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Old 25th Jun 2011, 10:02
  #1 (permalink)  
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It seems that the Rock Ape CinC has changed the life style for the worse. Gone are KD and comfortable desert boots. The wannabe pongo (how else can you describe him) has decreed that as the station is an operational base actively taking part in real wars, everybody has to wear the camoflage pongo kit. (What was the status of the station before his arrival when Iraq and Afghanistan before his arrival were in full swing?
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Old 25th Jun 2011, 10:15
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You will probably find it is a money saving measure, and anyway if you are posted to Akrotiri and not some dusty OOA then who cares what they make you wear, just enjoy it!
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Old 25th Jun 2011, 10:21
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Whilst this may appear a trivial move, I for one am quite happy for this IF it actually improves the focus of RAF Akrotiri.

For far too long, this has been a holiday base, with limited opening hours and considering it is our major staging post for recent and ongoing Operations, this has been unacceptable.
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Old 25th Jun 2011, 10:25
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I think you may have hit the nail cleanly on the head there, with all the cuts and budget defecits the hierachy probably want to ensure Akrotiri is seen as an Operational base and therefore kept out of any firing line from the bean counters/basing reviews.
Enjoy it because there arent many nice postings left regardless of what you have to wear.
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Old 25th Jun 2011, 10:29
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Well if nothing else, the status of the station before his arrival was definitely the status before his arrival.
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Old 25th Jun 2011, 10:32
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Seems very sensible. The bloke is clearly absorbing some common sense and sound judgement from the Pongos.
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Old 25th Jun 2011, 11:03
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Matthew Paris in the Times today suggests that it is ludicrous for us to have people in nice Hotac in Italy when they could live in tents in Akrotiri!! Perhaps he has the ear of call me Dave??
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Old 25th Jun 2011, 11:35
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Is that 'pongo camouflage' as in Clockwork Squaddie 95, or perhaps the latest fashion in desert pyjamas?

No doubt worn with that ridiculously working class piece of headwear beloved of French onion-johnnies?
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Old 25th Jun 2011, 12:49
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So your biggest gripe is that you have to wear CS95?

Lets hope we don't halve the fast jet fleet, overstretch the SH, chop the kipper fleet and have to make loads of people redundant whilst continuing to fight two wars etc etc.

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Old 25th Jun 2011, 13:06
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I agree with 3BB, if this helps the guys at Akrotiri accept that they need to focus to support those on Ops, then it must be a good thing.

If there is a financial saving from no longer having to produce costumes from 'It Ain't Alf Hot Mum' it couldn't have come at a better time.

And if the Cold War dinosaurs don't like it, then it must be progress!
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Old 25th Jun 2011, 14:05
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Pongo camouflage? I didn't realise the RAF had a different pattern. I thought it was all the same. Other than the ridiculous "ROYAL AIR FORCE" tags on the shirts, of course.

No doubt worn with that ridiculously working class piece of headwear beloved of French onion-johnnies?
Well it's that or helmets. Unless of course you want to look like a bus inspector? A tad more working class, n'est ce pas?

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Old 25th Jun 2011, 14:18
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Just what Akrotiri deserved. Been there a few times in my role as Ops asst (were not clerks Kemble01) it was always made clear we were in the way (
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Old 25th Jun 2011, 14:19
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I agree with 3BB, if this helps the guys at Akrotiri accept that they need to focus to support those on Ops, then it must be a good thing.
Are you (and 3BB) suggesting that the guys at Akrotiri were not previously focussed on supporting ongoing operations? If the answer is yes please explain how a change of dress code will affect this attitude.
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Old 25th Jun 2011, 16:09
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A plane too land in Akrotiri after 1pm, but we've been working since 7am and finish at 1pm sharp !, there would need to be a war or two going on.. and no one told us about it, wee would know............... and wee don't oh oh soo true...............
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Old 25th Jun 2011, 16:27
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And Matthew Parris has what military experience?
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Old 25th Jun 2011, 17:22
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I too support the said 2 star Rock. I have worked directly for him and found him to be easily the best 2 star I have worked for. He simply isn't the kind to cause sh1t just cos he can (a certain 2 star in Brussels however....)
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Old 25th Jun 2011, 20:59
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Just this once

Nicely put Just this once.....
So we seem to have issues with the perception of Akrotiri....Wonder how long it has been since those who are keen to bad mouth the stn and it's personnel have been there??? Every stn has it's own way of doing things, Akrotiri is no different. However, it's as operationally focussed as it can be and those stationed there are to use a management speak phrase "forward leaning" to the point of falling over (not for the reasons I'm sure some comedian will come up with). As for wearing CS95D, get over's a uniform and we wear uniform all the time. This is the first time I have felt the need to go to print but for goodness sake, if you are in Cyprus make the most of it...there are precious few good deals left, this is one of them
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Old 25th Jun 2011, 21:06
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Matthew Parris

Gorilla; Parris said no such thing! I thought his article was quite thought provoking actually.

