Disband the RAF?

Discussion in 'Current Affairs' started by capt-ahab, May 12, 2006.

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  1. Some of you have probably already seen this - been on arrse already but wondered what the feeling would be over here?

    It’s time to abolish the RAF according to Col Tim Collins

    "We’d have a more efficient, streamlined armed forces without the air corps" apparently - what you reckon to this?

    Edited to add the link I forgot to put in!

  2. The Labour Party proposed the same thing in the mid 1930s. They needn't have bothered: Chamberlain had cut them to the bone already! Perhaps Col.Collins is a closet socialist (unlikely)? Disbanding the Army... and shifting the money into the RN, now that's an idea :lol:

    A truly streamlined armed forces would drastically prune the supernumary admirals, generals, etc from the payroll and spend more of retaining quality personnel in the lower ranks! :evil:
  3. Not popular, but worth mentioning; when the Army was curled into a feotal position, bleeding from it's collective ARRSE and whimpering "Make the bad Hun stop, Mummy!", it was the RAF who saved the day.
    Without The Few back in 1940, Col Collins would have been speaking in German today and asking "Do we really need a Luftwaffa?"
    Army and Marines can slag the Rockapes. But the RAF remains the best Airforce in the world. And I'll fight any man who says different!
  4. Like the Canadians? They did it to streamline their forces, but now there isn't the political will to truly support and equip them. In hindsight it was the thin end of the wedge. Shame - they've been among the finest forces in the world.

    I do think that manning levels in the RAF have always been relatively luxurious compared to the RN - they seem to have lots of people making careers out of doing the small jobs that form only a part of the jobs of their RN equivalents. Good detailed knowledge, but only in limited fields. An RAF corporal in the communications world would need to expand his knowledge fourfold to keep up with a modern LOM(C) (LRO as was).
  5. RAF has already been cut to the bone; at any one time, only half the RAF's jets can fly. They have to use the other half for spare parts. Robbing Peter to pay Paul.
    The RAF, like the rest of the Armed Forces, somehow manage to turn out some of the best people in the world at their prticular speciality - in spite of being shafted by the MoD and the Treasury.
  6. Jargon, jargon... What does OM(C) stand for? :?
  7. I even put it in brackets for you old salts! Operator Maintainer (Communications). No more jargon thatn "Chief Stoker" or "Joss".
  8. Probably not quite on topic but interesting just the same. Someone spoke earlier about The Battle of Britain lads who saved our bacon in the last big shindig. It seems folks have short memories.

    Interestingly, I had occasion to visit our local council offices this week. Although a brand new shiny reception has been built, the actual main offices are housed in what used to be the officers mess of RAF West Malling (Of Sir Guy Gibson fame) and a large memorial notice board outside tells the story.

    Although the base no longer exists some of the buildings do. You can still tell a couple of hangers amongst the new build, and the control tower is a listed building, as is the officers mess.

    As for the rest, well its now known as Kings Hill and comprises businesses, a part of the Uni of Greenwich, local council offices, loads of residential, an Asda supermarket, doctors surgery etc etc and of course........ A pub ! The pub is called "The Spitfire" - I wonder why ?
  9. I was a young Staff Cadet at Malling back in 19depressing when 618VGS were there.

    The pub I remember at the time was the Startled Saint.

    Have you seen the ghosts yet CheefTiff? :)
  10. chieftiff

    chieftiff War Hero Moderator

    Disband the RAF? I hope not or my line of responsibility will be somewhat diminished, in fact my organisation tree would only have me in it!

    Lot of talk about this in JFH (Joint Force Harrier) a lot of it just banta to wind up the crabs, we call it the 100 year experiment!

    The reality is yes the RAF are over manned compared to the Navy, even after this round of redundancies, this is because many of their trade boundaries are so narrow. To say that they are experts in their small trades is also false, they know no more in their single trades than their Naval equivelants do in their "multi trades" believe me on this I am in a position to know, that is just the RAF blowing smoke up their own arses to justify what they do. Muliti-skilling is the way ahead for the Airforce- catching up with the rest of the world is the reality.

    A big but in this though, who is the fool, the service which has allowed it's numbers to dwindle to the point where gapping is the norm or the service which has left enough fat in it's numbers to allow for the unforeseen?

    To use the heroics of a previous generation to defend the ability and necessity of the current is a useless argument, and I truly believe those who use it know this. We all know those guys went above and beyond the call of duty, their sacrifice will never be forgotten, certainly not by me anyway. The Royal Air Force is without doubt the best Air Force in the world, I have flown with a few and know who I would rather fly with! They need to come through this current round of manpower reductions and LEAN and maintain their ability to do what they do yet strive to do it better.

    The best Air Force in the world is not the same as the best operators of aircraft- that obviously sits firmly with the FAA.

    And Punisher. to defend th RAF is acceptable but to defend the regiment!!! that is difficult/ stupid. :lol:
  11. Very bad idea. Whilst we have always had the traditional banter and on principal I feel duely obliged to slag 'em off at every opportunity I get, I agree with the sentiments posted by all those who remind us just how often the RAF have saved the day [standfast the Falklands].

    I do however believe they are extremely well staffed. I wonder what the ratio is between the number of airframes and total manpower is. There seems to be an awful lot of people who aren't flight crew and maintainers. :roll:
  12. Read Sharky Wards book about the Falklands & see what he thinks of the Crabs!!
    They had the biggest list applying for medals??????
    flew a couple of missions in a vulcan, wasted millions of gallons of av fuel & missed the ******* target!
  13. Chief, I would never dream of defending the Rockapes. The ones I've met are perfectly capabable of fighting their own battles.
    Chockhead; what's the weather like on the planet where you live? I seem to remember Crab Air pulling their weight during the Falklands. It was an RAF pilot who, when told the Argentinian Air Force had faster jets, responded "Good. The faster they get here, the quicker they'll die."
    As for using past glories as a defense - when was the last time the Parachute Regiment did a mass drop?

