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  1. #1
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    Not a good idea?

    Heard a rumour today that the Don/DoD want to push all heli ops out to civilian contract, like the Garda heli/defender, on a power-by-the-hour set up. This would be managed by companies owned by ex-Officers, of course.....say goodbye to apprenticeships and in-house technical skills.

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by GoneToTheCanner View Post
    Heard a rumour today that the Don/DoD want to push all heli ops out to civilian contract, like the Garda heli/defender, on a power-by-the-hour set up. This would be managed by companies owned by ex-Officers, of course.....say goodbye to apprenticeships and in-house technical skills.
    serious step backwards..
    "We will hold out until our last bullet is spent. Could do with some whiskey"
    Radio transmission, siege of Jadotville DR Congo. September 1961.
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  4. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by GoneToTheCanner View Post
    Heard a rumour today that the Don/DoD want to push all heli ops out to civilian contract, like the Garda heli/defender, on a power-by-the-hour set up. This would be managed by companies owned by ex-Officers, of course.....say goodbye to apprenticeships and in-house technical skills.
    its probably crunch time - unless overseas heli ops are on the immediate cards, i don't see the govt deciding on anything else other than inertia. truth is that BIH provided the same support svs to the garrison in the FI that the AC provides in Ireland. soveriegnty patrols, artillery airlift, logistics support, 'battlefield' mobility...

  5. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by ropebag View Post
    its probably crunch time - unless overseas heli ops are on the immediate cards, i don't see the govt deciding on anything else other than inertia. truth is that BIH provided the same support svs to the garrison in the FI that the AC provides in Ireland. soveriegnty patrols, artillery airlift, logistics support, 'battlefield' mobility...
    But the FI forces have no requirement to go overseas..[stating the obvious hat on]
    "We will hold out until our last bullet is spent. Could do with some whiskey"
    Radio transmission, siege of Jadotville DR Congo. September 1961.
    Illegitimi non carborundum

  6. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Turkey View Post
    But the FI forces have no requirement to go overseas..[stating the obvious hat on]
    neither does the AC...

    if a commercial company can provide the same service, but do so without the overheads that an in-house, AC requires, then why would you employ the more expensive model?

    the one reason governments like military, in house forces is that they do what governments want, when they want them to do it, and without quibbling about the contract and presenting the government with a huge bill for the doing what that government wants. if the government has decided, whether off its own bat or because it thinks the AC is institutionally incapable of doing the overseas role, that overseas, crunchy operations are off the table, then the potential requirement for 'off the cuff' operations no longer exists - so everything that is left falls well within the capabilities of any of the larger commercial helicopter operators.

    you, in fact, could argue that there are a good many commercial helicopter operators who are already more 'warry' than the AC - they fly in places the AC would void its bowels just by googling, so infact you might find that by civilianising the helicopter operation, you actually get a more deployable, crunchy capability than you have now...

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  8. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by ropebag View Post
    neither does the AC...

    if a commercial company can provide the same service, but do so without the overheads that an in-house, AC requires, then why would you employ the more expensive model?

    the one reason governments like military, in house forces is that they do what governments want, when they want them to do it, and without quibbling about the contract and presenting the government with a huge bill for the doing what that government wants. if the government has decided, whether off its own bat or because it thinks the AC is institutionally incapable of doing the overseas role, that overseas, crunchy operations are off the table, then the potential requirement for 'off the cuff' operations no longer exists - so everything that is left falls well within the capabilities of any of the larger commercial helicopter operators.

    you, in fact, could argue that there are a good many commercial helicopter operators who are already more 'warry' than the AC - they fly in places the AC would void its bowels just by googling, so infact you might find that by civilianising the helicopter operation, you actually get a more deployable, crunchy capability than you have now...

    This comment proves you have absolutely no idea about the operational capabilities and abilities of Air Corps crews front/back and on the ground, skills that are displayed daily. Give me any example of your above statement?

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  10. #7
    Commander in Chief Bravo20's Avatar
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    If they do that they might as well just disband the Air Corps.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bravo20 View Post
    If they do that they might as well just disband the Air Corps.
    does the AC exist to provide a capability, or does it exist in order to exist?

    if heli's go commercial, the AC will be at 3 operational airframes - none of which do anything that commercial operators don't do 100 miles east of Dublin. the writing will be on the wall in 60ft letters.

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  14. #9
    Moderator DeV's Avatar
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    So basically sub out all maintenance?

    Not a good move - especially when we may shortly see AC aircraft deployed overseas (it is being seriously looked at and there is a proposal out there).

    If they were saying PBH contracts from all aircraft (ie spares) - then get it ASAP!!
    Last edited by DeV; 16th December 2015 at 17:23.

