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Group Captains Galore

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Group Captains Galore

Old 18th Mar 2021, 20:28
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Group Captains Galore

Just wondering if this is the new normal and to ensure we have more Group Captains!!

Group Captain M D Lorriman-Hughes OBE to be Officer Commanding Royal Air Force Waddington in January 2022 in succession to Group Captain S P Kilvington.

Group Captain C R Melville OBE to be Commander Air Wing, Royal Air Force Waddington in May 2021. This is a new post.
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Old 18th Mar 2021, 20:51
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Originally Posted by LincsFM View Post
Just wondering if this is the new normal and to ensure we have more Group Captains!!

Group Captain M D Lorriman-Hughes OBE to be Officer Commanding Royal Air Force Waddington in January 2022 in succession to Group Captain S P Kilvington.

Group Captain C R Melville OBE to be Commander Air Wing, Royal Air Force Waddington in May 2021. This is a new post.
One to oversee the flying and station support functions, the other to keep an eye on the RAF Regiment!?

Too soon?

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Old 18th Mar 2021, 21:01
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Originally Posted by LincsFM View Post
Just wondering if this is the new normal and to ensure we have more Group Captains!!

Group Captain M D Lorriman-Hughes OBE to be Officer Commanding Royal Air Force Waddington in January 2022 in succession to Group Captain S P Kilvington.

Group Captain C R Melville OBE to be Commander Air Wing, Royal Air Force Waddington in May 2021. This is a new post.
I'm surprised there aren't greater concentrations of them at active stations given that there are around 280 Group Captains and an ever dwindling number of bases. :-(
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Old 18th Mar 2021, 21:03
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Perhaps they will raise station commanders to Air Commodore rank next?
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Old 18th Mar 2021, 21:30
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ISTR that RAF aircraft inventory totals c..475 aircraft. That gives each Group Captain two aircraft supervise / look after. What do the rest of the senior officers do?
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Old 18th Mar 2021, 22:01
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Cynicism aside, it might be worth considering the span of control for the current Stn Cdr? Details of resident units here for those who are interested. RAFAT due as well, and in terms of the Environmental Protection Act (personal accountability for the CO), the station with all its BFIs and weapon storage sits on a Grade 1 aquifer. Add in the Air Warfare Centre and EWAD as major lodger units and you have a bit of a handful. The workload on annual reports alone doesn't bear thinking about. Splitting the responsibilities between 2 people might actually allow all elements of the job to be tackled properly. I think it is a sensible move and, as a taxpayer, I quite like the idea that activities might be adequately supervised.
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Old 18th Mar 2021, 22:03
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Originally Posted by Warmtoast View Post
ISTR that RAF aircraft inventory totals c..475 aircraft. That gives each Group Captain two aircraft supervise / look after. What do the rest of the senior officers do?
They create absolute messes like Astra and the inept 80:20 synthetic:live fly strategy.

Last edited by Foghorn Leghorn; 20th Mar 2021 at 07:15.
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Old 18th Mar 2021, 22:13
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Originally Posted by Fortissimo View Post
Cynicism aside, it might be worth considering the span of control for the current Stn Cdr? Details of resident units here for those who are interested. RAFAT due as well, and in terms of the Environmental Protection Act (personal accountability for the CO), the station with all its BFIs and weapon storage sits on a Grade 1 aquifer. Add in the Air Warfare Centre and EWAD as major lodger units and you have a bit of a handful. The workload on annual reports alone doesn't bear thinking about. Splitting the responsibilities between 2 people might actually allow all elements of the job to be tackled properly. I think it is a sensible move and, as a taxpayer, I quite like the idea that activities might be adequately supervised.
EWAD disbanded 10+ years ago when the R1 left service. As for the rest of the units 5 Sqn is about to disband and 8 Sqn will soon be moving to Lossie
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Old 19th Mar 2021, 01:48
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Cynicism aside, it might be worth considering the span of control for the current Stn Cdr? Details of resident units here for those who are interested. RAFAT due as well, and in terms of the Environmental Protection Act (personal accountability for the CO), the station with all its BFIs and weapon storage sits on a Grade 1 aquifer. Add in the Air Warfare Centre and EWAD as major lodger units and you have a bit of a handful. The workload on annual reports alone doesn't bear thinking about. Splitting the responsibilities between 2 people might actually allow all elements of the job to be tackled properly. I think it is a sensible move and, as a taxpayer, I quite like the idea that activities might be adequately supervised.

The word delegation comes to mind, oddly enough it used to work well..

