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Next CAS

Old 22nd Mar 2023, 18:26
  #61 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by Finningley Boy
I suppose the most prominent example from history of an inexperienced, certainly, but successful top military leader was General Eisenhower.

FB
A certain junior artillery officer also did quite wel, politically and militarily (YMMV)l ... https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Napoleon
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Old 22nd Mar 2023, 20:12
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Originally Posted by Bob Viking
I absolutely agree with you. But the one metric that I believe should be applied when deciding the leader of the Air Arm of the British Military is an intimate knowledge of the use and application of Air Power allied to a decent understanding of our airborne platforms. Any aircrew officer would understand that (I do not believe they need to come from FJs) but I struggle to see how an engineering Officer can fully understand the application of Air Power.

I realise Mike Wigston was a terrible example of the benefits of a pilot as CAS but what happens when our new CAS finds himself in a meeting with a foreign Air Force chief and he is questioned on his inventory. Does he turn to his PSO to ask the load out of a Typhoon, or the range/endurance of an Atlas or the load carrying capacity of a Puma?

I know that’s a slightly glib way of putting it but can you see my point?

I will agree with you that an Engineering Officer will likely possess some brilliant leadership and management capabilities. I will always struggle to believe they can be credible as the leader of a military air arm.

BV

Edited to add: it’s not really any of my business any more and I will be absolutely delighted to be proven wrong. You are more than welcome to rub my nose in it when recruitment, retention, morale, capability, budgets and the non-proliferation of never-ending bullsh1t are all sorted within the next three years.
Rich Knighton knows that trite stuff inside out.

And if aircrew were any good as strategic leaders, then surely the RAF wouldn’t be in this position…
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Old 22nd Mar 2023, 21:12
  #63 (permalink)  
 
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From the RAF Website:

Rich Knighton was brought up in Derbyshire and educated at the local Secondary School. He joined the RAF in 1988 as a University Cadet and studied Engineering at Clare College Cambridge. He spent his early career working as an engineer officer on Nimrod and Tornado F3 aircraft and several tours on the Harrier force including being Senior Engineer Officer on 20 Squadron – the Harrier Operational Conversion Unit – at RAF Wittering. After 2 years in this role, including a short stint as Senior Engineer Officer on 1 Squadron in Italy during the Kosovo campaign, he was posted to the Tornado Integrated Project Team as the fleet manager for all marks of Tornado. He attended Advanced Command and Staff Course in 2003/4 before returning to the Harrier Force, this time as head of the team charged with transforming the way the Harrier was supported by industry. After 18 months in post he was selected to be the Military Assistant to Deputy Chief of Defence Staff (Equipment Capability) in MOD. He was promoted to Group Captain in mid-2007 when he became Deputy Assistant Chief of Staff Strategy and Plans at Air Command at RAF High Wycombe. He attended the Royal College of Defence Studies in 2009, after which he took up his appointment as the RAF’s Logistics Force Commander and Station Commander at RAF Wittering.

In 2011 he was promoted to Air Commodore and became Head of Finance and Military Capability (Air) in the MOD before setting up and leading the Future Combat Air System (FCAS) Programme in 2014. In January 2015 he was promoted to Air Vice-Marshal and appointed as the Assistant Chief of the Air Staff. In this role he oversaw the development of the RAF’s strategy and the planning for the RAF’s Centenary celebrations. He became Assistant Chief of Defence Staff (Capability and Force Design) in 2017.

He held this role for a little under two years before he was promoted to Air Marshal and appointed as Deputy Chief of the Defence Staff (Military Capability). He was appointed to his current role as Deputy Commander for Capability and People in May 2022.
That is an impressive CV - he went to OxBridge the hard way, he has experience of ISTAR, AD and OS aircraft on FL Sqns as a JEngO and SEngO, he has an excellent pedigree in recent capability development (including Tempest), he is well respected in MOD having served a variety of tri-Service facing tours. I also hear he is a current keen private flyer (probably in current flying practice more than many above 1 star are), so whilst he hasn’t flown professionally, he certainly knows a bit about flying, a lot about engineering, a lot about how to manage people and he knows how the MOD, it’s finances and policy, all works. He was the first non-Aircrew ACAS and in my opinion he was excellent. To be honest, I can’t imagine anyone currently at that level better qualified to take the job on and fix stuff.

