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Yet another RN led evacuation without RAF air cover.

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Yet another RN led evacuation without RAF air cover.

Old 3rd Aug 2014, 21:11
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Yet another RN led evacuation without RAF air cover.

This afternoon and probably still ongoing, although the Grad are on it.
Okay a bit tongue in cheek on my part, but hey seriously!! How soon could the RAF have put an "umbrella" over downtown Libya this Sunday afternoon? (Stands to be put in place here but I'm guessing we have on a Sunday afternoon absolutely nothing sober from the RAF that could have helped if it had got nasty).


Royal Navy evacuates Britons from Libya amid fierce fighting | World news | The Guardian


(Its 2649km from a point in Northern England, near the Yorkshire Airbase I have I mind, to Tripoli. According to Google Maps anyway- have we got an aircraft in the RAF that can fly, loiter, drop a bomb - do something useful, and then get back to the UK?)
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Old 3rd Aug 2014, 21:30
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Do try to keep up.

Libya: RAF carries out biggest raid yet on Gaddafi forces - Telegraph
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Old 3rd Aug 2014, 21:30
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Don't be so ungrateful. If it wasn't for the RAF, Gadaffi'd still be in charge and you wouldn't have got to sail there. And he must have been very nasty cos he was a mate of Tony's,

Joking apart, it's not long since my employer was discussing Libya opening up as a holiday destination. Any takers now?
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Old 3rd Aug 2014, 21:33
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Can you get decent hotel accommodation at such short notice?
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Old 3rd Aug 2014, 21:50
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Fair enough answers.

But worrying. Wasn't even a top story on the TV news, which amazes me when I think about it. So to recap;
1. A small, practically unarmed RN ship (normally used for surveying duty), has to be diverted to Libya to evacuate UK persons trapped by fighting. (Which it does).
2. Was it backed up by other, harder UK weaponry?
3. Was UK air power available?
4. What if things had gone badly wrong?


It must be just me then.
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Old 3rd Aug 2014, 22:21
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You do come across a bit strong HS and perhaps with an axe to grind. Who said they needed air cover? What makes you think that this has not been constantly monitored by our joint HQ? Do you thing single services just make it up as they go along?
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Old 3rd Aug 2014, 22:25
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I'm tempted to say, "Any excuse to have a go." But I won't. I would guess if you really want an answer, go ask the Cabinet. I'm sure they'll be happy to explain.

Why does this inter-service bollocks keep going on? Don't you guys get it yet?
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Old 3rd Aug 2014, 22:33
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How soon could the RAF have put an "umbrella" over downtown Libya this Sunday afternoon?
Probably a bit more quickly than the RN could have got a ship in to evacuate EPs from S. Sudan like the RAF did not long ago.

Tongue in cheek? Utter bollocks!!
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Old 3rd Aug 2014, 22:42
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That chip on your shoulder could be used as the main spar on a cruise liner. Get a life, if the MOD had wanted air cover, they would have got it.
They have chopped the fighter force to nothing and have them deployed on ops. Who exactly in your 'non-sober' RAF were you hoping to send??
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Old 3rd Aug 2014, 22:48
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PS. Quote: The ship's departure is not considered as a rescue mission. There are still commercial means to leave the country.
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Old 3rd Aug 2014, 22:50
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Presumably, JT2, as he's using 'a Yorkshire airbase' for his calculations, Tucanos?
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Old 4th Aug 2014, 07:07
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Hangarsuffle,

You are Frank Ledwidge and I claim my 5; (although you may be Lewis Page).

Punching Below Our Weight is available for download from a popular South American river for 61p. All the usual suspects marshaled together into a 5000 word third former's rant; (the publisher's editor missed a trick by binning the bit about moving Australia 500 miles on the map).
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Old 4th Aug 2014, 09:13
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If there was a threat, why send a survey ship or are all the war canoes in the Caribbean for the summer season?
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Old 4th Aug 2014, 09:31
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Originally Posted by Hangarshuffle
Yet another RN led evacuation without RAF air cover.
This afternoon and probably still ongoing, although the Grad are on it.
Okay a bit tongue in cheek on my part, but hey seriously!! How soon could the RAF have put an "umbrella" over downtown Libya this Sunday afternoon? (Stands to be put in place here but I'm guessing we have on a Sunday afternoon absolutely nothing sober from the RAF that could have helped if it had got nasty).


Royal Navy evacuates Britons from Libya amid fierce fighting | World news | The Guardian


(Its 2649km from a point in Northern England, near the Yorkshire Airbase I have I mind, to Tripoli. According to Google Maps anyway- have we got an aircraft in the RAF that can fly, loiter, drop a bomb - do something useful, and then get back to the UK?)
Is that the best that you can do? Seriously?
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Old 4th Aug 2014, 09:34
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It's the wrong time of year. The unit based on Cyprus to deal with such situations is currently on operations in the UK.



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Old 4th Aug 2014, 16:38
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Well, they did it and got away with it.

Nothing much in the papers about it this afternoon, so I suppose they got away with it again. No, not much of an axe to grind to you naysayers above, just thought I'd speak up for the junior people on the ship - these sorts of things can go so very wrongly for the RN, as we have seen before in recent years and its usually the juniors who have to pay for it. Just strikes me as a risky thing to do, to send a lightly armed survey ship inshore to do a warship + marines job that's all. I speak from experience, happily now I'm a civvy I can watch from afar,from the cheap seats. If we have the "4th largest defence budget in the world", as I keep hearing, its not much of a show to achieve the result, is it?
And I'm sorry, but again, I would have thought that as a part of the planning process for a mission like this, multi-service operations staff would factor in some sort of air support if the situation had become difficult for the survey ship.
Anyway, well done the RN and others involved.
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Old 4th Aug 2014, 17:07
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Unfortunately, warships and marines are in short supply in the RAF
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Old 4th Aug 2014, 17:44
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Not as bad as the air cover for the defence of Crete in May 1941. The RAF had (in theory) 12 Gladiators, 6 Hurricanes and 12 Blenheim F1s. The Luftwaffe fielded Luftflotte IV with 248 fighters, 264 Bombers, and 392 Stukas which supported XI Fleigerkorps with 530 Ju52 and 69 gliders. Needless to say, the Luftwaffe controlled the skies and sank many warships that had run out of AAA ammunition.


The army recommended the RN not to risk more ships for the evacuation of Allied forces. Adm A.B. Cunningham in charge of the Mediterranean fleet answered: "It takes 3 years to build a ship - it takes 300 years to build a tradition. We will go". Over 10,000 troops were evacuated back to Alexandria as a result (and more ships went to the bottom). Talk about leadership!!!!
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Old 4th Aug 2014, 17:50
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Hangarshuffle said:
And I'm sorry, but again, I would have thought that as a part of the planning process for a mission like this, multi-service operations staff would factor in some sort of air support if the situation had become difficult for the survey ship.
Anyway, well done the RN and others involved.
How do you know air support wasn't factored in? I'm assuming you're not on the list of peeps that would be briefed on the remit and extent of the mission, and/or the contingent forces assigned to it?

Trust me, it will have been planned for.

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