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Group Captain Carol Vorderman

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Group Captain Carol Vorderman

Old 25th Nov 2014, 10:59
  #101 (permalink)  

Gentleman Aviator
 
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the very best forecasting service in one of the most difficult environments on earth.
One recalls a metman many years ago (Linton-on-Ouse? Syerston?) theorising that "British Unflappability" was a direct result of our notoriously unpredictable weather. On the principle that if we put up with the weather, nothing much else will faze us.

Seems reasonable to me - can't imagine what excitable Italians (other national stereotypes are available) would do in the face of our weather.
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Old 25th Nov 2014, 11:11
  #102 (permalink)  
 
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Met Office New Super Computer
97m supercomputer makes UK world-leader in weather and climate science - Met Office


Talking about this in the pub one wag commented that with all this new computing power they (the Met Office) will be able to get their forecasts wrong quicker!
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Old 25th Nov 2014, 12:53
  #103 (permalink)  
 
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I swear that what follows is true.

I went on many field deployments with the Met. wagon. Most of these were joint NATO, or AFCENT or Northag. I was also UK TACEVAL rep. shafting NATO bases for three years.

I was constantly asked "how do you guys do that?" by Americans, Canadians, Germans, Italians and Danes. "That" was ordinary workaday forecasts of night minimum temperature, day max, fog formation, rain timing, bread and butter stuff.

We were NOT asked by the Belgians or the Dutch. Why not?

The latter two sent their some of field forecasters to the Met Office College to train, where they learned not to rely on crude computer predictions orginating in the USA or indeed anywhere else.

To this day the UK computer is a tool, and not an oracle, for the guidance of the wise, not the obedience of fools. As each model improves on its predecessor, so the fools can slowly take over of course.
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Old 25th Nov 2014, 14:57
  #104 (permalink)  
 
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"Does it always rain up here in the Lakes ?"..."Nah, sometimes it snaws !"

teeteringhead,

(Your #112): "On the principle that if we put up with the weather, nothing much else will faze us".

Why do you suppose that our ancestors sallied forth and colonised most of the known world ? - they couldn't put up with the weather back here any longer, that's why !

D.
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Old 25th Nov 2014, 15:16
  #105 (permalink)  
 
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Salad-dodger,

You have no idea of the excitement you can get from understanding geostrophic winds, thickness levels and entropy.

A well plotted tephigram is frankly a work of art, and if you can accurately calculate the MINTRA level, well whoaaaaaa, that's like giving your average crewman a 3 month old copy of The Sun when he's been on det for 5 months.
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Old 25th Nov 2014, 16:45
  #106 (permalink)  
 
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after what I thought had been a cracking tour serving 2,4,19 and 92 at RAF Guetersloh, my last briefing in front of the 1000 bomber raid-type assembly was followed by the Staish:

"Thanks for everything, now we won't need to adjust your contrail forecasts for your personal [and constant] error".

Now he tells me!

Last edited by langleybaston; 25th Nov 2014 at 16:47. Reason: error
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Old 25th Nov 2014, 17:14
  #107 (permalink)  
 
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Forgive me but I can't be bothered to read all 6 pages but I wish to air a few points. I just hope that they haven't already been covered and stand ready to take flak if they have.

For Yozzer who said:

I reckon its time that a variation of rank badge
Rank badge or not it's the VRT on her lapels that denotes her relative position in this regard!

For others:

It might surprise you to know that all VRT officers undergo a Cranwell-endorsed OT course within their squadrons and then have to pass a 2-week intensive IOTC at RAFC Cranwell before they are commission confirmed! The whole process can take over 2 years to complete and there are no 'gizzits' or Green Shield passes! I have, in a previous incarnation, suspended VRT officers from their training as a result of poor progress or lack of suitability!

I have no great wish to see ranks inflated on a popularity vote but the role of 'ambassador' is, I am sure you would agree, better served in a senior position rather than in that of a junior officer no matter their previous credentials!

