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Harrier dispute between Navy and RAF chiefs sees Army 'marriage counsellor' called in

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Harrier dispute between Navy and RAF chiefs sees Army 'marriage counsellor' called in

Old 13th Apr 2009, 20:03
  #221 (permalink)  
 
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recce FAC,

Give the GR4 a chance... when we "train train train" with them in the UK, they generally don't have a targeting pod fitted, and almost certainly don't have a ROVER capability. Therefore being far less capable and easy to work with.

That may also be true of GR9 in the UK. Without targeting pods, I would agree - GR9 is the better CAS platform. However, with a pod fitted, I think it is much more of a close call and the GR4 could surprise a lot of people in a couple of months' time... FACT!?

Easy
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Old 13th Apr 2009, 21:06
  #222 (permalink)  
 
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Recce FAC,

welcome home.


I completely agree with your comments about the GR9. As a 'Crowbar' controller last year, it was always a bonus to have a few GR9s check in when it was busy. No offence to the other operators intended however, the Harrier mates were first class.

On my end of tour flight home, I sat with a few guys from 2 Para who spoke very highly JHF. Let's hope that the early retirement of the F3 will alleviate the need to scrap the Harrier. If not, let's bin a few E3s; 7 is far too many for a force that does not have anything like the manpower to justify them.
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Old 13th Apr 2009, 21:34
  #223 (permalink)  
 
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Gr-4/gr-9

We have to give GR-4 a chance. I am certain the GR-4 aircrew will dig out for the guys on the ground,my concern is that its not as suited to Helmand as a GR-9, we all know of the ''other factors'' that we cannot really discuss on here that will make it a pretty tough job for GR-4 to be effective.It's just a case of wait and see.
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Old 15th Apr 2009, 11:10
  #224 (permalink)  
 
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Spheroid,

I've just noticed your amusing p' take of my mentioning that Fleet Air arm pilots took part in the Battle of Britain.

Either you are as clueless as you make a good attempt at appearing, or maybe you think I meant ' from ships ' ?

Either way demonstrates pretty poor knowledge.

The FAA does deserve a more separate identity, and as our ships deserve fighter cover, they are rather obviously the people for the job.

I have flown with a lot of RAF pilots, who were mostly great, but the FAA pilots I have flown with stand out.

Hence my expressed wish that in a slightly better world they might be supplied with Harrier 2+ & AMRAAM ( if you don't know what they are, ask a grown up ) - and show you what ' ethos ' means.

Spheroid might be more appropriate if expressed in plural form...
Double Zero is offline  
Old 16th Apr 2009, 20:33
  #225 (permalink)  
 
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DZ - think there was an article in a paper a while back about the RN's contribution to BofB. It wasn't talking about carrier borne aircraft but AA ships (I think, memory hazy don't mind being corrected). I think this was the ref Spheroid was implying!

Back on thread -

Believe that RN training in US on AV 8B was organised due to requirement to grow more FAA fixed wing pilots (lead in to numbers required for JSF). Not enough spaces on 20(R) long course so alternative option set up.

Agree that a lot of the SHar force didn't fancy the move to Rutland which has held things back a bit, however everyone on JFH is on the same side and dedicated to providing the best CAS to the guys on the ground. When the GR4 takes over they can then go back to concentrating on putting munitions on target from a rolling pitching deck. Would the Royals on the Al Faw have appreciated some dedicated sea-based CAS in 2003? 847 NAS did an awesome job but I'm sure they wouldn't have minded some help. (yes I know the Harriers were busy elsewhere in Telic at the time!)

How do you think the RAF lads and lasses at Cott/Witt feel about their own service chief trying to get shot of them after about 6 yrs on continuous ops? No wonder BAES have no trouble recruiting in South Lincs!

Hopefully this whole sorry business can be put behind us and inter-service politics can be cooled off.
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Old 16th Apr 2009, 20:43
  #226 (permalink)  
 
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Double Zero

Don't be so sensitive. I think you will find that Spheroid was referring to this article by some maritime professor of history.
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Old 16th Apr 2009, 21:01
  #227 (permalink)  
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The Fleet Air Arm played an active part in the fight against the Axis forces during the Battle of Britain, not more so than the two FAA squadrons and 50 or so men who served under RAF Fighter Command. This page is dedicated to their dedication and bravery.
The learned article suggesting that the Royal Navy, with its massive warship strength of highly manoevrable destroyers, could have won the Battle for Britain was no doubt well reasoned by eminent academics.

