"The Land Commander needs his prime movers and close attack assets to be under direct command. That need hasn't stopped all three services providing commanders for this Joint Helicopter Command. Joint doesn't always work of course â€“ the notorious Joint Force Harrier proved to be the wrong way to go about bringing the fast jets of the Royal Navy and Royal Air Force together. The dynamics and culture-clash made it worse than a hostile take-over. "
The degree of ignorance displayed by the factually incorrect comments quoted from Maj Gen Thompson and Cdre Jermy (I expect the other usual suspects such as Lewis Page, Tim Collins and Max Hastings to also come out of the wood work in due course) frankly display exactly why an independent air service is still required.
Likewise, the article presents an extremely shallow analysis on Joint capability primarily focused on fast jets and helicopters. A quick glance at some of the comments below relating to 'bombing innocent civilians' illustrates the readership that this is aimed at.
As I've stated many times here and elsewhere, we need an independent RAF as well as organic aviation capabilities for the RN and Army. In terms of the perennial debate between land based and carrier air, both have advantages and disadvantages in comparison to the other and are complementary rather than interchangeable.
As ever, internecine sniping will only benefit the real enemy, HMT.
If we are talking Land Lynx and Apache assets and embarked and deployed Fleet assets, that's probably correct. If the "mover" and "close attack" assets have a wider application, though, they will probably be squandered. For example, if you gave a Land Commander direct control of, say Tornado 4s, they would become fast mobile artillery and deep strike, recce and interdiction would never get thought time. If the Luftwaffe had been an independent Force in the last lot, we'd probably have had serious problems.
TVM POL and concur (about your examples, not necessarily me talking wisely! ).
I always used to fairly sanguine about SH ownership until I experienced (at first hand in an operational div/bde HQ) how uneconomically Land used rotary. Even if an adjacent formation was screaming out for them, they wouldn't be released 'just in case'. I could give similar examples but risk playing my own record again and becoming even more boring than usual!
Likewise, it's ironic that the my own service is routinely criticised for not spending enough on rotary. Yet since the formation of JHC, Land have been the budget holder for Joint rotary capability (stand fast RN/RAF SAR, SKASaC and ASW/small ship). Yet since that time, the Army have actually reduced spending on SH!!!!
I mean an independent RAF which has assets and capabilities pretty much as it is now as opposed to the RAF being disbanded and the capabilities subsumed by the other 2 services as advocated in the link by Thompson et al.
I reiterate that I still very much see a need for the RN and Army to retain their own organic aviation.
To my mind the lessons of history are very clear in that you need all 3.