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Air Cadets grounded?

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Air Cadets grounded?

Old 3rd Feb 2016, 05:09
  #1541 (permalink)  
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MoD used to have robust regulations implemented by lots of backroom staffs (primarily trained engineers) which resulted in many of the issues debated here being nipped in the bud and never seen or even heard of by operators.

As Chug said, this system was rundown as a result of the "savings at the expense of safety" culture reiterated by Mr Haddon-Cave - although he put the wrong start date on it. The correct date is not made up - it is recorded in an internal MoD audit report.

While I have no direct knowledge of the aircraft, Leon's description is depressingly similar to failures in other cases; such as Chinook, Nimrod, Tornado, C130, Sea King, etc.

incorrect elevator hinges being fitted, incomplete aircraft document sets and failures in the independent inspections
An incomplete ADS is sufficient to ground aircraft. Evidence that the Chinook ADS was fabricated by the Air Staffs led to the setting aside of the ZD576 findings. In the face of such a high profile revelation and ruling, may I suggest any sensible officers in the Gp Capt's position would have done the same as he. It is highly unlikely he knows what comprises a valid ADS (not a criticism) but has asked the question, not received a satisfactory answer, and taken the only step open to him. Corrective action lies in the hands of others, who have not served him well. We must accept they may be hamstrung by higher priorities, and will themselves be having a good old moan about predecessors not implementing regs properly. If they want to pinpoint the historical timeline, the Philip Report is a good starting point; especially the publicly available evidence to the Review.

I must say this seems to be dragging on. Expertise must be thin on the ground. Or else lack of progress has been directed. It is a real PR blunder.
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Old 3rd Feb 2016, 09:24
  #1542 (permalink)  
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No Fix mentality

Clunk The good old UK has really lost its 'build it fix it' capability and 'engineering' now seems to be based on sitting in front of a monitor with clean hands.
The 'Glider' fiasco is only one of a number of issues that stem from the lack of engineering capability in the forces.
They binned the world class training bases years ago so the 'hands on' skills started to depart after that.
With engineering not a high priority at the MOD you have no one to 'oversee' all sorts of schemes that go wrong.
There is also the problem of not being able to produce simple GA type equipment that would suit some of the basic requirements of the Forces.
To a degree it has to be expected as progressive 'cuts' have reduced the core structure of our industry and expertise to a low level.What you do then is to have lots of meetings and reports to satisfy the Government bodies that money is well spent not wasted.
No easy fix as there is no one with any real clout at the top who knows what to do or how to go about it.The ATC Gliding organisation ran so well for so long because it was staffed by competent people and had a continuity in bringing on new blood to feed the system. When you 'outsource' all the facilities then you leave yourself open to a multitude of potential problems no one contemplated at the time because it was 'sold' as being 'cost saving'.
When the system fails how cheap was that.
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Old 3rd Feb 2016, 10:19
  #1543 (permalink)  
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Cleaning the house

From the technical standpoint the RAF is cleaning the house and is fully aware of the shortcomings of some of the contractors, unfortunately just shutting down a poorly performing contractor is not instantly posable because a replacement contractor has to put the manpower in place to take on the work, this can't be done overnight added to this some sort of handover of official documentation ( assuming it has not been lost) has to take place when contractors change.

With Babcock getting the Viking recovery job ( the fleet with the long term future ) it would appear that this process of contractor change is underway.

The support contract tender document will be released soon and this will give all party's the chance to bid, no doubt the past performance and performance on other contracts will come into play when choosing a contractor for the support contract.

It would be interesting to see the odds Paddy Power would give on the uncumbent contractor getting the support contract !
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Old 3rd Feb 2016, 11:09
  #1544 (permalink)  
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A and C:-
From the technical standpoint the RAF is cleaning the house
It rather depends which house you are referring to. I think that clunkdriver was referring to the RAF's own house (and that of the MOD), and that is certainly what I meant by it. It is all very well removing the mote from others' eyes, but first some casting out of beams of one's own is required, as once famously called for.

If those subject to regulatory authority have, unchecked, not kept to the regulations then that is a condemnation of that regulatory authority. The words breweries and piss-ups come to mind...

