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School of Air Operations Control

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School of Air Operations Control

Old 6th Apr 2017, 12:53
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School of Air Operations Control

I realise that this thread should perhaps reside in 'Aviation History and Nostalgia' but as it is recent almost contemporary RAF, I will try here.

When did the Royal Air Force Central Air Traffic Control School become the School of Air Operations Control, and why?
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Old 6th Apr 2017, 13:10
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The change was made last year to reflect the Flight Operations element of the school. It will probably change again at some point in the future when a new building is eventually constructed at Shawbury and SAOC is merged with SABM (School of Aerospace Battle Management) currently at Boulmer - but I wouldn't hold your breath because there's no money. Perhaps pr00ne and others can suggest a suitably amusing name for the new combined school?

MATOman
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Old 6th Apr 2017, 13:26
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The School of Hit and Miss.
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Old 6th Apr 2017, 15:39
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We aren't allowed to use the word "miss" anymore. It's gender specific. I think the correct term would have to be "failed hit"
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Old 6th Apr 2017, 16:22
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Nah, "failed" is too strong for snowflakes - "deferred" maybe?
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Old 6th Apr 2017, 16:46
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So the Typhoon carries non-hittiles?
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Old 6th Apr 2017, 16:49
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Originally Posted by Tocsin View Post
Nah, "failed" is too strong for snowflakes - "deferred" maybe?
"deferred" used to be the lowest possible precedence on a signal (remember F.Sigs.52?). Originally the precedences were Flash, Emergency, Operational Immediate, Priority, Routine and Deferred. These were "rationalised" in the 1960s and became Flash, Immediate, Priority and Routine.
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Old 6th Apr 2017, 17:22
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Originally Posted by Herod View Post
We aren't allowed to use the word "miss" anymore. It's gender specific. I think the correct term would have to be "failed hit"
Warning shot would be close to the mark!
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Old 6th Apr 2017, 17:24
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To hit or not to hit, that is the question.
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Old 6th Apr 2017, 22:07
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If we're talking Flt Ops then surely it is "School of O2 Thieves"?
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Old 6th Apr 2017, 23:26
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If we're talking Flt Ops then surely it is "School of O2 Thieves"?
Wasn't the Flt Ops course done at FOTS, which more than one wag suggested was an acronym for Failed Other Training Schools
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Old 7th Apr 2017, 14:55
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Originally Posted by ricardian View Post
"deferred" used to be the lowest possible precedence on a signal (remember F.Sigs.52?). Originally the precedences were Flash, Emergency, Operational Immediate, Priority, Routine and Deferred. These were "rationalised" in the 1960s and became Flash, Immediate, Priority and Routine.
Every day's a learning day - I didn't know the 'old' precedences. (I was thinking of the vogue for calling failed exams a "deferred success")
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Old 7th Apr 2017, 19:21
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PC Madness

Originally Posted by Wensleydale View Post
The School of Hit and Miss.
Hit - far too agressive, so perhaps 'coming together'.

Miss - sexist, non-PC.

Deferred - suggests something not attained, and in these days of 'joint winners' et al, why not 'stopping things' - after all, ATC has been referred to as the 'flying prevention society'.
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Old 7th Apr 2017, 22:14
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2017 will see the emergence of the new Air Operations Branch, encompassing ATC and FC. The Battlespace Management Force HQ should stand up this month, AFAIK.

The Flying Prevention Branch will become a subset
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Old 8th Apr 2017, 13:42
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Originally Posted by MPN11 View Post
2017 will see the emergence of the new Air Operations Branch, encompassing ATC and FC. The Battlespace Management Force HQ should stand up this month, AFAIK.

The Flying Prevention Branch will become a subset
Casting my mind a long way back to when I was at school and leafing through glossy brochures from the various Branches, I seem to recall FC had a hierarchy that went something like Weapons Ctrl - Identification (IDO -Surveillance now) - SAM Ctrl if you couldn't do either of the others. Will such a hierarchy of competence exist in the new Branch? And if so, what does that do for morale of those in the perceived 'bottom set'? Or, recognising that people blossom at different times and rates (arguably one of the reasons people get chopped, they just pick things up at a slower rate rather than not being able to pick it up at all), will people be able to move between sub-specialisations?
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Old 8th Apr 2017, 15:12
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In my humble opinion, Air Traffic Control is not a military task, and could/should be privatised, just as SAR was.

Fighter Control and Ops Spt are, and I am not surprised that they are emerging as the lead elements.

While I am on my high horse, if the ATC (sub-) branch is to go, could they please take QFE with them! Let's join the rest of the world on QNH!
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Old 8th Apr 2017, 17:01
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I watched the locals at Basrah controlling, well that was one definition for what they were attempting. And as for Bastion who was going to do the controlling, contractors?
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Old 8th Apr 2017, 18:03
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Casting my mind a long way back to when I was at school and leafing through glossy brochures from the various Branches, I seem to recall FC had a hierarchy that went something like Weapons Ctrl - Identification (IDO -Surveillance now) - SAM Ctrl if you couldn't do either of the others.
Back in the 1970s everyone in the FC branch started off as a Fighter Controller (FC) then went on to become a Cheif Controller (CC) and then a Control Executive (CONEX). Along the way you could also pick up identification qualifiacations such as Display Controller and NATO Evaluation officer (EO).

if during initial training you couldn't pass the course you were chopped; if it considered this was for lack of capacity though you were still safe (i.e. You could safely keep aircraft apart - but could not simultaneously bring the required ones together at the same time), you were offered ATC and sent off to Shawbury.

The problem with this system was that the failure rate averaged around 80%. As a result the branch was redesigned with 2 streams - Control and Reporting.

After initial evaluation recruits were either streamed as Controllers or Identification and Reporting Officers - IDROs (If you want to be an IDRO clap your hands! - swing hands wildly towards each other and miss). Controllers went Intercept Controller (IC) then Fighter Allocator (FA - new name for CC); Reporters went IDRO then Track Production Officer (TPO - new name for DC); then branch recombining at Master Controller (MC - new name for CONEX). The Reporting stream picked up EO and then new qualification of Data Link Manager (DLM).

The new qualifications had to be given by someone, so in the early days some of the old hands acquired the new qualifications along with the old.

ORAC - FC, CC, DC, EO, IC, FA, IDRO, TPO, DLM, MC (plus various CQ and LEO tickets).

I did do a one year "bad boy" tour as an Ops Officer at LU including 4 months as Ops 1 and South Atlantic SFSO at Stanley as well - but that's another story......
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Old 9th Apr 2017, 12:55
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On the subject of QFE, it's not the air traffickers that want to retain it, rather the 2 winged master race in 22 Gp.

During my time instructing at CATCS I do not recall any failed FC being given a second chance as an air trafficker; as a general rule, if you do not have the aptitude to get them together then the same applies to accurately keeping them apart. Then there is all that stuff about coping with multiple inputs, allocation of priorites, etc, etc, skills which apply to both disciplines
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Old 9th Apr 2017, 14:02
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On the subject of QFE, it's not the air traffickers that want to retain it, rather the 2 winged master race in 22 Gp.
Hmm perhaps because it is aircrew who rely on it when working hard in the cockpit as opposed to ATC sunning themselves on their a*ses in the tower
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