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WSOp's/WSO's at Kinloss, what does the future hold?

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WSOp's/WSO's at Kinloss, what does the future hold?

Old 29th Oct 2010, 17:27
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WSOp's/WSO's at Kinloss, what does the future hold?

After all the pain of the MRA4 being cancelled and uncertainty over our futures, it now seems we (WSOp's/WSO's) are being told that our job is now also at risk as there aren't enough jobs to use us up. To say this is a major kick in the B****** is an understatement. How can the Royal Air Force treat it's employees with such contempt after all the years service given and loyalty shown through thick and thin. On a count on the manning website there were 181 posts filled at Kinloss in the WSOp cadre. (sorry no count for WSO's)
Right now I don't know whether to apply for posts elsewhere in the Air Force, go for a commission or start to look outside. (I have done 2 out of the 3) All we need is some form of timescales from manning so our families can at least make plans which is the least we deserve. I know a lot of people on here have never been up to RAF Kinloss or fully understand the specialisations we had employed onboard the Nimrod but suffice to say most people expected to spend their entire careers on Nimrod at Kinloss and a lot have the best part of 20yrs or more on type.
Now you can say that we are in the military and should expect to move every 3 years so dry our eyes. This just is not the case with Nimrod at Kinloss. You were pretty much set for a full career up here if you chose that route and most people settled and have kids born and raised in the North so itís not just a case of move and get on with it. Who is going to buy your house? What will your wife do with her career? What about the kids settled at school? Our mind set was never to move every 3 years so thatís where we differ up here.
Whilst many of the old sweats are quite happy with redundancy as they will go to immediate pension with gratuity and redundancy payment,(also not much left on their mortgages) a lot of the young guys are still in their early careers but nearing the 12 year point only to be told that that may be it. Who would have thought that after a ľ million pounds training program each that they could just say tough luck for being at Kinloss when it all went wrong,. Itís a sad day when highly trained individuals within the RAF will face compulsory redundancy. And to rub salt into the wound, redundancy payments have changed at the crucial time.
I just hope manning get their act together and give us a timescale very soon as I fear moral which is already low will become unbearable. It has gotten to the point where people have a sniff of a possible post elsewhere and itís all hush hush survival of the fittest. Is this really the way we are?
Me...I want to stay in the service.
number-cruncher is offline  
Old 29th Oct 2010, 18:15
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Your skill set will be very valuable in the Reaper (and future RPAS) community. The smart guys should be heading that way fast.
Impiger is offline  
Old 29th Oct 2010, 18:25
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Arn't those slots being taken by rotary loadies?
xenolith is offline  
Old 29th Oct 2010, 19:32
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I don't own this space under my name. I should have leased it while I still could
 
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How can the Royal Air Force treat it's employees with such contempt after all the years service given and loyalty shown through thick and thin
SNAFU.

They did this with the Sim Techs about 15 years ago. Got rid of the job and chopped the lot, root and branch, even those that were newly trained productive radar techs on the E3 which was working up at the time.
Pontius Navigator is offline  
Old 29th Oct 2010, 20:00
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Join Date: May 2000
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WSO/WSOp choices are:

E-3D SENTRY
MQ-9 REAPER
SENTINEL R1
RIVET JOINT
SHADOW R1
CHINOOK HC2/2A
PUMA HC1
MERLIN HC3
SEA KING HAR3/3A
TORNADO GR4
C-17A GLOBEMASTER
HERCULES C4/C5 (J Model)

55(R) Sqn, 207(R) Sqn and 60(R) Sqn will probably wind back a bit but start to see movement of some of the "golden oldies" soon depending on what happens to MFTS - some vacancies might be possible?

I've left out TRISTAR, HERCULES C1/C3 and VC10 as they go out of service in the next 3-4 years or so.

I really can't imagine it is "game over" if you're willing to move and willing to wait for OCUs. You may have to cross-over specialisations, but hey, there are plenty that have done this before. Also, what about pilot crossovers for the under 30s?

So of the 180odd without portfolio at present, maybe 50% will want to take redundancy payment and an IP/EDP - that leaves about 90. I know that there are about 35 WSO/WSOp places coming up in the next 18 months on at least 2 of the above platforms for quality individuals; so if your F5200s are a good read then shouldn't have any issues.

Keep the faith brother, I am sure that some brighter news will come soon.

