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    Flt Ops Review

    Now then ladies and gentlemen, after reading all the threads about how Flt Ops is a duff branch, nay, "specialisation" I was just wondering if anyone else had heard this rumour I'm about to disclose...

    A Wg Cdr (Air Traffic) has decided to write a paper on how Flt Ops should be disbanded, and all our duties be amalgamated under ATC. To me this sounds like an attempt at writing a service paper for promotion, or perhaps staking a claim on all the plum jobs out there for Air Traffickers wanting a post out of branch. Or am I just a cynic? (It doesnt help that FOTS comes under CATS)

    Its nearly 10 years since the specialisation was formed, and the board stated they were to do a review 10 years from the inception of Flt Ops. I've heard (yes I know "from a mates mate" is usually b*ll!) that they were bringing this forward, looking to disband Flt Ops. What will this mean? Will OpsOs across the Air Force jump ship and re-branch? Redundancy? Or will they all stagnate in their jobs until they leave the service with no career or promotion prospects?

    Please bear in mind these are all just 3rd, perhaps 4th hand rumours. I just want to canvas peoples opinions- not start another FOM/OpsO slanging match!

    So- what are everyones views?

    #2
    The branch is under review and the training bods from Halton have being going around the houses. This review is mainly looking at the FOTS Course and should be about finished. There was nothining mentioned at this years Flt Ops Symposiom about the branch being disbanded. It is recognised that the training system needs updating/changing which is welcome news.

    I took part in one of the meetings with the Halton training guys and they seem to have found some 'common' areas of the training that need addressing. Lets hope they get it right this time.

    I am yet to find an Air Trafficer who has a clue about aircraft operations so i hope the ATC types will be kept out of it.

    Comment


      #3
      I do think the writing is on the wall for the military ATC guys and girls. They already know there there will be a shortage of TG9 controllers by 2006, in reality what is so good about being an ATC controller? The amount of extra money for TG9 people is very small compared with the hassle of the course, keeping currency etc etc. The officers earn the same as any officer of the same rank.

      Luckily there are currently just about enough people who appreciate the ops specialists of all ranks to appose any ideas of ATC people taking over, lets hope none of the ops people help the ATC cause. Now is the time for all ops people to pull together and show how good they are, there is no time for fighting between the ranks. To use an american phrase, 'one team, one fight'.

      Comment


        #4
        But who fights for us?

        I honestly don't know. Alot of Ops bods worry that Fighter Control/ATC/ Regt are vying for potential Ops jobs, but theres no one at the top to ear mark certain posts.

        At this years Symposium they touched upon Flt Ops personnel becoming Mission planners/ data input for JSF. Who will try and guarantee our future in these posts? I know theres alot of Flt Lts out there working together to try and sustain and develop our futures...

        Comment


          #5
          I don't think a wg cdr air traffiker would decide to write a paper. Too bleedin' busy doing his own job. Now I might be convinced that a wg cdr air traffiker was tasked to write a paper.

          Comment


            #6
            Doesn't change the price of fish if she decided/tasked to write a paper. Theres still a paper!!!

            Or is this just a myth?

            Who knowsssssssss...

            Comment


              #7
              Originally posted by Opz
              But who fights for us?

              I honestly don't know. Alot of Ops bods worry that Fighter Control/ATC/ Regt are vying for potential Ops jobs, but theres no one at the top to ear mark certain posts.

              At this years Symposium they touched upon Flt Ops personnel becoming Mission planners/ data input for JSF. Who will try and guarantee our future in these posts? I know theres alot of Flt Lts out there working together to try and sustain and develop our futures...
              We already have Flt Ops and TG9 people as mission planners and carrying out dedicated Mission Support for AT and AAR Ops. These jobs should be the bread and butter for ops people for many years to come.

              Comment


                #8
                Putting the record straight

                Opz,

                Yes I had heard the rumour re the 'paper'. However, let me re-assure you! 'She' has neither been tasked to write one nor has 'she' written one!! 'She' has written a letter to several influential parties asking them to pay the Flt Ops Specialisation some well deserved and overdue attention and decide what the top brass actually want the specialisation to do in the future. 'She' is well aware that the specialisation was formed and then left to find its' own way, with nobody to drive its' policy or plan its' future - something every other specialisation has at HQPTC and HQSTC. It is inevitable the specialisation has got a little lost in places.

                'She' has asked that not only do the people in power look at phase 2 training, but that they actually identify what it is exactly they want the branch to do and then start to look after it properly. In my book about time too and if that means there are some uncomfortable questions asked, before we are all put back on track with regard to training (phase 2 and 3) - career management/progression/employment roles etc then so be it. Whether they take 'her' advice is anybodies guess, but she has tried - something many of our own senior officers have not done - so don't be too sceptical.

                Support for Flight Ops is there and from some surprising sources and 'she' is most definately one of our strongest supporters, even if she is ATC!!

                Comment


                  #9
                  Originally posted by FormerFlake
                  The branch is under review and the training bods from Halton have being going around the houses. This review is mainly looking at the FOTS Course and should be about finished. There was nothining mentioned at this years Flt Ops Symposiom about the branch being disbanded. It is recognised that the training system needs updating/changing which is welcome news.

                  I took part in one of the meetings with the Halton training guys and they seem to have found some 'common' areas of the training that need addressing. Lets hope they get it right this time.

