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Orderly Dog

Old 26th Aug 2018, 19:04
  #41 (permalink)  
Join Date: Aug 2000
Location: A very long way North
Posts: 386
OO on BFT at Cranwell and the delights of going up to Waddington to collect signals to deliver to Digby. Digby the f*cking Signals Unit that couldn’t receive its own f*cking signals.
Once it happened 3 times in a single night, plus the usual Cranwell stuff.
And then the looks of disapproval/LMF/not-really-FJ-material when the next morning I had the temerity to ask for a few extra hours of kip as I’d got precisely none the night before.
And all those middle of the night summonses (particularly on a Fri night as all the desk officers clear their desks on a Fri afternoon) to the Comcen to read Priority signals (“can’t read them over the phone to you Sir”) covering such vital stuff as SAC Bloggs fitter’s course being delayed from 4 months hence to 4 months and 1 week hence, and information so essential to the security of the realm that it really had to be sent Priority such as the lack of the correct colour of WRAF tights in the system.
There are some bits of service life I don’t miss.
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Old 26th Aug 2018, 21:18
  #42 (permalink)  
I don't own this space under my name. I should have leased it while I still could
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PCD, ah yes, the Priority Friday afternoon desk clearance. A good reason to scheme and avoid a Friday duty. If you got lucky you could retaliate with a priority, personal for acknowlegement.
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Old 26th Aug 2018, 21:29
  #43 (permalink)  
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Somewhere flat
Age: 64
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the delights of going up to Waddington to collect signals to deliver to Digby
The same happened at Finningley where the OO had to travel to Bawtry to get the signals. On the night that Skylab came back to earth, the projected impact point was sent on the hour every hour as a classified priority signal meaning that the poor OO had to drive to Bawtry and back at least once per hour throughout the night to discover each time that Skylab would go plop into the Pacific.

On the subject of the Friday night "unimportant" priority signals, I heard the (probably apocryphal) story that one OO used to send an immediate confirmation of receipt signal for personal attention of the originator, thus getting his own back. This story came out after one OO at Valley was dragged out of bed at silly o'clock to find an immediate correction to a signal for the families' officer which read "for 1953 married quarters read pre-1953 married quarters".
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Old 26th Aug 2018, 21:48
  #44 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: Baston
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Desk clearance UK HQs vs JHQ Rheindahlen.

For a substantial part of the year [memory fails] there was an hour's difference. with JHQ an hour ahead. This may just have contributed to the light cavalry charge, on bikes, downhill across the grass, at knocking off time on Fridays. That and a curry with happy hour.
My Met Office boss at Bracknell [my other one was SASO RAFG] was wise to this, as he had held the post before me. Thus Gosome got earlier and earlier, a pint or two pints earlier on some occasions. Drunk in charge of a bike in Germany could result in losing the driving licence. Pushing a bike, wazzed, from the Mess to Portadown Way was a big ask.
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Old 27th Aug 2018, 22:01
  #45 (permalink)  
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: S W France
Age: 76
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March 65. Just celebrated 21st Birthday and 1 Years seniority as a Fg Off at Tengah.( It was hell, but somebody had to do it ). I returned from a detachment in Borneo on the Friday afternoon to find I had been "volunteered" to be Station Orderly Officer on the Sunday. Sunday duly came with the standard hangover from Friday Happy Hour and the Saturday entertainment ( often a continuous event ). All was well until about 10am when there was a fire in an Airman's Married Quarter. No Casualties, so all was well. Then there was the Intruder Alert, some locals intent on a thieving mission. Then there was the alleged " attempted murder"( domestic) in an SNCO's Married Quarter. I inspected the Airman's Mess Lunch, but missed the Officers Mess Lunch as I was then called to talk to the Singapore Police about "an attempted suicide" by a Station airman trying to jump off a bridge in Singapore City, and arrange his recovery by the RAF Police and Medics.
Then I had to call in ATC, Fire Crews etc to meet An RAFG Canberra on detachment at Kuantan, which was arriving with an airman who was a Class A Compassionate Case to UK, The BOAC VC10 was being held at Payer Lebar until he arrived. I arranged for the Duty Storeman, Duty Armourer and Duty Clerk to meet the aircraft in the dispersal to relieve him of his kit and rifle and ammo and provide en-route documentation. The Duty Driver was on hand to speed him to Payer Lebar. A further fire and another "Domestic" occured during the rest of the afternoon. The usual Signals runs, Flag Wags, and inspection of the Airmen's meals were also completed.
I just made it to dinner, before it finished, to find a Flt Lt I did not know, also in uniform. I asked him why and he told me he was the Station Duty Officer and what a boring day he had had with nothing to do as he had had no calls at all!
It transpired that, whilst I was in Borneo, that the duties of OO and SDO had been split due to the work load during the Confrontation, and the Station Routine Order had not yet been issued. Hence nobody on the station knew of the new arrangements and accordingly were calling the OO. I told the SDO he was now in charge and could read my report in the morning. I inspected the defaulters, checked the keys and retired to the bar for a couple(?) of well earned Tigers.
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Old 27th Aug 2018, 22:22
  #46 (permalink)  
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I believe that when it was decided to merge the roles of SDO and OO into one duty, it was planned for there to be just a SDO. However, it states in QRs (or it did) that the SDO had to be a Flt Lt minimum rank and therefore it was named Orderly Officer to open the duty to Plt Offs and Fg Offs (and WOs in some cases).
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Old 28th Aug 2018, 07:53
  #47 (permalink)  
I don't own this space under my name. I should have leased it while I still could
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Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: Lincolnshire
Age: 77
Posts: 16,696
WD, and SNCOs on occasion. Many 'traditional (habits)' duties have been shuffled for convenience. OCpl raising the flag as SNCOs diverted to guard commander, sqn ldr duty stn cdr as 5 wg card thought it came round too often. Duty controller, a sqn ldr duty to flt lt for same reason.

