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    i wonder if anybody can help me??????..... for the last couple of years i have dreamt, woken up and dreamt again about being a pilot in the raf.( I've tried to do everything to make my application look good, ie ccf, job, flying scholarships) However in the last couple of weeks, i suddenly dont really agree with the war against iraq, and belive all i will be doing is help poor innocent people to die........

    is there anybody else in my situation????.. iam suppost to be giving in my application for the raf in the next couple of weeks, and right now have decided not to..... believing would prefer to have a less enjoyable job, but know i wasent harming anybody for no reason.
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    (Original post by shawie)
    i wonder if anybody can help me??????..... for the last couple of years i have dreamt, woken up and dreamt again about being a pilot in the raf.( I've tried to do everything to make my application look good, ie ccf, job, flying scholarships) However in the last couple of weeks, i suddenly dont really agree with the war against iraq, and belive all i will be doing is help poor innocent people to die........

    is there anybody else in my situation????.. iam suppost to be giving in my application for the raf in the next couple of weeks, and right now have decided not to..... believing would prefer to have a less enjoyable job, but know i wasent harming anybody for no reason.

    I think it's really good that you've seriously thought about the implications of your career choice. A lot of people just see the glamorous side of being a pilot and don't always think of the bottom line, which is being prepared to proactively defend your country and could involve you losing your own life as well as taking the lives of others.

    I don't think it's a decision anyone else can make for you;it's down to your own individual beliefs and convictions. Good luck with whatever decsiion you make.
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    (Original post by shawie)
    dont really agree with the war against iraq
    Well, it's true that you're sometimes an instrument of policy. You have to do as your goverment decides you are to. However, when you get beyond the strategic and government level of thinking and down to the actual tactical level, where things happen, you're working mostly with your own people. The targeteers who pick your targets will be air force people.

    We don't bomb people. We don't destroy non-essential targets. We destroy communications, bridges, command and control buildings, but we never decide just to drop a handful of cluster bombs on a Baghdad market.

    It's your choice to decide whether or not you agree with the reasons that there was a war in Iraq, or whether or not you agree with our participation.

    However, blanket statements like:

    (Original post by shawie)
    and belive all i will be doing is help poor innocent people to die........
    ... are quite frankly offensive to people in my line of work. We do not target innocent people. And if I was given some as a target, I'd refuse to fly it! If they happen to be walking under a strategically important bridge in the middle of a warzone, then sometimes **** happens; someone's died. Perhaps their leaders decide to instigate human shielding; well, then it falls to the aircrew at the time. If I'm tasked to destroy a building and when I get there there are too many civilians due to a local holiday, a market, a human shield, or whatever; I'll come home full laden with weapons. Collateral damage happens; and it's a real, genuine shame. And if you don't think you can operate to support the government's policy, then that's a different matter.

    But please, don't dare insinuate that we're a bunch of robots who don't think for a second about our actions. I'm a commissioned officer; I'm a guy with years and years of training in every aspect of my job; and don't tell me that my job is killing innocents! Don't believe for a second that I'd drop a bomb on something I wasn't 99% sure was safe.

    Most of the work in Desert Fox (1998) was military command and control, anti aircraft sites, weapons dumps, etc etc. Why would there be "innocent" people there?

    You can call the Iraqi public innocent for obvious reasons; but I've never been tasked to attack a school, so I can't comment on that. If you think the Iraqi SAM weaponeer who's pointing his weapons at my best friends is innocent when we're off to do close air support to stop troops being killed in combat, then you're not terribly well educated on this sort of thing.

    (Original post by shawie)
    believing would prefer to have a less enjoyable job, but know i wasent harming anybody for no reason.
    You've been reading too many tabloids containing too many reports on numbers of Iraqi civilians killed. Too many liberalist view on what the war was about.

    At the end of the day, make your own mind up. Don't be crass; banish any thought you have about Tornados bombing schools or blowing up 1000s of civilians. You don't know about the tactical level of operations when we're out there, and you don't know how we operate.

    While some things may have gone on in Iraq recently which are hard to defend, I challenge you to tell me any involving RAF aircrew.

