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No Role for the Air Corps says Minister for Defence in SAR

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  • Originally posted by Chuck View Post

    The same place as the CHC et al proposals can be read.
    Which is?
    German 1: Private Schnutz, I have bad news for you.
    German 2: Private? I am a general!
    German 1: That is the bad news.

    Comment


    • Originally posted by na grohmiti View Post

      Which is?
      Sorry. My sarcasm didn't travel well.

      The point I was making was that it isn't available and likely won't be available unless it is leaked.

      Given the nature and length of contract all interested parties have a commercial interest (AC aside) so therefore, having specific information, such as a several hundred page document outlining what your intent is being available freely will create advantages and disadvantages to other stakeholders.

      There seems to be a lot of emotions running high from concerned CHC employees, across the island, at the prospect of a base closing.

      Interestingly, a side argument is now developing online that the loss of two dozen or so private sector jobs is somehow too big a price to pay and value for money has no place in the SAR discussion. Which is an interesting take from employees of a major player in a multi billion euro global industry.

      Cages are being rattled andmud is being thrown. And it mostly appears to be from employees of the current contract holder.

      Comment


      • I would suggest cages are rattled because we live in a country where common sense rarely prevails and common sense in this case would not involve giving the IAC back the East Coast SAR gig.

        This development would not represent the re-militarisation of SAR, rather it advances the complete civilisation of the Air Corps. The (small) cohort lobbying for this would be better served pushing for an overseas rotary role.

        Comment


        • I can remember, less than 20 years ago now, when the Air Corps "lost" SAR as a primary tasking. Suddenly all the rotary wing were available for actual military work. Even the RDF got to jump in and out of helis tactically, something unheard of up to then.
          The only military logic to the Air Corps going back to active SAR is if they intend getting serious about getting fast jets, and thus require their own dedicated SAR unit to search for pilots that have had to eject, whether at home or overseas.

          But we know that's not the case...
          German 1: Private Schnutz, I have bad news for you.
          German 2: Private? I am a general!
          German 1: That is the bad news.

          Comment


          • Originally posted by Jetjock View Post
            I would suggest cages are rattled because we live in a country where common sense rarely prevails and common sense in this case would not involve giving the IAC back the East Coast SAR gig.

            This development would not represent the re-militarisation of SAR, rather it advances the complete civilisation of the Air Corps. The (small) cohort lobbying for this would be better served pushing for an overseas rotary role.
            I'd argue that cages are rattled because there's a genuine fear among CHC employees that they will have to search elsewhere for employment. The joy of the private sector. Sure they could always rejoin the Air Corps and continue where they left off.

            Every available option should be considered and value for money absolutely should form an element of the discussion and part of the decision making process.

            Fake accounts popping up on twitter hand wringing trying to emotionally influence the people. Even IALPA getting in on the act.

            With the best will in the world, CHC are a private company whose sole purpose is to make profit. Granted they provide a service, and a good one at that but it isn't cheap.

            There also needs to be recognition that the R116 report is being delayed and if you read between the lines and the debate we currently find ourselves in regarding a contract renewal, it could be deemed to be tactical. Absolutely no contract should be agreed until that report is published in full.

            ​​​​Fully 100% agree with your last line. Unfortunately that small cohort want nothing more than a return to the good old days.

            Comment


            • Why does everyone think the only set of options are "private sector" or the "Air Corp" ?

              Minister of Transport Ryan should recall Chris Reynolds from his Somalia jolly and give him the task before the end of the summer to draw up a plan for the ICG to operate their own helicopter fleet once the CHC contract ends. The state should not have to rely on a profit making company to provide a primary life saving service. The plan could be as "simple" as the ICG taking over the CHC operation (people & helicopters) in Ireland or hiring the necessary expertise and equipment. I would also get the Minister to expand the remit to include the provision of a nationwide civil helicopter ambulance capability under one helicopter operational entity. This way the State is not paying a profit making organisation and the Air Corp can remain out of SAR and air ambulance.

