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Fg Off Wales' Wings

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Fg Off Wales' Wings

Old 12th Apr 2008, 10:52
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Call me cynical, but the country might be slightly better served if they made the defence secretary go through the same course + basic infinatry and spending at least six weeks on any of the plastic rowing boats that the navy have left before they took the job for real.

Maybe of course that thought should also be extended to the civil servants, bean counters & other whitehall remoras before they took the reins as well.

Maybe then they'd actually be a bunch of folk making critical decisions who all actually had an idea about the sharp end of the job........
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Old 12th Apr 2008, 18:15
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There was an AAC captain on 5 Regt at Aldergrove - ex RAF and wore his RAF wings.
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Old 12th Apr 2008, 21:56
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Ditto a couple of previous posts - I read in the newspapers that Wills has been flying for four months and according to the radio coverage has been awarded his brevet because he had gone solo during that period. Its been a long time since I went through flying training but my logbook shows somewhere in the region of 250 hours of basic/advanced training before getting the badge. Either the young man was flying at an extraordinary pace or the rules have changed somewhat !
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Old 12th Apr 2008, 22:03
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After I left the RAF I joined the TAVR and was told to wear the flying badge which I had been awarded.

Became the only Highland officer with kilt and RAF wings.

Didn't do the parachute course, though.
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Old 13th Apr 2008, 07:21
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Well he's welcome back to the SAR world anytime - he is desperate to get some operational time but the system doesn't seem to want to let him.
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Old 13th Apr 2008, 14:05
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Having Googled ad-infinitum I've not yet been able to find a photo of Wills flying solo in the accepted dictionary definition of solo, in relation to flying i.e.
"an unaccompanied flight by a pilot in an aircraft" and
"perform a solo, esp. a solo flight".

Despite the claims in the press ad elsewhere, did he actually fly solo and if so where are the photos to prove it?
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Old 13th Apr 2008, 14:07
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Am I the only one who thinks William is doing his stints in each service at bit too hastily?
Evidently, yes.

Charming sentiment, but it has been decided that his time as an Heir to the Throne is better spent in public service, rather than spending his time as you suggested.

Also, you assume he actually has a choice in the matter.

The way I see it, he is sharp and has the capacity to ascertain much more than most his age would given a similar timeframe in which to be part of HM Armed Forces. He has done well so far, deserves his RAF wings, and best of luck to him in the RN.

He is a credit to the nation, and those that take a different view have either not met or worked with him.
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Old 13th Apr 2008, 14:08
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He appears to have finished with the Army. I read today that he 'leaves' the RAF in 2 weeks time. Followed by 4 months (?) in the RN. I mean, he's not going to be King anytime soon, so why the rush? Why couldn't he spend, say, 2-3 years in each service.
From what I've read he seems to genuinely enjoy his military time, takes it very seriously, and maybe he would quite like to spend more time with each service. It would be difficult to justify, however, the expense of training him up to (say) fast jet standard when there is no prospect of him actually going front line. I have to say though that if I was in his shoes I would be keen as mustard to spend a good 2-3 years with each service.

And has it been announced that his army stint is over? I assumed that he would go back to the army after finishing his blue stints. I would have thought that he would need to get his para-wings at some point in his career, so presumably he will go back to the army for another stint?

I read also that the SAS are keen to make him their honorary colonel-in-cheif at some point, having impressed them with his keenness on his numerous visits to Hereford.

Whatever route he takes he is a real credit to the nation - good on him.
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Old 13th Apr 2008, 16:22
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Despite the claims in the press ad elsewhere, did he actually fly solo and if so where are the photos to prove it?
I'm sure there was one pic of him solo in the Grob?

Anyway, who'd want to fly a close formo pics sortie with someone with just a few hours? It can get hairy enough with experienced pilots.
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Old 13th Apr 2008, 17:12
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It's great that he did the flying he did. It's great that he did go and look at the RAF and get an insight into how others are trained.

But if he didn't earn wings, then his being awarded them surely devalues the badge.

And don't you have to complete EFTS and BFTS to get wings, at the moment (there was a time, IIRC, when you had to finish AFTS at Valley, wasn't there?) or get to the equivalent stage at Shawbury (Griffin?)? Wings are hard-earned and that's why they're accorded the respect they are. They imply that the wearer has qualified and is competent, and there is an inference that they have some specific competences in formation and instrument flying, etc.

And isn't there an alternative? Could he not have been awarded the PFB? What are the qualifications for that, now?

So how many hours, dual and solo, did he fly in the respective types? Tutor, Tucano, Squirrel?

And what's next? Perhaps a single stroll across Dartmoor and he can have a green beret and commando dagger? Or a day's classroom teaching and a tower jump and he can put up para wings? And wouldn't a DFC and an AFC look nice under those wings. Why not blur the qualifications for those, as well?
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Old 14th Apr 2008, 08:54
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The value of Wings

Agreed that it was good that he got some experience of the RAF, but for the sake of all those who have worked very hard to graduate fully, would not have been better to have the RAF/HMG PR machine spins doctors say that "PW has been gaining some flying experience with the RAF and has been awarded an honorary flying badge/wings". Thus honour maintained all round.

