Go Back  PPRuNe Forums > Aircrew Forums > Military Aviation
Reload this Page >

POSSIBLE BOULMER CLOSURE

Military Aviation A forum for the professionals who fly military hardware. Also for the backroom boys and girls who support the flying and maintain the equipment, and without whom nothing would ever leave the ground. All armies, navies and air forces of the world equally welcome here.

POSSIBLE BOULMER CLOSURE

Old 13th Oct 2016, 20:38
  #1 (permalink)  
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Apr 2002
Location: scotland
Posts: 490
POSSIBLE BOULMER CLOSURE

If as rumoured Boulmer closes as the MOD don't think that there is a need for a hardened Bunker, would this make sense, or would it be madness?
KPax is offline  
Old 13th Oct 2016, 20:51
  #2 (permalink)  
I don't own this space under my name. I should have leased it while I still could
 
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: Lincolnshire
Age: 76
Posts: 16,606
In the cold light of day it is probably not madness.

Back in the day the mission was to defend the nuclear deterrent. After 1982 it continued more out of habit. 26 years after the cold war things have changed out of all recognition. Russian conventional forces are not capable of a massive air assault on UK and at the same time the number of military target has reducecd greatly.

OTOH the political threat of nuclear attack is very real and our defence wholly on counter attack.
Pontius Navigator is offline  
Old 13th Oct 2016, 22:30
  #3 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: Darling - where are we?
Posts: 2,494
Originally Posted by Pontius Navigator View Post
In the cold light of day it is probably not madness.

Back in the day the mission was to defend the nuclear deterrent. After 1982 it continued more out of habit. 26 years after the cold war things have changed out of all recognition. Russian conventional forces are not capable of a massive air assault on UK and at the same time the number of military target has reducecd greatly.

OTOH the political threat of nuclear attack is very real and our defence wholly on counter attack.
PN,

If I were playing Devil's advocate I'd say your comment on Russian conventional forces applies equally to us, but we are still taken seriously. It doesn't need a massive air assault, just a couple of ALCMs launched from miles off the coast but inside the UKADR on to key targets and there's probably not much that could be done about it. Can you imagine the headlines as the armchair Air Marshals with their encyclopaedic grasp of military matters if the likes of Boulmer was closed? Degraded Air Defences, an insult to the Few etc etc, regardless of the reality.
Melchett01 is offline  
Old 14th Oct 2016, 08:29
  #4 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: London
Age: 40
Posts: 731
Bunkers are great for a small range of legacy jobs that need hardened accommodation and an ability to ride out a blast for a short period of time. For all other purposes they present an enormous pain in the backside in terms of facility management, upgrading and keeping going.

I suspect crossed wires here - BOULMER will almost certainly stay open, but perhaps the question is whether to build a new building or not. Having been inside it, I'm not sure what military advantage having it in a bunker offers in the current threat environment. Yes I know someone will go "BUT THE RUSSIANS", to which my view would be 'if the Russians are launching strikes on the UK mainland, then we all have a very short time to live".
Jimlad1 is offline  
Old 14th Oct 2016, 08:53
  #5 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Among these dark Satanic mills
Posts: 1,175
I thought this might be a revival of an old thread from various points in the last 20 years...suffice to say that Boulmer has weathered every storm so far and I suspect it will again!
TorqueOfTheDevil is offline  
Old 14th Oct 2016, 09:16
  #6 (permalink)  
I don't own this space under my name. I should have leased it while I still could
 
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: Lincolnshire
Age: 76
Posts: 16,606
Jimlad, quite, it was the bunker I was addressing. Melchett, there is no realistic, ie economical, counter to a cruise missile. An island may be penetrated from any direction. Any window or door may be hit.

The only defence is attack, or threat thereof.
Pontius Navigator is offline  
Old 14th Oct 2016, 10:01
  #7 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: Welwyn Garden City
Age: 59
Posts: 1,181
Boulmer was my first posting after West Drayton, in 1978. So is the R3 not being used any longer? Pardon my ignorance of the current situation, but have they moved to an interim facility on the top?

I have some nostalgic memories of the austere accommodation at Boulmer, rough cast white painted buildings like Holiday Chalets.

FB
Finningley Boy is offline  
Old 14th Oct 2016, 14:28
  #8 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Bomber County
Age: 69
Posts: 154
Perhaps they could build some portacabins above ground and call it the "Boulmer Interim Fit".


