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Air Cadets grounded?

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Air Cadets grounded?

Old 19th Apr 2016, 13:46
  #2321 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
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Phoenix from the ashes

It would seem that with Southern Sailplanes now in the game at least the air-frames will get cleared to a satisfactory standard and we will get a substantial fleet back which will have a good shelf life.
Serco will not come out of this in good light nor will the dept that should have been overseeing their contract.
It looks like 2017 will be a realistic date now for a 'normal' flying program to be available from the equipment side.
However all is not clear from the VGS side of things and unless they get a proper mandate as to what is expected of them and how they are to organise staff levels and suitable staff training.
One would hope that the main thrust will be to get the existing (remaining) VGS up and running as a priority with an realistic aim to run easter courses for 2017 with staff help from closed schools if possible.
Any attempt to organise 'regional centres' should only happen after the VGS are back up and running.The Grob Viking has plenty of life left with proper care and attention,and there are enough airframes to supply the existing requirements.
If it is decided to start up 'centres' then this should be done with new equipment under the EASA schedule, and if possible with assistance from the GSA who are experienced in these matters.
Of course all of this will require management input with a sound background; but it is entirely possible once it is realised that the current top leadership has to be replaced,together with a rethink of the CGI situation. On the 'Airworthiness' issues SS hold all the required licences and hands on actual experience to complete the recovery of airframes plus they also work on the Tutor fleet to the satisfaction of the MOD. They will be able to undertake work on both EASA and MIL Gliders and are therefore able to offer the ATC the service it needs to keep the Cadets flying. No more contracts should be awarded to SERCO or any other organisation that is unable to satisfy a proven ability to deliver the full 'in service package'.
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Old 19th Apr 2016, 19:15
  #2322 (permalink)  
 
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A fixed number of instructors per airframe, no CGIs, no staff cadets, all uniformed staff, prescriptive fatigue limits, increased travel distances, attendance requirements.

This all won't work.

There are indeed some areas which need addressing but pragmatically. 2 FTS and the main personality involved won't be able to retain enough staff to operate at half the capacity with their current thinking. Throwing money at recruitment won't work either, if all a potential candidate sees is free flying they're in for a shock. Very few of the full-time staff have any idea how much real commitment is needed from the volunteers, if they had they wouldn't treat them so abysmally.

As for the carrot of 'paid training days' or whatever guff they want to call it - someone who is in the game for 50 a day isn't really the sort who will cut it either.

As for the stick of all the bods being uniformed and ordered about, whoever thinks that will work is also delusional - they can still tell you to do one by resigning.

Even if this plan gets off the ground in the short term it is untenable in the long run. Making cadets choose between the wider ACO and all it has to offer or gliding at 18 can only be harmful to both parties. Unless, of course, the grand plan is to stop cadet service at 18...
Where will the future instructors come from, learning the operation from the ground up?

The VGS will never be able to be run like the full-time Royal Air Force which is why the majority of the current leadership are incapable of taking the organisation forward (rather than backward...).
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Old 19th Apr 2016, 20:38
  #2323 (permalink)  
 
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Southen sailplanes do not have the recovery package. Babcocks however do. They are farming the work out to Southern Sailplanes who are reliant on Marshalls as the DO. And let's not forget which those constraints they have still only produced 3 airframes in a year.



Originally Posted by POBJOY View Post
It would seem that with Southern Sailplanes now in the game at least the air-frames will get cleared to a satisfactory standard and we will get a substantial fleet back which will have a good shelf life.
Serco will not come out of this in good light nor will the dept that should have been overseeing their contract.
It looks like 2017 will be a realistic date now for a 'normal' flying program to be available from the equipment side.
However all is not clear from the VGS side of things and unless they get a proper mandate as to what is expected of them and how they are to organise staff levels and suitable staff training.
One would hope that the main thrust will be to get the existing (remaining) VGS up and running as a priority with an realistic aim to run easter courses for 2017 with staff help from closed schools if possible.
Any attempt to organise 'regional centres' should only happen after the VGS are back up and running.The Grob Viking has plenty of life left with proper care and attention,and there are enough airframes to supply the existing requirements.
If it is decided to start up 'centres' then this should be done with new equipment under the EASA schedule, and if possible with assistance from the GSA who are experienced in these matters.
Of course all of this will require management input with a sound background; but it is entirely possible once it is realised that the current top leadership has to be replaced,together with a rethink of the CGI situation. On the 'Airworthiness' issues SS hold all the required licences and hands on actual experience to complete the recovery of airframes plus they also work on the Tutor fleet to the satisfaction of the MOD. They will be able to undertake work on both EASA and MIL Gliders and are therefore able to offer the ATC the service it needs to keep the Cadets flying. No more contracts should be awarded to SERCO or any other organisation that is unable to satisfy a proven ability to deliver the full 'in service package'.
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Old 19th Apr 2016, 21:27
  #2324 (permalink)  
 
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Membury Planning Application Refused