That then separates him from those who have completed the full course and doesn't leave joe public with the idea that you can do it in a few weeks - after all Mr Darling and Mr Part time Browne may get the idea that we're wasting taxpayers money taking as long as w are if PW can do three types and gain wings in weeks !
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Old 14th Apr 2008, 09:22
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Everyone calm down. It is a symbolic gesture, a bit like an honorary degree from a university. It will look good on his uniform when he is head of state. He will not be LCR or CR or be operating aircraft in op roles. Good on him i say. He wants to do more, but despite it being almost his train set, the unseen powers in the civil service say exactly what he can and cannot do. He has no choice in the matter. He could either accept the limited training offered to him, or not participate at all. We do not have an absolute monarchy and he is not permitted to decide very much at all.
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Old 14th Apr 2008, 09:48
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Thread creep here so I apologise but I noticed a picture of our wartime leader, Churchill, in RAF blues and wearing wings. When did he do flying training in the RAF? I'm not being sarcastic, i'm genuinely curious.
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Old 14th Apr 2008, 10:03
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Fg Off Wales' Wings

Churchill's wings were honorary.

Herings's Customs and Traditions of the Royal Air Force states:
'A unique and singular departure from the strict tradition regulating the award of the Royal Air Force flying badge was made in the case of Sir Winston Churchill, Honorary Air Commodore of No 605 (County of Surrey) Squadron of the Royal auxiliary Air Force. Because of his great services to the nation during the Second World War, his unflagging support of, and interest in, the activities of the flying Service, and perhaps because he was the first Prime Minister to hold Honorary Air rank in an active squadron, the air Council decided to make an honorary award of the flying badge to him'

Hering also notes that George V exercised his royal prerogative as Commander-in-Chief of all the Armed Forces to wear the badge although there is no record of him ever flying even as a passenger.

And who was going to argue with him?
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Old 14th Apr 2008, 10:21
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Originally Posted by Wwyvern View Post
After I left the RAF I joined the TAVR and was told to wear the flying badge which I had been awarded.

Became the only Highland officer with kilt and RAF wings.

Didn't do the parachute course, though.

I remember reading somewhere about an ex-USN Pilot who joined the national Guard as an enlisted man, and became probably the only Army NCO to serve in Iraq with wearing USN wings.
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Old 14th Apr 2008, 12:54
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debsh

'A unique and singular departure from the strict tradition regulating the award of the Royal Air Force flying badge was made in the case of Sir Winston Churchill, Honorary Air Commodore of No 605 (County of Surrey) Squadron of the Royal auxiliary Air Force
Unless Surrey has been moved north to Brummieland your source has got his squadrons mixed up. 605 was the County of Warwick squadron, finally disbanded in 1957, whereas 'Winnie's" squadron was 615. It too disbanded in 1957.

Three Kings with wings.
Edward VIII and George VI did a flying course (at Northolt ISTR), George V didn't.

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Old 14th Apr 2008, 15:16
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Fg Off Wales' Wings

'Unless Surrey has been moved north to Brummieland your source has got his squadrons mixed up. 605 was the County of Warwick squadron, finally disbanded in 1957, whereas 'Winnie's" squadron was 615. It too disbanded in 1957.'

Or possibly a proofing error in the original. It happens in the best-run organizations. So they tell me.
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Old 14th Apr 2008, 15:20
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Why not give everybody a set of WINGS. They only cost 3 on eBay.
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Old 14th Apr 2008, 15:32
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So will HRH now go on to fly a front line type with the Navy being as how he has yet to complete any sort of conversion course?

Any one like to hazard a guess as to what he might convert on to?

Surely he will get his Navy wings too, so he has to fly something dark blue.
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Old 14th Apr 2008, 15:56
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Vatican, not AFAIK. Apparently the MoD was quite clearly informed that front-line stuff is not possible for the elder Wales (being second in line), and that the charity/representative stuff will take precedence. Hence an abridged course at the RAF. Or at least that's what the Beeb claims. Someone from the RAF was quoted as saying that if it was too short, it would be clear that it was utterly useless, and if it was the full thing without any possibility of him actually using it, it would be a waste of taxpayers' money. Fair dues in that case... they've tried to find a middle way that's allowed him to learn much (and he's a bright lad) in a condensed course.

The younger Wales has found his niche in the TA, he loves doing what he does (being a tank commander), and judging by the interviews, he would probably happily do this to the end of his days, that he knows what his duty is, and that being treated as one of the lads (without all the HRH title drivel) brings a lot of previously not-experienced normality to his life.

Of course, being one of the world's famous kids makes long term deployment just a little more difficult (thanks to the endless tabloid coverage).

S.
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