As long as S misses F they get away with it. Like I said, tales of the Real Air Force.
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Old 28th Aug 2018, 08:24
  #48 (permalink)  
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I vaguely remember at Coltishall 66-69 Orderly Corporal stood and saluted while Orderly Sergeant blew whistle and raised/lowered the flag. The first time I did Orderly Sergeant somebody important had died so it was a half-mast job. I knew the bit about taking it to the top first, but not that (as I was informed later) in the RAF half mast is one flag width below the top, not about 1/3 of the way down (as I had observed on the previous occasion). I has a phone call from the SWO informing me of my iniquity. Now the St George's flag on our church tower is hoisted correctly as required (until the Bishop tells me otherwise).
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Old 28th Aug 2018, 11:38
  #49 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jun 2001
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Getting ready to salute the rag at Brize at 0759 one Sunday morning, the orderly Sergeant said "Shall we raise it half mast Sir?" I hadn't seen or heard any news that day, having only just recently dragged myself out of the Orderly Ofiicer's scratcher and was looking forward to the free breakfast. On asking why, I was informed that Princess Diana had been killed in a car crash a few hours earlier. "S'pose we should" was the answer. All I could think about as the flag went up the pole was "this is an excellent time not to be OO at the RAF's busiest transport base!". My replacement was already at the guardroom one minute later, and the phone was already ringing for the OO. He had heard the news and wasn't looking very happy. He didn't have a good day. incidentally, the Brize Station Standing orders mentioned that "The Orderly Officer is to drink in moderation". There it was in black and white - drinking was obligatory! I was a bit fuzzy headed because when embarking down that path, judgement gets progressively impaired and the line between moderation and excess had become ever so slightly blurred. It was a bit of a conundrum.

Other Orderly Dog tails:

I was called out to the WAAF block at one station as a young LACW was going to throw herself out of the top floor because her boyfriend had dumped her. Some bright spark suggested finding out who the boyfriend was and getting him to come and talk to her. Seemed like a good idea at the time, and as he was in the RAF at another station nearby, quite feasible. So this was done. When he turned up, it transpired that he was a mate from my Initial Officer Training - something which was strictly forbidden at the time. I left his rank out of my report!

One day as SDO at Swinditz, I had been informed that there were defaulters for inspection after all. I arrived at midnight to see a whole parade lined up - only the Standard and band were missing!. One entry had just failed a snap block inspection and they had been immediately put on Station defaulters. I walked up and down the lines trying to muster as much interest in the bullsh!t proceedings as a gash aircrew type could , and of course, being in basic training - they were near immaculate. But one guy attracted my attention because he was very nervous. A closer look revealed he had no socks!. It seems his 'mates' had nicked them as a joke. The duty Corporal wanted to convene a firing squad, but I couldn't care less and told him to find them before morning.

