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RPAS Gongs

Old 22nd Sep 2017, 16:40
  #81 (permalink)  
 
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Am I missing something? I don't seem to be able to find the other thread on this subject which was running until a few days ago. Is it hiding in plain sight (quite possible in my case!) or has the OP pulled it?
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Old 22nd Sep 2017, 17:03
  #82 (permalink)  
 
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This one TTN?

http://www.pprune.org/military-aviat...ice-medal.html
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Old 22nd Sep 2017, 19:35
  #83 (permalink)  
 
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The royal navy have the same issues; the crew of an attack submarine who happen to be in range of sending a cruise missile to Afghanistan at the right time get medals. The crew of a Trident missile boat who spend 3 - 4 months completely underwater at action stations get only a badge.
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Old 22nd Sep 2017, 20:25
  #84 (permalink)  
 
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My two penneth worth.

One of the worst phrases in the military is "because we've always done it that way".

The RPAS crews are tangibly involved in the current campaign. They don't meet the criteria for risk and rigour but perhaps this should be revisited.

I would go for a campaign medal that recognises those who have served on the ground or in the skies over Iraq and Syria. Fleshy bodies who have actually flown or served in Syria and Iraq would get the medal and rosette.

Apologies to the Engineers without which none of us would ever get to where we need to be. One team one fight and all that.
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Old 22nd Sep 2017, 21:38
  #85 (permalink)  
 
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Which is what I suggested before I lost the will to live, but instead of a rosette a simple RPA badge added to the ribbon and a possibly RPA Syria bar on the medal, to delineate between the in and out of theatre operations, though it does a disservice to the rest of the RAF that put them there.

The fact one has not been issued does infer that I am not the only one that disagrees with it, senior politicians, the MOD and senior Officers appear to agree.............

but hey ho if someone wants to wear a bit of tin to feel better about themselves and put themselves on a level pegging with some poor squaddie who has had to scrape his mate of himself after an IED explosion and has only that medal to show for it.... then so be it.
It's one reason I do not wear my GSM, because Aldergrove was squat compared to what the Army suffered and had to deal with, and even though I was in the country I would be embarrassed to wear it.. Obviously I am alone in that, so GIjoe and Co, I hope you get your little bit of bling, but remember a lot of people in theatres the world over have suffered physically to earn theirs..



..

Last edited by NutLoose; 23rd Sep 2017 at 01:51.
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Old 22nd Sep 2017, 22:08
  #86 (permalink)  
 
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Nutloose

I agree with what you say to some extent, but I take great exception to your last paragraph.

This particular campaign has been fought, in the most (apart from SF), by RAF aircrew and others who have trained Iraqi forces. This campaign has been fought by many who have spent months away from their families and have been asked by their lords and masters to do so.

There have not been (to my knowledge) any UK Mil casualties in this fight, but there most certainly has been a fight.

You apear to be bitter because perhaps you may have not been in the forces when most of us have been involved in recent kinetic conflicts.

BTW, I was also around when terrorists such as PIRA were targeting us. I draw a massive distinction between that and my recent experiences.

This is not about wearing tin to feel better about ourselves, this is recognition for the efforts and hardships that many have been subjected to. I'm sorry that you feel that you have to denigrate the efforts of many who have been involved.

There is also an Ebola medal, but I don't recall any IEDs or enemy action. Is scraping mates up criteria for tin?

Last edited by Toadstool; 22nd Sep 2017 at 22:19.
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Old 22nd Sep 2017, 22:08
  #87 (permalink)  
 
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Quite a few ‘pro medals’ chipping in here, listen I did it, I worked the admittedly annoying shift pattern with a long drive at either end. It was tedious most of the time, exciting sometimes, stressful at others, but PTSD, come on!!
The majority of people that I worked with were ‘medal light’, mostly due to their previous fleet or trade, I sympathise with their desire for a gong. Im afraid you simply dont warrant one for doing this role. I do however agree that many other people in previous conflicts got one that maybe shouldn't have, especially in locations away from the actual AO.
Its a strange job and Im sure it effects people in different ways, however if you chose to play on it, you could quite easily make a fuss of the mental effects.
For goodness sake, ringing in to Jeremy Vine, jesus wept!

Last edited by upsdaisy; 23rd Sep 2017 at 00:28.
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Old 22nd Sep 2017, 22:55
  #88 (permalink)  
 
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This one TTN?

Iraq and Syria Operational Service Medal
Yes that's the one camelspyder but if I'm not mistaken it has been renamed (by the OP I assume) as the original title referred to Op Shader.

Anyway thanks for taking the trouble.
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Old 23rd Sep 2017, 01:42
  #89 (permalink)  
 
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You appear to be bitter because perhaps you may have not been in the forces when most of us have been involved in recent kinetic conflicts.

Not in the slightest, I just see it as the start of the slippy slidey slope where campaign medals etc start to get dished out to anyone regardless and their value and worth as an award is lost, they will simply become bling with no meaning.

