Is the ACO fit for purpose?


#1

Free fire zone, discuss


#2

qZ1HgYY


#3

I think you already know the answer to your own question :wink:


#4

Do I, then what do you do about it?


#5

The ACO doesn’t exist, so yes?


#6

Spot the pedant…


#7

OK, so ATC/CCF.


#8

You mean the RAFAC then?

(sorry couldn’t resist :wink:)


#9

To determine whether it is fit for purpose, we need to understand what its purpose is…


#10

Yes
No
Maybe

What do YOU think?

Joking aside - I concur with incubus. If we know the purpose then we can answer the question


#11

A starter for ten…

"To promote and encourage among young men and women a practical interest in aviation and the Royal Air Force (RAF).

To provide training which will be useful in both the services and civilian life.

To foster a spirit of adventure and to develop the qualities of leadership and good citizenship."


#13

Not by me it wasn’t. Mods please keep open.


#15

Flying yes, gliding “Paused” and from what I see cadets from my sqn will hardly ever glide again. RAF, sorry to say but no, we do not have enough contact with the RAF anymore.

We do this very well.

Spirit of adventure sorry to say but we do not, H&S and but covering are strangling adventure. Leadership yes very good. Good citizens I would have to say yes.

But it boils down to this, what is provided from the top down we are struggling as an organisation eg summer camps, shooting, gliding, badges, training syllabus. What the corps is good at are the soft skills of robustness, leadership, self reliance, how to look smart for an interview etc.


#16

Promotion - yes > there is plenty seen on SM, our own online presence (websites) and recruitment literature to indicate “aviation” is part of the RAFAC
Encouragement – no > there is a low moral story surrounding flying and gliding. Locally we have lost our VGS (>10 miles) to a super school now an hour away. AEF is few and far between and not plentiful enough to consider the experience a “standard” for the leading Aviation Youth Group in the UK

Absolutely - this can be anything from a buzzword bingo crib sheet of “soft skills”
leadership
teamwork
discipline
respect
responsibility

but also hard skills
first aid
personal appearance (conforming to an expectation)
Uniform care - being able to care for and wear a suit
map reading and compass work
an appreciation for sports/personal fitness (either on unit or through AT - climbing, watersports etc)

for the “service life”
Uniform care
drill
weapons familiarisation
marksmanship skills
GSK of the parent service, its traditions, structure (including rank) and the like

To foster a spirit of adventure and to develop the qualities of leadership and good citizenship
[/quote]

absolutely - plenty of community events taken place and AT opportunities


#17

At ground level bythe hard work from the Squadrons, they maybe fit for purpose, but at the cloud covered summits, I wonder?


#18

We’ve had mo flying or gliding except some meagre scraps for over 4 years. So practical flying no. Since we don’t really have proper annual (blue) camps anymore, the interest in the RAF goes wanting, compared to when I was a cadet.

The training for life side, yes, but the service side, doesn’t as I can tell extend much beyond basic training, so not really. In the 40s and through National Service, then it was more relevant, with doing practical engineering things and morse code, which I know ex-cadets from the period said was really useful.

Adventure really as @the_silverback says is being strangled by H&S and having people with little or no knowledge of the things we do, sticking their noses in as their jobs rely on them doing so. I do wonder what these people did when they were kids, if they were as anal as they seem to be as adults, god they would have been boring sods. I know I’m a bit older but even our kids got themselves into all sorts of scrapes as kids.

As for good citizens, I would say yes. We expose the cadets to charities and local community groups in a really practical sense, and if at some point in the future they on the back of this volunteer for community groups/projects then IMO they would be good citizens.


#19

As above, I think we need to match our actual outcomes against the aims of the ATC/RAFAC.

To promote and encourage among young men and women a practical interest in aviation and the Royal Air Force (RAF).

I think the results are massively variable, depending on location…

For me (and the rest of the Northwest), we’re losing this battle. I lot of my cadets join us, believing the glossy recruiting material, and the RAFAC website. The reality is, there is now no flying or gliding available for my cadets (10AEF is offline, and 645 VGS have just stopped flying again). There are no RAF main operating bases nearby, so we are less likely to see the RAF or military aircraft on a day to day basis. I’ve organised trips to several RAF bases for my squadron in the past, but it seems my wing want to make a meal of the planning process, arranging transport etc, so it becomes a chore to sort out.

For me, the RAFAC could certainly do better - perhaps starting with a little business continuity planning…

To provide training which will be useful in both the services and civilian life

I would say that we’re broadly meeting this aim.

To foster a spirit of adventure and to develop the qualities of leadership and good citizenship.

The spirit of adventure is being stifled by imposed, and self imposed, bureaucratic nonsense. I’m not sure what the rest of the organisation is like, but my wing has lost the ability to provide AT on the scale that it used to. For example, Our wing will run Bronze and Silver expeds for around 50 cadets this year. One of the local High schools will have completed double that. AT at a sqn level has virtually died out.

Leadership and citizenship skills have always been, and continue to be a strong point of the cadet forces.


#20

This I think sums up so much of what we do. It was never really, really easy, but now with SMS and needing to tick boxes and waiting for someone who has no idea to say yes or no, you do wonder if it’s all worth it.


#21

[quote=“steve679, post:16, topic:4308, full:true”]Absolutely - this can be anything from a buzzword bingo crib sheet of “soft skills”
leadership
teamwork
discipline
respect
responsibility
but also hard skills
first aid
personal appearance (conforming to an expectation)
Uniform care - being able to care for and wear a suit
map reading and compass work
an appreciation for sports/personal fitness (either on unit or through AT - climbing, watersports etc)
for the “service life”
Uniform care
drill
weapons familiarisation
marksmanship skills
GSK of the parent service, its traditions, structure (including rank) and the like[/quote]

The soft skills yes, but this does get done in schools, so I don’t think it’s something we can take too much credit for and as “the had skills” yes, but how much long term value do they have?
If you’re really unlucky you’ll have to do some first aid, I know people who revel in this and either go looking or are just bloody unlucky.
Map/compass work, not much use outside of say DofE and with sat navs and so on, maps are becoming more and more niche.
Personal appearance is a moot point. Whose expectation of conformity in the real (not military world) are you referring to. Being able care for and wear a suit. Most people now only wear a suit for interviews, I’ve been to hatch, match and despatch gatherings and an awful lot of men don’t wear suits or even a jacket. I know a lot of men who don’t have a suit or jacket/blazer.

As for service life uniform care yes, drill depends on which service they join and weapons stuff, but only for the diminishing number who join the military.

The GSK again yes, but only largely relevant to the RAF, with the exception of rank structure, which has limited cross-over.


#22

I can’t keep it open, but once it closes I’ll reopen it.