Beware of the behind the scenes activities of management

Here is an FOI request from last year concerning 2448 (Poynton) Squadron, detailing behind thescene machinations of the organisation trying to close down a Squadron. Whilst closing is a last resort, some of the e-mail reveal a surprising level of planning and deviousness that I would not expect from a supposedly ‘honourable organisation’ but more of a political cult in its actions. These actions in this wing are not new, look at the activities regarding the Saddleworth detached flight.

Having been a Civ Com chair I can testify to these actions occuring when our Squadron were presented with a fail acompli about co-location and it will be a merger in October. The corps and some of its uniformed staff were in my opinion lesss than honest in there actions as shown by FOI requests for documentation, which released information that they were most uncomfortable about. I left the post in disgust at the actions of someofficers in particular as I suspect that they knew far more than they ‘let on’ before the fateful night when the cadets were told as again they had ‘allowed’ the Squadron to fail. There were serious conflict of issue as well in particular.

Everyone should be aware of these actions and start to place FOI requests for documentation at regular intervals reagrding their Squadrons.

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Not everything’s a conspiracy. If there’s no staff, what can they do?

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Read tha actual letters, they are most revealing bout lack of help centrally about attracting staff. Two people were interested but something put them off. It appears the Squadron knew nothing of the impending closure even though this was discussed a long time previously. Interesting response about ’ being press trained’.

in regards to my old Squadron, I cannot believe the uniformed staff knew nothing n worth if they did, did not disseminate the information to the staff far earlier than a Wing Commander droping a bombshell three weeks before a move. An FOI request revealed a lot of things going on behind the scenes before the fateful evening.

The idea of 2 potential staff changing their mind isn’t completely alien. This has happened to us recently. I suspect it is the mirage of paperwork they have to wade through, but that is just my humble opinion.

It is always sad to see a sqn close on the rare occasion that it does, but if you have no staff then surely it is hardly open anyway and thus the cadets are not getting the experience that they could be getting elsewhere.

At the end of the day, they do mention being unable to order staff to go there implying questions had been asked and offers refused…after all we are volunteers.

You can only gain so much insight from a bunch of emails which can be easily misinterpreted.

What was the outcome here at 2448, did the Sqn remain open or has it subsequently been changed?

When I took over my sqn I’d lost 3 (+1 Supernumary) uniformed CFAV in the previous 12 months, leaving me as an APO, 3 CIs and a Padre. At that point I had no interest in Cadet Numbers, my focus was on Staff Recruitment while maintaining a program that retained the cadets we had.

I now have 1 Acting Sgt, 1 APO, 1 RAF SI, 6 CIs and the Padre in addition to myself. All of this recruitment was driven my me, 2 of these additions are via transfer.

My focus has now shifted to cadet recruitment and I look set to increase numbers by over 50% with our September intake.

There is no central recruitment process as we can’t afford the TV adverts of the RAF and it’s all locally focused and making yourself known.

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I did read them. There’s a lot of conjecture there.

Other sqns say they heard about something relating to the sqn (but don’t specify what) and this is used as evidence of some kind of inside deal.
Yet in another email it’s mentioned that the wing asked for staff to go in and help.
So it’s perfectly conceivable that the first comment related to the second.

The comment about being press trained is perfectly rational, given elsewhere it’s being talked about getting the press involved.

The same Wing had the issue with Saddleworth where the issue was needing 2 uniformed staff to stay open (a directive of the RC). Once these were sourced, there were few issues.

We’ve had more than 2 members of staff look to join, start the process, then change their mind in the past 18 months. It’s not that uncommon, especially when they see how much is involved.

That’s the thing, you need a CO who has the time and energy to recruit and train staff. If you don’t have a CO and you don’t have anyone willing to do the job you are a dead duck.

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How did you take over a squadron as an APO? HQ have just told me that I can’t be section commander until completing OASC, meaning that (officially anyway) our contingent commander is having to double hat.

Needs must sometimes. You’re not supposed to, but rather that than close.

I was and remain “Officer in Charge” as such no paperwork has been completed to formally appoint me as OC, despite having now completed SCC…

Also I get to be OiC/OC as a Plt Off, yet someone appointed just over 2 years ago as a Plt Off was then promoted to Flt Lt as OC is a Flt Lt post

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They’re still listed as an active sqn in GM Wing.

According to social media in Feb. Sqn is mothballed but parading at a local unit

I think that is what I read from the FOI, the interest is there but with no qualified staff they cannot open. Mothball until they have suitable staff. It saddens me when a Sqn closes, but even more so when parents and cadets were not told from the outset but near enough the end when there was not much time to sort something out.

I also read they had 2 prospective CI’s show an interest in joining, and as have we in the past…the long wait, paperwork and crappy communications they probably lost interest.

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That is the problem, lack of openness and honesty from management.

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But there’s nothing to suggest dishonesty.

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Integerity and honesty are two sides of the same coin.

I can’t help but feel you’re trying to make a mountain out of a molehill here.

Can you point to any single objectively incorrect thing that’s taken place?

I see they kept the parents in the dark, they are customers at the end of the day.

Is it the Wing’s job to tell parents the sqn is struggling for staff?