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Base Support Wing or Base Supported Wing- the debate continues

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Base Support Wing or Base Supported Wing- the debate continues

Old 14th May 2011, 20:11
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Base Support Wing or Base Supported Wing- the debate continues

Gents when we had an admin wing and a few more aircraft we were ably supported in comparison to what we have now by admin staffs who did what it said on the tin - more or less, now we appear to have a bunch of trade unionists that need supporting by the rest of the stn and arent subject to any form of QA.

How can this be allowed to happen........I am despairing at the lack of support given to front line deploying Sqn guys n Gals that is ongoing today. Any thoughts - should we return to Admin Wg or stay with the paltry service that now seems to be the norm?

I heard a rumour that one such OC Eng made that point at a leaving speech but it caused affront.........what is the opinion of those at the coal front........
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Old 14th May 2011, 20:33
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This video sums the problem up to a tee.

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Old 14th May 2011, 20:46
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Not many years before we pulled out of Deci the RAFSU Deci was renamed the RAFU Deci - presumably so they couldn't be accused of not providing support to visiting sqns, which was their job.......
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Old 14th May 2011, 23:10
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Those youtube video cartoon things are just so yesterday. They are tediously boring and just send you to sle
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Old 15th May 2011, 07:08
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If ever one element of the RAF needed contracting out, then Admin is it!!

Every request for advice is now met with 'not our role anymore' or 'you need to read JSP752' etc etc 'since JPA, it is your responsibility'.

And have you noticed, more and more of your claims need authorization from someone in PSF before they are actioned???? Job justification or what!
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Old 15th May 2011, 07:43
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Admin Support

The video - unwittingly - sums up many of the Base Support issues - namely, that discretion and decision-making has been increasingly centralised. Case work - initially prepared at unit level and then to Command for a decision, is now referred to the Casework cell in Glasgow.

An OC Admin Wg - in old money - has very, very few powers - pay, housing, maintenance of base and quarters, contracted out catering, policing - all of these are now managed off-base; moreover OC BSW has no budget for most things! Add travel to that as well!

This has been the result of years of high-level inititiatives across the Services to make savings, yet the accumulated risk is at point of delivery - whether it is admin support or on the workshop floor.

I agree that Adiners don't always make it easier - refusing to acknowledge emails; restrictive opening hours (though often as a result of staff reductions - look at all the empty desks next time you go into PSF; and a SNCO cadre that needs rodding out.

I am in a digital posiiton, very, very remote from my support unit. Mail can take weeks - so I ask them to scan docs to send them to me. No can do! Similarly, as I only have that rubbish remote JPA acces, I still submit manual claims for routine trips (SCV non warrant costs, etc). To save time, I prepared the forms so that all i needed to do was put in dates and sign them, attaching necessary documentation. Oh no, not acceptable now. JPAC.

As a scribbly who escaped from the fold many years ago, what I have seen reinforces my decision to move away from the mainstream and do the difficult, yet interesting tours - in MB or overseas. Yet the vitriol I have encountered from fellow senior scribblies has been intense.

I recently learned of a former colleague who stayed with a very risk averse mainstream admin career -OC PSF - Outer Office - OC PMS - Manning - OCBSW with a critical force, and now knocking on one-star. He managed to engineer it so that he would not serve on HERRICK by analysing the job description and insisiting that he was not qualified for this role, faxing it to the US 2 star who would have been his boss. Scandalous. Whether we like it or not, many tours for senior bods in Theatre require a degree of 'heroic amatuerism'. I was further disgusted to elarn that he got an OBE for providing some childrens' facilities. I thought those days had gone. At least his jubilee medal won't look lonely
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Old 15th May 2011, 08:15
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It surely won't be long before we see another name change in 'Handbrake House'.

More and more senior officers realise that their people are being impeded by admin in the course of their duties - the name "Base Support Wg" is about as ironic as the "IIP" label that was recently revoked!
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Old 15th May 2011, 08:58
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I have to confess to being pretty saddened by this thread. Formerly GD/P, I rejoined the RAF someting over 30 years ago in the Admin (Sec) Branch. OC Accounts, OC PSF (Flying station on a hill in N Lincs) where the Admin Wg philosophy was to make it work for the operators on the squadrons and in Eng Wg (in between the frequent practice Part 1s). After flight commandering in IOT and opening "Death Star", the 3 1/2 years in Command Accounts were predicated on help rather than hindrance. Indeed one of the fundamental issues for me on the flying staions was whether "hand brake house" made it easier or more difficult for the operators, and my perception of that relationship always formed an important part of the debrief to OC Admin and the Stn Cdr. Later as OC Admin on a secret Cambridgeshire airbase the philosophy I always tried to apply was that "admin was oiling wheels, not adding grit"! Seems a great shame if 18 years on, the general oerception of Admin or Support Wing is that it is an ocean-going PIA. Come on penguins, make someone's day a little easier tomorrow, not more difficult!
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Old 15th May 2011, 10:10
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it might help for the rest of us if some (not all, of course) OC BSW incumbents were not so focussed on chasing OBEs!! I'll get my coat.......
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Old 15th May 2011, 11:02
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Controversial, but most of the admin officers I worked with on a former Cornish MOB not so many years ago were pretty good. I found OC PSF, OC Cat, OC Works and the rest were pretty helpful and effective at sorting things out when I couldn't.