Anyway, it’s time for the top end to change and regenerate, and hopefully we won’t have to wait long to find out who will be running the show. Sometime late May or June 2023 is the top rumour (this is a rumour network, right?).


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Old 23rd Mar 2023, 04:35
  #64 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by alfred_the_great
Rich Knighton knows that trite stuff inside out.

And if aircrew were any good as strategic leaders, then surely the RAF wouldn’t be in this position…
It seems like you and I are playing two sides of the same game. My belief that a non aircrew Officer should not be the head of the UK Military Air Arm seems to be just as entrenched as your belief that Aircrew don’t know how to lead.

I actually hope that I am proven wrong though. I suspect that your mind would never be changed.

BV
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Old 23rd Mar 2023, 08:44
  #65 (permalink)  
 
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I believe it boils down to this: the best person for the job - the strategic leadership of the RAF.

All prejudices should be set aside; aircrew may not be the best fit and its performance throughout their career that matters not what they were selected and trained to do thirty odd years ago…. Perhaps a Regt Officer should be appointed, that would certainly unite the RAF………..
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Old 23rd Mar 2023, 16:12
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Originally Posted by Big Unit Specialist
I believe it boils down to this: the best person for the job - the strategic leadership of the RAF.

All prejudices should be set aside; aircrew may not be the best fit and its performance throughout their career that matters not what they were selected and trained to do thirty odd years ago…. Perhaps a Regt Officer should be appointed, that would certainly unite the RAF………..
Certainly loads more saluting, stamping and marching! Ok, only joking.
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Old 23rd Mar 2023, 18:55
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As I mentioned earlier, surely the new CAS must put a stop, to the almost constant closing of active RAF airfields. In my opinion, for many years the voice of the RAF has not been heard nearly enough & lags well behind the other two services. As a young man or woman looking at a career in the armed forces, which one would be at the top of your list? So sad that the RAF is not the service I remember & was proud to have been a member of for quite some time.
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Old 23rd Mar 2023, 19:26
  #68 (permalink)  
 
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If I was still 15, would I apply to join the RAF I joined in the 1960s? Absolutely I would!

If I was still 15, would I apply to join the RAF of today? NO WAY!!
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Old 23rd Mar 2023, 20:16
  #69 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by BEagle
If I was still 15, would I apply to join the RAF I joined in the 1960s? Absolutely I would!

If I was still 15, would I apply to join the RAF of today? NO WAY!!
I'll bet people in the 60s were saying the same about the 20s. Looking forward to getting my rose tinted spectacles from stores the day I leave. I joined in the 80s, definitely wasn't better than now overall, some things were, plenty weren't.
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Old 23rd Mar 2023, 20:17
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Originally Posted by BEagle
If I was still 15, would I apply to join the RAF I joined in the 1960s? Absolutely I would!

If I was still 15, would I apply to join the RAF of today? NO WAY!!
As a 15 year old today you wouldn’t know any different and probably think the idea of having to wear a suit to dinner, wear a trilby when about town and attend church parade on Sunday bizarre so it’s a pointless comparison.

And your ‘today 15 year old’ probably thinks your ‘60’s 15 year old’ is nothing more than an old has-been whose not in touch with the modern youth. Who smells of mothballs and wee 😁

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Old 23rd Mar 2023, 20:31
  #71 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by kaikohe76
As I mentioned earlier, surely the new CAS must put a stop, to the almost constant closing of active RAF airfields. In my opinion, for many years the voice of the RAF has not been heard nearly enough & lags well behind the other two services. As a young man or woman looking at a career in the armed forces, which one would be at the top of your list? So sad that the RAF is not the service I remember & was proud to have been a member of for quite some time.
AM Smyth has said the RAF as reported in Air Forces Monthly that they have drawn down the airfield infrastructure far too far in not having enough space to effectively deploy the force within the UK.
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Old 23rd Mar 2023, 20:58
  #72 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by Wrathmonk
As a 15 year old today you wouldn’t know any different and probably think the idea of having to wear a suit to dinner, wear a trilby when about town and attend church parade on Sunday bizarre so it’s a pointless comparison.

