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Not-so-woke Reds

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Not-so-woke Reds

Old 25th Aug 2022, 18:27
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On the other side of the coin, you have to have that arrogance and mentality to be a leader and a fighter in the first place, so unfortunately it is hard to have one without the other.
That is an oft quoted statement, but I'm not so sure I agree. Take the case of two commanding officers of 617 Squadron , Guy Gibson and Leonard Cheshire. Both were effective leaders and courageus pilots , but whereas Gibson was by all accounts an arrogant sod, particularly in his dealings with other ranks, Cheshire was renowned as being popular among all ranks,and was a sensitive and thoughtful man, as witness his post war work with the disabled which led to the setting up the Cheshire Homes. Definitely the exception that proved the rule.
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Old 25th Aug 2022, 18:43
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Originally Posted by Toadstool
All I would say on that was, how times have changed. I know of no one who drinks at lunchtime, and if there would be anyone who does and returns to work, they’d be sent home, at best.
I think that’s my point?

It seems to be indicative of the outdated “We are the world famous Reds, and we do things differently” ethos that has emerged. If one thinks that is not the case, then one needs only to read David Hills two books on their recent tragic incidents.

uncomfortable for sure.

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Old 25th Aug 2022, 18:50
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Originally Posted by Biggus
Is there a case for grounding the Reds for flight safety reasons until the inquiry is complete and remedial action taken?

Such an action would show leadership, intent, that the matter is being taken sufficiently seriously, being given due attention and allow it to be resolved (hopefully) more quickly.

As for flight safety, I'm sure lots of people will say these are all highly trained "professionals" who can get on with the job despite the situation. But can anyone truly say that with everything that is going on, and there's talk that we're only seeing the tip of the iceberg, so we can only guess the full extent, that the situation isn't providing a serious distraction, at least for some (and it's not all about the pilots), from the task at hand?

What was the name of that Flight Safety film from the 70s/80s with the (fictional I should add) experienced Jaguar flight commander who died ....ah yes, "Distractions"!! (still available on youtube).

Or will the RAF just stick it's fingers in it's ears and say "nothing to see here, move on, we're taking this seriously, an investigation is in progress, lessons will be identified", all the usual mouth music.

Is PR/image more important to the RAF than flight safety?
I think we know the answer, Biggus. (and no VSOs will be harmed in the playing of that music)

I remember ‘distractions’ - quite punchy at the time of release.


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Old 25th Aug 2022, 18:52
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Originally Posted by Tankertrashnav
That is an oft quoted statement, but I'm not so sure I agree. Take the case of two commanding officers of 617 Squadron , Guy Gibson and Leonard Cheshire. Both were effective leaders and courageus pilots , but whereas Gibson was by all accounts an arrogant sod, particularly in his dealings with other ranks, Cheshire was renowned as being popular among all ranks,and was a sensitive and thoughtful man, as witness his post war work with the disabled which led to the setting up the Cheshire Homes. Definitely the exception that proved the rule.
I had the immense privilege of hearing Cheshire lecture and answer questions on war and morality whilst at Bracknell ASC. He spoke quietly, convincingly, and with almost mesmeric assurance. I don't think he would have had any difficulty leading anyone anywhere.
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Old 25th Aug 2022, 21:56
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Originally Posted by Top West 50
I had the immense privilege of hearing Cheshire lecture and answer questions on war and morality whilst at Bracknell ASC. He spoke quietly, convincingly, and with almost mesmeric assurance. I don't think he would have had any difficulty leading anyone anywhere.
The Gibson/ Cheshire contrast and debate is fascinating.

In my opinion [having read many relevant books] we have a case of "cometh the hour, cometh the man"
Cheshire did not have the ego and drive and arrogance to mount the Dams raids in an absurdly short time-frame, and Gibson could not have provided the continuous and considered leadership in the evolving role of 617.

RIP both, very different, absurdly brave, and deservedly national heroes.
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Old 25th Aug 2022, 22:09
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Originally Posted by langleybaston
The Gibson/ Cheshire contrast and debate is fascinating.

In my opinion [having read many relevant books] we have a case of "cometh the hour, cometh the man"
Cheshire did not have the ego and drive and arrogance to mount the Dams raids in an absurdly short time-frame, and Gibson could not have provided the continuous and considered leadership in the evolving role of 617.

