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RAF in 2018

Old 2nd Sep 2018, 23:57
  #61 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by viz View Post
Spot on post.. I joined the RAF in the mid 1980s and even then the crusty old folk about to retire were moaning that 'things aren't the same as the V force heyday of umpty-ump squadrons at AKI, etc'. Things do change and those that can't deal with it moan about it. I'm content to earn a good wage with a cracking pension flying aircraft less than 5 years old, and great job stability and family life.

I guess the modern version of the Mess bar for moaners and low achievers is the anonymity of the internet. Bring it on.. I've got some bad news for you keyboard warriors; the RAF has changed, but not necessarily for the worse.
Apart from the pension. The pension definitely has got worse.
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Old 3rd Sep 2018, 08:00
  #62 (permalink)  
 
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Throw insults at your elders as much as you wish, but it cannot be denied that the present variety of RAF aircraft and aerodromes (even just in the UK) is nothing like it was even 10 years ago, let alone 30 or 50.

That's what I find so sad.
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Old 3rd Sep 2018, 09:18
  #63 (permalink)  
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I was thinking along BEagles line. It was not just a different Air Force but different Air Forces.

RAFG, NEAF, MEAF and FEAF in addition to the home Air Force. Then there were the commands, Bomber, Fighter, Transport, Maintenance, Signals, various Training, and Coastal.

There was little person movement from one the other with people spending their entire careers in on or the other and overseas aid forces being fed from the appropriate fleets.

I put Coastal separately as they really were on the edge - a squadron in every overseas Air Force and at home all round the edge. Saying it was different, it was, there were at least 12 different Air forces.

Last edited by Pontius Navigator; 3rd Sep 2018 at 09:36.
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Old 3rd Sep 2018, 09:31
  #64 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by VinRouge View Post
Apart from the pension. The pension definitely has got worse.
Oh and the workload, once you finish being left to buzz round in your 5 year old jet and get to manage, that has definately got worse.
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Old 3rd Sep 2018, 09:46
  #65 (permalink)  
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VR, pensions got worse?

Over time we had the military salary, good, food and accommodation charges, not so good. Pensions then including the extra for food and accommodation.

Spec aircrew pay, for aircrew, good, specialist pay not pensionable, not good.
Aircrew spine, good, pensionable, good.

T&S, rates, OK.
Actuals, good and not good
Capped actuals, not good

All the time T&Cs change to try and balance lists and budgets. Change is the name of the game.
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Old 3rd Sep 2018, 10:05
  #66 (permalink)  
 
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PN ... just so! I remember from my first staff tour generating correspondence copied to all those different 'Air Forces' and Commands ... and Groups as well.
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Old 3rd Sep 2018, 10:17
  #67 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by Pontius Navigator View Post
VR, pensions got worse?

Over time we had the military salary, good, food and accommodation charges, not so good. Pensions then including the extra for food and accommodation.

Spec aircrew pay, for aircrew, good, specialist pay not pensionable, not good.
Aircrew spine, good, pensionable, good.

T&S, rates, OK.
Actuals, good and not good
Capped actuals, not good

All the time T&Cs change to try and balance lists and budgets. Change is the name of the game.
It must be me then that has noticed every t&c change in the past 10 years moving in a generically turd direction with little pushback.
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Old 3rd Sep 2018, 11:24
  #68 (permalink)  
 
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So we're judging how 'good' an air force is by the numbers involved (different ac types, numbers of ac and numbers of different units), as if quantity is all that counts. If that is the case, surely you'll absolutely love China's air force then? Or by your own measures, the RAF of 1945 was far, far better than that of the 1980's.

Even though we are of similar ages/eras (I joined in '83) though I am still serving, I do find your attitudes curious.

You do come across as a bunch of grumpy old men.
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Old 3rd Sep 2018, 12:34
  #69 (permalink)  
 
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j a j ...no, it's not just a case of 'size that matters'. But what that aspect represented was a vast range of posting/employment options in UK and Overseas. That in itself meant enhanced quality of life, interest and variety.

And then there was the Social aspect, with the Mess full of lively young men/women [and a few crusty old bachelors], wives/families using it as a social hub as well, and with numerous [weekly in some cases] informal functions. You might say we were semi-prisoners, in MQ and Messes, as only a modest percentage lived off-base. But you hardly ever walked into an empty Dining Room or Bar. What's that aspect like these days?
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Old 3rd Sep 2018, 12:58
  #70 (permalink)  
 
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MPN11

I see the perennial argument is living up to its billing.

I donít think I can ever come up with a definitive post that can explain it but try to bear this in mind.

Stop trying to view the issue through the 60/70/80 year old eyes of someone born in a different era who served in a radically different organisation. We are all products of the time we live in.

Kids nowadays play the Fortnight game like itís a religion. I played Warhammer as a kid. Just as I donít see what is so great about Fortnight, Iím sure my parents and grandparents thought Warhammer was a bunch of crap. Itís best just to accept it and move on.

Iíll tackle your two main points. Mess life and overseas postings.

