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UK SAR 2013 privatisation: the new thread

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UK SAR 2013 privatisation: the new thread

Old 2nd Jul 2015, 22:37
  #2061 (permalink)  
 
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Al-bert -

TOTD - the problem was that SAR and CSAR are two completely different animals (something not really understood by the upper management) and that the serviceability levels of the yellow Sea King force were just incompatible with deployed ops - just manning the Falklands was a massive drain on resources and manpower let alone attempting anything else.

You want to deploy a force that has just 23 aircraft (of which 6 are a different mark thanks to other crap decisions) and a commitment to 6 full time SAR bases, each required to provide 2 aircraft every day, plus an OCU with a 3 line program plus depth servicing and modification programs and 2 aircraft in the Falklands - where the f*** do the assets come from?

It's like so many military tasks - given the right resources anything is possible however, back-of-a-fag packet plans can work for limited periods but are unsustainable in anything but the short term.....something else our military and political masters have failed to learn

BTW - i don't think pulling circuit breakers on a Mk 3 at night over the water ever became an unremarkable event!!
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Old 2nd Jul 2015, 22:48
  #2062 (permalink)  
 
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Crab

BTW - i don't think pulling circuit breakers on a Mk 3 at night over the water ever became an unremarkable event!!
only QHI's did that - some might have received broken fingers!
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Old 3rd Jul 2015, 06:05
  #2063 (permalink)  
 
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Crab

the problem was that SAR and CSAR are two completely different animals (something not really understood by the upper management) and that the serviceability levels of the yellow Sea King force were just incompatible with deployed ops - just manning the Falklands was a massive drain on resources and manpower let alone attempting anything else.

You want to deploy a force that has just 23 aircraft (of which 6 are a different mark thanks to other crap decisions) and a commitment to 6 full time SAR bases, each required to provide 2 aircraft every day, plus an OCU with a 3 line program plus depth servicing and modification programs and 2 aircraft in the Falklands - where the f*** do the assets come from?
I agree. Every single one of these points (bar the Mk3A comment obviously) was moaned and groaned about at the first SAR policy meeting I was sent to in Express State in 1985 to act for the RN. For whatever reason, Political interference and senior officer politics dogged SAR more than anything else. An Air Cdre chaired the meeting and was interrupted by a beancounter who just walked in, brushed him aside and spelled out cutbacks using an argument a 5 year old would laugh at. But funnily enough, the thrust of that particular meeting didn't change - the planning of the CSAR fleet conversion programme, which as Crab rightly says, required a very different aircraft fit. We were just told to do SAR with fewer bases. (I was just a junior CS and didn't say much as Culdrose and Prestwick weren't affected. My input was limited to CSAR planning as the RN tended to lead on engineering as the main user).

The Mk3A programme was a mess because, again, the senior bods didn't understand that Westland simply couldn't go and build (originally far more than 6) new Mk3s. Far too much of the avionics was obsolescent, or in some cases obsolete, and the different form, fit, function and use meant a re-designation. So a retro-fit programme had to be championed by MoD(PE), with very little RAF support above Sqn Ldr level. It didn't happen, so you had a split fleet; with the new Mk3A in many ways still way behind the original spec (radar primarily, one of the crap decisions Crab mentioned).

It may seem odd, but everyone knew in the early 90s that SAR was on its way out. When the brass want to wield the "long screwdriver" and influence every single decision on what is a routine production contract, you know something's up. After interview, I was selected as Mk3A programme manager in August 1993, but on the day I arrived to take up post was told the RAF had lobbied CDP (4 Star) and insisted an RAF officer do the job. I was given an RN job instead. A year later, precisely the same thing happened on (what became) Chinook Mk3, only that time I'd given a handover and made it to my new office. Both times an inexperienced officer was parachuted in. The SK guy ignored instructions and delivered, within the budget he'd been given, plus a few extras from offests. His annual report in 1994-5 called him "an Arthur Daley character", which of course is how you get things done in procurement, but wasn't seen that way by his RAF bosses. On Chinook, his counterpart rolled over and you know the rest.

Just a view from the other direction.
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Old 3rd Jul 2015, 07:40
  #2064 (permalink)  
 
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Could I suggest to the Moderator of all Pruners that perhaps the time has come to rationalise this particular thread into `UKSAR - the way ahead` and `Whingeing Old Crabs- the older I get the better I was`.

