Painting the Squadron

Saw over the weekend on social media that 1406 have repainted their squadron, using the cadets to get the job done.

While I’m not personally against this, my understanding is that this would be self help, yet some of response/comments appear to indicate they just bought some paint and cracked on.

Does anyone have the knowledge of what needs to be done and the process to follow?

better to ask forgiveness than permission??


Very achievable. Dont let the early 00s self help rules and rumours put you off. RFCAs haven’t for the money for safety works - let alone painting and decorating!!

Put a business case to RFCA, along with method statement and risk assessment. Include a budget. Sometimes they’ll give you money for paint, sometimes you’ll have to find that bit yourselves.

Ensure WHQ are in the loop for top cover. When it comes to it, do the SMS etc and include the RFCA approval notification.

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Apply through WExO for permission as it’s self-help!

@Batfink clearly you’re not in the same RFCA area as me!

I asked of I could paint the Sqn. Didnt even expect them to pay Sqn would cover all costs.
Also had a local carpet fitter lined up who was prepared to donate his material and time to red carpet classrooms 1,2,3.

RFCA would not even entertain the idea of us painting ourselves. Or god forbid, get free new hard wearing carpet!

Ok… I thought… so I put in a request via RFCA for repairs (not new works). That was 3 years ago.
“No budget”

Makes my blood boil. These ‘absolute oxygen stealing non people’ who are employed in positions of responsibility should be ashamed of themselves.


“I’ve not painted the walls Sir, I’ve just cleaned them… With a magnolia coloured brush…”

@themajor. A former OC, now Wing Staff in our wing, recently did their squadron. You could always ask them. Best to keep the WExO in the loop too.

If they find out that the squadron’s been painted, what can they do about it? :smiling_imp:


Indeed, I did quite a few bits when I took over my unit, the view being that I could say “it was like that when I took over”

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We’ve run cables, trunking, and all sorts and they haven’t noticed.

Not quite sure what they could do about you painting the place. If you really wanted to be anal find out what type of paint they/the RAF use. Do you know anyone in a base store somewhere?

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In the exact words of my WEXO… and I just re-read them in their email to be sure…

“No self help, under any circumstances”.

Why did this all come about, because a local do gooder put on their Twitter feed about how the Sqn was really coming along, with photo of parents painting the outside.

I really despair.

As a result, the committee leap down my throat if poxy RFCA dont fix stuff within 2 weeks when reported. It took me 16 months to get a window replaced. They seem to think it’s like a housing association or something… instant repairs.

Really wish I could just tell them all (RFCA and their collaborators) to go stick it and ruin someone else’s day. But then the Sqn would close.

Dear Dawn, you reading this. You complete admin obsessive. Couldnt even admin a few tins of paint could you!


Many moons ago, self build Squadron extension of three rooms, 35 foot radio mast erected after digging a base some 4x4x5 foot for a concrete foundation for it and finally a concrete area out the back for BBQs and functions etc. All home build, just hard work by staff and cadets though.


I can only pray for that sort of sense to be allowed.

Else why have Sqn Commanders?

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Please do not allow contractors brought in to paint your Sqn! Our Sqn was painted a jail grey, I do not know what the powers that be thought when they said this Sqn next :pensive: over the last couple of years with the heat etc the paint is peeling off. We’ve contacted all we can about getting it sorted cos I class it as health and safety issue. Our OC won’t let us use the heaters as it could be a fire risk, he doesn’t care if the paint is fire retardant, it’s the fumes from the flaked paint he doesn’t want to chance. We have slowly been peeling the paint around the heaters in prep for winter. We now have dry cracked grey walls with the white paint they didn’t prepare around some of the heaters, only good note is the previous dirty white now looks white.

I know of a Squadron Commander who has been moved and forced to relinquish command of his unit for 6 months because they did exactly that.

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I’d tell em to Jog On if they tried that with me


Shows up the utter insanity of the ACO at times. The organisation should be praising people for self help improvements rather than rather than having a teddy throwing session. Whilst things like electrics require a qualified poerson who is to say RFCA contractors are any better than somebody the Squadron employs or who is a staff member who is suitably qualified.

“I know of a Squadron Commander who has been moved and forced to relinquish command of his unit for 6 months because they did exactly that.”

If the ACO as mentioned above is disciplining OCs for such things and losing their squadrons, maybe you can see why people kick the organisation into touch or not even consider joining as staff

We used to have an OC who was a electrician and even taught apprentices how to be an electrician…but wasnt allowed to move a plug :man_facepalming:

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The question has to be, who benifits from all this money being spent?

Then someone in the CoC needs to take their head for a wobble.

Remember people: in the vast majority of cases the building is not your property, it is somebody else’s. Messing with other people’s stuff is clearly going to be a no-no.

Where the work requires professional accreditation and a need to comply with a set of quality and safety standards (stop sniggering at the back!) I can understand the reluctance to support such. There can also be contracts in place.

Oh, and of course I’m not forgetting about the usual suspicions of RFCAs wanting to give the work to their mates when they do actually get it done, regardless of quality…