.....and unless anybody knows anything different the planning application on behalf of Southern Sailplanes to build three new hangars at Membury to service this contract was recently refused by West Berkshire Council.
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Old 19th Apr 2016, 21:59
  #2325 (permalink)  
 
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Surely not ! The RAF 'outsource' the recovery contract to one organisation who then appear to be allowed to outsource to yet another

Now the RAF has TWO organisations to effectively 'Risk' and 'Performance' Manage ... Hasn't anyone got any commercial world experience of Outsourced Contract Management ?
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Old 19th Apr 2016, 22:04
  #2326 (permalink)  
 
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Recovery package

W o W / Frelon

I think that at last someone in the system has realised that only SS can actually
produce the finished goods to a satisfactory standard, and that this is what will happen;but there will have to be the usual 'details' to be gone through to tidy up the 'arrangements'.
The hangar application will not materially affect this so a 'flow' of airframes should get processed which will build as the set up gets formalised.
There is a definate 'will' to get the air-frames out what must be sorted is how the ACO use them to best advantage.
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Old 20th Apr 2016, 08:41
  #2327 (permalink)  
 
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They never learn do they ..................

Originally Posted by CoffmanStarter View Post
Surely not ! The RAF 'outsource' the recovery contract to one organisation who then appear to be allowed to outsource to yet another
Originally Posted by CoffmanStarter View Post

Now the RAF has TWO organisations to effectively 'Risk' and 'Performance' Manage ... Hasn't anyone got any commercial world experience of Outsourced Contract Management ?
HMG / Civil Service and RAF VSO's - they never learn do they ? Sub contracting is a hard business to supervise diligently at best, and they have already shown gross ineptitude in managing the 9.4M sub contract to maintain the Viking and Vigilant T Mk1 fleet.
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Old 20th Apr 2016, 11:57
  #2328 (permalink)  
 
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Least of the problems

It appears that the 'Airframes' issues are going to be the least of the ongoing
Cadet gliding saga.
It is quite obvious that a 'virtual' agenda is in play that will see the end of Cadet Gliding 'as was' to be replaced by the sop of an intergrated PTT training scheme and a 'culled' VGS operation.
The 'Volunteer' element in all this does not fit in with someone's 'big plan' and that is even before they realise the loss of the skills base (ongoing).yet another Cranwell meeting seems to have produced no meaningful information to those at the coal face who continue to 'hang on' in hope.The very idea that the the CGI is not seen as a future post just proves that the leadership and policy makers have no idea how and why the staff cadet/CGI route was the key to a great facility.
The ACO have lost the plot (and any competent leadership) with these decisions and all we will get now is more spin about safety and an 'intergrated training package' with little real flying activity.
Perhaps someone should look at the numbers of 'paid' staff now engaged with the ACO and then compare it with Cadet numbers and actual flying.
I suspect the Volunteer input will be shown to have given excellent value in all area's. Ministers have been 'miss-briefed' to the point of 'being economical with truth' and no one is able to put the brakes on this runaway train.
What we do know is the money has been spent (still being spent) but the goods not delivered and yet no one was to blame or shown to be deficient in duty.It would never surprise me if they start to issue 'badges' for meetings with a 'clasp' when 20 have been attended.They have not reinvented anything and are not even capable of oiling the cogs.
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Old 20th Apr 2016, 12:13
  #2329 (permalink)  
 
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POBJOY

I also expect the names to change and the word 'Volunteer' to be dropped leaving just 'Gliding Squadrons' maybe they will even be called 'RAF Gliding Squadrons' or 'RAF Reserve Gliding Squadrons' - in these days of much reduced numbers of Squadrons and Aircraft they would announce it as the creation of 10 'new' Squadrons and 70 refurbished training aircraft (such is the spin).

I also expect a renumbering exercise as the last part of wiping the blackboard down..........

Arc

(I believe in some organisations it's called 'Returning to Year Zero')

Last edited by Arclite01; 20th Apr 2016 at 12:15. Reason: Year Zero
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Old 20th Apr 2016, 13:05
  #2330 (permalink)  
 
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Standing up to the cretons

ARC What i fail to understand is why the VGS have not confronted their peers and allowed this situation to unfold like a slow motion car crash.

The 'combined' effect of a common thrust to try and inject some sense in to the operation may have at least have caused a rethink in A Planning, and B The lack of quality leadership from 2FTS.

It seems incredible that so many Squadron Commanders could not have had some positive input and possibly 'steered' the situation in a better way.

They had nothing to loose as they have now 'lost' the organisation they had.

Were they the victims of 'spin' (Keep the faith) from Cranwell or just lied to from up top.
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Old 20th Apr 2016, 13:29
  #2331 (permalink)  
 
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I would think just plain lied to...................... they were probably hoping for some form of re-equipment programme WRT to aircraft............ never in their wildest dreams would they have been expecting to be shafted up the keyster to this extent.

Also I think that 2FTS and the ACO have deliberately not communicated the strategy until it was too late to change it.................