They presumable drew on the success of the RN ships in the face of enemy air attacks both before the BoB and subsequently in the Far East.
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Old 16th Apr 2009, 21:15
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It should be pointed out that none of the three academics quoted actually said quite what was attributed to them - the original article in Hysteria Today was written by a chap who.... errrrr.... let's be charitable about this.... edited the quotes he was actually given in a rather unfortunate manner, which created a nicely controversial article and three extremely irate staff college academics. They produced a detailed rebuttal of his article (and his interview technique...) in the next RUSI Journal to appear after the History Today/Torygraph coverage.

However, a chap called Anthony Cumming said the same sorts of things in a PhD thesis, which was covered in a History and Nostalgia board thread a while back.
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Old 17th Apr 2009, 07:46
  #229 (permalink)  
 
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WhiteOvies,

your question
Would the Royals on the Al Faw have appreciated some dedicated sea-based CAS in 2003?
, if I read it correctly, displays a staggering lack of knowledge about how air power is employed.

You do say
yes I know the Harriers were busy elsewhere in Telic at the time!
, and I wonder whether you think that putting them on a ship would have changed this?

Of course, it would be lovely if everyone could have their own dedicated jet - but not even the US has enough assets to afford to do that - why do you think the air (including Marine air) that flies off the US ships is tasked and commanded by the JFACC?

OK, if there was a single-nation, small-scale intervention in which we only used carrier air [which is the scenario for which we are buying CVF], it would feel like dedicated support - but if you look at our (joint) doctrine carefully you'll appreciate that isn't exactly what happens - and for good reason.
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Old 17th Apr 2009, 16:04
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USMC Air isn't controlled by the JFACC, it is a organic and integral part of the MAGTF, controlled on behalf of the General by the USMC for the USMC.

[Source MCDP3 Expeditionary Operations pg 72 Services Publications - U.S Marine Corps Pubs ]
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Old 17th Apr 2009, 21:55
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Alfred,

that's correct, when the MAGTF is deployed [consider my point about small-scale, single-nation ops] - for large-scale ops and everything done on a joint basis, the marine air will usually come under the JFACC - as is and was the case with marine air contributing to Iraq and Afghanistan.
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Old 18th Apr 2009, 10:18
  #232 (permalink)  
 
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That doesn't stop elements of the RM comparing and contrasting the USMC and it's seemingly endless fast air on tap, and the 'paucity' of UK fast air available. It's not right, or correct, but it is a perception....
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Old 18th Apr 2009, 15:25
  #233 (permalink)  
FOG
 
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OA,

Partially true. We release a percentage of sorties to the JFACC but definitely not all and very few if any rotary wing sorties. The "boat squadrons" aboard the CVNs are under USN control and they are usually fragged via the ATO. Gators usually are tasked and commanded outside the JFACC as well.

Please do not confuse reporting sorties to the JFACC so they can be coordinated with being tasked and commanded.

Allied Farce is a simple analogy. The USMC units flying out of Aviano were tasked via the ATO. The units flying off the CVNs had some of their sorties fragged via the ATO under apportionment, while the MEU (to include the ashore KC-130s) kept all their sorties and coordinated via the ATO.

There are very real disagreements on the JFACC/ATO process and employment. One philosophy is that air is to support someone or something and the other is that air is its own separate and distinct entity. The first will have CAS stacks, HVAA positions, and UAV sorties designed and oriented on the ground forces with the operational concept of what are those being supported trying to accomplish and how can we best support. The latter ends up putting CAS stacks, HVAA, and UAV sorties in places that people asking why as it provides far less than optimal support to friendlies and far less threat to the bad guys.

S/F, FOG
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Old 23rd Apr 2009, 22:04
  #234 (permalink)  
 
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Thumbs up No Harrier Cuts then!!

Hi there,

Looks like a decision has eventually been made which will be very welcome news for JFH and Cottesmore. Understand this means no cuts to the current force structure as proposed.

Ministry of Defence | Defence News | Equipment and Logistics | New contract provides support to Harriers

New contract provides support to Harriers

An Equipment and Logistics news article

23 Apr 09

A new contract worth 574m has been awarded to supply the repair and maintenance work for RAF and Royal Navy Harriers during the remainder of their service lives.