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Old 19th Mar 2021, 05:45
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Originally Posted by Fortissimo View Post
Cynicism aside, it might be worth considering the span of control for the current Stn Cdr? Details of resident units here for those who are interested. RAFAT due as well, and in terms of the Environmental Protection Act (personal accountability for the CO), the station with all its BFIs and weapon storage sits on a Grade 1 aquifer. Add in the Air Warfare Centre and EWAD as major lodger units and you have a bit of a handful. The workload on annual reports alone doesn't bear thinking about. Splitting the responsibilities between 2 people might actually allow all elements of the job to be tackled properly. I think it is a sensible move and, as a taxpayer, I quite like the idea that activities might be adequately supervised.
The AWC, although a lodger, was independent of the station and commanded by an Air Commodore, assisted by 3 Group Captains.
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Old 19th Mar 2021, 08:34
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Nearly as bad as the RN - 34 serving Admirals, Vice Admirals and Rear Admirals and 75 ships.4 Mar 2019

Or the CoE who seem to have more and more Bishops as the number of worshippers plummets
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Old 19th Mar 2021, 09:20
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Perhaps someone needs to have a word with the secretariat of the Government Major Projects Portfolio, which I gather is concerned that too few 1*s have been loaded up with 'Senior Responsible Owner' duties for too many very large acquisition programmes (list here). Is the answer to have more 1*s, or to push SRO duties down the rank scale, or to civilianise the sponsor/SRO function for military equipment programmes? Before answering that you might want to consider what civvy street pays those responsible for delivering just *one* hundred-million pound programme, never mind multiple billion-pound programmes, and compare to the military pay scales.

Last edited by Easy Street; 19th Mar 2021 at 09:40.
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Old 19th Mar 2021, 10:37
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This seems to mirror the USAF with its 'base commander' and 'wing commander' - one looks after the hardware/people etc and t'other the operations. Until a few years ago DHFS had a similar split and with everything being packed into a smaller number of bases it might be seen as the way to go.

When I suggested to a stn cdr a while ago that he had hardly been in post anytime at all, he told me that after a 'single cycle' (a year or so) he was liable to move on as there were so few stn cdr slots and lots of budding gp capts who needed to prove themselves.

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Old 19th Mar 2021, 10:55
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When I suggested to a stn cdr a while ago that he had hardly been in post anytime at all, he told me that after a 'single cycle' (a year or so) he was liable to move on as there were so few stn cdr slots and lots of budding gp capts who needed to prove themselves.
This accords with the realisation I had around half way through my time in the RAF, that the purpose of the organisation was not the delivery of air power but it existed to give its personnel (at least the senior ones) a ‘good career’. If the RAF was able to drop a bomb or deliver a load along the way that was a bonus but not the core task.
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Old 19th Mar 2021, 11:16
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What is the collective noun for a group of Group Captains?
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Old 19th Mar 2021, 11:44
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Originally Posted by Foghorn Leghorn View Post
They create absolute messes like Astra and the inept 80:10 synthetic:live fly strategy.
Is the other 10% mental arithmetic?
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Old 19th Mar 2021, 12:04
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When I suggested to a stn cdr a while ago that he had hardly been in post anytime at all, he told me that after a 'single cycle' (a year or so) he was liable to move on as there were so few stn cdr slots and lots of budding gp capts who needed to prove themselves.
Like it or not, there always remains the need to have a sufficiently broad career pyramid to ensure that elevation to Air Rank doesn't simply become "Buggins Turn". As the RAF got smaller, there grew a need for additional appointments at OF-5 and up to ensure that those moving on to 1* had relevant experience (and, importantly, assessments). It's simply necessary!

As a former member of the small GD(G)ATC Branch this was particularly noticeable, In 1990 the Air Force List shows we had one 1* (AOC MATO), 3 gp capt and 36 wg cdr. It didn't need a PhD to work out who was going places! And as the Branch shrank even further (airfield closures, Area Radar units amalgamating at Swanwick, HQ MATO closing and merging at HQ STC/HQ Air with our Fighter Control brethren) it inevitably became harder to find appointments to develop and evaluate those high flyers. That led to a few in-house surprises around the turn of the Century!
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Old 19th Mar 2021, 12:04
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Originally Posted by Bergerie1 View Post
What is the collective noun for a group of Group Captains?
A Bevvy.

PPrunish padding.
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Old 19th Mar 2021, 12:25
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An Over-rule of Group Captains.
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Old 19th Mar 2021, 12:29
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A Scrambled Egg of ... ?
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