I am sure that it will not have escaped people`s notice that the UKSAR contract is now under way and that no amount of whining and `you don`t want to do it like that` comments is going to change anything.
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Old 3rd Jul 2015, 09:17
  #2065 (permalink)  
 
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Well said WW - some time ago this Harry Enfield's dinosaur of a character came to mind when I read one individual's posts on this thread and you obviously feel the same way....

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Old 3rd Jul 2015, 12:30
  #2066 (permalink)  
 
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Or these?

http://www.liveleak.com/view?i=01f_1314340424
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Old 3rd Jul 2015, 13:33
  #2067 (permalink)  
 
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TOTD - the problem was that SAR and CSAR are two completely different animals (something not really understood by the upper management) and that the serviceability levels of the yellow Sea King force were just incompatible with deployed ops - just manning the Falklands was a massive drain on resources and manpower let alone attempting anything else.

You want to deploy a force that has just 23 aircraft (of which 6 are a different mark thanks to other crap decisions) and a commitment to 6 full time SAR bases, each required to provide 2 aircraft every day, plus an OCU with a 3 line program plus depth servicing and modification programs and 2 aircraft in the Falklands - where the f*** do the assets come from?
I actually agree with most of this Crab (NB it was 25 airframes not 23!) but I feel that, while you offer valid reasons why deploying would have been tricky to achieve, the parochial attitude of certain individuals would have stymied progress even had the physical assets been available.

You are, of course, aware that various members of the SAR Force have deployed on ops in several guises in recent years, just without the aircraft - had this opportunity been taken sooner, the brass might have been more keen to keep Mil SAR. As it was, it was too little too late - and lack of people (not aircraft) limited how much could be done. And of course the thorn which was never properly grasped properly in recent times was OCU manning, which meant frequent delays training new crews - but that's a slightly different issue!
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Old 3rd Jul 2015, 14:13
  #2068 (permalink)  
 
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Crab and Albert,


My interjection had the desired effect. Glad to see you two getting along; now go and get a room!
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Old 3rd Jul 2015, 21:40
  #2069 (permalink)  
 
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TOTD - I am sure you are right about numbers, couldn't remember if the Lossie 'drag damper' one was cat 5 or not!

The use of SAR paramedics in Afghan was driven by a massive lack of qualified personnel thanks to the Defence Medical Service not getting its act together - I don't think that would have saved the SARF if it had happened earlier.

However, the OCU's main issue was the upper management's constant error to rape them of aircraft to support the front line. It is all well and good protecting your operational capability, but without aircraft, the OCU fell further and further behind and that is what ultimately caused front-line manning problems.

True, OCU manning was an issue but there was one Sqn that provided the majority of QHIs and QHCIs while the other was happy to let people who were eminently suitable for training jobs stay forever at some flights rather than run the risk of upsetting them.

Add in the ridiculous decision to close St Mawgan (after moving the depth servicing to Fleetlands just to boost their order book and inflate the price they sold it off for) and you have a recipe for disaster since the SARF at Valley turned into an overmanned, under-performing behemoth with a SAR flt and an OCU sharing insufficient resources and a less than perfect engineering setup with so many long-handled screwdrivers from the HQ just making things worse.

Most of this was easy to foresee but senior officers always know best - NOT

Clever Richard - I think Al-bert and myself were quite capable of having a difference of opinion and sorting it out without counselling
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Old 5th Jul 2015, 00:35
  #2070 (permalink)  
 
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CivSAR at night.

RESCUE 951 has just assisted Lochaber MRT on a job in the mountains in the Fort William area.They were on scene from approx 0000 to 0100.Just thought you learned gents would find the timing of this job a topic for discussion.Well done RESCUE 951 and Lochaber MRT as always.
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Old 5th Jul 2015, 07:25
  #2071 (permalink)  
 
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Add in the ridiculous decision to close St Mawgan (after moving the depth servicing to Fleetlands......
This was facilitated by a real oddity. Most here would regard Fleetlands as 3rd Line, but they were designated as 2nd/3rd Line, and depths A/B/C/D on a lot of kit, so they would be capable of providing deployed manpower to bolster air stations (or just do it at Gosport), if for whatever reason the latter couldn't cope. (Service sports days, jollies, guard duty, potato peeling, general layaboutedness.........) So to a beancounter closing depth servicing at St Mawgan would have been a no-brainer (given BCs only think of money, not value).
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Old 5th Jul 2015, 07:51
  #2072 (permalink)  
 
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Not sure I've ever been able to take SAR boys seriously since visiting a Whirlwind flight years ago. They were scattered around in bunny suits and carpet slippers moaning because the next (free) hot meal was a few minutes late!
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Old 5th Jul 2015, 20:23
  #2073 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by torque137 View Post
RESCUE 951 has just assisted Lochaber MRT on a job in the mountains in the Fort William area.They were on scene from approx 0000 to 0100.Just thought you learned gents would find the timing of this job a topic for discussion.Well done RESCUE 951 and Lochaber MRT as always.