  15. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by DeV View Post
    ...Not a good move - especially when we may shortly see AC aircraft deployed overseas (it is being seriously looked at and there is a proposal out there)...
    if the AC manage an OS deployment in reasonably short order and does it well, then they are safe (both in terms of flying the aircraft and maintaining it) - however, if after operating the 139's for a decade, they can't do something that pretty much every other first world air arm manages without breaking a sweat, then they are fcuked, and the government would have no problem in looking for people who can do the job, rather than paying for people who spend all day telling them why they can't.

    or they could just decide that Ireland simply doesn't need the capability, and flog the airframes, issue the redundancies and save itself a fortune and lose not a lot.

  16. #11
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    Surely the best way to do this is to open a tender. If the techs at the don can provide the same level of service at same cost as a private company, off with them.

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  18. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by na grohmití View Post
    Surely the best way to do this is to open a tender. If the techs at the don can provide the same level of service at same cost as a private company, off with them.
    Would they have the capability of putting in that tender...
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    Like hell! He fought because he had to fight;
    He died that's all. It was his unlucky night.
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  20. #13
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    [QUOTE=ropebag;435700]neither does the AC...

    if a commercial company can provide the same service, but do so without the overheads that an in-house, AC requires, then why would you employ the more expensive model?

    the one reason governments like military, in house forces is that they do what governments want, when they want them to do it, and without quibbling about the contract and presenting the government with a huge bill for the doing what that government wants. if the government has decided, whether off its own bat or because it thinks the AC is institutionally incapable of doing the overseas role, that overseas, crunchy operations are off the table, then the potential requirement for 'off the cuff' operations no longer exists - so everything that is left falls well within the capabilities of any of the larger commercial helicopter operators.

    you, in fact, could argue that there are a good many commercial helicopter operators who are already more 'warry' than the AC - they fly in places the AC would void its bowels just by googling, so infact you might find that by civilianising the helicopter operation, you actually get a more deployable, crunchy capability than you have now...[/QUOTE

    The rest of our armed forces do, (your nitpicking) with the exception of the Reserve, this must change, or wind up both organizations. There is in my opinion a better case for disposing of the Air Corps then the reserve, as at least the reserve has weapons, by present day standards the Air Corps is just an expensive, exclusive flying club. (Feck, I hope I'm not dropping anyone at Bal' tonight)
    "We will hold out until our last bullet is spent. Could do with some whiskey"
    Radio transmission, siege of Jadotville DR Congo. September 1961.
    Illegitimi non carborundum

  21. #14
    Moderator DeV's Avatar
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    I've been corrected before that AW139s have deployed for periods in the field at home (not sure for how long but I assume for at least 24 hours).

    AC fixed wing aircraft have also deployed outside Ireland for short periods (including MATS (not suggesting that MATS counts as overseas)).

    Hopefully we will see an AC deployment overseas in the next 12 months or so.

    But any deployment will depend on 3 main issues:
    - availability of trained personnel (there is a critical shortage of pilots and techs)
    - finance to be made available
    - a tasking by Government (nothing can happen without that!)

  22. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Turkey View Post
    ...The rest of our armed forces do...
    yes they do - the NS does an 'off the cuff' 6+ months SAR op in the Med while working up a new class of ships and having been preparing to undertake a completely different type of mission in the IO, the Army moves completely out of its previous experience and does a difficult and potentially very crunchy deployment to Chad. both ops involve less than ideal equipment and less prep than people would like, yet they crack on and do it, and do it well.

    why then should the AC be so different?

  23. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by ropebag View Post
    yes they do - the NS does an 'off the cuff' 6+ months SAR op in the Med while working up a new class of ships and having been preparing to undertake a completely different type of mission in the IO, the Army moves completely out of its previous experience and does a difficult and potentially very crunchy deployment to Chad. both ops involve less than ideal equipment and less prep than people would like, yet they crack on and do it, and do it well.

    why then should the AC be so different?
    Same question I've been asking for years....
    "We will hold out until our last bullet is spent. Could do with some whiskey"
    Radio transmission, siege of Jadotville DR Congo. September 1961.
    Illegitimi non carborundum

  24. #17
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    the Army got a few stiff knocks from the Chad/Liberia experience, especially concerning Mowag operations, in-country transport,etc,etc but seems to have learned and moved on. The results are still out on the Med deployment for obvious reasons but it will surely be good for the NS, provided it does a real, searching, educational debrief afterwards.

  25. #18
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    @heligun, Turkey is right. Irish helicopter companies were doing stuff that the Don wouldn't do/hated to do/wouldn't dream of doing for years. Irish Helis was doing external load lifting that the Don could only dream about or rarely practised. Parachuting from helicopters? Check! operating out of improvised heli-pads for the ESB and other State bodies? Check! Flying to oil rigs and lighthouse pads every day? Check! Firefighting with Bambi buckets? Check!....They and others were flying multiple sorties per day per aircraft that the Don never achieved. I recall heli lads bragging about doing four lifts per day. I'll grant you that things have improved remarkably but the Don may yet have shot itself in the foot.

