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Three more airbases to close?

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Three more airbases to close?

Old 25th Jan 2010, 05:29
  #1 (permalink)  
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Three more airbases to close?

So says say the times...


At this rate, it is hard to imagine there be anything left to chop in the SDR!
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Old 25th Jan 2010, 06:11
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Privatising parts of the Royal Fleet Auxiliary, the organisation that repairs and supplies naval vessels.
Repairs, eh. That's the function of DILIGENCE clearly understood then.

Founded in 1908, it has long been unpopular with left-wing politicians who see it as a subsidy for the privileged.
Another New Labia tick in the box then.

bases, at 19 universities, serve cheap drink and teach military drill, weapons training and fieldcraft
So that's where they went wrong; "cheap drink".
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Old 25th Jan 2010, 06:13
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Thanks for this. The problem with this is not the decisions per se - cuts are coming and aren't going to be good - but that these cuts are a defence review prior to the defence review which will limit the options available to the real review post-election. Can't believe that this is the way to make good policy.

On the "three airbases to close" claim, who knows what this means? As this is a RUMOUR network... at one level could be Lyneham, Cottesmore and another (e.g. Scampton), which could be in effect double counting of existing plans. Or it could be herald something much more significant (e.g. outsourcing pilot training to NFTC and moving Typhoon to Kinloss would theoretically allow you to close Leuchars, Linton and Valley).

Fundamentally, though, SDR 2011 needs maximum flexibility - not short-term cuts that constrain decision making.

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Old 25th Jan 2010, 06:29
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There have been rumours simmering for some time about the potential loss of an airbase in Scotland. I personally would tink twice nowadays about purchasing property in Forres for I believe that ISK days are numbered.

In addition to rumblings in the press; the demise of MR1, and central England, read Waddington, as a favoured base for MRA4. Also that an RAF presence would remain in the form of Lossiemouth which may have development potential for the long(er) term.

Of course in the finest traditions of the Royal Air Force, whichever base has just had millions spent on it is bound to close.
Future Brize:
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Old 25th Jan 2010, 07:19
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Totally agree on the (lack of) good policy. SDR may be forced down certain paths by these announcements – certainly seems that minds have already been made up on some subjects – Harrier retirement a done deal already?

I note you say SDR 2011 – I had presumed that it would have all been done and dusted this year?

If these are new closures, perhaps they might be of the Woodvale, Topcliffe, Syerston ilk? Surely that would save a few bob?

Although, as the article does not say they will be RAF bases, perhaps the FAA and/or AAC are going to be joining in the fun?
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Old 25th Jan 2010, 07:42
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Nine new Mk4 Nimrod reconnaissance aircraft were due to come into service next week, replacing the discredited Mk2. But Quentin Davies, the defence equipment minister, has cancelled a visit to the Nimrod base at RAF Kinloss, Morayshire. Sources blame the £30m annual maintenance costs.

“We expect to have only one or two aircraft flying until 2012 and the rest are going to be parked up until we can find some money to fly them,” an RAF source said.
My bolding, if we cant afford a bit of petrol to fly them then what the hell are we doing committing troops to Afghanistan. That really does confirm we have become a third rate power.
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Old 25th Jan 2010, 07:54
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Big Hole

If the OTC is to be shut down then the UAS is likely to be next in the sights of Nu Labia for the axe the cost per person must be huge compaired with the OTC.

The big problen is that UK PLC has been put in sutch a big hole by the curent tennant of ten Downing street (assisted by the last one!) that it is hard to see how in the short term any other Goverment could not continue with the spending reductions.

GG I doubt if the money can be found to upgrade UK PLC to the status of "Third rate"

Last edited by A and C; 25th Jan 2010 at 08:02. Reason: To take account of GG's comments
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Old 25th Jan 2010, 11:32
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Stop giving it away hand over fist in benefits to the great uwashed.

In my present incarnation I administer benefits to people who get twice what I earn a week, in benefits. If we were to curtail this, we could save a few bob and maybe afford some petrol for the cabs!!

Fed up of not being able to get to see claimants when I want to because they're "in America for three weeks" or something similar.

Give up shelling out so inadequates can continue breeding ad infinitum and maybe we could get some good kit and actually afford to operate it.

Never happen but I can dream

Doc C
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Old 25th Jan 2010, 12:17
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It's of course possible to get a Defence Review done this afternoon - but done properly, with proper thinking and input from across Government is not quick or easy; if they start in June, then it'd be a pretty decent effort to get something meaningful on the streets for May 11.

The problem is that the cash-crunch is imposing its own timetable, and to their shame, Ministers elected to kick this into the post-election long grass rather than grip this last summer, when I suspect that most of this was knowable. Too bad.

Not familiar with what's actually at Woodvale, Topcliffe or Syerston these days - but I doubt that it would save too much cash. (Or more precisely, nothing like enough to save MoD finances.)

No idea on a firm "let's bin GR9" decision yet - it would have to be a part of the CVF decision, and though I don't expect CVF to survive, there's nothing to suggest that that decision has been made yet.

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Old 25th Jan 2010, 12:52
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Not familiar with what's actually at Woodvale, Topcliffe or Syerston
Topcliffe is occupied by the Army as Alanbrooke Barracks, and home to an RA Regt, and that's been the case for nearly thirty years. The runways have been used as a satellite for Leeming (RN EFTS), Linton, and by VGS. I can't see there being any money to save by ceasing to use them.
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Old 25th Jan 2010, 13:00
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Typical newspaper article really, full of half truths. Nimrod MRA4 obviously wasn't coming into service now, and the air bases possibly up for closure will be ones which have already been identified - so the story doesn't say anything new about the RAF.

