More bad news for the reds

OC RAFAT suspended. Fish rots from the head. Is it times to disband and start again with fresh blood?

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Hmmmm, values and standards?


Seems like an ideal opportunity to chin it off: it would be fairly easy to use the current unpleasantness on the Ost Front as an excuse - the RAF desperately needs every fast jet pilot it can lay it’s hands on, both in frontline units and in the OCU’s - it’s pretty obvious there’s a toxic culture in the Reds (is this now four pilots who’ve got serious allegations against them?)…

Display teams are viable when you’ve got 20+ fast jet Sqn’s, but when you’ve 6/7 it’s become a self-licking lollipop - folk talk about soft power and exports, but we’ve been revealed as severely lacking in hard power, and in the end that’s what matters - chin it off, pour those resources back into the training pipeline.

NATO states, or our friends in Asia/Pacific, don’t give a crap about the Red Arrows - they care a great deal about how many F-35’s we can put in Poland…


Cull the jets that were bought and paid for long before my day and the costs would barely cover the paint and tyres on a F-35. Put the crews back into training system and won’t generate that many shiny new winged warriors.
As much as they annoyed me when I had to work with them, they are good value for keeping the RAF visible to the public. These days you hardly ever see an aircraft unless you are near Brize(trucks) or Odiham (heliflopters).
With so much synthetic training these days would love to know how many hours a year a fast jet pilot actually accrues. Maybe why you hardly ever see any 1000hr badges on flying suits these days


They’re an economic draw probably more than a marketing one these days. I’d be surprised if there haven’t been previous suggestions of canning slapped down from inside and outside the MOD for that reason and that future musings wouldn’t see the same.

As with everything: new leadership, shuffle the deck, carry on.

And yeah… We can’t train enough as it is and those we do we can’t get in the air to operational effectiveness in a timely manner. Gaining 10 or so jockeys when you’ve already got a a stable full that are also trained but don’t have horses is not a great gain.


The current kerfuffle in the pilot training pipeline doesn’t suggest we’ve enough pilots sitting around doing nothing - both CAS and Ben Wallace have made statements in parliament saying that it’s being held up by the lack of instructors at OCU level…

It’s also about the message you want to send, and the culture you want to create - currently the Red Arrows are a significant slice of the RAF’s fast jet output - probably 1 on 12 or so of the RAF’s available fast jets is in a display during a major European land war…

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Having worked with some ex blues…

The special treatment the Reds get… The Breitlings… The sponsorships… The golf clubs…

I can’t say I’m surprised that this has happened with a select group of people who you tell them they are the best and give them expensive gifts and toys…

I’m glad he’s been sacked, the OC and WO of the regiment squadron that had some liaisons with mortar tubes were sacked almost immediately and their involvement was arguably much less. (Lads on a beer call compared to the intrinsic culture of a unit)

Personally I’m disgusted it’s taken this long for them to get rid of him. For me as a serving aviator, it screams of nepotism at those levels.
The people sacked have no place in my air force. The airforce i have deployed with, and the one that, does wind me up, but I genuinely love and am proud to serve in.

The RAF have botched the handling of this. So I’m glad they’ve taken away the guy at the top. The one the buck stops with. This should have happened some time ago.


I was seriously considering applying for a posting to them.
There’s a slot right now (funny that) for a JNCO AV.

But now, i wouldn’t be able to look myself in the mirror.

They need to get rid and start again.

Each platform has their own display team anyway. (Chinook, Typhoon, hell even the Tutor did.) It’s not like they’ll be seriously missed.

Disband, restart. Get rid of the vermin that have infested it.


I knew a bloke - very good pilot, and well regarded on the operational and staff side as well - who’s entire career was built around the Red Arrows. 3(?) flying tours with them including Leader.

I think he did two tours on operational fast jets (and was excellent).

Self-licking lollipop.


The poor standards you walk by are the standards you accept - worse still if the culture is rotten from the top.

I feel terrible for those in the RAFAT who worked hard to get to the sqn.