As POBJOY has said, there is a total dearth of trained experienced military engineers who are knowledgeable of the regulations, let alone having the ability and willingness to enforce them. Without them the process you describe is simply rearranging the deck-chairs.

It is the MAA that is the real problem. It can't do its job because it doesn't know how to. In order to avoid further suborning of the regulations, as described by tucumseh, it has to be removed from the control of the MOD. At least for starters I feel that it should then be sistered to the CAA, so that some professional expertise can be called upon in order to reform and rebuild it. Ditto with the MilAAIB and the AAIB. Then, and only then, might we hope for some authority from the authority, and some objective investigation from the investigator. It is a 1000 mile march, so best we get started soonest!

Last edited by Chugalug2; 3rd Feb 2016 at 11:20.
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Old 3rd Feb 2016, 13:34
  #1545 (permalink)  
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Joint Service Cadets

I read through the Winter edition of 'Air Cadet' magazine this week, which included cadets bobbing about on TS Royalist and others winning a skill at arms competition. As the only flying seems to have been by the 'honorary group captain', should we try for a name change to Joint Service Cadets? A new purple uniform could look rather fetching and would help reflect the level of support and commitment shown by the blue uniformed ACO/2FTS 'leadership'. I think another new Headquarters could also be justified.
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Old 3rd Feb 2016, 13:38
  #1546 (permalink)  
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On a slightly serious note I've been advocating that for years. The degree of duplication and bureaucracy of three different cadet systems (not to mention the embedding of Army cadet staff officers into regional brigades) is massively wasteful. Though only the RAF seems to feel the need for a dedicated FTRS Comdt (no personal slight on her - she works very hard indeed).

Last edited by tmmorris; 3rd Feb 2016 at 14:03. Reason: Spulling
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Old 3rd Feb 2016, 14:01
  #1547 (permalink)  
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...Not to mention the CCF which just seem to duplicate the ATC / ACF / SCC.
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Old 3rd Feb 2016, 14:02
  #1548 (permalink)  
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But with better clientele.

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Old 3rd Feb 2016, 14:13
  #1549 (permalink)  
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As a former CCF cadet..........oh, and I was ATC between school and the Towers, I have a memory that the legal positions of the different cadet forces is different - SCC is totally separate from MOD ISTR, army cadets come under the Lord Lieutenant's bailiwick and the light blue we know about. CCF is all I think under MOD, irrespective of colour uniform. I suspect a number of sacred cows would have to be slaughtered to get all three cadet forces under one umbrella. perhaps we need a cadet forces "Mountbatten"!
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Old 3rd Feb 2016, 15:41
  #1550 (permalink)  
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With regard to future contracts for maintaining the Air Cadet fleet, whichever company wins the contract is going to have to take on employees or individual contractors with the relevant skills and experience to actually do the work. Given that the people with the relevant hands-on experience on these types are working for the current contract holder, I would like to know how anyone plans to sort out which individuals are part of the problem and which have been trying to get things right? Changing the name at the top of the headed paper is only one small part of the solution.

As we have seen, the money being offered previously is hardly likely to make anyone up sticks and move to the other end of the country to take on this poisoned chalice, so who at an individual level is going to do the hands-on work?

Looks like one job is already advertised:

Job for Viking Recovery Contract Manager ? Fixed Term Contract ? 2 years ? Babcock International ? Membury ? ENG | Job posted by Babcock International at Jobmask.co.uk

and this one looks very unlikely to found outside the current workforce:

Viking Technical Services Lead (Fixed Term initially 6 months) - Membury Airfield, Berkshire jobs from Babcock International Group PLC in . Apply now | JoZoo
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Old 3rd Feb 2016, 16:05
  #1551 (permalink)  
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It would appear that Babcock have found rather than just employing staff from the usual military suspects who have little glider experience they are getting expert glider fixers to do the work with their own people too shuffle the military paper.
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Old 3rd Feb 2016, 17:57
  #1552 (permalink)  
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I think you've hinted at the problem. When I was in the day job, albeit the offshore industry, our experience duplicated what the RAF has gone through recently. We went from doing all the supply chain work ourselves to having a contractor provide the service. Our base team went down from many to seven. Those seven were tasked with managing the contractors.

