Just wondering if any1 knows if the raf will be establishing a UAS in Northern Ireland ie. Belfast for students of the likes of Queens University because it seems unfair that anybody thinking of a raf career from ni with a degree has to travel to the rest of britain, which is a big commitment already for an 18/19year old when there is already a raf base near belfast.
There used to be one, Queens UAS, it was disbanded in 1996. Seems unlikely that, for financial reasons, any restructuring will include a stand alone unit in NI. The best that will be on offer will be something like camps spent at Units in England or Scotland. Keep an eye out for news on the future of UASs as they are near constantly under review.
Would you be able to enlighten me on the 'super' uas structuring and what it entails.
I'm currently in a UAS and at the moment there have been several changes across the country in relation to what they have to offer.
This mainly concerns the flying that is available. Previously VRs and Pilot Bursars would complete the elementary flying training phase of pilot training, but this has changed. All members of the squadrons are now allowed 10 hours flying a year and the AT budget has been dramatically increased.
The main aim of this is to improve the continuity within the flying training. If you imagine a Pilot bursar completing EFT while at University, he/she may have over three years wait until they continue their flying training at Valley or Cranwell for example. They would be competing with students that are direct entrants and who therefore completed EFT after IOT and would be more up to date with current flying practices.
This change was first known as the Marston Study, but has since changed names.
In terms of a super UAS there is now talk of dividing the country into three UAS groups, similar to EFT training. I believe that it is highly unlikely that this will come into effect, but if you are planning to apply to join a UAS in the next few years, the above changes will definitely affect you.
but as many of the old groundies dont want to fly their 10 hours can be shared around to those who want it.
However Trenchard would have cut him down for that statement. His belief was that in order to be properly airminded all RAF Officers should have basic flying ability - indeed at Cranwell part of the IOT sylabus was flying training. Whilst in the current climate it's far too expensive to train all officers in basic flying I agree with the sentiment.
The new scheme does typify MoD thinking; under the old system direct entry pilots were seen as having an advantage through the continuity of their training, so in order to balance it UAS studes get to do their training in a continuous block after IOT. This much makes sense...
However, UAS bursars just starting at Uni this year will get 30 hours flying over the three years (potentially even more as others have outlines above) along the basic lines of EFT without it counting towards their final streaming grade - so in effect the balance has now swung out the other way to greatly favour UAS over DE..!
Another example of the great minds in the MoD working at their best!
In fairly typical MoD style, all they have done is re-invented the wheel. In my UAS days the system was pretty similar to the new system. About 10 hours per year per student, with any spare or untaken hours allocated to aircrew bursars/cadetships. All effectively Air Expreience flying, although a rigorous taught syllabus was used, but nothing counted formally towards your official aircrew training. This system had many advantages - Engineers etc got some flying experience, potential aircrew could enjoy the training, but focus on their degree, and not be under serious career pressure vis a vis flying training etc.
The move to putting EFT onto UASs was entirely financial, think how much the RAF saved by not having to pay all your food and accomm costs at Uni, while still putting you through EFT - flying training on the cheap or what? It might have seemed all very grown up and serious to those going through the process, and I don't mean to detract from their achievment, but it was a money saving action that had no military training advantage at all. Indeed, I think that anyone who got through EFT/Grading on a UAS had a much much tougher deal that the (very)old and the new systems.
I suspect, in my old cynical way, that if the stats about training success were available, they would show a rather different story. I suspect that life on the UAS became a rather hard nosed, political one, and that careers were made and rather more often broken in a somewhat random, unregulated, and ultimately rather wasteful manner. Put bluntly - how can you reasonably judge the potential to fill a Harrier cockpit in a person who spends 80+% of his/her life as a student?
I'd be interested to hear the scuttlebut from UAS personnel who flew under the recently changed system and those who are there during this change. What do you see as the advantages and disadvantages fo the two?
I'm coming to the end of 3 years on my UAS this summer, so having seen the changes all I can say is that it feels less like a part of the RAF, and much closer to a cadet unit, which in my opinion is a shame.
Yup, I can understand that Kiwi, I am sure the culture will change, and it will drift away from a serious RAF environment and revert to a more relaxed 'flying club' culture that it was often criticised for in the old days.
However, if someone offered me a x% increase in my chances of getting through EFT/grading in return for belonging to a cadet organisation for 3 more years - well, I'd take that deal!
It's really a matter of what the culture and standards set by the instructors are, they can make or break the degree of service ethos that is created within a UAS. Not sure that they all realise that.
Its still very professional, just like before (its same staff as before, just less QFIs.) However the focus has shifted from headquarters at the airfield, to Town HQ, thus making it even more of a 'gentlemans club'.
But you're right, the long term benifts for the studes are high.
But no-one is being formally recruited are they, other than Bursars/Cadets?
And if any recruitment is done it must surely be OASC based and therefore the same as for DEs?
In many way it seems to have reverted to its old principle, that was to show adults what the RAF was about, with a recruitment focus for many, but also to show future leaders, movers and shakers etc (OK, I know that sounds daft, but in theory these people ususally come from university!) what the RAF was about in their impressionable uni years.