It's fairly easy to see how things will unfold:-

Kinloss will close (despite the SC claiming otherwise). It will be redundant when the MRA4 relocates to Waddington (as it doubtless will).

Lyneham will close as planned. The local MP has started whining way too late.

Cottesmore will close as announced. Doubtless the Defence Review will most likely advocate the withdrawal of the entire Harrier fleet, in which case Wittering will go too.

The carriers and F-35 will surely be abandoned as part of the review. Not a moment too soon some would say. Tornado GR4 will remain in service at Lossie and Marham. Typhoons will continue at Coningsby and eventually Leuchars.

Leeming is still a mystery as it seems to be driven my local politics. Seems a safe bet that 100 Sqn will go to Valley or disband (and go civvy). There must still be quite an appetite to close the base but politics seems to be keeping it alive - for now.

Linton will go, and the aircraft (whatever replaces Tucano) will go to Valley.

Scampton will go, but only after the Red's Hawks run out of hours in a few years. Until then it seems secure if only to provide air space, once the team move to Waddington.

Think all of the above looks like a pretty safe bet
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Old 25th Jan 2010, 14:56
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Can anyone tell me when and why RAF stations became "air bases"?
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Old 25th Jan 2010, 15:19
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Presumably sometime prior to the 1960s, when "Base Hangar" was built.

I should imagine it goes hand in hand with where fleets are "based".

Has the term "stationed" ever been applied to aircraft fleets? I wouldn't think so, only to personnel, and possibly units. "The Canberra was stationed at many RAF stations" sounds wrong.

Perhaps a "base" suggests more of a "Main Operating Base" than a backwater. Thus closing Brize Norton (as a MOB) would be much more far reaching than closing the RAF station near Formby, RAF Woodvale. It's a bit (lot!) of a stretch to call it a "base". Or to put it another way, Coltishall was a base closure, Sealand a station closure, even though Coltishall was indeed a Station.

Does it really matter? If this is right, there will be three less of them. That's what matters.
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Old 25th Jan 2010, 16:26
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For what my opinion is worth, I reckon Lossie will house GR4 and Typhoon, Kipper, ahem, fleet, move to Waddington. Then we could lose 66% of RAF flying stations in Scotland.

Inverness, Glasgow, Edinburgh and Prestwick could carry the div commitment. Simples. Do I win £5 ?
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Old 25th Jan 2010, 16:49
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I depends on whether McBrown and the rest of McLabour want play McPolitics ... watch this space for McClosures in the Tory regions instead.
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Old 25th Jan 2010, 19:07
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Disposal of the projected Typhoon fleet is already known (Coningsby and Leuchars). No mention of Lossie. Seems that Lossie is still likely to take some of the F-35 fleet although in my (and many other people's opinion) the aircraft is never going to even enter service, so I guess Lossie will last as long as the Tornado GR4 does - and then join the list of casualties. Kinloss must be likely to go much sooner. If (as seems to be likely now) the Nimrod MRA4's go to Waddington, it seems inevitable.
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Old 25th Jan 2010, 19:37
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"Air Base" "Base Hangar" and "Air Wings"
IMO - are all awful americanisms dragged in by people watching too many "Yee-haa" movies! (I can just imagine a sweaty Robert Mitchum taking a heavy drag on his cigar stub before bellowing "Seal the Base!" - whatever that meant?)

There were no "Base Hangars" built in the 60's, even at Brize...they were just big hangars.

Yes, the term "Base Maintenance" is used in civvy St. Thats because it comes from the alignment of JAR/EASA reg's with FAR's and dragged an americanism across with them.

Fair dinkum though - It does give it a guete bedeutung!

Last edited by Rigga; 25th Jan 2010 at 19:38. Reason: m ssng lette 's
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Old 25th Jan 2010, 19:44
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Tim - I'll bite...,

With your insistance that the hunter fleet be moved to Waddo could you tell me where they are going to go? I'm sure there is space to park them, but what of the "new" sim building at Kinloss, not to mention the buildings to accomodate NLS, 3 Sqns, Hanger space, dedicated Ops....etc etc. Where is the money going to come from to rebuild all this? (Oh i get it - by closing Kinloss...)

What about schools, married quarters, messing?

While I respect many of your views I hope you are just fishing and that you don't want to lower morale anymore than it is already at Kinloss!

While i agree that to keep a station open for 9 aircraft may seem strange, hasn't Waddo operated like that for much longer? 7 E3D's (of which how many have been U/S ?) and 3 R1's. Of which only until last month the R1 was operational. (Astor mates I havn't forgotton you either.)

As Kinloss is much nicer, lets move Astor up to Kinloss, scrap the E3's and leave the siggies to operate out of Mildenhall. The Shadow lads can go to Cranwell.
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Old 25th Jan 2010, 20:00
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Originally Posted by grousehunter View Post
what of the "new" sim building at Kinloss,
What of the sim building? Moving an air wing does n't mean moving the sim. We thought nothing of flying Harrier guys to the US or F3 guys down to Coninsgby etc.

Many of the sim and ground school are contractor or civilian and they won't move.

There are also the stay behind personnel. They go to the new duty station but remain in their homes at the original base.
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Old 25th Jan 2010, 20:10
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P N,
Are you honestly suggesting that entire crews travel back and forth from Waddo to kinloss to practice their skills in the Sim, including all the OCU crews every week? Dosn't sound very realistic to me. Anyway you now have Kinloss remaining open, so defeats the object.
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