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RPAS Gongs

Old 21st Sep 2017, 06:41
  #61 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by upsdaisy View Post
I am speaking with experience, I have operated both manned and unmanned platforms over the same theatres.
Do kinetic capable RPAS crews deserve recognition? Yes.
Do they deserve a medal? I personally do not think so, nor do I think any serviceman outside the theatre of operations warrants a medal.
A solution may be some form of RPAS medal, a single issue on completion of a full tour, otherwise in the current climate the medal count to RPAS crews would simply get ludicrous!

The drawback is that the "theatre of operations" is significantly bigger than drawn by this putative OSM Syria.
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Old 21st Sep 2017, 11:51
  #62 (permalink)  
 
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The Americans tried to award drone crews a medal for extraordinary achievement in 2013 - the Distinguished Warfare Medal. It didn't happen for 2 reasons:

1. It was ranked above the Bronze Star and Purple Heart which caused a huge Veteran's Lobby to rise up against it.

2. Drone Warfare is still vilified by a majority of the public, so there was little support for it.

However, the US Military have now made new distinctions for medal awards, be they in direct combat roles or remote ones:

RPAS crews, long range weapon system operators, cyber specialists and remote command groups can all be awarded medals:

Sailors, Marines Now Eligible for New Award Devices | Military.com

Is this the way the UK should go?
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Old 21st Sep 2017, 12:02
  #63 (permalink)  
 
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The idea of what happened with the South Atlantic Medal, with a rosette for service in the operational area, is proably too simple and straightforward (or expensive) for them.
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Old 21st Sep 2017, 17:27
  #64 (permalink)  
 
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Sorry, I just don't get it, they are not physically in theatre so are not in danger, like it or loathe it, even in the likes of Bastion you were not safe from attack, to award a medal to someone sitting in a portacabin in the uk where the worst danger they suffer is the possibility of piles or spilling their coffee in their lap just degrades the whole awards system to a meaningless bit of tin.
It also brings up the thorny question that it's not just pilots that get awarded campaign medals but also those in support, so are you going to present one to the guy that made his breakfast, changed the fuse on his monitor and cleaned the office, as they all played an part in processing the mission.
I watched the video in the command centre in Qatar on the Beeb news and couldn't believe that the AVM responsible for determining viable targets sitting at a screen in an air conditioned office was wearing a grow bag to do it. If anything I would give them a ribbon of some sort but not a physical medal, rather like the US does.

Last edited by NutLoose; 21st Sep 2017 at 18:38.
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Old 21st Sep 2017, 17:48
  #65 (permalink)  
 
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What you don't seem to understand is that these people are killing people on a daily basis on the orders of the state. Do you not think that this makes a huge difference?? Or is it as routine as cooking someone's breakfast or cleaning the toilet. Seriously, we really need to move out thinking into the 21st century and give these guys and girls the support they rightly deserve. Standby for a further drop in moral and increasing pvr rates. To say it is without risk is preposterous. Do we live in a world where mental health is not recognised like back in the First World War? PTSD area are rife among reaper crews both in the RAF and USAF and we still do not know what the long term affects will be.

When we normalise killing we have a problem. Wake up
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Old 21st Sep 2017, 19:14
  #66 (permalink)  
 
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Physical danger or not, that last post comes across as very disrespectful to a force that have been on 365 day ops for 10 years now without a break.
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Old 21st Sep 2017, 19:39
  #67 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by NutLoose View Post
Sorry, I just don't get it, they are not physically in theatre so are not in danger, like it or loathe it, even in the likes of Bastion you were not safe from attack, to award a medal to someone sitting in a portacabin in the uk where the worst danger they suffer is the possibility of piles or spilling their coffee in their lap just degrades the whole awards system to a meaningless bit of tin.
It also brings up the thorny question that it's not just pilots that get awarded campaign medals but also those in support, so are you going to present one to the guy that made his breakfast, changed the fuse on his monitor and cleaned the office, as they all played an part in processing the mission.
I watched the video in the command centre in Qatar on the Beeb news and couldn't believe that the AVM responsible for determining viable targets sitting at a screen in an air conditioned office was wearing a grow bag to do it. If anything I would give them a ribbon of some sort but not a physical medal, rather like the US does.
He's not an AVM - he is an Air Commodore and his job is to ensure compliance with UK rules of the road for anything that the UK strikes. One could be forgiven for thinking that the UK is running the campaign - it isn't. It is a US show and they wear growbags. He is playing their game.

This medal decision is one of the poorest I have come across during my 28 years of playing this game. It is simply pathetic.
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Old 21st Sep 2017, 20:01
  #68 (permalink)  
 
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Really does anyone really care what they are wearing? Why should a pilot not wear a flying suit? Perhaps it helps to make them feel more in the zone- whatever. There are more important issues at stake here. Agree full heartedly that this decision is a disaster and I cannot even comprehend how worthless these RPAS crews feel that their monumental efforts are
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Old 21st Sep 2017, 20:57
  #69 (permalink)  
 
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Camelspyder, personally I think it is disrespectful to the men and women that put themselves in harms way to expect a medal when one doesn't.

As the RPA pilots wings are I believe edged in blue to show they are not real pilots as such, perhaps a blue rosette or blue letters RPA on the ribbon and medal would appease you to show that they were not won / earned in theatre. Will you now wish DFC's AFC's awarded to RPA pilots who are in no danger what so ever?