It's the cost-saving, centralising, call-centre culture that is doing the damage.
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Old 15th May 2011, 12:11
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'I recently learned of a former colleague who stayed with a very risk averse mainstream admin career -OC PSF - Outer Office - OC PMS - Manning - OCBSW with a critical force, and now knocking on one-star. He managed to engineer it so that he would not serve on HERRICK by analysing the job description and insisiting that he was not qualified for this role, faxing it to the US 2 star who would have been his boss. Scandalous. Whether we like it or not, many tours for senior bods in Theatre require a degree of 'heroic amatuerism'. I was further disgusted to elarn that he got an OBE for providing some childrens' facilities. I thought those days had gone. At least his jubilee medal won't look lonely'

Unacceptable as people start rocking up for their umpteenth tour.

Name him on here.

G
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Old 15th May 2011, 14:43
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RAF pilots in Libya barred from extra payments as job 'not dangerous enough' - Telegraph

It would be interesting if the decision for the above was made in the J1 cell at PJHQ..........? Just asking!
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Old 15th May 2011, 15:11
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Well said Wander. I left as an OC Admin in 93 and the ethic then (mostly) was that we served to help. Sometimes it took a great deal of personal dealings to bring the rapport that some other eejit had blithely destroyed but, in the main, it worked.

Very sad indeed that things have changed. However, look under the covers and I think you'll find that most of the changes were instigated by senior GD types in MOD staff appointments where they were seeking to appease Treasury pressure in order to gain that OBE. Reap what ye shall sow.
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Old 15th May 2011, 16:44
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Hmmm. Base Support Wing.

Or Base Wing as I like to call them...
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Old 15th May 2011, 19:00
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On sqn support is excellent. Rest of handbrake house? Possibly one of the greatest risks to safety I see, and one of the biggest reasons why I hear of lots of people wanting to walk.

Only part of the military I see that doesnt facilitate ops, but seems to directly manage to get in the way of ops.
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Old 15th May 2011, 20:45
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Only part of the military I see that doesnt facilitate ops, but seems to directly manage to get in the way of ops.
I don't agree. You left out the HQ's completely.
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Old 16th May 2011, 08:54
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Maybe that's why we've changed another name:

FLIGHT SAFETY - Everybody's business

is now

Air Safety Management - Anybody's interest? The only people who have been involved appear to be just aircrew; it certainly hasn't reached our 'Support Wing.'
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Old 16th May 2011, 09:05
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GIJOE - I won't named the Gp Capt that I referred to, except to say he is at Air Cmd. He lost what respect he had on his grossly overtasked unit when the OBE pitched up for his work for 'liddle kids'. The same medal has been received by ome of his flying collegues as an operational honour. Where is the equanimity?

An earlier poster referred to the lack of Adminsitrative QA. Until the late 1990s, every aspect of an Adminer's life revolved around the Formal Staff Visit (FSV) - there'd be one from Cmd Accts, RAFIO, etc...these were thinned out as saving measures but as far as I am aware, they have not been replaced; but then again, when there is little discretion and expendture of funds at station level, what's the point?

I now require 2* approval for any duty travel involving flights, including budget airlines, which are now de riguer. There seems to be a new Puritanicalism to reduce expenditure yet several months ago, in the middle of nowhere, I ran into a large party of airmen and one or two officers from a large Lincolnshire station engaged on a staff ride and AT. Good on them I suppose that AT and Staff Rides are (were?) still available to them, but I struggle (as previously outlined ad nauseum) to get funding to go about my duties. Different budgets doncha know!
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Old 19th May 2011, 09:32
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Furiosity!

I have just tried - in vain - to contact the admin staff on a fairly major UK airfield on an operationally-related matter concerning a CSSU. I spent over an hour calling any Admin Sqn extension that I could find (most provided by the Guardroom staff - the only 'live' humans I spoke with). I was referred to other numbers etc etc - most extensions didn't have voice mail and the 'urgent/compassionate' number went through to the Chief Clerk who is OOA.

Moreover PSF's hours are now incredibly restrictive according to their recorded message: 0930-1200; 1330-1500 (1200 on Fridays). I only hope that this is due to staff shortages. As an Admin officer then GD and now Personnel Support (whatever) I found this incredibly frustrating and embarrassing. And I am no nearer to getting the information that I need.

Ps - and I was calling on civilian landlines from overseas. If it was a commercial company, they'd be on Watchdog! What's the Head of Branch doing about our reputation?

Last edited by Whenurhappy; 19th May 2011 at 15:15.
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Old 19th May 2011, 10:02
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Cant be down to staff shortages, surely? If they work shifts during those hours then I hope they're only collecting a part-time wage. Lazy, that's what it is and another example of the tail wagging the dog.
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