801 Squadron - Disbanded??

Im rather confused about the current 801 situation.

My confusion lies in the disbandment of 801 squadron, i guess this means the squadron no longer exists, but on the RN website it doesnt say anything about this.
Are they simply no longer using the Sea Harrier as are waiting for the new joint strike fighter to arrive?

Could someone explain, as i was applying for pilot with the FAA this winter.


War Hero
80... who?

The current situation is that 800 NAS reformed in April 2006, 80...who were due to form this year but someone got their sums wrong and not enough adequately qualified pilots (depending on who tells you the story) exist. So the manpower from 80...who have been all mixed up with 800 and are now called NSW (Naval Strike Wing) 80...who may form again in 200? or not ?

By the way the Sea Harrier hasn't been in service for a couple of years now, none were really serviceable after 800 temporarily disbanded. We now operate the Harrier GR7 & 9 courtesy of our crabfat friends, we will be waiting a while for Joint strike thingy.
Oh okay, i caught some news of it eventually on the RN site but the information went right over my head. I was concerned that this would affect my application this winter, but hopefully it will bear no effect.

Thanks for the help

so does 800 then still exist or has that been disbanded AGAIN to form this NSW?? according to the RAF and RN websites 800 and 801 are alive and tucking jumpers in. It sounds like somone somewhere does not like the idea of 2 NAS being around after 800 did such a fantastic job in the STAN


War Hero
Bisley said:
so does 800 then still exist or has that been disbanded AGAIN to form this NSW?? according to the RAF and RN websites 800 and 801 are alive and tucking jumpers in. It sounds like somone somewhere does not like the idea of 2 NAS being around after 800 did such a fantastic job in the STAN
Uh! good question, well framed and the answer is :dontknow: 800 had a recommissioning event in April 2006, they have not had another disbandment so one assumes they still exist. 801 disbanded last year at Yeovilton and have not had a recommissioning event so one assumes they no longer exist. It is however a sin to refer to 800 Sqn in JFH, the term is Naval Strike Wing, if however you go to RAF Cottesmore's website( http://www.raf.mod.uk/rafcottesmore/ ) you will see that 800 and 801 are alive and well :banghead: Communication is not a strongpoint of jointery, we are however particularly good at bickering and sniping so while I'm here note that the RN do not appear at this Joint Force Harrier HQ and apparently the RN don't fit in well in the useful links section of the website Still, good to see we are maintaining the ethos, standards and morale of both services.
I have it on good authority that the NSW is working in our favour at the moment. The main problem to standing up 801 permanently is the number of pilots.

However 800 is up and running and as we are so well off for manpower within the Wing (awaiting more aircrew) our maintainers are doing significantly shorter rotations in theatre as opposed to the crabs !

When we have enough aircrew and two seperate operational tasks, then 801 will form up out of this pool as and when required.

Allegedly the pipeline is really slow due to among other reasons the poor performance of the T10 for VSTOL work. Perhaps we should have saved 899's T-birds and sent them up there? An additional micro-fleet, but good enough for press ups, RVL's etc! But who am I to inject common sense!


War Hero
From what I hear NSW is acting in nobody's favour, a lack of cohesion, loss of squadron ethos and sense of belonging, uncertainty tainted by a lack of communication and management replacing good old fashioned leadership. Much of 801 Sqdn manpower has been redistributed amongst 1, 4 and 20 Sqdn so is not sat around looking for work on "the wing" but is detached to Afghanistan on those 5 month? tours. But I suppose it all depends on who you listen to!
I am aware that due to our manning we are filling some of the crabs gapping for a change.

But I understood that our guys in theatre are counting their rotations in a similar number of weeks as opposed to the crabs months!

I agree there is nothing like a stood up squadron for that sense of identity and esprit de corps, but until we find some more aircrew what else can we do?


War Hero
avoiding_action said:
I agree there is nothing like a stood up squadron for that sense of identity and esprit de corps, but until we find some more aircrew what else can we do?
Did you notice the login name "chieftiff" I don't get paid to design solutions but keeping my ear to the ground I am very good at pointing out faults in the current system, people who mattered used to listen.......... enough said.
chieftiff, avoiding action - god am i glad to be out of it now. was due to come up to cott/witt a little while ago under a training and design guise but unable to make it. however the feedback from the rest of the team was that it was a god-awful mess.