                  I am yet to find an Air Trafficer who has a clue about aircraft operations so i hope the ATC types will be kept out of it.
                  I was contemplating a reply with some kind of reasoned argument against such a sweeping statement. In the end I just thought....'WHAT A KNOB'

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Tellitasitis,

                    Thank you for shedding some light, but as with every specialisation there will always be 3rd, 4th hand rumours, because more often than not there is no one else out there to tell us any different. It seem the version I was spun had been tainted with bitterness; however my comments (I refer to the use of "she") was not meant to be caustic.

                    *sigh* why can't they write all this down in that "totelets" thing, instead of having to put ears to the ground and listen to the galloping heels of 4th hand rumour?

                    Comment


                      #11
                      re: totelets

                      Perhaps they were worried that we might use the mag as a critique of the system and actually show the establishment up in the process. I understand a certain WO writing for Issue 1 that had made a few waves...or perhaps, like alot of the FltOps initiatives, they were started in good faith, but were allowed to slip by the wayside.

                      Still, a single, internal magazine cannot be as 'bad' for HMG as an open forum that the entire public has access to, can it? Oooops!

                      Comment


                        #12
                        In my experience of several stations and their Ops Rooms, ATCOs have been swapping accross into Ops for several years. Some just didn't want to control anymore, some were kind of invited to become Ops Os after an 'incident'. Some have been Flt Lts some have been Sqn Ldrs, which surely blocked promotions for Flt Ops specialists! So ATC have been using FOTS to their own ends, it would appear, as and when they felt like it. Did any of them do a FOTS course, I don't think so. Were they any better than FOTS Officers? I have to be honest and say not really. Out of the half dozen I have seen then I would say there was one really good one IMHO and he was on his last tour of duty after around 35 years in the mob. So being analitical, ATCOs in the Ops environment aren't any better than abinitio (sorry if thats wrong) FOTS officers, even though ATC does tend to slag them off at every oportunity. I'm not grinding any axes here, just stating what I have seen for myself.

                        After many tours in the RAF, if I was to summize I would say that ATCOs on the whole hold ALL Ops staff in low esteem, which having worked in both environments I find mostly unwarrented and extremly frustrating, I could go on all day about OAT acceptance signals and ATC allowing ac to taxy without clearances, flow times, TOTs and all the rest of it, but my point is ATCOs generally don't fully realise what Ops do on a day to day basis and when you take Ops' side in a dispute you are painted as a traitor even if you are right. But I suppose it has always been this way!

                        As an aside I have also hear'd rumours of ATC wanting to get rid of FOTS as a trade and then subsume the jobs for themselves so that they can keep their trade size credible and more importantly in these days of deployable forward Ops claim to their Airships that lots of ATCOs go OOA on a regular basis. Don't get me wrong I know that experienced ATCOs do go OOA regularly but what about the in-experienced ones, since Pristina, HQ 3 Gp has decreed that the deployee must hold the proper tickets before they go OOA and this distorts tower's training programmes no end, so it's easier to send an experienced guy/girl in the end.

                        All I could say to FOTs Officers then is do your job to the best of your ability, look after your troops and they will look after you.

                        Comment


                          #13
                          FOMP,

                          Well said my friend. In all my years within TG9, there has always been a divide and distrust between ATC and their Ops counterparts. This even filters down to the lowest FOA rank who happily have a pop at Ops. Sadly my experience has shown that it is invariably ATC that cause such friction as they have this unfounded idea that they are superior to those busying themselves in the catacombs of Ops or Flt Planning.
                          I sincerely wish that this was not the case, and in recent times, with the introduction of Flight Operations Officers, it seems to have worsened in that the FOOs bear the brunt of the comments. As FOMs, we stand in the middle of such war of words and feelings owing to our range of employment areas, and I suppose it is up to us to bridge the gap and become the peace broker.

                          Getting back to the original point though, it does not surprise me that there are murmourings of 'branch scrapping' going on. I am not sure that tasking could be shared out amongst our Controller Cadre and completed to such a high degree as it is today. Would this not be a huge step back to Aircrew Ops Officer Days but worse?

                          Its about time someone gripped the OpsO Branch, gave it some structure (just like ATC), and had the bollox to stand by it instead of 'sticking' it to the side of ATC and letting it flounder. It is about time it was recognised as a separate branch.
                          Fee Fie Foe FOM.....

                          Comment


                            #14
                            Where to do you find a champion these days?

                            Well, since joining the forum, I have picked up that there are more Sqn Ldr & Wg Cdr slots held by Flt Ops personnel than I had thought (my estimation was that they were only just getting them now...but I like learning...)

                            So, where are these chaps? Are they all in SLOps posts?....why has the Deskie just changed to....wait for it....yet another Fighter Controller? Surely, one excellent place to begin would to have one of our own at PMA actually looking out for the Flt Ops bunch....and ONLY them, not as second fiddle to the FC Officers. I think I will venture my opinion as- bias must play a part, even a tiny one, where you have someone from another background managing your branch...does he spend more time and sweat on his own bunch? He must do...come on, no one has been that altruistic since sandals were the order of the day and crucifixes were the place to hang out.

                            Anyone know if any other Flt Ops Senior Os are in places of influence? If so, where?

                            Comment


                              #15
                              The last 2 OC ASCOT Ops have been Flt Ops. SLOps at Cottesmore is/was Flt Ops. I know of one position at High Wycombe that its currently taken by a Sqn Ldr Flt Ops.

                              I'm sure other can post the positions they know.

                              Comment

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