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Seeing in the New Year - Alone !

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Seeing in the New Year - Alone !

Old 30th Dec 2013, 22:50
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Seeing in the New Year - Alone !

In six plus years as a C130 Ground Engineer (I know, nothing compared to real Ground engineers like Libby) I managed two away from home. As one of only two, from thirty plus, who lived on "the patch" the other four were spent on "stand by at home" for OP Ferdy and Banner, or similar. I think I had one year in the six that I was really "at home". I know for a fact that many of my Aircrew colleagues of the time had similar experiences. That covers the Albert fleet, did this situation cover the rest of the RAF, I ask having seen a piece in a newspaper today that suggested that the "military" effectively "stand down" over holidays these days. I know for a fact that many are doing exactly as I did this year in Afghanistan, and I for one sympathise, and send my thanks to you for continuing to serve our country. But, who is doing stag this year in the UK? I wish all on duty, off duty and like me, retired, but keen PPruners a very Happy New year, a swift return to your loved ones and the very best for your futures.

Smudge

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Old 31st Dec 2013, 00:37
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Seeing in the New Year - alone.

Smudge,

"Amen" to that, say I (we've all "been there", haven't we ?).

Bless 'em all ! With all Good Wishes for the New Year,

Danny.
 
Old 31st Dec 2013, 00:52
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Smuj

Just did Christmas Eve and will be in tomorrow as well (which is why I'm up late) - that's a couple of Eves scr3w3d this year!

In my ~25 years, I've done about 3x QRAs, 2x Op dets, 1x FI det and at least a couple of Ord Off/SDO/SDE over the Christmas/NY hols. This year it is a UK task. My background? Mostly FJ with a spattering of other stuff. I reckon it's about a 40% 'hit rate'.

HNY to you as well

LJ
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Old 31st Dec 2013, 01:56
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Deployed and on standby today, we will be able to have to have a few quiet ones tonight though. HNY to all and will be thinking of those still in harm's way, keep safe.
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Old 31st Dec 2013, 02:14
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54Burg will recognize those who lay it on the line, and thank them gratefully. Happy New Year everyone!
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Old 31st Dec 2013, 08:55
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Until 1974, New Year's Day wasn't a public holiday in England, so our New Year celebrations were pretty quiet and I never thought of Dec 31st as anything particularly special. I'd been visiting my father and step-mother in Menorca over Christmas; due to the lack of flights over New Year I had to fly back on Sunday 30th Dec, then froze my parts off at RAFC Cranwell as all the heating was off until the afternoon of 1 Jan*..... After which came the joy of the 3-day week, 17% inflation etc.

I've done a few deployments and/or QRA over the period - at Wattisham, our Luftwaffe exchange mates turned up at the Q-shed with a little 'low alcohol' sekt to toast the New Year. Whereupon, at midnight, 'BK' who was Duty Force Controller for the night decided to ring Battle Flight at Wildenrath to wish them a Happy New Year....

"Thank you - but it's 01:00 and you've just woken us all up!", came the reply - he'd forgotten about the time zone....

*When the heating came back on, the damage caused to all the cold-soaked infrastructure cost a lot more to repair than would have been the cost to keep the heating on...

Last edited by BEagle; 31st Dec 2013 at 12:20. Reason: Brain 48 Nav pointed out an error - and sunset here isn't after 17:00 until 5 Feb 2014....
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Old 31st Dec 2013, 09:57
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Beagle

I never think of January 31st as special either - except on a good day it may be the first time the sunset is after 5 o'clock!
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Old 31st Dec 2013, 10:42
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Any ex Coastal (later Strike) in the sixties will recall that ANY public holiday of ANY description at ANY time of year was the signal for our friends to send their subs for a jolly around Norway. Bags packed for homegoing would end up in Bodo.
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Old 31st Dec 2013, 11:13
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Oh, Guys! What have you done? I'm surprised we haven't already had a bashing from the FAA/RN contingent explaining that they've been at sea for every public holiday since the Battle of Trafalgar. Mind you, getting a free cruise with all your mates for Christmas and New Year can't be all bad.

Christmas Q was always my favourite. Always happy to do that.
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Old 31st Dec 2013, 11:58
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Seemed to get stitched for snow and ice a fair few times but was only called out once. Did an orderley dog at Christmas but volunteered for that. By the way do they still have Goblins on the back of flat beds to clear the snow and ice away? Spent one Christmas and New Year at Mt Unpleasant but apart from that didn't do too badly in the festive stakes.

Best wishes to all of our boys and girls who are duty bound at this time. Stay safe.
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Old 31st Dec 2013, 12:04
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Ha! Snow and ice. Somehow I never got called out for that. I think I have the MT section to thank for that.
Now wearing a different uniform, I'll spend tonight on a response team dealing with the less pleasant side of new years eve. Here's to empty cells and jolly drunks. Cheers!