              Comment


              • Originally posted by EUFighter View Post
                Why does everyone think the only set of options are "private sector" or the "Air Corp" ?

                Minister of Transport Ryan should recall Chris Reynolds from his Somalia jolly and give him the task before the end of the summer to draw up a plan for the ICG to operate their own helicopter fleet once the CHC contract ends. The state should not have to rely on a profit making company to provide a primary life saving service. The plan could be as "simple" as the ICG taking over the CHC operation (people & helicopters) in Ireland or hiring the necessary expertise and equipment. I would also get the Minister to expand the remit to include the provision of a nationwide civil helicopter ambulance capability under one helicopter operational entity. This way the State is not paying a profit making organisation and the Air Corp can remain out of SAR and air ambulance.
                The Irish Coast Guard are responsible for more than just SAR. By your rationale, they should also have their own ships for SAR, pollution control, recovery/towing at sea, etc. As the Minister for Defence has stated, they are also responsible for Maritime Surveillance within the Irish EEZ.

                But we all know that isn't going to happen.

                Comment


                • We know it won't happen, but it's a good idea in principle. Perhaps IRCG should have its own organic aviation, ships, etc. It would simplify C&C at large incidents and focus tasks for multiple agencies. IRCG with environmental, SAR, rcovery. NS more focused on core military roles. NAS responsible for its own HEMS, etc.
                  Fate whispers to the warrior, "There is a storm coming"

                  And the warrior whispers back "I am the storm".

                  Comment


                  • Originally posted by TangoSierra View Post

                    The Irish Coast Guard are responsible for more than just SAR. By your rationale, they should also have their own ships for SAR, pollution control, recovery/towing at sea, etc. As the Minister for Defence has stated, they are also responsible for Maritime Surveillance within the Irish EEZ.

                    But we all know that isn't going to happen.
                    No that is not the rational, if the RNLI operated a fleet of SAR helicopters then things would look different. And in any case the ICG does operate their own boats. As for pollution control, recovery/towing at sea, etc, if that is their mission then they should be equipped to perform those missions.

                    Comment


                    • The IRCG have RHIBs but nothing near the class of the RNLI Mersey or Shannon Class. The RHIBs they do have are sub-par to an RNLI Atlantic 85.
                      The reality is that if the Coast Guard were to have ships, its own Aircraft/Helicopters then the state would repurpose the entire Naval Service and a significant portion of the AirCorps to do it. That is what I mean when I say that we all know that's not going to happen. Ireland and successive Irish Governments has had and continues to have an abysmally poor record in governing its maritime domain.

                      I.e:
                      SAR (R116, Doolin, IAC248 etc etc)
                      Fisheries Enforcement - Two EU reasoned opinions against Ireland and a potential loss of €40million in funding)
                      Marine Casualty Investigation board - One EU reasoned opinion against Ireland. Lack of basic SOLAS safety legislation etc etc etc)
                      Marine Spatial Planning Framework - No debate, three years in making, lack of OSPAR, MPR legislation etc etc etc)

                      The list goes on

                      Comment


                      • Originally posted by TangoSierra View Post
                        The IRCG have RHIBs but nothing near the class of the RNLI Mersey or Shannon Class. The RHIBs they do have are sub-par to an RNLI Atlantic 85.
                        The reality is that if the Coast Guard were to have ships, its own Aircraft/Helicopters then the state would repurpose the entire Naval Service and a significant portion of the AirCorps to do it. That is what I mean when I say that we all know that's not going to happen. Ireland and successive Irish Governments has had and continues to have an abysmally poor record in governing its maritime domain.