I cannot understand your point about the 365 10 years in service, the same could be said about the lowest LAC / SAC sitting at Brize maintaining the bridgehead, does he not deserve equal parity? As put by Legofan "overworked, massively stressed and underrecognised for their contributions" there are plenty more trades in the RAF under the same situation.

Last edited by NutLoose; 21st Sep 2017 at 21:08.
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Old 21st Sep 2017, 21:36
  #70 (permalink)  
 
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Nutloose,

Do you have any RPA experience ? If not you are no more qualified to comment on what RPAS crews do than the aforementioned LAC maintaining the bridgehead at Brize.

Sevenscars
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Old 21st Sep 2017, 21:55
  #71 (permalink)  
 
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RPA no, And why wouldn't I be qualified in knowing what it entails to maintain a bridgehead, do you
have any experience of that and the stresses entailed.

But that is just smoke and mirrors, it still does not get past they are not in theatre and are not subject to the same threat level and the criteria is cut and dried.

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/medals-c...ampaign-medals

Last edited by NutLoose; 21st Sep 2017 at 22:07.
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Old 22nd Sep 2017, 07:56
  #72 (permalink)  
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Come on, just being in theatre for the requisite time qualified for a medal even when there was no risk.

I qualified - we had targets and we were at 5 hrs readiness for a couple of weeks. Enemy troops made a para assault 300 miles away. The greatest risk I suffered was cutting my hand in the swimming pool.

OK, we had fighters on QRA, we had AA guns deployed, but there was no feeling of risk or danger. Got the medal.

Got held hostage in Belgium. No medal but a free meal and quantities if beer for free as the bill was was waived.
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Old 22nd Sep 2017, 08:59
  #73 (permalink)  
 
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I do find it odd that some people get annoyed by aircrew wearing growbags in deployed ground jobs. If there is no chance of any ground defence activity being required then combats are equally redundant and the question is reduced to a trivial one of identity.
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Old 22nd Sep 2017, 09:02
  #74 (permalink)  
 
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Then PN, that is more to do with poorly laid out zones than anything else, I still think like the Falklands a rosette etc to show in the active warzone as opposed to being outside it would be the way fwd.

But if you want to put the actual threat level outside the main theater of operation as a parameter, everyone in the UK and RAFG should have got a GSM during the NI troubles as barracks and individuals were tagetted, killed and bombed.
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Old 22nd Sep 2017, 13:22
  #75 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by NutLoose View Post
Then PN, that is more to do with poorly laid out zones than anything else, I still think like the Falklands a rosette etc to show in the active warzone as opposed to being outside it would be the way fwd.

But if you want to put the actual threat level outside the main theater of operation as a parameter, everyone in the UK and RAFG should have got a GSM during the NI troubles as barracks and individuals were tagetted, killed and bombed.
Wrong - NI was a situtation where the police primacy in a part of the UK could not be ensured and the MOD helped out. This is a totally diiferent situation where another soveriegn nation airspace and land has been used to conduct legally approved violent acts. The idea of a rose for those inside the Irak and Syria and without for outside is a good one.

Drawing a parallel between changing a spark plug on a Tri* and being involved in a kill chain, or being 'on the ground' , indicates that you probably have no experience of either.
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Old 22nd Sep 2017, 13:24
  #76 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by alfred_the_great View Post
The drawback is that the "theatre of operations" is significantly bigger than drawn by this putative OSM Syria.
Exactly - ATG we agree for once!
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Old 22nd Sep 2017, 13:38
  #77 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by Easy Street View Post
I do find it odd that some people get annoyed by aircrew wearing growbags in deployed ground jobs. If there is no chance of any ground defence activity being required then combats are equally redundant and the question is reduced to a trivial one of identity.
The US actually insist that all aircrew in a CAOC liaison role wear grow bags - the patches help identify aircraft type for those needing to field questions. I had to get the full Velcro set put on my desert flying suits after I rocked up at Al Udied with just the name badge Velcro (or else face the wrath of the SIDO).
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Old 22nd Sep 2017, 13:46
  #78 (permalink)  
 
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Drawing a parallel between changing a spark plug on a Tri* and being involved in a kill chain, or being 'on the ground' , indicates that you probably have no experience of either.
Oh do be serious, the kill chain as you put it runs all the way back to the man assembling the weapon, like it or not, the man releasing it is just the end product in a long line of people that need to come together to make that happen and are fully aware of the cause and effect of their jobs..

Without any of those in that line the guy would be sitting on the ground hungry, naked and outside still in the UK, because all of the people that come together to make it happen apparently are not part of the chain of events. If you mark one out for an award, then you need to recognise them all.

Tristars incidently have Ignitors not Spark plugs..
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Old 22nd Sep 2017, 14:11
  #79 (permalink)  
 
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Oh do be serious...I am, very.

Tri* don't have spark plugs...thanks for that. I have always wondered what happens after air is forced into Mr Whittle's inventions through the compressor blades, into the combustion chamber, mixed with fuel, a match put in until self-sustaining, which causes the mixture to explode and expand rapidly, goes reaward to the blades on the turbine that is axially linked to the compresser. No thanks, really. I have always wondered what the N1 and N2 meant.

I think everyone on here will make their own minds up about your thoughts.
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Old 22nd Sep 2017, 14:37
  #80 (permalink)  
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Children, behave. Just be glad that the MoD have found another set of mugs to pay to have medals court mounted - I am going into the mounting game when I grow up!!!
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