Bloggs
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Old 25th Nov 2014, 17:39
  #108 (permalink)  
 
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Things have changed since I got my commission then. I was commissioned as acting Plt Off and had to satisfactorily complete a 1 week Initial Officers Course at Newton within 12 months. After 12 months and course completed, I was promoted to Fg Off.
On being given command of a Squadron, I was promoted to acting Flt Lt and once again had to satisfactorily complete a 1 week Senior Officers course at Newton.
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Old 25th Nov 2014, 18:31
  #109 (permalink)  

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It might surprise you to know that all VRT officers undergo a Cranwell-endorsed OT course within their squadrons and then have to pass a 2-week intensive IOTC at RAFC Cranwell before they are commission confirmed!
Things have indeed changed chevvron, but not as much as Bloggs suggests.

Not all Sqns have a "Cranwell-endorsed OT course" embedded - the better ones do have local training, but it is not mandatory, nor is it officially "endorsed" by HQAC at Cranwell. If it were, it would be mandatory.

The VR(T) candidates do go through OASC - but without medical and fitness test. OASC grades them in a "batting order", but the yes/no decision is made by one of the Regional Commandants or the HQAC COS, who acts as overall Board Chairman. They then wear the insignia of Officer Cadets - white tabs and cap band - until their commission is confirmed after the one week initial course at the ACO Adult Training Facility (ATF) at Cranwell. They are then Pilot Officers. When appointed as Sqn Cdrs, they undergo another one week course at ATF before they are paid in the rank of Flt Lt (Fg Off is time promotion at present).

Apart from OASC, not that different from that which chevvron describes.....
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Old 25th Nov 2014, 22:35
  #110 (permalink)  
 
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I have no great wish to see ranks inflated on a popularity vote but the role of 'ambassador' is, I am sure you would agree, better served in a senior position rather than in that of a junior officer no matter their previous credentials!
In which case give the role to someone with relevant experience and credibility from within the service. There are plenty of ACMs, AMs and AVMs happy to serve as Fg Offs on AEFs, I'm sure you could find one happy to step down to Gp Capt. However, if you are going to effectively turn the role in to a marketing position by giving it to somebody on the basis of their media access and credentials, it doesn't need to come with a commission regardless of who they are or how well they fill the uniform.
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Old 25th Nov 2014, 22:47
  #111 (permalink)  
 
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CV looks a hell of a lot better in her uniform than my old matron did.
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Old 26th Nov 2014, 10:21
  #112 (permalink)  
 
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I’m pretty sure I will rattle a few cages with this post but do so without any qualms. I served 17 good years in the Air Force leaving as a Sergeant with a reasonably good write-up. I have remained in aviation ever since and worked and played with many former and serving RAF types in my civilian life; commissioned and non commissioned alike.

My RAF experience in fact moulded my entire career, my early background as an ATC Cadet then a Boy Entrant being pointers to my early commitment. On the family side, My father was an Air Gunner in WWII and later (after I was enlisted as a Boy Entrant) was commissioned in the VR(T) branch later still becoming a Squadron Commander. Oh, just on the side my Grandfather was a RNAS CPO in the engineering branch during WWI.

I have always held the Air Force in high esteem but, reading this topic has left me dismayed and wondering where many, a percentage at least whom I assume have a military background, have come from.

To read many of the comments here one would be excused believing that an honorary appointment is something new in British military structure; it is not, although admittedly more frequently encountered with the army and then mostly filled by Royals. It needs be considered that an appointee to an honorary position, especially in the Air Force where honorary appointments are few, is generally of one who has a profile and ethos that places them in a position of respect and has been selected to fill that position by virtue of what is hoped that individual can bring to the table. There are great expectations of the chosen individual who gets no payment for filling the post though he or she can be expected to devote quite some time furthering the needs of their specific field of interest. I would also fully expect to find Group Captain Vorderman has to dip into her own resources from time to time.

There are some rather distracting comparisons posted here. To me there seem to be many not thinking this out in rational terms and there is an awful lot of comparing apples with oranges. Typically “there are plenty of ACMs, AMs and AVMs happy to serve as Fg Offs on AEF”. True certainly but (and I stand to be corrected here) I believe they will draw pay for periods of official duty, and I think it is also pretty reasonable to suggest their interest is as much in flying for the sheer pleasure of it as for youth work. I venture to suggest it would be hard to find an ACM, AM or AVM who has the skill set, personality, network of contacts and experience that those making the appointment identified as desirable when appointing Group Captain Vorderman

Then there are the rants by some that she should attend formal basic training in order to carry the rank and wear the uniform. I rather suspect she has plenty of advisers guiding her on necessary subtleties’ and anyhow, at the end of the day, she is not going to take parades, march in file or listen to charges, it’s not part of her remit. Nor is she the cause of people stagnating in promotion lists or jumping the waiting list for an OMQ. She is a person who has been appointed to a position that has its’ own rather special requirements and guidelines. She wears her uniform well and in fact looks better turned out than many serving officers.