Yes, RPA pilots play a vital role in the modern services, but then so do the rest of the forces out of theatre ( and in) and at the end of the day when they signed on the dotted line to become a RPA pilot they knew they would be based out of theatre and what the job entails, as did the rest of the RAF, to then try to change the goal posts probably comes under the bitter part of your quote above.

TS reworded it slightly, the Squaddie comment was an attempt to show that the medal to the average Soldier means a lot more to him as he has to go through more to earn it, I suppose that is why they tend to get them presented where as mine was more or less tossed to me in passing. I find the line "this is recognition for the efforts and hardships that many have been subjected to" strange, because surely everyone else involved is in exactly that same boat.

End of the day, you look a Squaddie in the eye who in some conflict past, present or future has suffered from it and fought long and hard to earn his medal and the right to wear it, then you tell him you got yours for sitting in a building in the UK safe and warm.... and see what his response is, I couldn't..

.

Last edited by NutLoose; 23rd Sep 2017 at 08:49.
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Old 23rd Sep 2017, 13:16
  #90 (permalink)  
 
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If I were the squaddie NL refers to and my life had been saved in a firefight by direct action by an operator sitting in a building in the U.K. safe and warm, I would bloody well insist he got the gong.
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Old 23rd Sep 2017, 13:29
  #91 (permalink)  
 
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The change in the character of our operations means that using risk and rigour as the sole criteria for recognition will always be unsatisfactory. Risk to life comes in many forms, not just from incoming fire and rigour is a fairly subjective criterion anyway. At the risk of being controversial I would argue that in comparison with recent operations in Afghanistan - in themselves 'policing' rather than 'traditional full on warlike' operations - SHADER has been largely low level risk for most participants other than those few embedded with Opposition and Iraqi forces. We didn't send thousands of troops to go toe-to-toe closing with the enemy, and we weren't facing a credible air defence or Air Force which posed a threat to our ability to operate. And the politicians liked it that way as there is little appetite amongst either them or the public for high risk kinetic operations. So is risk and rigour even appropriate as a benchmark here in comparison with 1982, 91, 03 etc?

That doesn't mean what has been achieved to date isn't important or worthy of recognition. But until those running the medals and honours processes come to terms with the new operational dynamic, I sense there will be little change and we will continue to have a process bogged down by delays as they try to match outdated concepts with reality and divisiveness amongst those deployed trying to outcompete each other for who had the worst time on tour rather than acknowledging what has been achieved.
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Old 24th Sep 2017, 03:09
  #92 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by NutLoose View Post
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.
The main thrust here is that the debate shouldn't be a fight between different groups about who shouldn't get something as that just causes angst and ill feeling. It should be more about what more should people physically at the front-line (significantly less than the approx 3600 people eligible for the OS medal btw) - i.e. an additional bar/rosette - rather than what people absolutely directly part of the air campaign (that includes people flying a physical aircraft in theatre - RPAS crew) should not get...and I would agree that those at the next tier who support the people directly taking part in the campaign should also get recognition.

I see most people have identified your opinions are based on a lack of factual info/misinformed/ill-informed (whichever), however, some of your worst lines need correction IMO:

Very very few of the currently eligible OS Medal personnel are anywhere near front-line ops or risk/rigour criteria and therefore 'not in harms way' either (if you insist on sticking to the out-of-date and oversimplified legacy definition for a 'campaign' medal). Remember we are not talking about valour medals here. I would be pretty annoyed if I was techie in a supporting role in Cyprus fixing aircraft nowhere near front-line (no medal) compared to a techie in a supporting role that happens to be in Iraq fixing aircraft nowhere near front-line (medal). Army guys training troops nowhere near front-line ops....sound like the same role as training troops at home. Stats also tell you most accidents/injuries/deaths since Afghan happen in training not on Ops. The examples could go on...

Giving RPAS Pilots blue-edged wings was a fop to legacy thinking senior guys who couldn't get their head around new ways of operating aircraft/weapons systems. Doesn't make it right and it definitely doesn't make them 'not real pilots'. The only reason you don't think that is utterly insulting is because you (and others with no knowledge of the issues involved) think the 'blue wings' issue was done because they are 'different'. Where does that lead you...oh, I don't think a AAR Pilot is a real pilot either because his aircraft has way more autopilot functions than an RPAS so do they really ever 'fly' it anyway...I'm happy they are all real pilots btw (!) and intra-platform insults, beyond normal banter, gets us nowhere.

The 365/10 year in service thing was a bit of mis-quote. What he meant was 365/10 years operating an aircraft physically on Ops, in Ops, proving more kinetic/ISR support to the air/ground campaign than any other platform. So no, not comparable to any trade that is 'supporting' those flying aircraft physically in theatre. Again, based on complete lack of knowledge/awareness I'm afraid.