Lets face it the demise of the Fleet Air Arm started in the mid 70s when the Buccaneers were removed from NAS Lossiemouth and sent to RAF Honington. While ashore they were put under the command of the RAF who used them as part of their numbers in the aircraft generation game name of TACEVAL. No matter that the squadron had just returned from a nine month sea trip on Ark Royal they were expected to stop everything and play the RAF game which only happenned three to four times a year (for the RAF)
The FAA should be a completely separate entity to the RAF


War Hero
I fear you're both right Slim and Oil_Slick, the FAA should be a seperate entity but I can certainly feel the demise of RN fixed wing ops in favour of the RAF. I'm leaving because I still love the RN I don't want to stay to witness the FAA's demise and resent it!
I have it on good authority that the NSW is working in our favour at the moment.
What a shame we still have people (of all services) using phrases like the above. Perhaps if we all started seeing snipers in every bush and started working together as a Joint team things would be better.

I'm RAF aircrew but feel strongly that the RN and Army should retain their own independent aviation capabilities. I also know of very few RAF types who wish to take over FAA tasks.

We can all find examples of our respective services fighting others in turf wars over the years. The RAF and RN in particular severely undermined each other in the 60's (CVA01/P1154/TSR2).

However, as our respective services shrink, we need to recognise that Jointery is the way forward. If we work together, we can preserve our respective single service identities. If we do not, the I fear that we're all destined for a single amorphous purple mass a la Canada.

NSW leadership should look upon JFH as an opportunity to bring new relevance, versatility and purpose to the FAA. Look forward not back. And recognise the real enemy as faceless civil servants.

Long live the FAA!

Oh if only................

But I feel that the view through your rose-tinted aircrew sunglasses from the side of your 5 star hotel pool isn't a realistic one.

The FAA hasn't been in a worse position since the 1920's and I'm sorry, but it is in my humble opinion not in the RAF's interest to see it improve.

The RAF’s 'tail-to-teeth' ratio is horrendous. Their ability to deploy OOA without other nations (let alone host) support severely limited and be it due to Government or Command decisions their inventory totally up-the-spout!

On a brighter note however I did see the Typhoon display last weekend and it was very impressive. I feel a lot better knowing we have bought 232 display aircraft and look forward to seeing the 'dead sparrows' converting to type!
chieftiff said:
I used to be a B13 PO, I probably had all the answers then ^~
I started life as an MEA! Now that I've reached the top of the tree in the FAA as a B13 I get to give other people their opinions! It's a funny old world :w00t:
Avoiding Action,

I'm not quite sure why I deserved that diatribe, let alone resurrection of the old 5-star hotel myth which is particularly ironic given my current location.

I'd agree that the FAA is in a very bad position right now and this is perhaps due to the relatively limited priority which is placed upon aviation by your service. Although the RN is far better than the Army in this respect, it disappoints me that there is so much focus on securing 2 x 65 000 ton CVF with far less emphasis placed upon the associated air wing. The RN seem to have placed little emphasis upon ensuring terms of service and career paths to encourage your fixed wing aviators to pursue a career past cdr rank. This particularly seems to be reducing your voice in JFH andf HQ 1 Gp where it is almost impossible to find suitably qualified RN SO1s or above. Equally worrying is the lack of focus upon MASC in the FAA.

I'm not quite sure why you needed to bring the RAF's out of area abilities into this debate and recent/current ops do not support your comments. In 2001, my own E-3D community deployed 3 aircraft and crews to an austere location in the middle east and flew the first operational missions over Afghanistan within 36 hrs of the order being given. This was independent of any foreign support and the extant Saif Sareea exercise infrastructure. I could give many other examples of SH, fast jet and multi-engine ops that remain ongoing with little or no foreign support. Indeed, in many cases RAF aircraft are the asset of choice for our allies. Tornado GR4 recce, Nimrod R1 and MR2 are such examples.

Likewise, if you consider Typhoon as a display aircraft, you clearly have little understanding of it's capabilities. I'm not Typhoon's greatest fan but we are always going to have to support European industry in our purchases. Typhoon is rapidly proving an extremely capable platform that will be deployed on ops in an A-G role next year and has huge potential in other areas (eg ISTAR and C2). In due course, Typhoon and F-35 should compliment one another very effectively.

I'll most likely be off line now for several days so the floor is yours Avoiding Action if you wish to engage in any more, frankly purile, point scoring. Personally, I'd rather work together with you guys to silence the narrow minded idiots of both our services and work towards what is best for the Joint community.

However, perhaps when I seek to support the RN on this forum, I may in future keep my thoughts to myself if all I attract is hostile reaction.

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