    If you want to discuss this further, feel free to email me, or add me to MSN as [email protected].
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    (Original post by Nikki J S)
    which is being prepared to proactively defend your country and could involve you losing your own life as well as taking the lives of others.
    Absolutely. But there's never any question that you'll be asked to take the lives of innocents. It doesn't work that way. Kill the enemy fighter pilot, expect to be shot down and killed, yes. None of us ever assume we'll have to kill innocents!
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    (Original post by Wzz)
    Absolutely. But there's never any question that you'll be asked to take the lives of innocents. It doesn't work that way. Kill the enemy fighter pilot, expect to be shot down and killed, yes. None of us ever assume we'll have to kill innocents!

    I didn't for a second believe that it did, and apologise profusely if my reply was percieved in that way.
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    (Original post by Nikki J S)
    I didn't for a second believe that it did, and apologise profusely if my reply was percieved in that way.
    Oh no, not at all; you just gave me a good opportunity to reinforce my point a little. Thanks!!
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    Just to add to all of this, there have been cases where an enemy target has been destroyed by the application of air power, only to discover that some collatoral damage has been caused to the hospital next door. No doubt such instances will happen again in the future.

    No blame can be attached to the pilot in such cases - if anything, it becomes an intelligence failure (or at least that's how some sections of the media will portray it). We then examine the intelligence role - could they reasonable have predicted what had happened? Did they know that the upper floors of a HQ building bombed by aircraft were being used to house the sick and injured? The bottom line is this: " has everything been done to reduce the possibility of destroying anything other than the intended target?" The answer is always YES.

    Are mistakes made? Of course - but then again mistakes are made in all walks of life.
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    (Original post by shawie)
    believing would prefer to have a less enjoyable job, but know i wasent harming anybody for no reason.
    Hmmm... so RAF air defence, search and rescue, transport and most of the rest all go around iraq just bombing do they? I think you should research this career a bit more...
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    if you wanna be a operational fast jet pilot you gotta think about what your role is gonna be in war if i comes down too it .

    At the end of the day what is the ordinance carried by harriers , gr.4's , jags and typhoons designed too do ? KILL PEOPLE ! FACT !

    i was asked that question @ OASC and i said erm to destroy tactical and stratiegic targets ! He said NOPE , ITS DESIGNED TOO KILL PEOPLE. Full stop ! then he asked me how do i feel about that ! that is what you need too think about ?
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    (Original post by Andy Caldwell)
    if you wanna be a operational fast jet pilot you gotta think about what your role is gonna be in war if i comes down too it .

    At the end of the day what is the ordinance carried by harriers , gr.4's , jags and typhoons designed too do ? KILL PEOPLE ! FACT !

    i was asked that question @ OASC and i said erm to destroy tactical and stratiegic targets ! He said NOPE , ITS DESIGNED TOO KILL PEOPLE. Full stop ! then he asked me how do i feel about that ! that is what you need too think about ?
    I agree you've got to seriously consider your role in war, whatever branch you're in. However, at the risk of starting a flame war, have you actually read the replies posted by Wzz above re FJ pilots?
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    Yeah, Andy, your OASC matey boy was just steering the interview in the direction of seeing what your reaction would be, and to see if you had considered the possibility of having to take somebody's life. In this case, all credit to Shawie for at least having thought about some of the wider implications of the job. At the end of the day, it's something you must come to terms with yourself wrt Wzz' comments, before you send off that application...
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    yes i know mate , thats what I was trying too say ! Fair play to the lad for thinking about it before he applies because if he changes his mind is wasted time and money for the RAF. Im just relaying what i was told by a boarding officer. And no i hadnt read further up the thread
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    (Original post by Andy Caldwell)
    yes i know mate , thats what I was trying too say ! Fair play to the lad for thinking about it before he applies because if he changes his mind is wasted time and money for the RAF. Im just relaying what i was told by a boarding officer. And no i hadnt read further up the thread

    The original poster referred to taking lives for no reason, which surely would be abhorrent to any of us (and, I would imagine, murder)! As already said, the targets are not people, although some people may lose their lives as a result of hitting targets; there is a difference!
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    (Original post by Nikki J S)
    The original poster referred to taking lives for no reason, which surely would be abhorrent to any of us (and, I would imagine, murder)! As already said, the targets are not people, although some people may lose their lives as a result of hitting targets; there is a difference!