Yep, lots of pinch points in lots of trades therefore overworked, massively stressed and underrecognised for their contributions. None of the ones you mention are the supported asset on front-line doing all that whilst on ops and providing more than any other crew/platform for air support to grd campaign. So RPAS crews are not supporting a capability on ops - they are the ones providing that capability. As for 'kill chain' discussion the I'm afraid no-one you mention further back down the 'support' elements of the killchain are the ones pulling the trigger/approving the strike/guiding it in/responsible for it citing the right tgt and not killing anyone else etc. To quote otherwise is, again, ill-informed and incorrect. The line of determining who should get recognition for direct campaign air support is actually simple. For RPAS terms it includes the aircraft and the 'metal box' that houses the crew that fly it/operate it/employ kinetic strikes from it. They do much more than 6 sorties to 'earn' their recognition.
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Old 24th Sep 2017, 10:18
  #93 (permalink)  
 
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Has anyone actually seen the qualifying criteria for the Iraq and Syria OSM? Are the engineers in Cyprus getting it or is it limited to people in and over country?
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Old 24th Sep 2017, 10:59
  #94 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by downsizer View Post
Has anyone actually seen the qualifying criteria for the Iraq and Syria OSM? Are the engineers in Cyprus getting it or is it limited to people in and over country?
30 days continuous or 45 days aggregated service in Iraq or Syria. Aircrew: 10 sorties over Iraq and/or 6 over Syria at a maximum rate of 1 per day.

The riskier operating environment over Syria presumably explains the difference in sortie requirement.

if I'm not mistaken it has been renamed (by the OP I assume) as the original title referred to Op Shader.
No, not renamed, there's just no-one posting there! There was an old thread about the possibility of a medal but I figured its announcement warranted a new one.
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Old 24th Sep 2017, 12:56
  #95 (permalink)  
 
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Is the guy flying this a "real pilot" too?


A soldier launches a Desert Hawk Unmanned Aerial System during an exercise in Kenya.
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Old 24th Sep 2017, 13:13
  #96 (permalink)  
 
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Aldergrove

I nearly bit through my after- lunch brandy glass. Aldergrove Ops not deserving of a medal? What NONSENSE.
Who says the arrest of a slightly inebriated airman found entangled in the barbed wire surrounding the military part of Aldergrove, whose very voluble cries and triggering of various acoustic warnings caused the guard to be called out, and whose cries only subsided when he was advised to pipe down and he heard the cocking of several guards’ weapons, is not in an operational area? That gave the Detachment Commander nightmares for several nights, and certainly warrants the description “risk and rigour”.
And what about the domestic problem of living in the Mess with young pilots of evil intent, one of whom dealt with another who was irritating him by pouring his newly-bought pint over the irritant’s head. “The best 2 and 6 I’ve ever spent” were his exact words after the event.
And what about the damage done to a brave crewman on an Aldergove Perimeter patrol, who acquired severe bruising by direct contact with a very grumpy ram whom the crewman had righted from the ram’s prone-on-his back position in a field close to the airfield? If we’d been in the USAF, would the crewman not have been awarded a Purple Heart?

Disclaimer:- Sorry, not trying to trivialise the subject. I think anyone with direct input to an operation should have medallic recognition. The rosette system of ”in and out” of theatre seems to fill the bill.

PS Before my time, but was here not a time when the GSM for Malaya was issued to new arrivals with their joining documentation?
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Old 24th Sep 2017, 17:17
  #97 (permalink)  
 
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Where does that lead you...oh, I don't think a AAR Pilot is a real pilot either because his aircraft has way more autopilot functions than an RPAS so do they really ever 'fly' it anyway...I'm happy they are all real pilots btw (!) and intra-platform insults, beyond normal banter, gets us nowhere.
Well put post theuglyfendoffguy, as for the above, the difference is risk, the guy in the AAR is at risk to life and limb if anything goes wrong and simply because the aircraft has autopilot does not mean he cannot fly the aircraft, he can, end of the day his life is on the line, the RPAS pilots isn't.

Thanks Traffic, that made me smile, those poor Army pilots really have to rough it not having an air conditioned portacabin in the field
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Old 24th Sep 2017, 18:36
  #98 (permalink)  
 
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The AC is for the computer racks, not for the crew you fool.

At least we know the Gunner flying the DH will get a medal...he must be within 10 miles of the enemy!
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Old 24th Sep 2017, 19:55
  #99 (permalink)  
 
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I know, Humour, it clearly passes over your head lol.
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Old 25th Sep 2017, 03:19
  #100 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by NutLoose View Post
Well put post theuglyfendoffguy, as for the above, the difference is risk, the guy in the AAR is at risk to life and limb if anything goes wrong and simply because the aircraft has autopilot does not mean he cannot fly the aircraft, he can, end of the day his life is on the line, the RPAS pilots isn't.


Thanks Traffic, that made me smile, those poor Army pilots really have to rough it not having an air conditioned portacabin in the field
The AAR metaphor was directly related to your opinion of rpas pilots not being 'real pilots' and not to do with the risk discussion.

By your definition then anyone taking off in a manned aircraft anywhere deserves a medal...I think not.

It's worthy of debate at what point in the tiered system of rpas/UAS/UAS one could term the operating crew aircrew/pilot etc. For simplicity sake then it's probably easy to say there is a difference between that hand launched 2Lb uav and the 10000Lb reaper rpas that flies hundreds of miles for many hours carrying significant payloads through conventional airspace constructs.

Plus, since that guy will launch it at the front line line-of-sight then the medal argument is a guaranteed one for him!!
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