out both ends of the message while they plan for the worst and as he had one leg over the cockpit of a Lightning trainer - this was a while ago - the MP's grabbed him by the collar and he was well and truly lifted!

'CLANG' - watch yer fingers!
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Old 17th May 2005, 13:00
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And it's something the services do (did?) very very well. One of my most satisfying and fulfilling (non-flying!) jobs was doing the DPO (Duty Personnel Officer) out of hours duty whilst a deskie at Barnwood/Innsworth.

Known amongst the aircrew deskies as the "Dead Grannie Patrol", we all had outrageous tales to tell of DPO duties - getting police to break into Mum's house to get Passport and meet at a M-way service station is one that comes to mind....dispatching a Staish to NOK address (this is as a sqn ldr) to discover Mum has moved (in with new boyfriend) ... Staish discovers new address and does the deed anyway, and boyfriend gets to accommpany Mum at public expense.

Always told then by the wheels - "Do it at the time and we'll discuss it in the morning, if you thought it was right there's no comeback"- civil flights etc etc, turning back Timmy (already mentioned) and enormous help from the (civvy) plods.

I think it's all gone joint now , but hope it still works......
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Old 17th May 2005, 13:03
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Have put pedal-to-the-metal in the Vickers FunBus bringing Comp A folk back from Akrotiri a few times - on a couple of occasions the steps came in as soon as we'd stopped having used full reverse and exited at Taxiway 4N (to hell with the noise NIMBYs!) and the bod was off across the tarmac to the 125 which started up as soon as they saw him coming. 125 airborne before we'd finished the shut down and paperwork.....

That's when the team works!
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Old 17th May 2005, 15:13
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Did one some months back. Into LHR, we were told by ATC, "Any speed, any approach, any runway."

Car was waiting on the taxiway, dropped off the Comp A, backtracked and departed dct to home.

Its refreshing to see that there is something that we still do well, without negotiation or compromise. I'd like to think that if I ever needed it then the system would be willing to do the same for me.
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Old 17th May 2005, 15:42
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Witnessed a couple in my times at MPA.

1) Squaddie based on South Georgia needed to get home ASAP. No airfield there of course so resident frigate is dispatched at full speed to collect said individual. When they are within helo range of MPA on the return the individual was airlifted to waiting tristar for UK. Slick !!

2) Girl at MPA had to get back to UK to see dying father. C130 left MPA at around 0300 for Rio. Young lady caught morning flight to UK. Concorde, the rumour goes, was the transport.

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Old 17th May 2005, 15:46
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It is THE only thing that we do well !!!

I've been around the bazaars a while and even though, thanks to the current climate, I am seeking a career change, the thing I will remember most about my time in blue is that when the preverbial hits the fan, I can rest assured that I will get where I need to be ASAP.

I actually brought a Comp A back from BSR last night too.

I have been on the receiving end of the mighty blue comp machine and as I say, it is uncompromising, no cost spared.

As for the rest of it, it sucks but, when I'm in sh!t$ville I know that I can get home ASAP if required, and that is worth a fortune.

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Old 17th May 2005, 18:48
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Got to agree with all the above,

I recall 1996 in MPA, we were asked to carry out a CAT A task as the duty Herc was bust so, the request went to the Kipper Mates, who were holding SAR due to broke Herc.

Round up the team

Launch one Nimrod within an Hour direct to Rio, spare Crew Chief on board plus any sober groundies we could muster and PAX. Most pissed i,ve ever been on the wire but not a peep from the loadies

We subsequently got one the our det (we had a spare), and got the Nimrod back about a week later, (winds at MPA) no fuss no bother everyone pitched in.

When it works, its awesome
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Old 17th May 2005, 19:08
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Many was the time that J line had to prepare a Comp case airframe, within a very short timescale, no airframe suitable (serviceable), much graft carried out, airframe generated and tech ready, only for the requirement to be stood down. This happened on a regular basis.

How the guys always managed it, is unbelievable.

