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AAC - Today's Telegraph

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AAC - Today's Telegraph

Old 2nd Aug 2003, 03:48
  #21 (permalink)  
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As long as the AAC view flying as an extra curricular activity they will make little or no progress with AH As an ex AAC QHI who worked all hours at Wattisham to get un-current pilots current again using the single regimental Ac, I found it frustrating in the extreme for me and the pilots I flew with to finish our NVG serials at 0230hrs or later only to find that we were all required on the Regimental run at 0600 hrs. The Corps really have to get behind their pilots and concentrate on using AH as part of the all arms battle. Im afraid the Corps is somewhat led by donkeys!
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Old 2nd Aug 2003, 04:45
  #22 (permalink)  
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I sincerely hope that you didn't mean to cast negative aspertions on the GPR. However, even if you didn't, I feel an apology would be apropriate as at the very least your comment was somewhat poorly phrased.

To those who have commented upon the British GPR, the fact that they were trained as infantry was in contrast, US glider pilots. The Yank pilots were not infantry trained during WWII and they must have been a considerable burden for the troops that they had flown into battle.
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Old 3rd Aug 2003, 03:49
  #23 (permalink)  
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Have re-read my posts and there is absolutely no inference of disrespect to the British GPR in anything I've said and certainly none meant.

For those who have taken offence, apologies, none was intended to those that have gone before us (offence that is).

Apache, you can keep it, we don't need it or want it. Judging by the long cue of AAC at PMA Innsworth, it's not proving much interest for you lot either unless you're a Brig looking for the next promotion.

While the AAC maintains the soldiers-first ethos that Letsby alluded to you will be considered amateur, which is a pity, no matter how much you bleat about it. If you spent as much time on developing the Apache as you do winging about the Puma daring to park on the wrong spot at Bessbrook or other such back-stabbing triviality, the AAC might just have a future.

Last edited by CrabInCab; 3rd Aug 2003 at 04:00.
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Old 3rd Aug 2003, 04:19
  #24 (permalink)  
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Mr Crab-in-Cab (C-in-C, now ain't that appropriate?)

I had the privilege - and it was a privilege - of dropping Paras onto the Ginkelsche Heide near Arnhem, the main drop zone for Operation Market-Garden, for the annual commemoration three years on the trot.

I have walked through Arnhem's streets, where the shops had their windows hung with red, white and blue ribbons and banners shouting 'Welcome back, Tommy!'. I went to the John Frost Brug and marvelled at how much it was like the film. The townspeople were - and are - passionate about the Ten Thousand.

It brought tears to my eyes.

The strategy that led to the Arnhem drop was questionable, to say the least. Nonetheless, the heroism of those who took part in it is not in doubt. The Glider Pilot Regiment, along with the RAF crews that towed them into battle, flew and fought with absolute distinction.

Inter-Service banter is fine - in fact, it's compulsory.

The only rule is that you don't - EVER - mean it.

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Old 3rd Aug 2003, 04:27
  #25 (permalink)  
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I say again.

"Have re-read my posts and there is absolutely no inference of disrespect to the British GPR in anything I've said and certainly none meant."

Your point?
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Old 3rd Aug 2003, 06:21
  #26 (permalink)  
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Instead of telling us what you didn't mean by your post, perhaps you'd be good enough to tell us what you did mean by it.
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Old 3rd Aug 2003, 17:40
  #27 (permalink)  
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Scud-u-like; it appears quite obvious to me, read article then comment! Which bit was so difficult, the reading or the commenting?

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Old 3rd Aug 2003, 21:51
  #28 (permalink)  
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CrabinCab, All controversy aside, you dont actually mention how differently the RAF would operate the Apache. Would it be possible, logistically, to operate the Apache from so far back from the front lines, even with the use of FARPs (presumably run by the Army so close to the front lines). Do you really believe that RAF helicopter pilots are that much more skilled than Army pilots? Surely even you cannot be that arrogant.
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Old 3rd Aug 2003, 22:42
  #29 (permalink)  
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KennyR - Correct I don't because as I stated we don't need Apache or want it.

I do not for a minute believe that RAF helicopter pilots are more skilled than Army pilots and have never said so, professional yes-skilled no, what I do believe however is:

1. The RAF has considerable experience in operation and employment of complex airbourne weapon systems and has been doing it for quite a while, the AAC does not.