This meant getting out of the office and working alongside the contractor, checking and auditing what they did. Once a degree of trust and mutual respect had built up, the levels of C & A were reduced to a reasonable level.

Does anyone know, or might be able to comment, on how the contract for cadet gliding has been managed prior to the 'pause' we now endure?

From my personal experience, the hardest part of the job was knowing when to let go, and then trying to set up a reasonable level of checking that didn't stifle the contractor.

BTW, HQAC may just have an inkling that there are too many levels of 'management' in the system. When I was at a Corps wide conference last year, one question tabled by a VSO was whether or not we really needed regional headquarters, when, in the days of instant comms, we could get instructions direct from HQAC at Cranwell......

Last edited by bobward; 3rd Feb 2016 at 17:58. Reason: Poor spullong
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Old 3rd Feb 2016, 18:47
  #1553 (permalink)  
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Add-in Wg HQ, Sector Cdrs and the dozens of civil servants (sorry, Reserve Officers) at HQAC.
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Old 3rd Feb 2016, 20:40
  #1554 (permalink)  
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CGB - the reason we need WHQs is to provide the direct support to squadrons. Local one has 3 staff to support 30 squadrons and in excess of 1000 cadets. Sector Officers supply invaluable support to squadrons and carry out many of the mandatory inspections that are required in a very admin heavy organisation. In addition Sector Officers also have responsibilities linked to the recruitment of new staff. IMHO consideration needs to be given to increasing the F/T staffing at Winf/Sector level but that will remain a pipe dream I am afraid.
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Old 4th Feb 2016, 08:49
  #1555 (permalink)  
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Cadet Expansion program

Does anyone here know how effective the Cadet Expansion Program has/is in getting more 'School based Cadet units'.This was targeted specifically for urban area's but of course will eventually impact on resources for flying.
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Old 4th Feb 2016, 09:22
  #1556 (permalink)  
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Interesting that some CEP units have actually been formed on school premises where there are current ACO units, or in very close proximity; which is now causing a recruitment problem, as schools not letting units on to recruit.

As for flying, and gliding if it ever comes back, no doubt they will be included in the mix; in the same way GVC and Air Scouts are supposed to do!!

CGB - Backing Brokenlink on this one ( ), it is surprising just how much [email protected] WSOs cut out both ways. They assist OC Sqns acting as a sounding board for questions/queries and at the same time take away some admin burden that HQAC expects to happen, whilst reducing some workload on OC Sqns from the deluge of dross that comes down the CoC.
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Old 4th Feb 2016, 09:57
  #1557 (permalink)  
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Turkeys NEVER vote for Christmas.......................

Ergo: High Ups never vote for anything that might take them out of a job....................

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Old 4th Feb 2016, 10:53
  #1558 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by POBJOY View Post
Does anyone here know how effective the Cadet Expansion Program has/is in getting more 'School based Cadet units'.This was targeted specifically for urban area's but of course will eventually impact on resources for flying.
On track: 100 new units parading by Sep, 500 target total units (requires approx another 140) by ISTR 2020? Not sure of deadline.

Some units 'parading' only just, and lots still to be done, but I've met some great cadets. I do worry about sustainability, though.
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Old 4th Feb 2016, 12:10
  #1559 (permalink)  
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CEP/Gliding availability

Thanks TM & RB
This makes it even more imperative that there is a comprehensive 'availability' of hands on flying activity for the future.
It is also quite obvious that the current VGS operations are best placed to deliver this whether it be coventional or a reborn SLMG system (or both).
There is no point in attempting to expand the Cadet movement unless the aviation element is in being;fit for purpose,and led by someone who can take the dedicated staff onwards and upwards with their confidence.
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Old 4th Feb 2016, 12:17
  #1560 (permalink)  
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I think many people have misunderstood my postings vis a vis JM,I thought I had made it quite clear that I believe there was always more to this whole debacle than just the airworthiness issue with the gliders !
My point was more 'who' gave him the job and 'why' was he given this job when his 'personality' would have been well known (+ he was already overage for the job) .
I will reiterate that I do not believe there was ever any intention of returning to the old VGS system and that the ACO gliding 'organisation' is being redesigned whilst the fiasco plays out.
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