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Scampton And Linton-on-Ouse Closure

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Scampton And Linton-on-Ouse Closure

Old 24th Jul 2018, 05:58
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Scampton And Linton-on-Ouse Closure

https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/r...uvre-rpcmlxzdq

Red Arrows base RAF Scampton axed in cost-cutting manoeuvre

The airbase that is home to the Red Arrows and from which the Dambusters raid was launched in the Second World War is to be sold to save money, The Times has learnt. The disposal of RAF Scampton in Lincolnshire by 2022 is part of the Ministry of Defence’s efforts to save £3 billion by 2040 by reducing its estate in Britain.

The scrapping of the base and runway from which 617 Squadron took off on May 16, 1943, on their mission to attack the dams of the Ruhr valley, is likely to prompt protests. However, defence sources said that the cost of maintaining the site was no longer sustainable and tough choices had to be made at a time of constrained finances. “We are investing in other airbases such as RAF Marham [in Norfolk], home to the F-35,” one senior source said.

Scampton is also the headquarters for 1 Air Control Centre, whose 600 staff help to keep UK airspace safe from hostile aircraft. The Royal Air Force will also withdraw by 2020 from RAF Linton-on-Ouse in North Yorkshire, where fast-jet pilots are trained. Instead training will be concentrated in Anglesey. The Linton base will eventually be sold.

A statement is due today setting out the latest decisions to emerge from a 2016 Ministry of Defence strategy to reduce the defence estate by 30 per cent by 2040. A total of 91 sites owned or managed by the MoD, including barracks and golf courses, will be sold. A number of alternative RAF bases are being looked at to house the Red Arrows.

Air Chief Marshal Sir Michael Graydon, former head of the RAF, said that he was concerned by the scrapping of the base. He said it reduced the number of airfields where military aircraft could be located, which made them more vulnerable to attack. “This is getting close to a saving too far,” he said.

Air Marshal Greg Bagwell, another former senior officer, said that the move would have more emotional than practical significance because the Red Arrows and the training jets at Linton were not part of the frontline fighting force. “You cannot keep telling defence to cut costs and not let them take the decisions that will make them more efficient,” he added.

Defence officials will work with potential buyers to preserve heritage sites at Scampton, including a museum and the grave of the black labrador owned by Guy Gibson, who led the Dambusters.

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Old 24th Jul 2018, 06:34
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I guess it is a few years since the last shut-Scampton plan. I wonder if this will lead to the Reds moving out again.

The state of the base is alarming though on its DIO 'no-care & no-maintenance' plan.
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Old 24th Jul 2018, 07:50
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I've heard they are off to Wittering this time.
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Old 24th Jul 2018, 08:12
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Why not close Honington, ideally situated to be a business park close to the A11 and main rail line in the Cambridge/Norwich corridor. Then to save more why not disband the RAF Regiment, do they do anything that the Army can't?
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Old 24th Jul 2018, 08:44
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Originally Posted by jagnut View Post
why not disband the RAF Regiment, do they do anything that the Army can't?
​​​​​​​They can think.
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Old 24th Jul 2018, 09:00
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They can think.
Love it!

​​​​​​​I see the Times is covering itself by referring to "the black Labrador" rather than by name. In context, the word isn't derogatory or racist, it was the name of a much-loved dog. Still, mustn't upset people I suppose.
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Old 24th Jul 2018, 09:09
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Just This Once wrote:
The state of the base is alarming though on its DIO 'no-care & no-maintenance' plan.
How true! Ever since CFS moved out, the infrastructure has been left to rot. Driving past on the A15 you can see how run down and shabby this once proud V-force station, rebuilt with a 9000 ft runway at colossal expense in the late '50s (hence the bend in the A15), has become.

When I did my CFS course there, it was obvious that the place was beginning to deteriorate and certainly wasn't the place I'd known in happier days 10 years earlier. Such a pity. After passing my A2, I never went back nor would ever wish to.

Most of the quarters have already been flogged off and the Officers' Mess is truly a mess. There is little that could be done to restore the station to its previous glory, but there isn't really any need with such a small air force today. Sadly, the place now needs to be put out of its misery - perhaps RAFAT could relocate to Leeming?

As for Linton? Moving Basic Flying Training to Anglesey will be a challenge - and good luck persuading any QFIs to move...
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Old 24th Jul 2018, 10:00
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Originally Posted by Stuff View Post
They can think.
Oh the arrogance of the 100 year experiment with it nasty RAC-like nylon trousers and vile Mess Kit.

