Its Not What It Used To Be (Lost Activities)

That’s the argument for retaining the University Air Squadrons - I was told whilst instructing on a UAS green camp at Machrihanish with an RAF Regt training team that around 10% join the RAF: there’s a case that percentage is either good or poor returns on the taxpayers’ investment…recently I heard that UAS cadets get paid for the time spent attending training, about which I am less impressed, because whilst regular service personnel can get their snouts in the trough of any sporting/AT/educational boondoggles that are going - I did once I’d found out what was there for the taking - at least the latter group of service people can use that training to the benefit of the service, and actually are actively committed to serving the country.
If one is serving in the regular military, one gives up several of one’s human rights in doing so, so a few weeks a year spent doing sport or whatever on the Firm’s time and the taxpayer’s money is what one should expect to get in return.
I think it’s harder for us in some Regions to get our cadets to see the RAF: many stations have closed down or have been taken over by the Army. :thinking:


UAS is much harder to get into these days with many more bursars. This is because the UAS training is now part of the Modular Initial Officer Training at Cranwell. This means UAS sponsored OCdts can skip the first 6 weeks of IOT to get to the frontline quicker.
On a similar note I am not sure why you would stay on as an 18+ stafff cadet when you could join UAS and be treated (and paid!) as a baby officer


It would be really great if we could use the thread to talk about its original purpose…


I suppose there is a first time for everything….


But then the forum wouldn’t be what it used to be.

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I see what you did there.


I posted the topic of RAF CIO visits to ATC Sqns separately, but one of the moderators moved it into the nostalgia section. We’ve continued my topic to discuss RAF recruiting from the RAFAC, and one contributor highlighted the emphasis on awareness raising of the RAF amongst its cadet organisations, rather than direct recruitment campaigns within them. :nerd_face:

  • presumably either because they didn’t stay in education; their college doesn’t have an attachment to a close enough UAS, or they don’t have their own transport; they have other regular commitments - but still enjoy being part of the Blue Team… or; intimidation of joining the UAS or simply not ready to offer that level of commitment…

Or, could it be that the staff cadets have formed deep connections within their squadrons and they’re proud to be paying back in to the corps - as many would have hoped…?

I suspect there’s also a big part of it’s nice being the “big kid in the playground” that is RAFAC, rather than being the “newbie / little kid” at UAS…


Sport can be added to the list.

ACPS….another one gone!

Despite what started as good intentioned work, I can see Fieldcraft becoming another minority activity over and above cooking and hiding in the garden

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Posting here as the more relevant thread.

AEF & AEG are not impossible to do but they are quite difficult to do more than the basic. The goal that “every cadet will fly once” is a good one & likely generally achievable.

Shooting is becoming more difficult due to legislation & cost especially since the removal of the L98A1 has caused issues.

Fieldcraft keeps having a reboot in the ATC more often than fantastic four movies. It’s good fun when done right & simple but dull when done in the way it currently is/will be.

Re the all trades air defence, there remains a question mark over the RAF regiment in the medium/long term & I can see it be slowly phased down & out with the Army taking on this role.

We’ve debated this issue on the thread below, but should the RAF regiment go the fieldcraft aspect of the ATC will probably go as well.

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IN the Comdt leaving thread (oddly now locked) there are a number of people suggesting outsourcing flying and gliding. Unfortunately a. that’s directly opposed to the recent direction of travel (e.g. on ACPS); b. the objections to the revival of ACTO35 and flights in non-service aircraft came from the very top: RAFAC senior staff (including at 2FTS, not technically part of the RAFAC CoC) were in favour of its return but every proposal was blocked higher up.
While RAFAC remains part of the RAF (rather than, say, going down the SCC route) then I don’t see much likelihood, I’m afraid.


Does make me question whether leaving the auspices of the RAF could actually prove to be a net benefit to the Corps/Force even with the loss of public funding.

With organisational autonomy, our limited resource could be focussed to best support our volunteers and cadets, instead of money being used as an excuse to degrade opportunities.


Would ATC units then need to pay rent to RFCA as external/private enterties (and therefore probably pay more than HQ currently pays to RFAC on our behalf)

Yes: it just depends what our income stream is. I don’t know much about the SCC model although I do see the visible results of our local SCC fund-raising (e.g. they run a very successful Christmas tree business every year!) I assume there is then some sort of precept/tax on this to fund HQ? And corporate sponsorship etc - we could approach industry, of course.

I wouldn’t be averse to using RFCA buildings where they were convenient, but why - in principle - tie ourselves to an org that’s sub-optimal in terms of doing what it’s paid for, and that has far too large a day in where the ACO is, and isn’t.

Independence would mean footing the bills (scary…), but it also means not just making your own rules, but making your own game.


It the RAFAC are happy to have cadets flying on commercial airlines under the same regulations as flying training organisations. Some people worried about losing their empires. Even the RAF use commercial airlines.

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Except, at least in the short term it potentially means lots of ATC units getting evicted and having to find new accommodation, a task that most sqns just don’t have the capacity to do.

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It also potentially means sharing sites with organisations that are willing to offer accommodation at very low rates or no cost at all.

Hosting in a school may not be ideal for ATC cadets, but it is, for most places, a feasible option that could come with no cost. Less likely, but Scouts & Guides might be willing to lend their venue for shared bills.

If the above is true, less money would need to move out of the organisation enabling local units to invest more into their cadets at a local level.

And ultimately, with all the pauses and lack of availability of core activities, what does the org actually get for paying up into the GPF/charity anyhow?

This comment and my previous one aren’t to say that this is the right course of action, but if we don’t do something radical as an organisation there will be no reason for us to exist in only a few years. The same old thinking as always is dangerous for the org’s sustainability, so let’s think outside the box.