    Oh but at some point the target might be people. For instance as in Iraq when multiple strikes where made too take out figures within the Iraqi Government e.g Saddam. That target is a person or persons. Or if you do close air support because friendly troops are pinned down by a larger enemy infrantry force, a patrolling CAS aircraft could be called in and its target would be the enemy troops and it would probably drop a cluster weapon or two too take them out. Then the target is people. Troops, aurthoritive figures, enemy airforce personell, civillians there all people @ the end of the day.
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    (Original post by Andy Caldwell)
    Oh but at some point the target might be people. For instance as in Iraq when multiple strikes where made too take out figures within the Iraqi Government e.g Saddam. That target is a person or persons. Or if you do close air support because friendly troops are pinned down by a larger enemy infrantry force, a patrolling CAS aircraft could be called in and its target would be the enemy troops and it would probably drop a cluster weapon or two too take them out. Then the target is people. Troops, aurthoritive figures, enemy airforce personell, civillians there all people @ the end of the day.

    O.k fair point. I guess I should have added the word innocent (i.e ordinary civilians) to my previous reply about people, which was the crux of the argument by the original poster. The one's you refer to clearly don't fall within this category.
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    (Original post by Andy Caldwell)
    Oh but at some point the target might be people. For instance as in Iraq when multiple strikes where made too take out figures within the Iraqi Government e.g Saddam. That target is a person or persons. Or if you do close air support because friendly troops are pinned down by a larger enemy infrantry force, a patrolling CAS aircraft could be called in and its target would be the enemy troops and it would probably drop a cluster weapon or two too take them out. Then the target is people. Troops, aurthoritive figures, enemy airforce personell, civillians there all people @ the end of the day.
    We didn't do a lot of that though. We did join in with a method of CAS called KICAS whereby you'd hang around waiting for ideally GPS co-ords of a target, or a note of somewhere to designate, or wait for FAC control if you didn't get either of those while loitering.

    A lot of what you're talking about are Cold War Harrier tactics really; been a long time since we dropped cluster bombs on troops!
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    i dunno how much of it we did but im pretty sure it happened , the USAF did it i know that !
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    Hey,
    i have only just found out about this web site and was reading your comments,and as you say about being a pilot i was windering if you could help me with a few things.
    i am 15 and am very interested in becoming a pilot,i have bin to my afco and got lots of info and really want to become one.
    i have to concerns though,
    1) Is there any way to become a fast jet pilot as you cannot apply for a particular aircraft eg.rotary wings, fast jet pilot
    2)what are the chances of dying, i am not worried i am just wondering about the risks.

    thanks for taking your time to read it
    alex
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    (Original post by alexwalton2003)
    Hey,
    i have only just found out about this web site and was reading your comments,and as you say about being a pilot i was windering if you could help me with a few things.
    i am 15 and am very interested in becoming a pilot,i have bin to my afco and got lots of info and really want to become one.
    i have to concerns though,
    1) Is there any way to become a fast jet pilot as you cannot apply for a particular aircraft eg.rotary wings, fast jet pilot
    2)what are the chances of dying, i am not worried i am just wondering about the risks.

    thanks for taking your time to read it
    alex
    1) Depends how well you do in EFT I believe they have about 45 FJ slots out of 100 though this varies year to year. You do elementary flying training at a university air squadron. It all depends on you skill and ability to complete sorties while having a lot of spare capacity to do other things. You may do EFT and realise that you do want to go RW, it happens and not everyone finds EFT easy

    2)You can't really give odds on it but it is unlikely. That is never to say it won't happen but pilots are trained in survival and are always prepared for the job that they do. There have been deaths in the current Iraq war (Lyneham Herc crash most recently) but FJs are exactly sitting ducks. Its something that you would have to consider though, even if it is probable it may never happen to you. Personally I would rather die doing something I love then never doing it at all
 
 
 
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