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  1. #1
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    Royal Aeronautical Society lecture - Should drone pilots get medals?

    Should UAV pilots receive medals?

    That was one of the intriguing questions on remote warfare raised by Dr Peter Lee, giving a fascinating insight at a RAF Museum Trenchard lecture at the Royal Aeronautical Society on the 19 October.

    Lee, a University of Portsmouth Reader in Politics and Ethics and Assistant Director (Academic) at Royal Air Force College Cranwell, has been given unrivalled access to RAF Reaper operators and, to date, has conducted around 80 in-depth interviews with the force and their families.

    He thus is an expert on the emerging military culture, ethics and ethos in this new world of remote UAV warfare – where precision strikes can be made from a human sat in an air conditioned container in Nevada or Waddington, hundreds or thousands of miles away from the target.

    https://www.aerosociety.com/news/sho...puamd.linkedin

    Well worth reading the whole article Goaters.

  2. #2
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    Yes, yes they should. The medals should be struck from the finest chocolate Lindt can provide with the shiniest of wrappers
    'It doesn't matter how beautiful your theory is; it doesn't matter how smart you are. If it doesn't agree with experiment, it's wrong', Richard Feynman.

  3. Quote Originally Posted by ninjarabbi View Post
    Yes, yes they should. The medals should be struck from the finest chocolate Lindt can provide with the shiniest of wrappers


    They should be cast with a Pikey Caravan on one side and Super Mario on the other.

  4. #4
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    I think, if they are working to a deployed timeframe (long shifts with little to no time off for 6 months at a time), then yes they deserve some sort of recognition (maybe we need something new, some sort of middle-ground between 'pat on the back well done' and 'medallic recognition), because you don't need to be at the front of the front line to be 'on ops'.But if they're only pulling a 7-8 hr day, and bimble off home / to the pub / etc at evenings and weekends, with their friends, family etc, then no. It's then part of their routine daily business, they're not 'on ops'.

  5. #5
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    I don't think there is much 'rigor' fighting the traffic on the A15 or dealing with a luke warm Panini in the Costa on camp. Groundcrew didn't get anything for working around the clock at Marham during Libya Ops. You'll be telling me next that they dare to wear flying suits and claim flying pay!
    Good food, good accomodation and good pay are the 3 pillars for keeping people happy in the RAF (WO Catering, Inside Brize Norton, Thursday 19th Dec 2013) roll on the day that ever happens.........

  6. Quote Originally Posted by Witty_Banter View Post
    I think, if they are working to a deployed timeframe (long shifts with little to no time off for 6 months at a time), then yes they deserve some sort of recognition (maybe we need something new, some sort of middle-ground between 'pat on the back well done' and 'medallic recognition), because you don't need to be at the front of the front line to be 'on ops'.But if they're only pulling a 7-8 hr day, and bimble off home / to the pub / etc at evenings and weekends, with their friends, family etc, then no. It's then part of their routine daily business, they're not 'on ops'.
    Whilst not a member of the Winged Master race/Int Guys who form part of the crews on these Sqn’s I have been on the same Sqn for nearly 4 1/2 years so think it puts me in a position to at least put my 2p’s worth in this.

    First off let me just say that I work a different shift pattern to them these days, more or a standard “Engineering shift” of 2 days/2 nights/ 4 off. This is due to our manning levels (less than the aircrew/Int), but after much trials and tribulations we have found that this works best for us

    The rest of the Sqn (aircrew/ain’t) are doing a 6 days on/3 days off shift pattern, and both these are following GASO’s for following permitted flying/crew rest, however a 12hr plus day is considered the norm these days - taking account extra time for briefs/weapon paperwork completion/Reading currencies/training events etc.

    The best way I can describe a tour on the Reaper Sqns is that it’ll be the longest Out of Area you’ll ever do - in Work it’s the same operational mentality that you have on detachment, that Work Work Work mentality you have ....but then you have to go home and MOT the car/sort the dog going to the vet/pick kids up from school etc etc etc.

    Time off is precious, even a whole weekend off is a luxury- over the past 4 years I have carried over 30+ days leave a year.

    It has been one of the best tours I have done in my entire career - the sense of what achieving something that has a direct impact on RAF Operations and National Security is for me reward enough, I and my family know (within reason) what I do and why I do it, but then I have enough medals already to show future generations that I did more than just got drunk and fought in the Naafi.

    The guys I work with are amongst some of the most professional people I have had the privilege to work with and am proud to have served with them in what I believe has been one of the most busiest times on the RAF history. They should be rewarded and more importantly recognised for doing their jobs for as long as we’ve done it.

  7. #7
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    He pointed out that the imagery widely used – a sensor video of a public ISIS execution being disrupted when a RAF Reaper fired a Hellfire at the sniper on the roof, was ironically carried out by crews that, under MoD current rules, are not allowed to receive the Operation Shader medal as they are not ‘deployed’. This, he said, leads to an illogical situation where a ‘bottle-washer’ in Cyprus is eligible for a medal, yet a crew carrying out a vital precision strike against ISIS is not.
    Yet a deployed techie working 12 on, 12 off for several months isn't eligible
    It's not the man in the fight - it's the fight in the man.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by ady eflog View Post
    I don't think there is much 'rigor' fighting the traffic on the A15 or dealing with a luke warm Panini in the Costa on camp. Groundcrew didn't get anything for working around the clock at Marham during Libya Ops. You'll be telling me next that they dare to wear flying suits and claim flying pay!
    I don't work in that section but you can pretty much guarantee that they're all wearing growbags and getting flying pay (like almost every other flyboy, whether they're actually on a flying job or not!) But despite my general distaste for such things, I do think they should get recognition in some form or another - as should everyone directly involved or supporting ops.

    The groundcrew at Aki aren't (currently) going to receive the SHADER medal, even though they work ridiculous hours and deploy numerous times in 12 months - the rigour is there, but apparently the destination isn't 'deployed enough'. Which is why I think it should have nothing to do with location - recognition should be dictated by contribution / rigour, not proximity to the enemy.

  9. Quote Originally Posted by Witty_Banter View Post
    I don't work in that section but you can pretty much guarantee that they're all wearing growbags and getting flying pay (like almost every other flyboy, whether they're actually on a flying job or not!) But despite my general distaste for such things, I do think they should get recognition in some form or another - as should everyone directly involved or supporting ops.

    The groundcrew at Aki aren't (currently) going to receive the SHADER medal, even though they work ridiculous hours and deploy numerous times in 12 months - the rigour is there, but apparently the destination isn't 'deployed enough'. Which is why I think it should have nothing to do with location - recognition should be dictated by contribution / rigour, not proximity to the enemy.
    The new Abinitio Reaper Pilots (those with the Blue laurel leaves) aren’t paid flying pay, neither are the ain’t Guys/Girls who as I said follow GASO’s the same as “regular” aircrew.

  10. #10
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    but are they wearing growbags...?

 

 
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