People nowadays donít want to be chained to the base and so live out as a preferred option. The fact that mess life has suffered doesnít really bother too many people. I realise that is unthinkable to anyone who served in the good old days but such is life.

Who ever thought weíd live in a country where coffee shops outnumber pubs and youngsters increasingly donít get drunk?! Times change.

As for overseas postings, people just arenít as keen as they once were. Couples tend to both work nowadays (for necessity in many cases) which discourages people from taking jobs abroad.

That doesnít mean opportunities donít exist.

I know the RAF of 2018 is a shadow of its past self but that doesnít mean itís worse in every way.

Iím sure 30 years from now Iíll be conversing through my virtual reality brain chip in a binary language and bemoaning the RAF of 2048 but I hope I can just trust those that will be serving then to make the best of it with what they have and to ignore my ramblings.

BV

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Old 3rd Sep 2018, 13:22
  #71 (permalink)  
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BV, I think MPN, like me, was highlighting the difference not bemoaning the change.
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Old 3rd Sep 2018, 13:48
  #72 (permalink)  
 
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I can only speak from my own experience and would say that any Air Force is only better or worse than it was previously depending on how capable it is in meeting the foreseeable threat from actual or potential enemies, and then prevailing . Being that most contemptible of beings, an ex-Cold War Warrior, I would say that when I served (1959-73) as a JO GD/P I had a reasonable confidence in that regard (though my own part of it was earmarked for the mass dropping of the Para Brigade into European hotspots and might well have rather proved the exception to that!). Happily the issue was never tested and instead we toured the world 'showing the flag' instead (well someone had to do it!).

If the present RAF has a similar confidence in its ability to prevail then fine. If it doesn't then the words 'better or worse' have rather more worrying implications.

Oh, as to pensions getting worse I can only ask, "what pension?". 13+ years service and zero pension, having pvr'd (as it was a non contributory scheme). No regrets though, either for those 13+ years or for leaving when I did.
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Old 3rd Sep 2018, 14:15
  #73 (permalink)  
 
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PN

I donít believe I was being critical. Just trying to explain the difference in perception.

Badly perhaps.

BV
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Old 3rd Sep 2018, 14:47
  #74 (permalink)  
 
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To all the chaps on here who signed up in the 50s,60s,70s and until 89, I take my hat off to you. Although there have been various actions around the world since 89 that the RAF has been involved in, several of my x colleagues were in GW1, the RAF in the cold war was then facing a far greater threat. Many members then knew that if the balloon did go up, it was a one way ride. We should never forget that. Maybe it was my upbringing, but I have always respected my elders. Listening to our adj X Lancaster rear gunner in the mess bar was something that will stay with me forever.
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Old 3rd Sep 2018, 15:12
  #75 (permalink)  
 
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PN and BV ... I take both your points. Perhaps we should use the word "different", rather than trying compare what is (physical and socially) akin to Apples and Pears!

It is impossible for me to expunge the memories of 65-94, and similarly to understand 95-18

Let peace reign.
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Old 3rd Sep 2018, 17:15
  #76 (permalink)  
 
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Hi BV, yes I was merely pointing out that the RAF was different when I joined - with rather greater scope for being posted to a variety of aircraft and aerodromes.

Mind you, on my first tour 40 years ago (35 Sqn Vulcans) I'd been 'volunteered' to try and sort out the chaotic response to historical contributions which a colleague had dropped me in. Amongst the letters was one which read "40 years ago we were at RAF Worthy Down and were just converting from the Wellesley to the Battle..." I'd only ever seen those in ancient aircraft magazines.

So I sometimes wonder whether the Vulcan seems as prehistoric to people starting their first tours on Typhoon or F-35B as the Wellesley and Battle seemed to me! Or whether Scampton is as much of a mystery to them as Worthy Down was to me?
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Old 3rd Sep 2018, 17:35
  #77 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by BEagle View Post
... rather greater scope for being posted to a variety of aircraft and aerodromes....
Just as well in some cases
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Old 3rd Sep 2018, 17:46
  #78 (permalink)  
 
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“Aerodromes”, BEagle? That’s a sign of advancing years!!

But, yes, it also afforded the opportunity to move people to Stations/Roles best suited for their abilities without actually showing them the door. We had quite a few ATCOs sent to Tengah who were, for mutual benefit, moved on to Changi where the pace of ATC was better suited to their skill-set ... whilst still allowing them to complete their FEAF tour.
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Old 3rd Sep 2018, 18:12
  #79 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by Bob Viking View Post
I donít believe I was being critical. Just trying to explain the difference in perception.

Badly perhaps.

BV
Sorry, quick read and missed your nuance. My daughter has actually been with her husband on 3 overseas tours and they have a fourth in sight. She used her last tour to improve her German and had a job as a teaching assistant. She now has a private language teaching job, is undertaking teacher training, and has a very portable career. Take your point about wives with non-portable jobs.
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Old 3rd Sep 2018, 18:54
  #80 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by VinRouge View Post
It must be me then that has noticed every t&c change in the past 10 years moving in a generically turd direction with little pushback.
It's not just you.
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