After landing on a training flight one day, the boss asked me to get to the guardroom ASAP as one of the students had been arrested by P&SS and protocol required someone from the establishment to sit in the interview. I was expecting something serious like drugs. But once the tape recorder had started and everyone had introduced themselves, Fg Off Nastygit produced a photo of an asre with a bottle stuck in it. I lost it immediately and with the tears rolling down my eyes, I suggested holding an identity parade as the arse had an identifiable zit. I was expelled from the interview and the Sqn was instructed to send someone more mature and responsible. I managed to see my replacement before he went in and mentioned that under no circumstances was he to laugh when shown the photo - without mentioning the subject. Of course, he also lost it when seeing the photo. The case collapsed. What had happened is that the student had left his camera lying around at a party and his course mates decided to add to his photo portfolio, Not knowing what was on the roll, he gave it to Boots in Newark to process and when they saw the photos with others of people in uniform, they handed it to the Police at the nearest RAF Station, Newton - HQ of P&SS.
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Old 28th Aug 2018, 12:01
  #50 (permalink)  
Join Date: Feb 2006
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That was a favourite trick at the Brize disco if a girl left her camera on the table when she went to have a dance, leg it to the bogs with several mates and take various photos of different tadgers before returning it to the table.

Incidentally an old aquaintance worked at the tip near Bedford and all the images confiscated by Boots would be tipped into the landfill once or twice a year, he said you would be walking across site when all these photos of " Readers Wives" would come blowing across the site, they would all pick them up and compare them with each others collection.
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Old 28th Aug 2018, 12:13
  #51 (permalink)  
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It was standard that anyone foolish enough to leave their camera in flying clothing prior to a gash trip would have several photo's of squippers backsides on the film when developed.
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Old 28th Aug 2018, 12:14
  #52 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Scotland
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Originally Posted by Pontius Navigator View Post
At ISK the flag got stuck. I think the rope got looped over the gaff. Consternation. I calmly told the OS to organise a cherry picker PDQ before John Pack the staish saw it.

He was held in high regard and MT soon had the flag fixed. Don't know if JP ever knew.
I think I knew his daughter, Sarah....
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Old 28th Aug 2018, 14:32
  #53 (permalink)  
Join Date: Mar 2001
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Originally Posted by Dan Winterland View Post
... the Brize Station Standing orders mentioned that "The Orderly Officer is to drink in moderation".
There's a pub in Reading called The Moderation. Very handy for the Benson Orderly Officer!
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Old 28th Aug 2018, 14:57
  #54 (permalink)  
Join Date: May 2003
Location: London/Oxford/New York
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Reading to Benson? Quite a way...
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Old 29th Aug 2018, 14:14
  #55 (permalink)  
Join Date: May 1999
Location: uk
Age: 62
Posts: 319
A pal and I were both very new Sergeant's, at Gutersloh.

One evening, he received a call as Orderly Sergeant reporting that someone was "on the roof of the Airman's Mess porch, peeing on customers below at the Chicken Inn"!
With great presence of mind, he arrived on scene and, very loudly, called on the person to stop "spilling drink from a can onto innocent people".
It worked!
Chap came down, a few disgruntled customers, all sorted.
I guess a few washing machines were on overtime - but he defused it brilliantly.

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Old 29th Aug 2018, 15:04
  #56 (permalink)  
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Northampton
Posts: 514
When I did my first OO, I made the mistake of inspecting the jankers front first then down the back. When it came to "officer on parade dismiss" they all turned left and was on the wrong end. The orderly sgt had a little smirk!!
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Old 30th Aug 2018, 07:51
  #57 (permalink)  
Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: N London
Posts: 120
Thumbs up

Two minor incidents of note apart from the many hours wasted filling out visitors forms and handing out keys. At least that has some form of automation now.

First one. St Mawgan. Whilst in the guardroom one night I had a rather scruffy person apppear at the window wishing to hand himself in. Aparently he had gone AWOL some time ago and his concience bought him to the nearest military establishment. Now, that gave me a dielemma, do I lock him up in the cells for the night and all the palarva that goes with that or do I send him on his way working out that another day on the run would not add to his troubles, so I told him to come back in the morning when the day staff were there. Guess what, he did.