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Old 31st Dec 2013, 12:16
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Goblins on the back of flat beds...
You mean the MRD - Machine Runway De-icer..... Two Derwents on a rig with a small cabin for the luckless operator. Usually pushed around by a bowser until the Double Derwents' thrust overcame the bowser's clutch.

How often, from the comfort of the aircrew coffee bar, we saw the familiar sight of an MRD blowing snow / ice / runway lights / friction course into the sky as some operator gave the MRD a bit too much throttle.....and how SATCO's face fell as he realised how much damage the wretched things had caused.

Regarding SDO / OO over Christmas, at RAF Brawdy the only on-base quarters were for the Stn Cdr and a couple of senior execs. Being the nice chap he was, the Stn Cdr announced that he would be SDO on Christmas Day - and that he was sure that his senior execs would volunteer for Boxing Day and New Year.....

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Old 31st Dec 2013, 14:58
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Did a spot of Search and Rescue for a bad day in a Sydney-Hobart yacht race some decades ago.....ruined a summer BBQ....
Much later, deployed to KAF on 1 January.....That was after sitting a 'booth' on Christmas Day somewhere north of Vegas...
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Old 31st Dec 2013, 15:35
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One year, my team was on 6hr special safety standby over Christmas and New Year.

OK, we were all at home and we didn't expect a call out but as you know sh1t happens.

No mobiles or pagers of course so no chance of family going shopping for more than an hour or so.

And afterwards the bosses reneged on their promise and denied time off in lieu as the guys had been at home all the time.

What a way to build up loyalty and morale.
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Old 31st Dec 2013, 15:36
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Quote: Goblins on the back of flat beds...

You mean the MRD - Machine Runway De-icer..... Two Derwents on a rig with a small cabin for the luckless operator. Usually pushed around by a bowser until the Double Derwents' thrust overcame the bowser's clutch.
I hope so, or he could mean the (in)famous teasmaid (batty) at RAF Finningley!

LJ
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Old 31st Dec 2013, 15:48
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Beags, I always had fun doing the MRD, it was noisy, but above all else it was warm! Picking snow off the lights was the sign of mastery, and there was a great sense of satisfaction in shifting blocks of ice without damaging anything (too much!)
I always felt sorry for the snow shovelers but never more so until I went to Valley and saw lots of frozen stoods enjoying themselves as I drove past in my warm car!
Oh well!
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Old 31st Dec 2013, 16:38
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Twas ever thus.

Christmas comes
but once a firkin.
And when it comes
we're firkin wirkin'.

Happy New Year everyone, stay safe.
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Old 31st Dec 2013, 16:45
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Originally Posted by Bill4a View Post
a great sense of satisfaction in shifting blocks of ice without damaging anything (too much!)
Not Christmas but I triumph of MRD work at Waddo. Spent from Friday until Sunday noon getting the runway in a fit state for recovery of a tin triangle from Goose.

He duly pitched up and asked for the runway state - 90% black top we told him.

Fine, where is the 10%?

All over. One metre of ice every 10 sqr meters.

No sooner had the MRDs flaked off one section it froze on the next. MT also managed to create a 3 foot ice wall from Foxtrot to the 03 threshold.

Success!

Now had SATCO allowed us to use steel blades as we had on the lazy runway we would have had 100% black top and minimal damage anyway.
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Old 31st Dec 2013, 16:49
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Tashengurt,

My thoughts will be with you and your team tonight. NYE is not a good one for domestics and drunken fighting idiots. Keep safe.

After 24 years I retired but my old section are lates tonight so going to pop into the comms and say hello. Doubt if they will leave on time at 2am.

BEagle,

When I first started working for the plod we would get visits for the Chief Constable and other senior officers over Christmas. When I left two years ago we didn't even see our own head of dept let alone any ACPO staff. Hope the RAF still has it's values there.
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Old 31st Dec 2013, 17:09
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I joined my first Sqdn, in Germany, two days before Christmas in '55. My old mum was distraught that the RAF could treat me (her) so cruelly. Actually I had a cracking time, but being the new bod was delegated for airfield guard duty on New Year's Eve. I landed the 2-4 shift, and with three other erks was dropped off at the far side of the airfield, which bordered onto a pine forest.
Walking up and down my stretch of patrol, in total darkness, I was convinced demons were going to leap out any moment, thankfully I did have a pick-axe shaft to ward them off!
Other than that, one Christmas, in Singapore, on det., in 20 yrs. so no complaints.

Happy New Year and a safe one, to all those serving.
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