The SK from Gannet was doing some leaf blowing in my garden on Friday night & I heard more activity last night - were there two out as the one I heard was clattering about the joint much like an SK?


Since you seem to be up on these things in our area, what's the deal with the S-92 rarely / never using the LMR centre & always seeming to go to the fuel dump? I'm figuring it's a noise or weight thing as it's no bigger than the SK?.
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Old 6th Jul 2015, 06:36
  #2074 (permalink)  
 
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Im told its a downwash issue,it will never land at the LMRT Base for fear of smashing the windows in the building next door.

It will therefore always be seen at the refuel site,or,the field in Glen Nevis.

Hope this helps.
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Old 6th Jul 2015, 11:15
  #2075 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by torque137 View Post

Hope this helps.

Cheers GB - makes sense.
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Old 6th Jul 2015, 15:27
  #2076 (permalink)  
 
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what's the deal with the S-92 rarely / never using the LMR centre & always seeming to

Both SK and S92 should not be using the LMRT base for landings. Its mostly to do with noise and the high number of complaints the police received from local residents, plus adjacent buildings were not getting occupied or leased out because of noise, so the Police duly notified Bristow/Navy/Raf about this. Bristow took this on board but the Navy have seemed to be forgetting this more and more as time goes on. The West End Car Park is still a designated landing site for both aircraft (along with carrs corner and Glen Nevis) but sadly police have so few Officers spare they cant man the West End, something Bristow have totally forgotten about in the hand over (Local HM Coastguard teams did man all Helicopter Landing sites for CG Aircraft) Hope this helps

torque137 - I think it was Navy 177 that did that job in the wee hours the other night, coming to think about it I have not yet seen the Inverness S92 down here in the dark or even low light.

Last edited by MKO72; 6th Jul 2015 at 17:53. Reason: missing word
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Old 6th Jul 2015, 19:12
  #2077 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by MKO72 View Post
... ... torque137 - I think it was Navy 177 that did that job in the wee hours the other night, coming to think about it I have not yet seen the Inverness S92 down here in the dark or even low light.

The ADS-B track shows G-MCGI departed INV and headed down the Great Glen to Lochaber at 2228h UTC on the 4th and returned by a similar route to land at INV 0023h UTC on the 5th.


(The same aircraft was in the north-west the previous night during a similar time slot but it is not known if that was ops or trg.)
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Old 6th Jul 2015, 21:32
  #2078 (permalink)  
 
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Jim, the rescue on Friday was done by Navy R177, as stated by Lochaber MRT on their facebook page. In the same post they say that the S92's cant do night jobs yet.
I'm not sure what CG951 was doing on Saturday night in this area but there was no jobs on with MRT, Coastguards or Medevac.
Have you been told differently by Bristow about night jobs?
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Old 7th Jul 2015, 10:03
  #2079 (permalink)  
 
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- I referred to a publicly available (incomplete) ADS-B track that put a Bristow Inverness aircraft in the area during that time period. So the aircraft could have been sighted and led to the original confusion.
- I do not know what Golf India was doing there. If it was a NVG training flight, how frustrating would that have been!
- R177 not known to be on ADS-B.

- Not doing NVG is not the same thing as not doing night jobs.
- It doesn't get dark until August.

- Aircraft get assigned to tasks by ARCC for a variety of reasons including night vision capability but also being already in the air and closer or the nearest base being already assigned.

- Well done R177.


(No pissing contests please.)
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Old 9th Jul 2015, 18:16
  #2080 (permalink)  
 
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Not doing NVG is not the same thing as not doing night jobs
True and in fact the 'not quite day/not quite night' scenario is much more dangerous as it is too bright for NVG but not dark enough for white light.

It is that time when a pilot can be suckered into using daytime techniques without appreciating there are actually insufficient visual cues to do so.

I always did day into night Cat check sorties to highlight the problems.

I hear there is a great deal of NVD training going on with Bristow in an attempt to get the pilots with lots of S92/139 time but no NVD time up to speed - tricky at this time of the year with such short nights. I wonder how many extra training hours they will need, beyond the 1.5 hrs per day allocation, to get them up to full operational SAR standard rather than basic NVD operators - and who will be paying for all that training???
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