These buffoons don’t deserve our salutes
Matthew Parris

June 25 2011 12:01AM

"We messed up in Iraq and Afghanistan; we’re struggling in Libya. Are our military leaders actually any good?
here was a time when people knew the rules: the generals kept out of politics. If they saw difficulties in carrying policy into action they could take their concerns straight to their political masters, but always in private. This unspoken covenant, part of the underpinning of any civilian-led democracy, has often come under pressure, and — yes — I do know about the Duke of Wellington; but mostly it has held.
Today it is fraying. Interventions this week by Air Chief Marshal Sir Simon Bryant, who told MPs that the RAF was “running hot” and might struggle if the Libyan intervention continues beyond September, and last week by the First Sea Lord, Admiral Sir Mark Stanhope, who suggested that the conflict might prove unsustainable for much longer, would be outrageous even if they were accurate, which they are not. Both men should be disciplined. But because the Tories in Opposition rushed in so unseemly a way to associate themselves with General Sir Richard Dannatt after he too broke the rules, ministers are now hoist with their own petard.
The reasons for this growing incontinence among our top brass are complex. When public support for war in Iraq then Afghanistan was wavering, military chiefs, preferably in uniform, were not discouraged from public statements of support for Britain’s war aims. Few worried at the time about the implicit consequence of the news media developing an appetite for hearing military chiefs’ views: that military chiefs would develop an appetite for offering them.
There’s a fashion across our whole culture (of which our freedom of information debacle is part) that uncritically admires whistle-blowing and “speaking out”. A military man who unburdens himself publicly of his worries about equipment or manpower is thought to be doing us all a favour. The language of duty — a “duty” to speak out about how “dangerously thin” our military are now stretched — flows easily from the pen and is guaranteed a table-thumping response. That this could also be described as lobbying for more money is overlooked.
Behind this, too, is a conflict as old as Britain’s Armed Forces themselves: competition for resources between the three services. When the Government is curbing or cutting back, this competition grows bitter. The resulting noise can confuse a public that fails to understand that this is less about national defence than an internal squabble between the Army, Navy and Air Force.
It is hard for commentators and analysts who need to know about defence to avoid developing a relationship with their military sources. Nobody who thinks war is just silly becomes a war reporter; nobody who finds arms technology boring is likely to educate himself into second-guessing the Ministry of Defence. The modern practice of embedding journalists with troops adds to the pressure to admire the operation. Our journalists are volunteers: we lack conscripts such as Siegfried Sassoon to provide accounts like Memoirs of an Infantry Officer, a story not just of brutality but futility.
In my experience our former Ambassador in Afghanistan, Sir Sherard Cowper-Coles, is spot on in his book Cables from Kabul to observe that we have now a generation of politicians (and, I could add, journalists and voters) who have no personal experience of military service and have lost the deep scepticism with which the ordinary British used to view the top brass.
Samuel Johnson’s observation that “every man thinks the less of himself for not having been a soldier” is, I can tell you, nowhere truer than of modern MPs, many of whom regard anyone who has ever cleaned a rifle with a kind of uncomprehending awe.
It’s time we started to ask whether the leadership of Britain’s Armed Forces is actually any good. We messed up our contribution in Iraq; we got bogged down in Afghanistan; and now we’re treading water in Libya. How dare the Air Chief Marshal complain about the RAF having to carry on past September. Why, pray? Because we and our allies don’t seem able to do the job.
I doubted the wisdom of going into Libya, but we’re there now and obviously we must kill or capture Gaddafi. We’re the fourth largest military power in the world; what would we do if we had a serious adversary to contend with? Complaining at the strain of a long war is like a football striker complaining about the stress of extra time. So score, dammit! We need an aircraft carrier off the coast of Libya? My eye. What do they think is the point of our huge and costly bases at RAF Akrotiri, and Dhekelia, in Cyprus — holiday camps for military R & R?
I went to Basra for The Times near the beginning of our military occupation of that town. The place was a stinking mess and we were not in any meaningful sense taking charge. I wrote as much — an ignorable squeak amid the barrage of media adulation for a British effort that was apparently showing the Yanks how to do things.
When we decided to take control of Helmand province I described for this paper the terrain I’d flown over, and (on the basis of only a week’s visit to Afghanistan) doubted we were capable — again in any meaningful sense — of occupying the place. There must have been people in the Armed Forces saying the same who, unlike me, knew what they were talking about. Yet we blundered in and blundered on.
The last time we scored anything approaching a major military victory was in the Falklands, and that was against a tottering country led by a drunken despot. Even then some of our military command thought it couldn’t be done. It took a politician, Margaret Thatcher, to overrule them.
Any journalist like me who has spent time close to troops in arenas of conflict knows that all the clichés about courage and professionalism are true: innumerable capable people at every level, top to bottom, do splendid stuff and do it well. There is excellence everywhere, even at the top. Yet the suspicion grows (it cannot be in me alone) that, as a collective, things are not coming together. Incoherence and unwisdom are not found out. The best, and the best thinking, do not always win. Vast mistakes are made and never reconsidered.
We spend on our Armed Forces a greater proportion of our national wealth than most allies. The numerical ratio between our back-office support and our fighting men is a joke.
Our Ministry of Defence — inexplicably stuffed with senior officers (as if anyone would suggest having hospital consultants run the Department of Health) — is dysfunctional. Financial control has run amok. Advice offered to ministers is consistently wrong.
In any other area of government the word we would use of a prohibitively expensive machine that didn’t deliver success would be “failure”. But when it comes to defence only success is ever attributed to the calibre of those who bring it; failure is never their fault, never a matter for shame, never a subject for even curiosity or inquiry, never thought to have any linkage to leadership. And these bemedalled buffoons have the cheek to deliver public lectures to their political masters. It’s time to call their bluff."
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Old 25th Jun 2011, 21:08
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OK, having done a quick 'Googling', I hope I'm not mistaken in that one G Stacey is CBF. If this is the case, he is probably the finest, most pragmatic officer I ever served under in my time in the RAF.

PS. I'm not a Rock.
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Old 25th Jun 2011, 21:35
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Cows getting bigger....he certainly is that chap you googled to get your facts before posting! Could not comment on finest officer bit but from what I've seen and heard so bloke
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