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  27. #19
    Moderator DeV's Avatar
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    How was the army able to deploy to Chad?

    By a lot of money being found - something like €60 million!

  28. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by DeV View Post
    How was the army able to deploy to Chad?

    By a lot of money being found - something like €60 million!
    But penny pinching was still involved. The debacle of using local contractors to bring vehicles from port to AO nearly ended the mission before it started.

  29. #21
    Space Lord of Terra morpheus's Avatar
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    If the Don , as has been suggested, has put this proposal forward, then I fear we will finally be witnessing the end of the air corps and I will have lost all faith in our defence forces and DOD as a whole.
    "He is an enemy officer taken in battle and entitled to fair treatment."
    "No, sir. He's a sergeant, and they don't deserve no respect at all, sir. I should know. They're cunning and artful, if they're any good. I wouldn't mind if he was an officer, sir. But sergeants are clever."

  30. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by GoneToTheCanner View Post
    @heligun, Turkey is right. Irish helicopter companies were doing stuff that the Don wouldn't do/hated to do/wouldn't dream of doing for years. Irish Helis was doing external load lifting that the Don could only dream about or rarely practised. Parachuting from helicopters? Check! operating out of improvised heli-pads for the ESB and other State bodies? Check! Flying to oil rigs and lighthouse pads every day? Check! Firefighting with Bambi buckets? Check!....They and others were flying multiple sorties per day per aircraft that the Don never achieved. I recall heli lads bragging about doing four lifts per day. I'll grant you that things have improved remarkably but the Don may yet have shot itself in the foot.

    Sorry are you talking about 10/20/30 years ago??? How is that relevant. Was IS relevant is the capabilities now and the abilities of all crew and support services. Nobody cares what went on (or didn't) in the past, what matters is what we do now and what we are capable of doing in the future. The only limiting factor is the DOD and some sections of senior management, but for you to imply that the crews and not capable or not willing to take on a task (home and abroad) is simple wrong. When the AW139s were deployed to NI the brits were looking jealously as crews took command on the ground (HHI) and in the Air including going on a SAR while the Chinooks crews looked on from their Ops room. If you Don't take my word for it ask the RAF CO thoughts of the AC operational flexibility, crew abilities and equipment, ask him could they deploy and I'm telling you his answer wouldn't tally with the historic crap you are talking about.
    Last edited by Heligun; 20th December 2015 at 14:47.

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  32. #23
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    So the Air Corps deems it may be potentially preferable to outsource maintenance?

    There seems to be a bit of an over reaction here.

    It's not the complete outsourcing of helicopter ops. It's the replacement if Air Corps techies with civilian personnel who will most likely maintain the helicopters to Air Corps military maintenance regulations.

    Look at the bigger picture. In a budget restricted service with a capped establishment there may be a potential to replace support personnel with operational personnel.

    Gttc, I'm surprised at your opposition to this given how vocal you have been down through the years regarding the relatively poor Casa availability/utilisation rates achieved along with the "union rules bud" attitudes you yourself encountered.

    This may not be a bad thing.

  33. #24
    Space Lord of Terra morpheus's Avatar
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    The argument SHOULD be to increase the budget cap and hire more techs and pilots and get more capable aircraft.

    what next? civvy tech staff on naval vessels,
    civvy mechs maintaining the mowags and ltavs?
    civvy armourers?
    civvy engineers!!!???

    Union rules bud.
    Last edited by morpheus; 17th December 2015 at 15:03.
    "He is an enemy officer taken in battle and entitled to fair treatment."
    "No, sir. He's a sergeant, and they don't deserve no respect at all, sir. I should know. They're cunning and artful, if they're any good. I wouldn't mind if he was an officer, sir. But sergeants are clever."

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  35. #25
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    Thing about it is subout AC tech's and you lose flexibility (that should be there) that could cost a fortune.

    Eg:
    the tech also does GoHs, armed duties, overseas etc
    the tech gets little if any premium payments
    the tech's leave can be cancelled and detailed
    the tech can't strike
    the tech can be deployed operationally armed overseas with an aircraft (should the AC be tasked by Government)
    Etc etc

    Change the mindset that Gttc experienced (if it hasn't already) and the only benefit that I can see would be the pension costs for future generations of tech's (as the past and current need to be paid anyway).

    What do you do with the serving tech's if you do? Redeploy them to the army? They will leave in short order and go into civil jobs. Or an expensive VER system.

    This at a time when they are pulling AC tech training up to civilian standards?!

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