  14. Rock apes are doing a good job-- ceremonial drill orders without commands ----the original clockwork soldier-----------must have lots of time on there hands .

    As for the RAF and the Falklands -its a good job we had a couple of carriers left after all the defence pruning . The Pilot and his quote who was he referring to??? Lot of guys died out there as a result of Argentinian aircraft action--and it could've been worse .

    As for the Para's and mass drop's -----------well apart from the mass drop
    by parachutists being a non cost effective exercise -as proved by Goerings
    lot in WW2 ------they were the originators of a parachute force ----and our debacle at Arnhem with an airborne assault its a bit old fashioned nowdays!!

    Apart from that the marines do it so much better!! :lol: :lol:
  15. If proficiency at drill means the Rockapes are "clockwork soldiers" with lots of time on their hands...what does that make the Brigade of Guards?
    One more time for the hard of thinking: the RAF pilot was reffering to the Argies. I remember watching footage of an Argentinian piolt being hit by a missile fired by an RAF pilot; there was'nt a pice of the Argie's plane left that was bigger than a dinner plate.
    Yes, it could hve been a lot worse. And the RAF contributed to making sure it was'nt.
    Paras are, without doubt, some of the finest infantry soldiers on earth. Very few infantry units even come close to their standards. But the fact remins: they have'nt done and operational drop since Suez. An opposed drop against the kind of weapons systems available nowadays would be mass suicide. Yet the Paras spend God knows how much time and money training to do just that.
  16. There is certainly a case for looking at their force structure, particularly for rotorheads and fast jet. There are some things that only the RAF can do - long range heavy transport and tanking and some of the high-end ISTAR bits. You could never do them any other way, so get them some more heavy airlift and FSTA and let them crack on.

    On the r/w front, the situation is less clear. The CHF & TWA (as was) seem to be able to generate large numbers of aircraft / sorties from one base and three and a bit squadrons, flying very old a/c. Not quite the same from Benson & Odiham - they probably manage the sorties, but with a lot more manpower. At the end of the day, they support and are tasked by troops - why not put them there.

    More controversially, do we need a land-based fast jet force that cannot (in the main) deploy aboard ship? The capability argument is largely due to our legacy CVS and STOVL fleets - the same did not apply in the 70s when Crab Air was potentially highly deployable (Phantoms & Buccs anyone?). It certainly wouldn't apply against a US CVW with F14/E2/F18 (preferably A6) - would you back a bunch of Tornados (F3 and GR4) against that? The argument that only the RAF can defend the UK is daft - we've just retired the best radar/missile combo from the RN. If the RN flew F14 or the like, no-one would raise the issue.

    Their final argument tends to be that they can get to theatre quickest. Problem is, all their F34 (should be F44) and munitions come by sea, unless they are fortunate enough to get full HNS (it's not just runways required). With a carrier, it all comes with you (and the RFA).

    Problem is that we've once again missed the boat as Typhoon is too late to cancel. There will be 2 RN squadrons (plus up to two RAF) with F-35 that can go to sea, from a total of ~20 squadrons. If we're still putting people in fast jets in twenty years, we should be looking to buy high-performance aircraft that can fly off ships and form ~12-15 squadrons of em total. If the RAF don't want to go to sea occasionally then tough, re-badge them. It would also give the WAFU fraternity some sort of sustained break between ops/deployments (ditto CHF who are even busier). Shut down some of the RAF stations and you might also save some money.

    It'll never happen, although its funny seeing the light-blue boys going ape on the PPrune forums, banging on about how only the RAF understand application of airpower doctrine etc - very joint thinking.....
  17. Nope, no ghosts yet matey.

    Didi I stir up a hornets nest with my talk of RAF West Malling etc. I wasn't harping on about it you know. It was just that in another forum guys were discussing the lack of attention this year to VE day which reminded me of the part the crabs played.

    As for todays lot, well I know nothing about them and bow to the better judgement of those who do. That said, I have to say that in the modern war, it must make sense to maintain a strong air force along with a strong Fleet air capability.

    As I said once before elsewhere, it makes sense to get maximum bang per buck and to that end they should be making sure that our equipment can operate in any theatre. By this I mean that new aircraft coming on stream need to be able to multi task, land on carriers, take off in a field etc etc.....you know what I am talking about !

    The more capable and flexible our equipment, the better the chance iour lads will have when the balloon goes up. Lately though the opposite seems to be the case if I can believe what I see in the press.. You tell me active servers - are you sent out to fight with poor kit, missing kit etc etc. I can only say that as the Falklands kicked off - a constant stream of choppers were hovering over our deck dropping on cargo nets full of the goodies we had been asking for months/years. Suddenly they became available.

    These days I just hear of lads going to war without flak jackets, guns that jam (old story) etc etc. All through piss poor procurement it seems to me....oh and penny pinching !
  18. chieftiff

    chieftiff War Hero Moderator

    But punisher, the thread is Disband the RAF? I think that suggests a debate as to whether the RAF are viable in todays military thinking, not the guards or the para's and today not WWII or the Falklands!
  19. Just a quickie to confirm things: Was Col Collins referring to the RAF or the Army Air Corps?.
  20. Whoops, perhaps I should have had a look at the link before entering the above. All is now clear.

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