RIP both, very different, absurdly brave, and deservedly national heroes.
Actually I disagree on the dams. Cheshire was continuously for almost a year changing and defining the operational characteristics of precision bombing. Maybe with Cheshire in charge, the first two bombs on the Mohne and Eder would have destroyed them. Cheshire was a better thinker against problems. He never put his ego in the way. I once had a discussion with a squadron commander that everyone around me thought was a Gibson. Actually he was more Cheshire as he was in tune with the end result with less collateral. Said to him that he was more Cheshire. The team worked better. As for hero worship, that applies to anyone flying in Bomber Command to the lowest time served Sergeant. To those that served in blue.
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Old 26th Aug 2022, 02:58
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Originally Posted by Tankertrashnav
That is an oft quoted statement, but I'm not so sure I agree. Take the case of two commanding officers of 617 Squadron , Guy Gibson and Leonard Cheshire. Both were effective leaders and courageus pilots , but whereas Gibson was by all accounts an arrogant sod, particularly in his dealings with other ranks, Cheshire was renowned as being popular among all ranks,and was a sensitive and thoughtful man, as witness his post war work with the disabled which led to the setting up the Cheshire Homes. Definitely the exception that proved the rule.
TTN
Good to see you back - it's been a while.
When I attended 617 reunions in the late 70s/early 80s, many of the old timers said that their best wartime CO had been Willie Tait.
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Old 26th Aug 2022, 07:18
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We’ve all read the allegations. If true, disgusting. But hardly a revelation.

We all know what is described, especially bullying and harassment, is common place across all of MoD. In fact, Defence Ministers and Cabinet Secretaries have in the recent past ruled this does not constitute ‘wrongdoing’. That is, it has been formally reported before (many times) and those responsible allowed to judge their own case and write Ministerial briefs and responses. Not only that, MoD has been quite happy to provide these papers under FOI, so confident is it in top level support. Or is that ‘unwarrantable arrogance’, to coin a Defence Committee phrase from 4 March 1998 when discussing infinitely worse breaches by Air Marshals? (One of whom re-entered the lists last week in a letter to the Telegraph).

And that is the elephant in the room. Very senior officers and officials have, for many years, actively condoned such behaviour. They’ve practiced it. It is ingrained, part of their culture. Not just at the Red Arrows. Yes, they may have their own culprits, but the current reports in the media are serving to divert attention from far greater, and far higher, failures. The media knows this, but consistently avoids the elephant. Why are the honest journalists, and there are many, constantly told by editors to pull stories embarrassing to senior staff? Who’s pulling their chain?

For the answer, we can stay on the Red Arrows theme. When MoD lied to the courts in 2014 (Inquest) and 2018 (trial) over the Sean Cunningham affair, MoD’s PR people threatened journalists, accosting them in the street outside the courthouse demanding they hand over notes of interviews with witnesses who were prepared to tell the truth. To their great credit they refused, but were swiftly stood down by their editors. Not one of these verifiable witness statements has ever been published, so if you do a search the only thing you’ll find is verifiable lies. However, one of those young journalists, now with Sky News, was very unhappy, and I suspect her leading report last week is, in part, related to her treatment in 2018. She will not have forgotten.

My point is this is the tip of a very large iceberg, and a local inquiry into one squadron is not going to expose the root problems.
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Old 26th Aug 2022, 08:01
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I think the military’s and wider general public’a distrust of media journalists is no secret. We’ve seen phone hacking, deliberate deception through editing that removes context, inaccuracies, bribery, cover ups and down-right lies. Martin Bashir is a well known one to be found wanting, there have been many more caught out, then there are many that just ‘fill in the gaps’ with what they want too. My own dealings with media and TV companies making documentaries about military life has only cemented my own distrust for the main stream media and anything they choose to spout. That said, if you can get to the truth amongst the waffle then you can find the interesting stuff, and there are certainly nuggets of truth in amongst the current furore about the RAF for sure. There is also often an ulterior motive behind those that leak too, or go on crusades in the name of ‘truth’ but is often driven by embitterment, which normally surfaces in the future.

Think drop the dead donkey and somewhere in there you’ll find the truth and remember there’s nowt queer as folk….

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Old 26th Aug 2022, 09:06
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Originally Posted by Lima Juliet
or go on crusades in the name of ‘truth’ but is often driven by embitterment, which normally surfaces in the future.
Ex CFS instructor with a YouTube channel?
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Old 26th Aug 2022, 09:37
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LJ

Indeed. All true.

