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SARH

Old 28th Nov 2011, 10:09
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SARH

I thought there was an announcement for the SARH project today. Anybody heard any news?
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Old 28th Nov 2011, 10:36
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Here you go.

Appeared on ARRSE at 11:30, thanks to our RSS feed from the MoD.
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Old 28th Nov 2011, 10:39
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Search and Rescue Helicopters - News - Department for Transport
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Old 28th Nov 2011, 10:39
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It has been announced internally; the whole shooting match is transferring to the Department for Transport WEF 2016. Reduction in bases from 12 to 10 with Boulmer and MCA Portland losing out and all SAR being carried out by civilian crews. I am sure it will be on the BBC & Sky news feeds soon.
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Old 28th Nov 2011, 10:40
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Looks like Crab will be looking for a job.

I hope this thread will be a constructive one and not full of snide gloating comments addressed to him.

Last edited by Fareastdriver; 28th Nov 2011 at 10:59.
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Old 28th Nov 2011, 10:48
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I hope this thread will be a constuctive one
Permission not to hold my breath Sir...
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Old 28th Nov 2011, 10:59
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And that means Bristow will be providing our CSAR, under fire, all weather, far-flung, etc, does it?

Before you say anything, I know.
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Old 28th Nov 2011, 11:02
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fareastdrivel

Or, indeed, from him!

Last edited by xenolith; 28th Nov 2011 at 13:20.
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Old 28th Nov 2011, 11:25
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It could also be seen as an opportunity. Relieved of the heavy task of rescuing civilians, the RAF could develop a long range CSAR capability.
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Old 28th Nov 2011, 11:28
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Very timely announcment. As right now They're out in the Irish Sea still searching for the missing crewmen from the sunken Swanland cargo vessel.
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Old 28th Nov 2011, 11:31
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Yes DD, but is that really a proper military task?
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Old 28th Nov 2011, 11:32
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Genuine question, why is it a short sighted decision? Why should Defence provide this service when the vast majority of SAR's 'customers' are civilians? After all, the police always pitch up to military accident sites, but that's no argument for having civpol work for us!
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Old 28th Nov 2011, 12:17
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It is proper military task? Of course it is a proper military task - MT2.1 Military Aid to the Civil Authorities and, arguably, MT2.3 Integrity of UK Waters. MT4.1 Humanitarian Aid and Disaster Relief might be stretching it a bit far, as that is overseas contingency tasking.

Why should Defence provide this service? The MOD has thus far kept its own SAR services in order to recover its own valuable assets in the event of accident. The requirement endures but the number of military callouts is few, so the irreducable spare capacity is used to aid the general public (people get saved + SAR crews get real on-the-job training = everybody wins) on the understanding that the military gets first refusal should the need to prioritise arise. Imagine the (entirely justified) outcry if military SAR assets were sat on the ground when a civil need arose because the one GR4 airborne at the time might need support.

The vast majority of SAR's 'customers' are civilians. The amount of military activity in the UK is now so low that the MOD can possibly take the risk of handing the task over to the DOT, accepting that we are no longer prime inter pares and will have to wait our turn should a military requirement coincide with a civil one. Someone will have done the sums and decided that the risk of relying on a civil SAR service is acceptable in terms of response time and availability balanced against the through life cost of procurring and operating a replacement for SeaKing.
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Old 28th Nov 2011, 12:54
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Spot on, Sir! Our SAR is there for military use. Picking up civvies is a bonus - good training, good PR, saves lives. And this all makes our SAR crews absolutely top notch. To pick up on Courtney's slightly tongue in cheek comment. I really want well trained, well practiced military SAR crews doing my CSAR.
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Old 28th Nov 2011, 13:15
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Mach Two,

What on earth are you talking about? SAR a military task? Look at what they do day in day out, that is NOT a military task!

The Sea King force is not a CSAR force, it has never been deployed as such in its history. On the most recent case of the RAF/RN requiring a CSAR capability, off and over Libya, CSAR was provided by two USAF HH-60's deployed from Lakenheath to HMS Ocean.

This is a good economic decision, enabling the RAF to disband three more squadrons (22,202 and 203) shut down SARTU and do away with a complete fleet support and maintenance cost.

Retaining three squadrons, a dedicated training organisation and an entire aircraft inventory just because once or twice a year it MIGHT pick up an ejected pilot was a huge waste of scare resources.

Perhaps now the RAF can afford a dedicated and appropriately equipped CSAR squadron, or are they still going to have to give away all suitable a/c for that task to the CHF?
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Old 28th Nov 2011, 13:37
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I'm sure that the SAR experts on here can correct me, but my understanding is as follows:

The UK has agreed under international treaty (Chicago convention 1950s springs to mind) to provide SAR provision within a specific geographical region. This is the responsibility of the department of transport. The DofT then delegates this task internally, which is where the MOD comes into the picture. Post WW2 it was the military who had a robust SAR organization already in place, for the rescue of downed aircrew, and with helicopters in their infancy, only they were really capable of providing the coverage required to fulfill our international commitments. The rest is history....

Standing by to be corrected, informed, hopefully in a constructive way....
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Old 28th Nov 2011, 13:47
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Biggus,

That makes perfect sense in terms of a historical explanation of why we had a military SAR force in the first place, thanks for taking the time and trouble to post, it puts the current situation nicely into historical perspective as to why it came about.

Absolutely no sense in it continuing like this though.

On a slightly different point, looking at the retained 10 bases, is it just me or is that a HUGE area between Lossiemouth and Leconfield with no coverage?

.
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Old 28th Nov 2011, 13:55
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I am not sure that there is "absolutely no sense" in maintaining the status quo but, with the amount of military flying going on in the UK these days, there must be a break-even point approaching. If the DOT is going to provide an equivalent service to which we have access, then someone in MOD is going to come to the conclusion that a bespoke service based on a military helicopter is luxury we cannot afford. The loss of the capability will be bad in many ways but I guarantee that many of the crews will find themselves in Coastguard uniforms or transferring their skills to the SH Force, carrying on the in the finest traditions of the SAR Force.

As for CSAR - no chance. MOD will not stump up the resources in pers, airframes or raw cash, IMHO.
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Old 28th Nov 2011, 14:31
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pr00ne,

SAR is a military task regardless of what they spend their time doing - and I have always fully acknowledged that the vast majority of rescues are non-military. Once it's handed over to someone else, it will cease to be a military task.

orgASMic,

I agree, I don't think we'll ever get the funding for dedicated CSAR, so we'd better not go anywhere without the Americans. We did look at it once or twice in recent years, but it's not going to happen.

Last edited by Mach Two; 28th Nov 2011 at 14:33. Reason: Typo
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Old 28th Nov 2011, 14:49
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CSAR capability

Aren't the wokka boys effectivly doing CSAR at the moment in Afghanistan with the MERTs? Yes I know there is much less 'search' and the ranges are much less, but perhaps their roles could be formalised and made a bit more permanent. Maybe funding could be found for a specialist SF SH CSAR/MERT flight at Odiham once we pull out of AFG?
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