2. The RAF has a fair understanding of the logistical and engineering problems associated with the employment of such an asset near the front line (Harrier). I think your FARP will be manned almost entirely by RAF somewhere near a Chinook or ten.

3. The RAF has considerable experience in the selection and training of aircrews to be employed operating complex airbourne weapon delivery systems, the AAC does not.

The knowledge is there, use it, tap it and the AAC are in business and all sucess to them; continue with your heads so firmly entrenched up your regimental backsides and the AAC will be gone before you know it.

And to think I was going to be bored this weekend!


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Old 3rd Aug 2003, 23:07
  #30 (permalink)  
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You don't think that perhaps the RN should have it?
You know, what with all our trained airborne tactitions with helo-radar experience and the like.
Or are we not professional enough for you CinC either?
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Old 4th Aug 2003, 02:26
  #31 (permalink)  
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A fish bite too.

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Old 4th Aug 2003, 17:19
  #32 (permalink)  
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I don't think anyone - even the Torygraph - has ever implied that the Royal Marines ever belonged to the Army. However, the Commandos were very much army at the beginning; indeed, the (later) Royal Marines version came in for a lot of stick as they took non-volunteers.

Love the banter, by the way - gives us something to chat about and wind up the policemen when we do our shift changes (there is life after service heli flying, you know...)
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Old 4th Aug 2003, 20:06
  #33 (permalink)  
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See also letter in Saturday's Telegraph from the Chief of the General Staff, which I copy below:-

" I take strong exception to your article of 31 July "Army chiefs are out to capture the Marines" which stated that I was behind a move to take the Royal Marines under my "control". There is no such move, as the Defence Press Office clearly told your Defence Correspondent. In today's joint operations, Army units may serve under command of RM officers for a particular mission - the reverse is equally true. The recent battle for Basra is a particularly vivid example.

The article goes on with a gloom-laden and unbalanced report about the Apache attack helicopter. Overall, the Apache proved itself highly effective in the recent Iraq war. Our own programme is largely on track and there is no doubt that the Apache system will deliver "radical changes". We are working to update our thinking on the use of Apache in the context of lighter, faster-moving intervention forces. Far from being a "costly mistake", any changes that flow from that work will be an endorsement of the central role Apache has in our vision for future land operations".

Watch his lips he is the Head of the Shed

So that'll be that arguement over then.

Crab - at least have the good grace to admit that your poorly worded reply has caused offence. That should not be too much to ask rather than be mealy mouthed about what you thought you had said. As an aside one of the many reasons that the Army is fielding the Apache is that the Country just cannot afford the one to thirty ratio employed by the RAF in comparison to the Army's one to ten. Regarding the 'soldiers first' banter, I am one of your customers that has been landed at the phone number and had to walk to the grid reference - nuff said.


Last edited by Low Ball; 4th Aug 2003 at 21:12.
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Old 5th Aug 2003, 03:03
  #34 (permalink)  
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Never have I ever been so interested in a particular thread and I reply to the PPP who calls himself C-in-C. For those who don't know what PPP stands for, it is Pompous Puma P---k.
If indeed you fly the old Puma, perhaps while looking in the mess at RAF Aldergrove at the old GPR print you may wish to have your own painting endorsed with all the Puma's that have been spread all over the Emerald Isle over the last 18 months, at the last count it was 4. Call yourself professionals eh!!!!!
And another thing, reference south of Lough Neigh and East of Ballygawley, have a word with yourself, you can do better than that.
And another thing, it was pleasurable having spent nearly 3 years at the above described location putting fools like you in your place.
And another thing, we never used to whinge about you parking on the wrong spot, we did it on purpose to show you lot who was actually in charge down there and unless things have changed drastically then Lynx 5 springs to mind, an Army AIr Corps Lynx Pilot rank ranged from Sgt to Major, something that you lot could never comprehend.
And another thing, slag off the Apache as much as you like but you still would not get your hands on it. Yes agreed the RAF is more advanced in weapons systems but you ain't, if you were that good, you would be flying some fast jet somewhere but you ain't so give your mouth a rest and get on with what your used to, leaving the Army to pick up the pieces when you lot have done your 14 hours.
Nuff said.
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Old 5th Aug 2003, 09:35
  #35 (permalink)  

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Having worked for and alongside the Army, and serving them as 'customers', there is a general lack of appreciation of what it takes to run an airborne force of any description. This is not meant to cast dispersions on any AAC individual's own professionalism - it's a fault of your service in general. As long as the upper echelons of the Army continue to view helicopters as airborne landrovers and AT aircraft as airborne trucks or 4 tonners, this kind of thing will continue. You CANNOT run an effective airborne force whilst aviation is regarded as a secondary duty. To drag guys out of their pits at 0600 to go running after a late NVG detail is not only totally pointless (you don't need high levels of 'physical fitness' to be a flyer), but bloody dangerous if they have to fly that day also.