Lastly. whilst on detachment to Deci with 1 (F) Sqn I had the pleasure of OS. Which included Container checks, avoiding the Itallian guards and shuting down the Nuragie club. I was given that day because my Flt Sgt who did not like me knew what was on that night and wanted me to fail. Not normally a significant problem apart from the fact that the last RAF Phantom Sqn were there on their last trip away. It was rather lively to say the least. The staff in the Nuragie were fine and I was accosted by the Phantom Sqn Flt Sgt on my entry, who incidently i knew, he said he would look after things if i left them alone. Which i did. I popped back at the stipulated times and all was logged correctly. At closing time i gave them another 30 minutes or so in co-operation with the club staff and went back all was quiet and empty. pheww. Next morning at work the Phantom Sqn Flt Sgt came over to say good bye and thank me and handed me a large ice cream from the terminal building as a gift.
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Old 31st Aug 2018, 22:50
  #58 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: Bomber County
Posts: 30
Orderly Corporal at Laarbruch AOC’s day late 80’s. Nobody available to relieve me for lunch so I asked one of the Cloggie blanket store boys to cover for me whilst I went to the mess. On return I asked stand in o/cpl if anthing had happened in my absence. Big perm’d hair civvie replies ja! Just one airman told to get his hair cut by the SWO reporting to the Guardroom to get it checked! I said it looked very short but should be ok! I bet said airman was very impressed!
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Old 1st Sep 2018, 12:28
  #59 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Oxford
Posts: 76
How to Get Orderly Officer Duties Really, Really Wrong
The following saga tells the story of what happens when an Orderly Officer really makes a c*ck of it. Thankfully it was not me, but was from army unit down the road in Berlin. Said unit had no comcen, so was served by Gatow. If a signal arrived out of normal hours, duty comcen operator would phone army OO, who would send army duty driver to collect. Only a 10 minute trip between the two sites. Among Gatow comcen operators was one chap blessed (or cursed?) with a totally unintelligible Glasgow accent that required subtitles even face-to-face. Gatow OOs were used to him and whatever he said on the phone, OO always went to comcen to retrieve signal to read in detail. One night, Glaswegian comcen operator phones army OO to tell him there is a casualty signal. Army OO's unit was currently deployed down in West Germany on exercise, leaving only a rear party in barracks. One sgt had had a heart attack and is VSI. Army OO sends driver to collect signal, but then demands that comcen operator reads him the text over the phone. Instead of waiting for hard copy, OO rushes round to MQs to tell wife of Sgt A that he is VSI and she needs to prepare to be driven from Berlin to his side in hospital. To help in sorting out upset wife, calls on neighbour to help - wife of Sgt B, also deployed on same exercise. Meanwhile, driver arrives with hard-copy signal, plus another one which has just come saying that Sgt B has moved from being VSI to deceased.
As you can imagine, the dwang that OO had dropped himself in was bottomless and getting deeper. Most of bn officers were deployed, so finding appropriate level of saviour from those remaining was very difficult. To cut a long story short, OO volunteered to make a very substantial personal financial contribution to the CO's Welfare Fund, and, as far as I remember, was OO for the majority of the rest of his tour (or career, which I should think became the same thing.)
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Old 1st Sep 2018, 12:39
  #60 (permalink)  
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: The Luberon
Age: 68
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Originally Posted by MPN11 View Post
Old Bricks, I had a similar at Bisley during the Services Championships. Although not exactly OO/SDO, I was the RAF Liaison Officer with the Army who ran the camp during the meeting.

Drunken and violent airman pinned down at the base of a hedge by 4 or more colleagues one evening. I summoned formal assistance from the camp Guardroom, which materialised in the form of a Landy and 2-3 Gurhas armed with pickaxe handles. I encouraged them to avoid using their implements, as they back-pedalled him to the Landy, hurled him into the back, sat on him and set off for the Proper Guardroom at Pirbright (then the Guards’ Depot) with me in my Landy in hot pursuit. I arrived to hear the slamming of a cell door and the bellowing of the Staff Sergeant Guard Commander, who appeared to be in full control of proceedings. He and I sorted out some Admin details, but the airman was getting restless and banging on his cell door. The consequential “BE QUIET” must have been audible in Guildford!

Airman returned to Unit the next day, presumably with supporting paperwork by a separate route, for action there ... leaving his Station Shooting Team one man short.
I was at the inter services meet in 1973 when the Gurkhas did all the camp donkey work. At that time a lot of the teams had their own bar/clubhouse and the Nepalese lads preferred to drink at the Royal Marines bar. One evening, at closing time, they were "reluctant" to stop drinking and leave. The RMP were called and after negotiations had failed, their boss told the dog handlers to send the dogs in. Cue lots of little brown men jumping out of the windows! Dogs seemed to be the only thing they were afraid of.
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