Radar101
HQ11Gp GE Training Suppot early '90s
radar101 is offline  
Old 14th Oct 2016, 14:44
  #9 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: France
Age: 75
Posts: 6,364
Sounds like Neatishead in 84
Wander00 is offline  
Old 18th Oct 2016, 19:23
  #10 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: Welwyn Garden City
Age: 59
Posts: 1,181
Indeed Wander00, and we all recall the reason, despite the various versions, why Neatishead was up top for so long!

FB
Finningley Boy is offline  
Old 18th Oct 2016, 19:32
  #11 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: France
Age: 75
Posts: 6,364
I just recall being President of the T/O Board that received the refurbished bunker
Wander00 is offline  
Old 18th Oct 2016, 19:54
  #12 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Hotel Gypsy
Posts: 2,830
Perhaps they could relocate to Trumpton or Blackdog or, God forbid, Swanwick?

Perhaps, they could completely amalgamate with the ATC chaps?
Cows getting bigger is offline  
Old 18th Oct 2016, 20:42
  #13 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Sep 2000
Location: The Road to Nowhere
Posts: 1,006
Finningley Boy, you are a little behind the times. The Boulmer Interim Facility closed as a CRC in the early 90s,though the buildings were re-used for a bit by No 1 ACC. The bunker at Boulmer has subsequently been the home to CRCs using first the ICCS* then UCCS** and now UCCS2*** (or CERBERUS). The second CRC in current use is at Scampton in an above ground facility (in the building where the Damn Busters Raid was briefed); this also operates as No 1 ACC.

Back to the original question, Boulmer is now the only underground facility operated solely as an AD facility (although the National Air Defence Operations Centre operates out of the RAF High Wycombe Bunker).

When the decision was taken to close Neatishead in 2002(?), the common line stated was that in the event of a resurgent Russia, the UK would have 10 years to return to underground operations. What no-one has ever explained is how we know when the 10 years starts - Russia taken over by an unchallenged President who builds a power base to the extent that he is able to change the constitution so that he can remain in power in perpetuity, then invades a candidate member of NATO and starts throwing his weight around in the Middle East? Well those of us being taceval'd during the Cold War will recall scenarios that started a bit like that, but which many considered far-fetched.

As far as basing is concerned, few places are safe. I would put money on Waddington, Wyton, Lossiemouth, Brize Norton and High Wycombe staying - for obvious reasons. I have no ability whatsoever to influence the decision-making - this is a rumour network after all. I await developments with the same interest (and frustration) as many others in (and outside of) the Service.

STH


*ICCS - Improved United Kingdom Air Defence Ground Environment Command and Control System (Built by UK Systems Limited).
**UCCS - UK Command and Control System (Built by IBM).
***UCCS2 - UCCS 2015/16 tech refresh (Project CERBERUS) (Built by IBM).
SirToppamHat is offline  
Old 18th Oct 2016, 21:06
  #14 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Darkest Surrey
Posts: 5,995
Yes I know someone will go "BUT THE RUSSIANS", to which my view would be 'if the Russians are launching strikes on the UK mainland, then we all have a very short time to live".
Reminds me of the secret bases website where Daily FAIL was complaining the Enemy will know where all the bases are. A swift reply from a senior uniformed officr was "OH They know all of them anyway" put The Fail to flight
racedo is offline  
Old 19th Oct 2016, 07:00
  #15 (permalink)  
Ecce Homo! Loquitur...
 
Join Date: Jul 2000
Location: Peripatetic
Posts: 10,058
The security of the bunker is illusory anyway. The upgrading of the bunkers done during the 80s was designed to make them survivable against improving Soviet Warhead CEP; by the time it was finished the CEP was such none of the bunkers were survivable against a warhead anyway. Modern conventional "buster bunkers" designed for far more protected bunkers would also make short work of them.

Mobility and dispersal is now far more survivable, and the entire computer power of the original UKADGE with links into the distributed radar and comms system is possible on an tablet PC. I would have thought the larger problem was classrooms and domestic accom and logistic support - and after successive rounds of closures it must be increasingly hard to squeeze any more units into anywhere.

Last edited by ORAC; 19th Oct 2016 at 09:52.
ORAC is offline  
Old 19th Oct 2016, 08:43
  #16 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: Norfolk
Posts: 1,008
That's an easy one ORAC - you just reduce the size of the number of units

Arc
Arclite01 is offline  
Old 19th Oct 2016, 11:15
  #17 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Dec 2000
Location: Where the heart belongs
Age: 51
Posts: 308
Radar101,

We have probably met; I completed the Q-GE-MR course in '91 followed by 6 years on the 91 at Staxton.
Sideshow Bob is offline  

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us Archive Advertising Cookie Policy Privacy Statement Terms of Service

Copyright 2018 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.