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"Dumbing down" RAF Officers?

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"Dumbing down" RAF Officers?

Old 30th Dec 2015, 14:08
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"Dumbing down" RAF Officers?

It's not the length that counts apparently, it's what you do with the end product!
Fears over ?dumbed down? RAF training | The Times
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Old 30th Dec 2015, 14:18
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Some would argue that we already....oh I don't really know how to finish this sentence
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Old 30th Dec 2015, 14:20
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My generation had only 18 weeks of IOT to prepare us for commissioned service so we must have all been jolly ropey......
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Old 30th Dec 2015, 14:22
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Interesting thrust in the article that a shorter IOT will impact on pilots ability to operate sophisticated aircraft. I wasn't aware flying training was part of IOT.
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Old 30th Dec 2015, 14:31
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I'd be more worried about the dumbing down of flying training!!
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Old 30th Dec 2015, 14:54
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Oh FFS! We had a 24-week course that was very effective just 15 years ago when I left the DIOT staff. It was reformed into a 33-week course (although 2 of those weeks are inter-term leave periods, I believe) to expand the military doctrine knowledge of the officer cadets and introduce rigorous academic learning supported by KCL - thus bringing it more into line with the RN and the Army. Those two aspects were planned to be provided through-life as one's career developed and higher rank ensued, thereby preparing better and earlier RAF officers (like their counterparts in the other two services) for higher command in Joint appointments. Sound logic even if there were slight flaws in the philosophy espoused by the man (a wg cdr educator) who wrote and implemented the paper! With a drop off in recruitment requirements over the past few years and rather too many pilots in the pipeline (that resulted in a number of u/t pilot redundancies about 5 years ago) the course was successful if somewhat underutilized. Recruiting is now back on the rise and there is, it seems if you are to believe the Times article, a shortage of pilots.

So what does the RAF decide to do - reverse the whole process as a matter of expediency! Well b**ger me!

When will we ever learn! How many times have we run a redundancy scheme and then realized that the sums are wrong, or we have lost our middle management experience or...

So let's reverse the IOT (sorry OACTU now) course back to what it was when I left my post in 2000 (it actually changed to 33 weeks in about 2006) and throw the baby out with the bath water yet again!


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Old 30th Dec 2015, 14:56
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Roland you beat me to it.

In my day it was 18 weeks too - but of course, we had it tough!

During my time as a QFI, I can't say that I noticed any improvement in 'OQs' despite the longer IOT and the prevalence of graduates. We didn't get Sandhurst graduates in the FJ stream but the Dartmouth JOs always had the edge.
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Old 30th Dec 2015, 15:06
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Bring back NCO pilots!
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Old 30th Dec 2015, 15:27
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I'd be less concerned about tinkering with IOT where we train our junior officers for dealing with the foundational stages of their first couple of tours, and more concerned with our major failure to educate more senior personnel at senior flt lt upwards.

What you pick up in IOT should be a building block for the first few years, nothing more. But I think we're really patchy at the higher level concepts and thinking. I came through the ISS / JOCC route, so don't know what JOD is like these days, but ICSC was more about jumping through hoops and 'hitting the pink' than it was about real thinking and intellectual rigour. And given the relative difficulty of getting an ACSC slot, that's a lot of individuals going about their business, often representing the RAF and UK in a wider environment, who are relying on their own knowledge and experience to get the job done unsupported by academic or conceptual education.

We put the onus too much individuals to use ELCs, become autodidacts, without necessarily harnessing it or giving them the support, time and space to do it. And you can't just flick a switch to turn on that sort of thinking, it has to be developed over time, with individuals able to observe and understand the world they are operating in, and their place and role with in it. That's what will bite us in the arse in the longer term, a lack of strategic appreciation and higher level thinking not a couple of extra months at Cranwell.
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Old 30th Dec 2015, 16:04
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With 6 years seniority I requested JCSS or whatever and was told I was too senior as I had passed ISS. 3 years later I was posted to JCSS. I declined citing the previous refusal as I was now married with 2 children and 3 dogs.
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Old 30th Dec 2015, 16:17
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I recall that when I did IOT (mid '70s) it was a 16 week course at Henlow for Direct Entry cadets but for university cadetship graduates it was 14 weeks at Cranwell although we did also do a 2 week course there prior to starting at UAS so still had 16 weeks training in total. So how did we fare? One of my entry became CAS and I have (except for a couple of years with an airline) flown military aircraft continuously ever since. 14/16 weeks seems to have worked!
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Old 30th Dec 2015, 16:27
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In 1960 it was 18 weeks and the UAS intake joined us halfway through so it was about 9 weeks for them.
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Old 30th Dec 2015, 16:39
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I never found the need to participate in any adult literacy courses after having completed RAFC training. A year as a Flight Cadet, 4 years at university and another year as a Graduate Entrant seemed sufficient.

I declined the 'C' exam as I could tell that its days were numbered. My boss didn't share my opinion; however, as it turned out, I was right and he was wrong!

The GE scheme was quite reasonable before RAFC went comprehensive and those frlghtful oiks, who would otherwise have been sent to that place in Bedfordshire, were let in. Having already had some somewhat osmotic exposure to the RAF during our UAS time, we only had 3 months of marching about, leadership training (which seemed to centre on carrying logs across Northumberland) and the like. Then 9 months learning to fly the Jet Provost before the graduation and wings parade.

In later years, more and more weeks seemed to be becoming added to officer training, with more and more hours being knocked off the flying training syllabus.

Now I read that the snake oil salesmen plan to have fewer T-6C trainers than we had Chipmunks at ULAS. Will that really work?
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Old 30th Dec 2015, 17:19
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When I did SERE it was 4 weeks but is now the last third of IOT.
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Old 30th Dec 2015, 17:31
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Frankly IOT is mostly a waste if what you want is pilots. In 24 weeks I learnt some things I use every day (defence writing), some stuff every 2 years (rifle drill) and most of it never (office sim being a particularly useless section). I reckon a short sharp shock and straight into flying training would probably hit the spot for most drivers aeroplanes with some top up officer stuff for the worthy later on.
Old 30th Dec 2015, 18:15
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Best thing I learned at IOT was how to iron a shirt.

The bonus being that it was taught to me on a one-to-one basis by a member of "G" Flight. Having first creased the shirt . . . . . . . .
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Old 30th Dec 2015, 18:24
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There's no story here....move along now, move along!
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Old 30th Dec 2015, 18:45
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Best thing I learned at IOT was how to iron a shirt.
Although ironing a tie seemed a little superfluous, as did putting creases in the elbow patches of a wooly pully.

On the other hand it prepares one for a job where one regularly encounters people for whom inconsequentialities take on mountainous importance.
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Old 30th Dec 2015, 18:51
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If reducing the course to 24 weeks is dumbing down, we must have been very dumb indeed when it was 18 wks!
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Old 30th Dec 2015, 19:14
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GM, after 3 months one my first sqn I was made sqn adjt and my first job was to create a nominal role.

Hadn't got a clue.

After advice took the draft to the typing pool; asked when I could check it. The Pakistani pool manager drew himself up and said there would be no errors. He was right.

That was on Gan.
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