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Creamies ?

Old 16th Aug 2021, 05:50
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Creamies ?

Is it possible to be selected as a Creamie and never actually serve outside a training squadron, i.e. no front line service throughout your RAF career?
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Old 16th Aug 2021, 06:02
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Originally Posted by Fonsini View Post
Is it possible to be selected as a Creamie and never actually serve outside a training squadron, i.e. no front line service throughout your RAF career?
No....

The system was established to give you one your as an instructor at BFJT/AFT then put you back in to the training system and get you to the front line. There may, of course, be an exception to this rule somewhere, but I've never heard of it happening.
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Old 16th Aug 2021, 06:09
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In theory, there is no rule preventing a creamie from being continually retoured on training establishments. In practice, the closest I've seen anyone come is a short tour at the front line, after which they got onto the promotion ladder and did their sqn ldr and wg cdr flying tours in the training system. (I also know someone who PVRed at the end of their creamie tour, but I don't think that's what you meant!)
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Old 16th Aug 2021, 06:38
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I knew a bloke who did a creamie tour, never went to the front line but stayed at Valley for 4 years, then went into a multi-engine transport role for the rest of his time.
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Old 16th Aug 2021, 09:21
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...........
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Old 16th Aug 2021, 10:41
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Yes - I know someone who managed 17 years in the training world post creamy life. Strangely enough, he didn't do too well on his 1st FL type - kept trying to debrief his QFI's on their own techniques!
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Old 16th Aug 2021, 14:41
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Similar idea:
I was aked to look at the annual flagship "advanced course" at a military establishment I shall not name, with a view to improving the content and output. Looking at the career patterns of the graduates and the application of acquired skills in subsequent employment, it became apparent that the only real function of the course was to provide instructors for the next course. When I presented my findings and finished with: "so it really does not matter what you teach" they were not happy.
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Old 16th Aug 2021, 21:05
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There was a Creamie on 3 Sqn at Valley in the late 80s, Pete S. I’m sure he then went on to QFI on the Chipmunk at Swinderby before leaving the RAF without serving on the frontline.
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Old 17th Aug 2021, 00:02
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Anyone care to educate this Yank on what a “creamie” is?
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Old 17th Aug 2021, 00:18
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Originally Posted by Chiefttp View Post
Anyone care to educate this Yank on what a “creamie” is?
A First Assignment IP. A creamie QFI is said to have been "creamed off" from flying training, in the sense of separating the best part. I'm now going to risk a QFI pile-on by opining that it's been at least 20 years since creamies actually had to be the cream of their courses...
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Old 17th Aug 2021, 00:38
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Easy Street,
Thank You for the explanation. In the USAF we called them FAIP’s (First Assignment Instructor Pilots) They usually finished well above average at Pilot training, and were all fighter qualified from Pilot train8ng, as opposed to Tanker, Transport qualified. Unfortunately for them, there were no guarantee of a follow on fighter assignment, as the needs of the Air Force was the deciding factor for follow on assignments. The US Navy also has First assignment Instructors but they award a follow on assignment to them before they begin their instructor tour. A much better arrangement.
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Old 17th Aug 2021, 07:20
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We stream pilots to fighters/transports/helicopters after the elementary stage of training, but don't select creamies until after the advanced fighter course (and we don't select them at all in the other two streams, as far as I know). The example given earlier of one who went to transports after their instructional tour is a very unusual one: I'd suspect it would have been at personal request. It's possible for creamies to be chopped during tactical or front-line conversion training, but very unlikely because (despite my earlier banter) they're high on the ability scale and have accumulated a wealth of airmanship. Their main problem tends to be that they're less of a blank canvas for front line IPs to work on, and they quite often end up in the "good pilot but not QWI (Weapons School) material" bracket at the end of their first front line tour.

Last edited by Easy Street; 17th Aug 2021 at 07:43.
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Old 17th Aug 2021, 08:01
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Easystreet

Just to highlight a small change in how things are done nowadays, Creamies are currently selected after having completed the full Hawk course including Tac Weapons. In the T1 days they were taken after AFT and would complete TW after their Hawk tour.

This means that Creamies have the opportunity to teach and perform more than just the AFT course elements. They can actually end up teaching other disciplines such as BFM.

I think, although I cannot confirm, that they will then receive a quick refresher on the more advanced elements such as ACM and Radar stuff before heading to an OCU.

I think this is actually a good thing and makes the Creamie tour a more fulfilling experience.

