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

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  • #61
    Originally posted by EUFighter View Post
    SAR, MATS etc are all common functions done by military air arms in Europe, AFAIK there is not a single force that does not have some form of "civil" function.

    So let's take the GASU, there is a SLA between the Gardai and the AC, the two H-135 helicopters are maintained and flown by Air Corps personnel.
    The Air Corps also has two H-135's of its own, great then they can have common maintenance etc! No, the GASU aircraft have Turbomeca Arrius engines while the Air Corps aircraft have P&WC PW206 engines. So double the engine spares, procedures etc. Now lets say for the sake of argument, the HSE decides to get its own EMS helicopters, but for them the AW-139 is just a bit too big so they go for a couple of AW-109's (say 4). Same engine as the AC H-135's but a totally different airframe. Do that all really make sense?

    Neither of the individual organisations would be able to justify having a spare helicopter on their own. But with a common fleet of 8 it would be easier to justify a 9th. Clear they would all need a common baseline with specific add-on's for their individual missions but the common parts could reduce the costs. Common avionics, common engines and common airframe. They could be all maintained by a single organisation (AC or civil), the AC would provide the pilots for their aircraft, they might have a SLA to provide pilots for the other agencies or at least train them. And a wild idea might be that GASU/HSE aircraft are flown and crewed by civvies who are then classified as reservists.

    Now back to SAR, this too is a service provided by the state and given our SAR area best covered by a medium lift helicopter (10-15t class). The AC has a need for something a bit bigger than an AW-139 which was a big step-up from the A3. (A jealous eye was always cast north to the Puma's flying around Fermanagh and Armagh.) Would it make sense for the State to have here also a common baseline helicopter? Most likely yes, the Danes have a common platform for troop movement and SAR to which they have dedicated 3 of their 14 aircraft. Here could be the same principles as above, a single agency in charge of sourcing a common baseline aircraft with mission specific add-on. So 4 dedicated SAR aircraft, say 4 dedicated troop lift and 2-3 to cover maintenance/US events.

    Clearly if all the functions were to be provided by the AC then its establishment would have to be matched to the new need. The costs being then split among the relevant agencies. This is a model that works in other countries already, with the military providing the equipment and personnel while a number of government departments pay the bills. What no-one wants is the AC providing all the services and having nothing left for military functions.
    So the state (Ireland PLC) sets up a "Civil Flying Service" which provides all non-military helicopters and fixed wing, hired out to the relevant organisations (HSE, AGS, Coastguard, Government Agencies) if need be with a contract for minimum usage. The "Helicopter Service" then provides the pilot and services (I believe it's called a wet lease?) amnd the organisation provides the specialist needed to crew it.

    If there is concern about keeping the flying skills available to the state in case of emergency, then give the pilots a commission in the reserves, and a mechanism for activating it in times of crisis.

    The elephant in the room about trying to crew everything from the Air Corps is that the Air Corps establishment could be 8500 all ranks, nobody wants to join it or stay there.
    Last edited by Flamingo; 28 October 2020, 17:39.
    'He died who loved to live,' they'll say,
    'Unselfishly so we might have today!'
    Like hell! He fought because he had to fight;
    He died that's all. It was his unlucky night.
    http://www.salamanderoasis.org/poems...nnis/luck.html

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    • #62
      Originally posted by EUFighter View Post
      SAR, MATS etc are all common functions done by military air arms in Europe, AFAIK there is not a single force that does not have some form of "civil" function.
      This is true but they are ancillary services employed in addition to the military functions.

      In the AC they supersede the primary military functions

      Comment


      • #63
        Originally posted by Flamingo View Post
        So the state (Ireland PLC) sets up a "Civil Flying Service" which provides all non-military helicopters and fixed wing, hired out to the relevant organisations (HSE, AGS, Coastguard, Government Agencies) if need be with a contract for minimum usage. The "Helicopter Service" then provides the pilot and services (I believe it's called a wet lease?) amnd the organisation provides the specialist needed to crew it.

        If there is concern about keeping the flying skills available to the state in case of emergency, then give the pilots a commission in the reserves, and a mechanism for activating it in times of crisis.
        Almost, I would just have then one agency "Central Material Agency" be the one to purchase all the aircraft for the state, a bit like the "white fleet". AC would crew their aircraft other agencies could do with AC crew with a SLA or hire their own. It could even be that some of the civil crew could be RDF, say the medic in the back of an EMS.

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        • #64
          Originally posted by EUFighter View Post
          Almost, I would just have then one agency "Central Material Agency" be the one to purchase all the aircraft for the state, a bit like the "white fleet". AC would crew their aircraft other agencies could do with AC crew with a SLA or hire their own. It could even be that some of the civil crew could be RDF, say the medic in the back of an EMS.
          The point I'm trying to make is to keep the Air Corps out of it. Let the Air Corps do its thing, and let the Civil Power do its non-military thing. It's the distraction from it's core role, military defence of the state, that's the problem.