I must be careful not to conflate the two issues here - the Gp Capt’s reasons for resigning and the Red Arrows’ story, but there is a lot of overlap.

The Gp Capt’s actions could be seen as a form of whistleblowing - a word I don’t like as it is given negative connotations by MoD and media, who both ignore that very often it is actually someone meeting a legal obligation. (Especially on matters of financial probity, where one does not work to one’s line manager, but directly to PUS).

In general, one can ‘blow the whistle’ only after following the rules by escalating the issue/complaint one step at a time up the management ladder. The rules are ambiguous, the general interpretation being you can blow only after being rejected by PUS (for civil servants), meaning sometimes the whistle can and must be blown very quickly. This principle has been tested and proven a number of times. In practice, however, one can go to the Cabinet Secretary and, to be fair to one of them in the 90s, I recall a former RAF C/T being awarded a 75% pension for life following an accusation of bullying against an AVM. A costly lesson learned for MoD, and since then such actions have always been vigorously defended as acceptable; as mentioned above. Some would say it would be better to address the root problem.

Someone has blown a whistle over the Red Arrows. I wonder if they went through this due process? Or were they frustrated at not getting anywhere? In a process that can take years, a lot of bad things can happen in the meantime. Did (e.g.) CAS ignore him/her, or was it much lower? The investigation must ask that question.

I wonder what CAS thinks of this Reds debacle? One of his predecessors was interviewed in 2011 saying "The Red Arrows will come through this and I think they will continue to use well proven methods of selection and well proven methods of training." That didn’t work out, did it? He’s the BBC’s go-to, but is conspicuous by his absence this time.

As for the Dead Donkey, I was too busy watching a certain Ms Doyle. Am I allowed to say that?
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Old 26th Aug 2022, 14:34
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Question

Originally Posted by BrianJay
Is this the RAFs' 'Tail Hook'?

Possibly……for those (and there will be some) who don’t know what Tail Hook was….

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tailhook_scandal
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Old 26th Aug 2022, 14:48
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Read the book Fighter Pilot, by Christina Olds & Ed Rasimus. It's the story of Robin Olds written by his daughter. The guy pulled off some really crazy sh*t in his career and lived to tell about it!

Example: After becoming an Ace in WWII in P-38s and Mustangs he comes back to the states and into a squadron that is getting P-80s. He is told to hit the back of the line/many dudes in front of him to get checked out on the new jet powered aircraft. He says, "OK, no problem." Few days later he walks out to the flight line (when it's quiet) in borrowed flight suit/helmet and sees a crew chief working on one. He says, "Hi there, they told me to come ask you if you would mind going over the start procedure with me?" Shortly thereafter he is taxiing out, takes off, climbs out, does the usual stalls/spins etc, then comes back and lands like it's no big deal! That was his checkout on a jet aircraft.
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Old 26th Aug 2022, 14:51
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Looks like they have cancelled their weekend flying from Egte , due to engineering issues...
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Old 26th Aug 2022, 15:07
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Be interesting to know if any Defence Air Safety Occurrence Reports (DASORs) have been submitted and what will be done to close them down. Many years ago I saw two for issues of a similar nature, unfortunately I cannot remember how they were closed out and what, if anything, was changed to resolve the issue.
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Old 26th Aug 2022, 16:30
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O.K it was many yesrs ago but I did host two two Farnboroughs with the Arrows, followed by another couple some years later, I think there is a bit of hyperbole about all this.
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Old 26th Aug 2022, 16:43
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Originally Posted by red cuillen
Looks like they have cancelled their weekend flying from Egte , due to engineering issues...
source?

Please do tell…
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Old 26th Aug 2022, 17:03
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Not enough posted to cut and paste but a tweet from red 10, and announcements from those unfortunate people who organised the Sidmouth air show
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Old 26th Aug 2022, 17:32
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They were performing at Clacton today.
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Old 26th Aug 2022, 17:33
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Originally Posted by red cuillen
Not enough posted to cut and paste but a tweet from red 10, and announcements from those unfortunate people who organised the Sidmouth air show
Thank you. Let’s hope it’s not like a premiership footballer being conveniently ‘injured’ just before a transfer, if you get my drift.
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