BV
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Old 17th Aug 2021, 10:05
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Originally Posted by Easy Street View Post
We stream pilots to fighters/transports/helicopters after the elementary stage of training, but don't select creamies until after the advanced fighter course (and we don't select them at all in the other two streams, as far as I know). The example given earlier of one who went to transports after their instructional tour is a very unusual one: I'd suspect it would have been at personal request. It's possible for creamies to be chopped during tactical or front-line conversion training, but very unlikely because (despite my earlier banter) they're high on the ability scale and have accumulated a wealth of airmanship. Their main problem tends to be that they're less of a blank canvas for front line IPs to work on, and they quite often end up in the "good pilot but not QWI (Weapons School) material" bracket at the end of their first front line tour.
To expand a little, I knew at least one Griffin HT1 graduate who had a short tour at Shawbury as a staff pilot on the Griffin before joining the Puma OCF. To my knowledge he didn't do a CFS(H) course a la creamie.
A relative of mine has also just graduated from the Juno course at Shawbury: after spending FIVE years in the MFTS debacle (IOT grad was 2016)! He is now holding again pre-OCF as an AEF staff pilot. So it does happen...ish.

The Valley chap I mentioned wanted F3s, but I am unsighted as to why he never went F3 after creamie tour. He eventually went to the BAe146. (So a jet of sorts!)
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Old 17th Aug 2021, 14:10
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Originally Posted by IP_to_Tgt View Post
He is now holding again pre-OCF as an AEF staff pilot. So it does happen...ish
No disrespect intended to your relative, but flying cadets on an Air Experience Flight is not remotely, let alone 'ish' like being creamed off... the only requirements are to have earned your wings and have time to spare. Lots of people have done it between courses during the recent holding debacle, including some between basic and advanced jet training.
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Old 18th Aug 2021, 09:13
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Easy Street

"and they quite often end up in the "good pilot but not QWI (Weapons School) material" bracket at the end of their first front line tour". My italics.

Where exactly have you obtained this information? Are we to understand that you have seen the confidential reports of a series of 'creamies'. Or is this just anti-QFI banter?
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Old 18th Aug 2021, 09:39
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Creamies

As much as I love to banter Creamies (who doesn’t?!), if they were less likely to become QWIs I’d say it was less to do with ability and more to do with the fact that they already had a Q tick and didn’t need another one.

Whilst were at the banter let’s sling some at the QWIs instead.

Maybe the Creamies had learned too much about how to be a real instructor to become a QWI? I didn’t meet many QWIs who actually seemed to understand what the ‘I’ in their title stood for.

Pulls pin, rolls grenade into the room…

BV
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Old 18th Aug 2021, 09:57
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And some old CFS banter:

Those that can do.
Those that can't instruct.
and those that can't instruct - instruct instructors!
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Old 18th Aug 2021, 10:28
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In the days when aircraft were not easy to fly those who could pilot them well became Flying Instructors. They formed their own cult and had long, arduous and at times humiliating initiation ceremonies where the 'knowledge' was preserved and passed on. After they became 'Qualified' there were subsequent steps to gain deeper knowledge.
When aircraft became easier to fly weapons delivery became the next mystery around which cult like status developed along with long, arduous and at times humiliating initiation ceremonies where the 'knowledge' was preserved and passed on. The 'Weapons Instructor' was born.

Where is the next cult going to develop, somewhere deep in 'battlespace networking'?
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Old 18th Aug 2021, 12:11
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What Does the I in QWI Stand For? A Question by an Ex-Creamie



In the bad old days of the Cold War, PAIs (QWIs in old money), were accustomed to bullying and humiliating their unfortunate students (especially if ex-creamies) - presumably in some kind of perverse and sadistic attempt to acquaint them with the hard realities of front-line squadron life.



I remember this well from my first Ground Attack OCU course many years ago. On my first weapons dual as an ex-creamie, (Air to Air), the PAI spent the whole sortie cursing and harassing me, taking control on every possible occasion. As a result I only fired the gun once. I discovered later that he hated creamies, and was clearly trying to get me chopped. Given a cine solo, I taught myself the technique and achieved an overall 45% average score for the phase – well into the Exceptional bracket. I had not received one worthwhile word of airborne instruction from the PAI.



Having subsequently spent 22 more years in the mudmoving world, in my view this appalling, unprofessional attitude permeated to many future QWIs over the years. I also noted that a large part of the QWI course was devoted to solo weapons practice for the U/T QWI, in order to build up their range scores so that they could lord it over their future students. Even with this extra practice and inside knowledge (plus the fact that they could assess their own film in the cine room!), I found that the range scores of many QWIs were not significantly better than those of the average squadron shag.


In my view such bullies should have been 1020’d (do they still do that?) off the unit for petulantly refusing to instruct in a professional manner.
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