LJ

PS. If you think you have it tough then at least you're not a Harrier pilot. There's just Typhoon and GR4 to choose from and I understand that OCUs are "chocker" at present (especially with the small draw down of GR4). I heard rumours that they might offer some back-seats to the younger Harrier-jocks in GR4 until OCUs and F-35C come around! (I say again, just a rumour!). Also, all that single-engine viffy-viffy nozzley-nozzley stuff doesn't cut it with the Airlines any more - they'll need to get some proper ME time to be competitive for the long-haul jobs (ie. the well paid ones) as they will probably only have a frozen ATPL(A).
Lima Juliet is offline  
Old 29th Oct 2010, 20:20
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All I will say Number Cruncher, is welcome to the real world. It isn't cosy or nice. If you get a compulsary, at least you will have time to sort out your affairs. I spent 3 months of this year worrying if I was going to get the chop from my present job (I'm ex RAF with 25 years), and if I had, I would get 1 month notice (pay, with no additional redundancy payments). I wish you well in whatever happens, but expect little sympathy, as this happens in the outside to many people. Remember, to the RAF, you are a service number and it doesn't really care what you do or fare when you hand in your ID card.
Alber Ratman is offline  
Old 29th Oct 2010, 20:23
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Cruncher... Whilst I do have empathy for you and all those at Kinloss. It is a horrendous situation for anyone to be in. I feel your point about wives careers and kids invalid. There is nothing different in your "contract" that says you're entitled to stability. You would by others, until now, have been considered very lucky. My wife would love to continue the career she spent 6 years training for (longer than a FJ mate) unfortunatly it takes longer to progress to the next stage than three years. (she also hasn't found a job in the last 18months).

Once again I feel for you guys and girls. However, there are a lot of others who have moved every 2-3 years for the last 12+ years who may well find themselves in a similar situation. The point has already been made about the bum to seat ratio in the FJ world (we've lost around 35% of our FJ fleet with the reduction in GR slots.)

I hope it all works out for you.
High_Expect is offline  
Old 29th Oct 2010, 20:26
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What does a WSOP do..? What does a WSO do?
vecvechookattack is offline  
Old 29th Oct 2010, 20:31
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I don't own this space under my name. I should have leased it while I still could
 
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Thing about Kinloss compared with the English Air Force is its very remoteness and, as NC says, many have houses there as it was practically a given that their career would be settled in the north of Scotland.

For an Englishman made redundant up there it is akin to being made redundant overseas without a posting home first. I am sure that has happened but it doesn't make it any better.
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Old 29th Oct 2010, 21:20
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Having recently handed in my PVR and told I would go on to half flying pay (I was expecting this anyway), it got me thinking about the rules on this.

Having asked around, I am told that flying pay is purely a retention pay and if so then I am screwed and whinge over. However if it is purely a retention payment, then why not just take the lot off me?

As I am on the bottom rate I now get just over £3 a day for being on a front line sqn and am also about to deploy to the gulf for Queen and country. (8th time) Meanwhile there are people who have been on ground tours for god knows how many years and are on middle and top rates of flying pay and they haven't seen a sandy place for some time. (excluding PA) Not really fair in my view.

Can I just do half the flights then or just refuse to do a Gulf tour? (I won't do that as I am a professional to the last day).

It's just like one last kick in the goolies for Queen and country.
Number-cruncher ....... One of your posts from 2008? Change of heart?
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Old 29th Oct 2010, 21:34
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@ Justanopinion

I think they call this a 'Dohhhhhhhhh!' moment.

@vecvec

Same as RN lookers ....... only better and with more style!
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Old 29th Oct 2010, 22:25
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Well done Justanopinion for finding that little gem.

I think our thread initiator would do best to wind his neck in and stag on like the rest of us have had to do over the years wherever that may have been.

As PN said above, there are no guarantees in any service career, no wife job chits, no school education chits, no own home chits...and as I said before, if you don't like then leave.

Harsh - maybe. Reality - yes.

I suggest that the original poster drops his victim act very quickly.