I agree with this - it was the Reds that first piqued my interest in Aviation and there is a direct line from there to my time as a Cadet and later as a CFAV. I have friends in the mob (one even a FJ pilot) who can say the same.

These days my daughter is fascinated with all things air and it isn’t my blue suit that got her asking questions, but the Chinooks, Atlas’s and Hercs that fly at low level past our house.


Last time I commented on here about an officer and their private life I was heavily criticised and told that one’s private life is private and my views were outdated.This is a clear example of where an officer’s lifestyle must be beyond reproach - Having an affair with a subordinate is a no go, full stop. This will be the final nail in the coffin for the Reds.


Doesn’t matter if OC Reds wasn’t aware. His trainset. His responsibility.
That’s why he’s paid Megabucks. That’s why he should be sacked.

It absolutely is. Private is private.
But when you are having an affair with a colleagues wife, sleeping with your OC on a submarine, bullying and harrasing your colleagues physically and sexually… It’s not on, you should go.

Once upon a time, officers were held to a standard. They were above reproach and dare I say above their troops.
Now one of my JEngOs got annoyed at me when I called them Ma’am instead of their first name in a briefing. She then spent the rest of the tour mock saluting every time i said Ma’am.
These officers were the genuine public face of the RAF. All of the merchandise is red arrow based.

Unless you are the best. You need to go. You give up privacy when you are in that role. Be the best or go.


And for foreign relations as shown by the tour they’re on…

Its also a recruitment tool.

As @Biggles_Lovechild states how many times have the public seen fast jets versus the Reds?

The Reds inspire the future pilots as they are used as the “sexy side” to the RAF.
Read bios of Red pilots and many dreamed of being part of RAFAT as a child…would they have bothered if there was no Reds at the airshow they visited as an 8 year old boy?

Edit: I’m not suggesting all and any bad behaviour of the Reds should be excused just highlighting the point


I would be… Watching the Red Arrows and the Vulcan at Eastbourne Airborne (it was here I found out about and wanted to joing the cadets) and Shoreham Airshow no doubt pushed me into the RAF instead of following my grandfather into the Army.

Doesn’t change my mind.

Cut out the rot infesting my beloved Air Force.
Kill the Reds if need be.
We need to remember the core function of the RAF. And that is facilitating, by either ordinance or dropping off rough men with guns, the elimination of Great Britain’s enemies.
Some high paid advert is nice to have, but if problems like this spout up, it needs to be culled.
Start it again by all means, hopefully with those who don’t have such inflated egos.

Hopefully this means the rest know they are not untouchable and such abhorrent behavior is absolutely unacceptable.


Does sleeping with a subordinate fall in to your definition of being unacceptable? Because that’s what OC Red Arrows is accused of here.

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Shall we maybe tone it down a notch everyone, and leave the decision making and mud slinging to the tabloids?


Of course it does.

I wouldn’t sleep with any of my SACs (being married aside) or any of my seniors.
Mostly because don’t :poop: where you eat, secondly, and more importantly, I believe it’s against KRs.

It also doesn’t do well on operations. I have first hand experience of that watching SACs sleeping with each other on ops. Several RTUs. Very messy.


Sleeping with a subordinate is not private. That’s crossed the line into professional life


I’ve been ‘lucky’ (?) enough to know a few Reds, including some of those in the current team.

One of them, genuinely among the nicest guys I’ve ever known, came to do a virtual talk with our squadron during lockdown, was on the UAS with him and he’s an all round legend.

All the others? Utter of the highest order.

Get rid.

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I wasn’t aware the RAF had a pilot recruitment problem, I was under the impression they had a pilot retention problem.

That’s not cured by the existence of the Red Arrows - it’s cured by flying tours with actual flying, and pay.

Wallace was talking about some pilots taking 7 years to get to a operational Sqn from finishing Cranwell - with huge numbers binning it and going elsewhere. That’s where the RAF needs to put it’s resources, not in making middle aged blokes go 'ooohh…'at an airshow…