And your ‘today 15 year old’ probably thinks your ‘60’s 15 year old’ is nothing more than an old has-been whose not in touch with the modern youth. Who smells of mothballs and wee 😁
A sad sign of the passage of time, but I think Beagle's point is the overall size, mindset and posture of the 1960s RAF compared with today. You might recall that typical 15 year olds back in the latter 1960s were being encouraged by popular youth culture to grow their hair down to their bits and pieces, wear Kaftans, smoke dope, drop out, tune in and whatever.

FB
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Old 23rd Mar 2023, 22:48
  #73 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by Finningley Boy
Certainly loads more saluting, stamping and marching! Ok, only joking.
and fitness?
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Old 23rd Mar 2023, 22:48
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Originally Posted by cheekychimp
I'll bet people in the 60s were saying the same about the 20s. Looking forward to getting my rose tinted spectacles from stores the day I leave. I joined in the 80s, definitely wasn't better than now overall, some things were, plenty weren't.
The most truthful comment on here. Most people on here could not remember the best things, let alone the worst things in their time. Sad to say.
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Old 23rd Mar 2023, 22:50
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Originally Posted by BEagle
If I was still 15, would I apply to join the RAF I joined in the 1960s? Absolutely I would!

If I was still 15, would I apply to join the RAF of today? NO WAY!!
If you wanted to work on dynamic machines, I bet you would.
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Old 23rd Mar 2023, 22:53
  #76 (permalink)  
 
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Is "If I were" now dead for hypothetical situations?

Duty Pedant
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Old 24th Mar 2023, 10:08
  #77 (permalink)  

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Is "If I were" now dead for hypothetical situations?
. Well done Langley!

Long live the conditional mood....!!

Even songwriters get it right:

"If I were a carpenter, and you were a lady........"
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Old 24th Mar 2023, 14:23
  #78 (permalink)  
 
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"If I was a better man"....., "If I was a stronger man"; apologies to Midge Ure. Perhaps Wiggy could read the lyrics and pick up a few tips?
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Old 24th Mar 2023, 17:32
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Originally Posted by kaikohe76
As I mentioned earlier, surely the new CAS must put a stop, to the almost constant closing of active RAF airfields. In my opinion, for many years the voice of the RAF has not been heard nearly enough & lags well behind the other two services. As a young man or woman looking at a career in the armed forces, which one would be at the top of your list? So sad that the RAF is not the service I remember & was proud to have been a member of for quite some time.
Why? If you don’t have the units, staff or equipment for them that what do you want or need those redundant airfields for?
And don’t forget, from June this year onwards, the RAF is only going to get even smaller as aircraft and capabilities are retired without replacement, squadrons are disbanded and deliveries of new equipment are delayed and pushed to the right, training seems to go on failing to add to the front line, retention withers and recruitment stagnates.
And you want more airfields?
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Old 25th Mar 2023, 12:15
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Originally Posted by pr00ne
Why? If you don’t have the units, staff or equipment for them that what do you want or need those redundant airfields for?
"Agile combat employment" is the buzzphrase du jour, a concept born out of US concern for the survivability of Pacific island bases in conflict with China but of increasing interest to all air forces as lessons from Ukraine are contemplated. The thesis is that ISR (including cheap drones and commercial satellite imagery) is so capable that static basing will quickly become untenable in conflict even with hardening and point defences. Nothing new to Cold War warriors versed in dispersal plans, but you actually need somewhere to disperse to, and crucially then sustain ongoing operations from. And then somewhere else to go before being targeted. A small fleet size makes this more important, not less...
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