I am beginning to align with Longeron who believes this was decided a long long time ago and actually has a bit of a conspiracy theory with regard to the appointment of JM into the post at 2FTS to deliver the agenda/decision....... after all, the issue with engineering problems and the future of the schools and basing strategy are in no way related - even in the wild and wacky world of Government..............

Oooh - black Omega outside on my drive........................

Arc

Last edited by Arclite01; 20th Apr 2016 at 13:30. Reason: Keyster
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Old 20th Apr 2016, 14:57
  #2332 (permalink)  
 
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Black Omega

I hope it does not catch fire and burn the tarmac.
There again if it is Serco contract supplied it may not even have a mot,so they can arrest themselves !!!!
Thats the beauty of a 'bunker' it is not even on Google street view.
For those at Sleaford/Syerston 'out of control' You may think you are a sharp bunch of cookies 'reorganising' as you are. In fact in the real world you should be taken out and shot (slowly) as a warning to others that may seek to destroy that that was so good. Three gliding seasons lost,Money spent,'no gliding' and Cadets deprived of a potential life changing experience.You are a disgrace.
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Old 20th Apr 2016, 16:17
  #2333 (permalink)  
 
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POBJOY wrote:
It seems incredible that so many Squadron Commanders could not have had some positive input and possibly 'steered' the situation in a better way.

They had nothing to loose as they have now 'lost' the organisation they had.

Were they the victims of 'spin' (Keep the faith) from Cranwell or just lied to from up top.
From what I gather, most won't speak out because they've been told to toe the party line, or else.

Quite a few parliamentary questions have been lodged, so it's not over yet.

"Shut up, do as you're told, I know best....."

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Old 20th Apr 2016, 17:56
  #2334 (permalink)  
 
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"Quite a few parliamentary questions have been lodged, so it's not over yet."

VGS Gliding is finished as it used to be known - my personal belief is it will continue to contract once some airframes are back online and become:

1 - Central - Syerston
2 - North - Probably Topcliffe
3 - South - Any of the few remaining sites

The total number of Tutor conversions from Vigilant or CPL qualified Viking pilots will number into the single digits.

As to why this came about, is it a conspiracy? is it poor management? No one will ever truly know but can say I used to be proud to be associated with the RAF.

Now I'm simply embarrassed at its incompetence. No commercial organisation of any size would tolerate this mess.

Glad to be out but as ever we won't miss it until it's too late.
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Old 20th Apr 2016, 20:45
  #2335 (permalink)  
 
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Parliamentary Qestions

Beagle I think 20+ schools would have had to be listened to,after all they were the operational side and had a fine record going back decades.

As to Questions in Parliament; the RAF/MOD spin team will just major on 'safety' and the real debate will not happen. As you well know the VSO'S have already initiated a history rewrite (and promote of PTT) and started to peddle it around the media;plus using GAPAN* when it suits. Who is going to put the alternative view/facts;Prune posters.At least the media have been fed the truth from other sources.

* As was.
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Old 21st Apr 2016, 07:40
  #2336 (permalink)  
 
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Hmm...

I suspect that the grasping beancounters spotted the opportunity to do some asset-stripping after the 'pause', so that various aerodromes and gliding sites could be flogged off for housing. "Our whizzy new PTTs, most of which we'll get f.o.c., will reduce the need for proper flying. So come up with a new training plan and show we don't need the aerodromes any longer!"

"But where's the TNA to back up the plan?", I hear you cry.

"Shut up and do it - or I'll remove you and find a suitable yes-man to replace you!", was likely the reply.

But how many ATC squadrons are going to put their 12-13 year olds in a bus for 4 hours to somewhere for 30 min in the PTT, then 4 hours home again?

Is there a robust support contract in place for when these toys stop working? 8 hours on the road to be confronted by 3 x BSoD won't be much fun....
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Old 21st Apr 2016, 08:18
  #2337 (permalink)  
 
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4 hrs? Try this one .

http://www.theaa.com/route-planner/i...37%7C55.886883
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Old 21st Apr 2016, 08:29
  #2338 (permalink)  
 
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I got a reply from my MP on this after emailing him prior to the debate, which he failed to attend.

Basically, it was the text of the same statement that has been parroted over and over again by all the key players, but on nice notepaper.

To be fair to him, unless it involves fishing, being paid by the EU to not grow stuff on his farm, or blowing pheasants apart with a large gun, he's really out of his depth and not able to see through a fairly effective smokescreen of lies. MoD are in full spin mode on this, and they are far more effective at dodging accountability and making sure that their outsourcing mates carry on receiving taxpayers' money than anything else.
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Old 21st Apr 2016, 08:36
  #2339 (permalink)  
 
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I had another thought.................

I wonder if JM was ever actually in the ATC or the CCF(RAF) ??

If not, it's no wonder he doesn't get it.................

Arc

P.S. I am beginning to agree with Grounded Grob, possibly +1 site for Scotland and 1 for the SW of England
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Old 21st Apr 2016, 08:48
  #2340 (permalink)  
 
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Arc ...

Acording to this video interview ...

1832 (North Manchester) Squadron ...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hjn8lRO3tsM
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