The RAF Regiment doesn’t do anything the Army couldn’t.
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Old 24th Jul 2018, 10:07
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I did the CFS cse at Scampton shortly before it ‘closed’ in the 90s. The Reds moved to Cranwell but the frequent & regular flying embargos to allow their practice sessions were a nightmare to accommodate within the rest of the station’s program. Their move back to Scampton was a great relief.

As as I recall the sale of Scampton didn’t proceed because of a number of issues - the straightening of the road (there was a clause that it had to be returned to its original route if ever the RAF no longer required the base, £3 million) & the bomb dump still ‘glowed in the dark’, £4 million, prices to fix in 1990s £s).

There was also the small matter of ‘that dog’. It was suggested that he be re-interred with his master in Holland but that would’ve meant admitting there was nothing in the grave, contents either lost during the 50s reconstruction of the airfield or as per a story I heard there never was an actual grave, the 2 erks detailed to carry out the burial having simply chucked the body over a hedge (the dog not being especially popular on the sqn).
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Old 24th Jul 2018, 10:15
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Why do they try to call this a "saving"? If we sold our car for £5000 I would not think I had saved £5000.
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Old 24th Jul 2018, 10:17
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Originally Posted by gijoe View Post


Oh the arrogance of the 100 year experiment with it nasty RAC-like nylon trousers and vile Mess Kit.

Get with the programme. The 100 year experiment ended on 1 Apr 2018, and we're still here.
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Old 24th Jul 2018, 10:24
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c52,

Why on earth do you think it's called a saving? It SAVES the cost of running and maintaining the stations, it SAVES the cost of upgrading and refurbishing the stations, and it generates cash for the MoD when the stations are sold.

Duh!
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Old 24th Jul 2018, 10:31
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I agree that the running costs are saved, but not the selling price.
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Old 24th Jul 2018, 10:36
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The RAF Regiment doesn’t do anything the Army couldn’t.
As I recall the RAF Regiment was created because the army didn’t defend the airfields adequately in Crete so gifting them and the island to the Germans.

Your argument, as ever, is not exactly enhanced by silly name calling.
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Old 24th Jul 2018, 10:52
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Don't forget 33 Sqn's groundcrew as well Ken
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Old 24th Jul 2018, 10:55
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They can think.
Beg to differ. I was called out to take part in a fierce battle going on in Aden one night. Flares and tracer rounds all over the place, lots of flashes and bangs.
We were stood down at the last minute as it became apparent the RAF Regt were involved. They had been tasked with guarding some of the Army camps as the infantry were very much stretched at the time (remember Mad Mitch? It was around that time).
A car coming in from the desert had failed to stop at a check point and one of the occupants opened fire on the soldiers there. The Lancashire Regt jumped into a Land Rover and set off in hot pursuit, firing their GPMG as they went. As they passed the area adjacent to one of the Army camps, the RAF Regt guard were awoken by the noise and joined in. Firing on the Lancashire Regt boys! Naturally, the Lancs were having none of that and so shared their firing between the fleeing dizzies and the second source of incoming fire. They didn't yet know who was firing at them but they weren't best pleased so gave them some back. They eventually caught up with the fleeing Mercedes at a hospital at the rear of our camp where they found something like a couple dead in the car, one trying to get into the hospital and one already in the hospital. It was interesting to hear the reports on the radio and the Lancs boys asking for guidance re the one already inside and allegedly on his way to the operating theatre. The reply was to the effect of "go in and get him". So they did. The Mercedes was a sight with doors shot off and enough bodywork damage for it to be a total write off!
At the end of the evening, it was reckoned that the dizzies had fired something like a couple of dozen rounds and our side had fired thousands, including those exchanged between the Lancashire Regt and the RAF Regt. And nobody on our 2 sides was killed! There was a lot of shouting at the RAF Regt following that.
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Old 24th Jul 2018, 11:10
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KelvinD,

So, things may have been different over FIFTY years ago!
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Old 24th Jul 2018, 11:10
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The RAF Regiment doesn’t do anything the Army couldn’t
. But would the army do it?
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Old 24th Jul 2018, 11:10
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From the BBC report:

Lincolnshire's Police and Crime Commissioner Marc Jones said losing the base "was as serious a blow as Lincoln losing the cathedral" would be.
Leeming would be a good shout for the RA, concentrate Hawk t1 on a single base, but might be a bit too far 'Ooop North' for some.
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Old 24th Jul 2018, 11:11
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The whole reason for the RAF Regiment being formed in the first place was that the Army DIDN'T do it!
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