The following words alone makes her deserving of some respect “Ms Vorderman, 53, has long been associated with RAF linked charities including the Royal Air Forces Association, the RAF Benevolent Fund and the Bomber Command Memorial committee, leading the Salute Area in Green Park when the Queen unveiled the memorial in June 2012.”

I really think people should look at the issue with a little more perspective rather than let their own petty gripes or insecurities get the better of them.

Per ardua ad astra

Last edited by Q-RTF-X; 26th Nov 2014 at 11:45.
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Old 26th Nov 2014, 10:40
  #113 (permalink)  
 
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Didn't ruffle my feathers - very well put, I thought Q-RTF-X

About the only negative re Gp Capt Vordeman's appointment I can think of is my suspicion that her standing as a science/technology role model, esp to young women, is perhaps best recognised by an age-group slightly older than that targeted by the RAF or ATC for recruitment. But thats small stuff: overall, I'm in favour.

I see Gp Capt Sir Chris Hoy is another such ambassador appointment. Haven't heard any odd remarks about that one....
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Old 26th Nov 2014, 11:04
  #114 (permalink)  

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I see Gp Capt Sir Chris Hoy is another such ambassador appointment. Haven't heard any odd remarks about that one....
Although I did hear a remark from a lady (sic) that she'd like to see Sir Chris' bum in tight mess kit trousers.......
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Old 26th Nov 2014, 11:11
  #115 (permalink)  
 
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As this thread is discussing many aspects of honorary ranks in the RAF, may be allowed to invade to ask a question which I have wondered about for many years.

A friend of mine, sadly no longer with us, was a medical doctor and held a fairly high position in the Biological Warfare Establishment at Porton. As such he traveled extensively and, whenever possible, he had to use RAF transport for security reasons. As a civil servant he told me that he held an honorary rank of Air Commodore and often speculated that, in the unlikely event of a diversion when civilian passengers had to be put up overnight, that he might have to take responsibility for them as the senior officer on board. Presumably in the air, the captain would be in command.

Was this just conjecture on his part or could it have happened?
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Old 26th Nov 2014, 11:30
  #116 (permalink)  
 
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And what about the good old days when we actually had hospitals. Was not unusual to see an air rank surgeon or whatever propped up against the bar with junior ranks on first name terms. I would not have though any of them had done much of the Cranwell experience. I remember it always irked one particular Stn Cdr at Halton when he was put in his place by a higher rank when he had a go over Friday night shenanigans in the nurses bar. Always reminded me a bit like MASH.
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Old 26th Nov 2014, 11:59
  #117 (permalink)  
 
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As a very junior Assistant Experimental Officer I was posted to RAF Nicosia in 1961 and informed at Hendon [on 1st April!] that I was senior officer passenger on the Britannia and handed a brief case of despatches to deliver.

I had never met Equivalent Military Rank before. I managed to slope shoulders, a skill that I worked on thereafter.

The idea of being i/c hairy a*sed WOs was terrifying [and still is].

Last edited by langleybaston; 26th Nov 2014 at 12:00. Reason: censored
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Old 26th Nov 2014, 13:20
  #118 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by pulse1 View Post
As a civil servant he told me that he held an honorary rank of Air Commodore and often speculated that, in the unlikely event of a diversion when civilian passengers had to be put up overnight, that he might have to take responsibility for them as the senior officer on board.
I suspect he meant that he had an equivalent military rank, as mentioned by langleybaston above, rather than an honorary rank.
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Old 26th Nov 2014, 15:22
  #119 (permalink)  
 
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CV looks a hell of a lot better in her uniform than my old matron did. - Air Pig

Only "in"!?

Jack
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Old 26th Nov 2014, 15:44
  #120 (permalink)  
 
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Will being an honorary Gp Capt. assist CV in her solo round the world flight?

Ps, I too think she will be an asset and wish her all the best.
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