How they accepted that it may not be needed, was unbelievable as well, but did they moan, NEVER, did they shirk thinking that it will be cancelled before they have put in a lot of effort, NEVER.

They remain one of the best TEAMS that I have worked with. And before anyone tries to turn this into J v K, I have no doubt that K line had exactly the same standards, if not fewer available frames.

To all the guys and gals who prep and fly the comp aircraft (whatever the type) and for those who plan the whole thing, thanks for a 100% effort all of the time. I am sure that the Comp Pax appreciate it, but probably have other things on their minds to mention it at the time.
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Old 17th May 2005, 19:32
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ISTR a National Standby Puma callout on Christmas Day to go get a soldier(?) from an airport somewhere (probably in London), and take him to Scotland. The whole world pitched in, not a whinge from anyone, even the duty TSW crew at Stafford didn't seem to mind standing to for a couple of refuels on Christmas night.

It's about the last thing we can still do really well.
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Old 17th May 2005, 20:19
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Comp A callout May 24 1992 to get Squaddie to dying Dad, Aldergrove to Heathrow, Decca for NAV, NVGs low-level over the Irish Sea, HF fire, refuel at Valley, gogs through Snowdonia with lightening to boot. Refuel at Lyneham, sun now rising, lifted, headed East and cleared direct approach to 09L where he was met by the police.
Excellent system when it works.

Don't get me wrong folks, a Wessex wasn't the first option but it was the only aircraft flying that particular Bank Hol weekend!!!

Bartie, you still in?
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Old 17th May 2005, 21:13
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What makes us feel so good about it is we are doing it for 'us' - for the little man or woman who needs our expert assistance at exactly that time in exactly that place. Regardless of rank, stature, position, time served, colour of skin or uniform it is probably the last vestige of us 'looking after our own'.

The guys in the Comp Cell do a great job - BUT - they can't fail to do a great job! Pretty much every single member of the Mob will respond with their best when that call comes. I am not belittling that job - just giving the rest of MOD PLC a massive thumb's up for making me feel humble every time I've been involved in a Comp PAX. I know I still believe in people and sometimes I have been tested by them - drunk driving, getting the locals 'great with child', etc etc. However, when I have done my utmost to do my tiny part in a Comp epic journey and, a month later, some face comes out of a crowd going back to the nasty end, and they thank you for your part in getting then back to (select relative/incident) and how it is so much better for them - then the rest of you put my faith back into it tenfold and I thank you all for that. The look of wonderment on Gunner Blogg's face when he tells you Admiral X gave him a lift home in his helo just does it.

Perhaps a tad emotional but it always hits the spot when I sit back and see it happen. I have seen other nations (perhaps individuals in those nations) not do this and it further reinforces how close we really are as a military to stand this close together. We are all great and again - thanks - for upholding this massive strength we really do own ourselves with one share each.

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Old 17th May 2005, 22:03
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My wife was hauled back to the UK but didn't quite make it in time. Not for the want of everyone trying. Including the travel agent woken at 2am to arrange the civil portion of the flight, the guy at heathrow with mobile phone and car. Truly outstanding.

Also saw it happen on exercise at thumrait in Southern Oman. Couldn't get the guy on a civil flight from Salalah to Muscat until the next day. The Omanis stepped up and had him in the back of one of their Jaguars pronto. Climbed out of Jag and into waiting civilian flight (held for him I believe) and made it in time.

The guys who organise all of this are unsung heroes and deserve all the praise we can give them.
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Old 17th May 2005, 22:04
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Sent the C130 from MPA to Santiago and Rio in one 7 day period.

Choice of destination was simple: while the boys were getting their nightstop kit together we checked the MARRs and found the first onward connection we could get back to UK.

Never asked to justify it.
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Old 17th May 2005, 22:47
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Did a Comp A in an Islander from Aldergrove to Hannover not so long ago - four hours downwind - two and a half days to get back! Oooh that hurt!

Comp A is the only thing in the MOD that works!

EESDL - why wasn't the Islander flying that night? Weather too bad?
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