                        I.e:
                        SAR (R116, Doolin, IAC248 etc etc)
                        Fisheries Enforcement - Two EU reasoned opinions against Ireland and a potential loss of €40million in funding)
                        Marine Casualty Investigation board - One EU reasoned opinion against Ireland. Lack of basic SOLAS safety legislation etc etc etc)
                        Marine Spatial Planning Framework - No debate, three years in making, lack of OSPAR, MPR legislation etc etc etc)

                        The list goes on
                        You are most likely right, it just stinks that the default solution is to get a private company to provide SAR and that at the same time the head of ICG is doing more for Somalia rather than sorting out his own organisation. As you have pointed out these have been fatal accidents which should not have happened and the lack of legislation is criminal. As the seas around our island become more crowded with commercial and pleasure activities it is an area where Governments should be heavily investing.

                        Comment


                        • Originally posted by EUFighter View Post

                          You are most likely right, it just stinks that the default solution is to get a private company to provide SAR and that at the same time the head of ICG is doing more for Somalia rather than sorting out his own organisation. As you have pointed out these have been fatal accidents which should not have happened and the lack of legislation is criminal. As the seas around our island become more crowded with commercial and pleasure activities it is an area where Governments should be heavily investing.
                          Criticism of the head of IRCG is inappropriate here. His role in Somalia is his current job. You may as well criticise the OC of the IRCON in UNIFIL for the condition of the guardroom in Athlone.
                          There are many keen to have a go off him even silence him for giving his honest opinion based on his professional experience.
                          The truth hurts.
                          German 1: Private Schnutz, I have bad news for you.
                          German 2: Private? I am a general!
                          German 1: That is the bad news.

                          Comment


                          • Originally posted by na grohmiti View Post

                            Criticism of the head of IRCG is inappropriate here. His role in Somalia is his current job. You may as well criticise the OC of the IRCON in UNIFIL for the condition of the guardroom in Athlone.
                            There are many keen to have a go off him even silence him for giving his honest opinion based on his professional experience.
                            The truth hurts.
                            He may well have a lot of experience in the SAR business from his time in the IRCG however much of his commentary is unbecoming of someone of his status.

                            ​​​​​​Regardless of what side your on, some of his statements around the entire discussion are way wide of the mark and are more akin to what you'd expect someone sending "guinness texts" at 2am in the morning.

                            If GOCAC or the COS broadcast sent tweets of a similar ilk they would be rightfully hauled over hot coal. The COS is more concerned about tweeting about gender.
                            ​​

                            Comment


                            • R116 seems to get mentioned a few times in the rationale in retasking SAR to the Air Corps in the same way that D248 was used by some to remove it (not forgetting the Finner S61 experiment also). I don't like that for a number of reasons, but I would like those who have used it, to remember what R116 tasking was that night, and that maybe the IAC should throw its lot into asking for more MPA resources that it could respond to 24/7 top cover requests, then the argument about "Foreign Based" fixed wing surveillance would not be happening.
                              Last edited by CTU; 24 April 2021, 22:09.
                              It was the year of fire...the year of destruction...the year we took back what was ours.
                              It was the year of rebirth...the year of great sadness...the year of pain...and the year of joy.
                              It was a new age...It was the end of history.
                              It was the year everything changed.

                              Comment


                              • Why don't we all wait for the R116 crash report to be published before there is any more weaponising of that crash.

                                Objectively, the reason 116 is being looked at to be replaced by the AC is that it essentially does local short range flights compared to 115 and 118 which do long range SAR more frequently.

                                There's no big secret to it. A smaller helicopter could provide East/South East cover from a single, already established base so no major infrastructure investment required.

                                The reality is CHC took a circa €500 million euro contract with the top cover being there on an "as available" basis. If there was a major concern about the availability of top cover, the time to thrash that argument out was in contract negotiations, not in the aftermath of losing a helicopter.

                                I'm sure CHC could have sought to include some sort of top cover arrangement but that costs money, and that eats into profit.

                                If DCOS Sp is going to shut down the opportunity to get a second PC12 (March/April 2020) because of a lack of "hangar space", I don't think a third dedicated Top Cover CASA is going to be a runner.
                                ​​

                                Comment

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