Notwithstanding what i've already said, the comment above which reads ' pick up the pieces after you lot have done your 14hrs' shows an extreme lack of professionalism and appreciation. This is typical of comments I would expect from soldiers (non AAC). If you want to be a big hero, fine. I'd rather stay alive so I can continue to operate the next day. Crew duty rules are there for a reason - if you don't know what that reason is, you have no place in the air.

This lack of appreciation at the highest level became obvious during the deployment phase of TELIC (which, I point out, was run by HQLAND, not PJHQ - at least at PJHQ there are elements of light & dark blue to pull the 'Melchetts' aside and 'educate' them). Dithering, stupid decisions, kneejerk reactions and a total lack of knowledge almost led to the complete collapse of in-theatre AT support (with which I was heavily involved), until certain elements were persuaded to wind their necks in and let people who knew what they were doing (RAF I must point out) run that element of the OP.

Unless and until the Army's movers and shakers realise that aviation requires the dedicated and undivided attention of its exponents, and drops this 'Soldiers First' bollocks, the days of the AAC as anything more than a flying club are numbered.
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Old 5th Aug 2003, 16:39
  #36 (permalink)  
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What a tirade! Calm down old boy! Otherwise people will begin to think it's true about the AAC inferiority complex!

16 Blades

Well said, especially the bit about the flying club.

Depart quietly
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Old 5th Aug 2003, 16:49
  #37 (permalink)  
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Save money and axe the AAC. Bring all UK Heli assets under one command and after all since the machines FLY it must be an Air Force job.
We have Joint Harrier force so lets save money and have one logistical chain looking after one Heli Command. All the squabbling will then cease. You know it makes sense. How people can decry a Puma pilot and call him a failed jet jockey is just the same as calling an AAC pilot a failed SAS trooper!! Horses for courses.
Rant Over.
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Old 5th Aug 2003, 19:21
  #38 (permalink)  
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".....................endorsement of the central role Apache has in our vision for future land operations."

How Joint is that sort of statement?
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Old 5th Aug 2003, 22:37
  #39 (permalink)  

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Children children! What a lot of name calling which (nearly) hides some sensible thinking.

I have always thought that NO individual service had a monopoly of the skills required to get the best out of Apache for UK plc.

The RAF clearly have the edge in operating (and, more importantly, servicing) complex weapons systems, and using DAS etc. The servicing is important. You don't want your REME (or gc or maintainer) diverted from the task of fixing jets by going for runs or doing stags (sounds like something perverted highlanders might do).

Equally clearly, despite the number of Melchetts about, many crab helo pilots have extremely poor awareness of the requirements of the blighter on the ground that they are supposed to be supporting. (Not all, before the flak starts, but many). And JHC has (more or less) proved that we can work together and talk, if not the same language, at least a mutually intelligable one.

And of course, the dear WAFUs have unrivalled expertise at shipboard ops (shame the junglies can't persuade the pingers and baggies to use gogs more oftem though).

And my point is: what's wrong with a joint squadron/wing/regiment? We've had joint RN/RAF with that outfit that flew Canberras with lots of aerials, we've had joint Army/RAF (a long time ago) with the bold GPR and AOP sqns, and you could probably count 847 as joint Army/RN, although the Royals would complain. Never had all three though (OK Jayteeto, I know about your lot!)

So- RAF engineers and EWOs/QWIs, Army HTIs and IntOs, and .... err ... RN FDOs I s'pose (they could also do the entertainments and PR - in both areas they excel!) And pilots? Equally (or proportionately) drawn from all three, subject to identical selection, training and standards (just exactly like DHFS could, but doesn't do).

Wot abaht it JHC? (gets flakvest and helmet from handy shelf, puts fingers in ears and waits......)
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Old 5th Aug 2003, 23:25
  #40 (permalink)  
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Oh please stop the intelligent conversation............
as one Army chappy could quite succintly sum it up (rare occasion to say the least!) on a battle field in the not too distant future:

"For heaven's sake, keep those Apaches away from here, they're scaring the horses"
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