A Royal Air Force Harrier in flight
[Picture: RAF]

The contract covers repair, maintenance, spares provision, upgrade work and technical support, which will be undertaken at the Harrier fleet's main operating base at RAF Cottesmore in Rutland.
The current role of the Harrier aircraft in Afghanistan is to undertake close air support to troops on the ground, as well as non-traditional intelligence surveillance reconnaissance to determine enemy activity and provide information to troops on Op HERRICK.




The Minister for Defence Equipment and Support, Quentin Davies, said:
"The Harrier force continues to play a vital role on operations in Afghanistan. This is a significant contract that builds on our existing excellent partnering arrangements with industry.
"Such contracts have already resulted in considerable financial savings, as well as ensuring that the Harrier force is fully prepared to meet front line requirements."
MOD Defence Equipment and Support Harrier team leader, Group Captain Andy Ebdon, said:
"Today's announcement is great news for the future support of Harrier. It is a testament to the tremendous sustained effort by MOD and industry to build on the successes already achieved. Joint Force Harrier is now assured of cost-effective support throughout its remaining service."
Joint Force Harrier (JFH) is also responsible for providing aircraft for the Royal Navy's aircraft carriers and seeks to undertake all strike and reconnaissance roles from sea as well as land.
Along with the Op HERRICK commitment in Afghanistan, JFH is amongst the RAF's most frequently deployed assets.
RAF Cottesmore in Rutland has been home to the Harrier maintenance line since 2005, where work has been carried out under JUMP (Joint Upgrade and Maintenance Programme), which has produced savings of around 50m.
The new contract has been awarded to BAE and will secure the future of approximately 300 civilian jobs. The previous support contract and its proven efficiency and financial benefits will now transfer to the new HPAC (Harrier Platform Availability Contract) helping to secure existing jobs on site and at BAES Systems' sites at Warton, Samlesbury and Farnborough.
Alongside the SoS' decision (as recommended by the independent review) that the future JCA force will be a truly Joint (RAF and RN) force, and now that the Harrier force will remain untouched, one wonders if those that started this original (embarrassing and distasteful) dispute will have the moral courage to admit their errors and retire (gracefully or otherwise) from the stage....

You know, and we know, and you know that we know .....!

H-W
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Old 24th Apr 2009, 00:40
  #235 (permalink)  
 
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I still remain ( in my armchair ) convinced we need a fighter or rather interceptor - Duncan Sandys is finally near his time - on carriers.

However I see what aroused people in that article !

The Navy might well have held off the barges, and although the Nazi's did some daft things - like taking on Russia - I doubt all those barges were put together on a whim, though we'll never know.

I happened to work on a similar barge in the 1990's - built 1946 ish, as a reparation; good for about 5-6 knots, low revving but tons of torque, so load wouldn't be much of an issue.

However seaworthiness certainly was, it rolled like a pig; I met a crew who'd taken another similar craft across the Channel, and thought their time was up even in moderate conditions.

They kept the 45 degree each way roll marks from the light as a souvenir ( truly a case of lantern swinging ).

This might not sound a lot to an airman, but believe me it's a huge amount on such a thing !

Maybe the Navy, mines and King Neptune would have seen off the Nazi's, but air power seems to have worked well and I have nothing but total respect for all concerned.

When mentioning that FAA pilots took part in the Battle of Britain, of course I meant those who fought from land airbases, alongside the R.A.F.
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Old 25th Apr 2009, 07:36
  #236 (permalink)  
 
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H-W,

Alongside the SoS' decision (as recommended by the independent review) that the future JCA force will be a truly Joint (RAF and RN) force, and now that the Harrier force will remain untouched,
Has he? Where is this posted??? Or are you on the inside track and have let slip something?


BEADWINDOW perhaps?
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Old 29th Apr 2009, 23:28
  #237 (permalink)  
 
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Pheasant,

Apologies for tardy reply...been offline for a bit. In response....I don't think so (and this was certainly not intended to be a scoop from the "inside track"), rather it was more an expression of relief that this sorry episode appears (hopefully) to have drawn to a close, while acknowledging that SoS had already indicated the intention for the force to remain joint (PQ back in Feb)

T6. All that I can say to the hon. Gentleman is that it is right that we should look at every option as we prepare for the future, but all the options that we are considering include recognising the principle that it should be a jointly operated force.

Hansard - Commons | Houses of Parliament
...and now, with this open and widely published announcement of the new contract for Harrier support (which I contend the SoS would have been required to approve), it would seem a reasonable assumption (dangerous I know) that the current threat to JFH has passed....for now!

Cheers. H-W.
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