          ATCP is a good thing, but the military should be viewed as an asset for dealing with abnormal circumstances. From an Air point of view, it's seen as the first responder, and it's training, resources and role has been framed accordingly, to the detriment of the military.
          'He died who loved to live,' they'll say,
          'Unselfishly so we might have today!'
          Like hell! He fought because he had to fight;
          He died that's all. It was his unlucky night.
          http://www.salamanderoasis.org/poems...nnis/luck.html

          Comment


          • #65
            I've said it before: copy the French on the provision of Ministerial/VIP airlift by setting up the equivalent of GLAM, who have helis and fixed wing aircraft using pilots and techs seconded from the Air Force for a period like three years and it operates on a full time basis. It is funded by the State, but not out of the Defence budget and operates entirely independent of the air force and other state air arms; ie, it flies when it likes,on demand and doesnt have to go begging for assets and ,most importantly,it answers directly to the President. No bullshit,no faffing, no lies or half truths about availability. It is deliberately kept seperate from the mainline air force except for the provision of manpower and that uplift is small enough in real terms so as not to effect manpower levels.

            Comment


            • #66
              Originally posted by GoneToTheCanner View Post
              I've said it before: copy the French on the provision of Ministerial/VIP airlift by setting up the equivalent of GLAM, who have helis and fixed wing aircraft using pilots and techs seconded from the Air Force for a period like three years and it operates on a full time basis. It is funded by the State, but not out of the Defence budget and operates entirely independent of the air force and other state air arms; ie, it flies when it likes,on demand and doesnt have to go begging for assets and ,most importantly,it answers directly to the President. No bullshit,no faffing, no lies or half truths about availability. It is deliberately kept seperate from the mainline air force except for the provision of manpower and that uplift is small enough in real terms so as not to effect manpower levels.
              Did the French not get rid of GLAM in 1995?

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              • #67
                dont know. I had the chance to talk to their crews years ago and they told me how it worked. made a lot of sense.

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                • #68
                  Lets remember that the donners were reluctent to be based to far from home the last time they had a role in SAR.
                  Have things changed in the Don in order to instiil confidence in the DoD lifers

                  Comment


                  • #69
                    Originally posted by sofa View Post
                    Lets remember that the donners were reluctent to be based to far from home the last time they had a role in SAR.
                    Have things changed in the Don in order to instiil confidence in the DoD lifers
                    Dauphin for 1 year (replaced by civvy)
                    Waterford for 3 years (replaced by civvy)
                    Finner for 12 years (replaced by civvy) that doesn’t include the Alouette for a good number of years before that

                    DoD cared so much in Waterford for the welfare of the crew that there was no ATC and no on-site sleeping facilities for the crew and both of these were systemic causes in the loss of DH248.


                    I’d trust the Donner to do an excellent job at SAR given the aircraft, personnel, facilities, resources, training and time..... I don’t trust DoD
                    Last edited by DeV; 29 October 2020, 23:47.

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                    • #70
                      Originally posted by GoneToTheCanner View Post
                      dont know. I had the chance to talk to their crews years ago and they told me how it worked. made a lot of sense.
                      Groupe de liaisons aériennes ministérielles (GLAM) was disbanded in July 1995 so as not to make the life of the President look like one of a billionaire! The function is currently done by L'escadron de transport 00.060 (ET 60), which does basically the same job. Knowing well how things work in France, it will still work the same way.

                      As a side note, the A310's and A340's operated by Armée de l'air are not for MATS but rather strategic transport and will soon be move from ET3/60 to a new unit together with the new A330 MRTT's.
                      Last edited by EUFighter; 30 October 2020, 16:17.

                      Comment


                      • #71
                        Originally posted by DeV View Post
                        Dauphin for 1 year (replaced by civvy)
                        Waterford for 3 years (replaced by civvy)
                        Finner for 12 years (replaced by civvy) that doesn’t include the Alouette for a good number of years before that

                        DoD cared so much in Waterford for the welfare of the crew that there was no ATC and no on-site sleeping facilities for the crew and both of these were systemic causes in the loss of DH248.


                        I’d trust the Donner to do an excellent job at SAR given the aircraft, personnel, facilities, resources, training and time..... I don’t trust DoD
                        I think, with deep respect to all involved, we remind ourselves exactly what a shitshow the DoD made of SAR when the Air Corps did it.
                        Those who are not familiar with it, should read this document from start to finish.
                        http://www.aaiu.ie/sites/default/fil...2000_011-0.PDF
                        R.I.P.
                        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


                        • #72
                          Originally posted by na grohmiti View Post
                          I think, with deep respect to all involved, we remind ourselves exactly what a shitshow the DoD made of SAR when the Air Corps did it.
                          Those who are not familiar with it, should read this document from start to finish.
                          http://www.aaiu.ie/sites/default/fil...2000_011-0.PDF
                          R.I.P.
                          Exactly

                          And it should also be looked at in the context of the AC being given the job of EAS (funded from within the existing DF budget and zero additional resources) - which the report doesn’t really state:
                          http://www.aaiu.ie/sites/default/fil...2013-004_0.pdf

                          Similarly the rotation of personnel:
                          http://www.aaiu.ie/sites/default/fil...T_2011-016.PDF


                          Let’s not forget that DoD sets DF personnel policy
                          https://www.gov.ie/en/organisation-i...policy-branch/

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                          • #73
                            proper MRTTs, by the way,not the half-baked Voyagers.

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                            • #74
                              Originally posted by GoneToTheCanner View Post
                              proper MRTTs, by the way,not the half-baked Voyagers.
                              Yes, A330 MRTT Phénix, complete with booms so that they can refuel RAF aircraft not equipped with refueling probes.

                              Comment


                              • #75
                                Well the head of the Coast Guard (ex NS) currently Head of Misson EUCAPSOM had an interesting take on this today.

                                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

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