G
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Old 29th Oct 2010, 22:40
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In 5 yrs time I'll be happy to have a job. 'Nuff said.
Willard Whyte is offline  
Old 29th Oct 2010, 22:50
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Originally Posted by number-cruncher View Post
After all the pain of the MRA4 being cancelled and uncertainty over our futures, it now seems we (WSOp's/WSO's) are being told that our job is now also at risk as there aren't enough jobs to use us up. To say this is a major kick in the B****** is an understatement. How can the Royal Air Force treat it's employees with such contempt after all the years service given and loyalty shown through thick and thin. On a count on the manning website there were 181 posts filled at Kinloss in the WSOp cadre. (sorry no count for WSO's)
Right now I don't know whether to apply for posts elsewhere in the Air Force, go for a commission or start to look outside. (I have done 2 out of the 3) All we need is some form of timescales from manning so our families can at least make plans which is the least we deserve. I know a lot of people on here have never been up to RAF Kinloss or fully understand the specialisations we had employed onboard the Nimrod but suffice to say most people expected to spend their entire careers on Nimrod at Kinloss and a lot have the best part of 20yrs or more on type.
Now you can say that we are in the military and should expect to move every 3 years so dry our eyes. This just is not the case with Nimrod at Kinloss. You were pretty much set for a full career up here if you chose that route and most people settled and have kids born and raised in the North so itís not just a case of move and get on with it. Who is going to buy your house? What will your wife do with her career? What about the kids settled at school? Our mind set was never to move every 3 years so thatís where we differ up here.
Whilst many of the old sweats are quite happy with redundancy as they will go to immediate pension with gratuity and redundancy payment,(also not much left on their mortgages) a lot of the young guys are still in their early careers but nearing the 12 year point only to be told that that may be it. Who would have thought that after a ľ million pounds training program each that they could just say tough luck for being at Kinloss when it all went wrong,. Itís a sad day when highly trained individuals within the RAF will face compulsory redundancy. And to rub salt into the wound, redundancy payments have changed at the crucial time.
I just hope manning get their act together and give us a timescale very soon as I fear moral which is already low will become unbearable. It has gotten to the point where people have a sniff of a possible post elsewhere and itís all hush hush survival of the fittest. Is this really the way we are?
Me...I want to stay in the service.

Sorry to read that chap but please be reassured ...

... it's a lot worse for the vast majority of civvies, most of whom do not have anywhere near the levels of support, redundancy terms or financial safety blanket that you do.

Welcome to civvy street

CS
wot's having to sell up and move at less than a desirable rate because the other half's employers need her to move to a different office. Sometimes life isn't fair but you just have to get on with it
cargosales is offline  
Old 30th Oct 2010, 03:08
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Things are way worse on the outside, so best dry your eyes princess

As for the whinge about the other WSOp having the nice houses - well you should have got in earlier. When you sign on the line, there is no promise of an entire career at one location - I am sure there was much nail biting when St Mawgan went too.
c130jbloke is offline  
Old 30th Oct 2010, 05:42
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Hope for you then C130j bloke that they dont bring in seniority and that all the guys coming down from Kinloss that have more seniority than you will take your slot regardless of being qualified to do so or not.What would your feelings be to that? Stranger things have happened these last few weeks. I dont know where your seniority lies but if its a fair way down the pecking order you may have to worry.
fergineer is offline  
Old 30th Oct 2010, 07:57
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What Fergineer has said has hit the nail on the head. This isn't a "Kinloss Problem" - this is a problem that all WSOps wiil have to confront over the next few years, particularly the EW/Aco specialities. I am not saying that a RW crewman will lose his job in favour of a bloke from Kinloss (although if you have a poor F5200 it could be a possibility), but just because you have a comfortable job on E3 or Reaper, for example, does not make you immune from the axe. As for all the blah about wife/kids/job/mortgage/cat stability, get real - you can, and should reasonably expect, to be moved whenever they like if you want a full Service career. It's only the efforts of the Manning Desk that have allowed most people the stability that many aspire to.
sargs is offline  
Old 30th Oct 2010, 08:53
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The way I see it;

1) On a 12 year engagement and done 8 years or more - Worry!
2) Over 51 years old - Worry!
3) Average Joe - Worry!
4) Everyone else - Worry!

As has been stated this will impact on ALL NCA trades. The bottom line is we are a mere commodity that can be traded and if you don't cut the mustard they will look at binning you!

It really is time to build a solid case for your defence wherever you are - no one is indispensable. Its not pleasant, but it is the harsh reality of the modern Armed Forces.
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Old 30th Oct 2010, 10:54
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Justanopinion

Well done for researching my previous post but that was for purely personal reasons and sorted itself out in the end which I was pleased about.


GiJoe

Victim Act dropped!!!!!

I don't feel a victim here because I am man enough and confident enough that I will sort myself out whatever the outcome. It's survival now. That original post I can assure you is the general feeling of the lads and lasses up here at the moment.

LJ

As for the list of various platforms which I was already aware we can be employed on, we are being told that OCU's are already backed up for the next 12 - 18 months and any spare slots were used up by the early exit of MR2 and thus more bods from up here heading south.


I expected the dry your eyes, welcome to the real world etc etc. I am in the real world and have worked in civvie street for a number of years before service so I do know what it's like out there as does mrs nc.
The point is a lot of the guys ARE willing to move but the word on the street is there is nowhere to move to due to OCU backlogs etc on other a/c types.
number-cruncher is offline  
Old 30th Oct 2010, 11:44
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How many WSOps fly in a Nimrod on a normal sortie...?
vecvechookattack is offline  

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