SteamyTea

Grenfell Tower fire

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Curiously, as an ex-MoD boffin, SF generally do their own thing, and don't really put any significant pressure on defence research and development.  They tend to be a bit maverick, and will go and buy their own kit, often without going through the normal procurement process, and sometimes that works well (for stuff like boots and small arms) sometimes it doesn't work at all well (like when buying helos).  For example, I was being shown around the armoury at Donnington about 20 years ago, and spotted a couple of racks of AK-47s sitting in the workshop.  They are pretty distinctive, as we don't have guns with wooden stocks.  I asked why on earth we were servicing Kalashnikovs, to be told that it was an "under the counter" job from Hereford.  Apparently these were special Kalshnikovs, accurate ones that actually shot in a straight line and didn't rattle like a tin full of old nails when you carried them.  The reason I was told for SF having them was so that they didn't need to carry lots of ammunition.  In pretty much any likely theatre of operation they could guarantee the enemy would be using AK-47s, so all they had to do was kill them and steal their ammo.

 

It also used to be the case that in decision conferences (the method by which procurements are prioritised) SF always came top of the list, but that had started to change before I retired.  One example I remember clearly was a 1* decision conference looking at future rotary wing requirements, where the starting point was that all SF procurements would get the highest score, and tasks viewed as non-essential got the lowest score.  I was there as a non-voting observer (as I was buying helos and managing the Lynx fleet) and I clearly remember asking why military SAR was the lowest priority (the helos I was involved with didn't really have a Mil SAR role).  There was a debate where one of the other 1*s present (a voting member) remarked that it cost around £2M to train a pilot, and perhaps almost as much for each crew member.  When that was chucked into the equation Mil SAR went from being at the bottom of the list to up near the top, on the basis of value.

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7 minutes ago, JSHarris said:

...  I clearly remember asking why military SAR was the lowest priority (the helos I was involved with didn't really have a Mil SAR role).

 

 

We can be thankful they were using another financial equation in 1940 during the Battle of Britain, recovered pilots gave us a useful advantage over the Luftwaffe.

 

10 minutes ago, JSHarris said:

There was a debate where one of the other 1*s present (a voting member) remarked that it cost around £2M to train a pilot, and perhaps almost as much for each crew member.  When that was chucked into the equation Mil SAR went from being at the bottom of the list to up near the top, on the basis of value.

 

 

Which entirely overlooks the fact that confidence in the organization and self belief in the cause is what gives a military organization an quantifiable advantage. Without that you get Mussolini's army of 1941.

 

 

 

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13 minutes ago, epsilonGreedy said:

 

We can be thankful they were using another financial equation in 1940 during the Battle of Britain, recovered pilots gave us a useful advantage over the Luftwaffe.

 

 

Which entirely overlooks the fact that confidence in the organization and self belief in the cause is what gives a military organization an quantifiable advantage. Without that you get Mussolini's army of 1941.

 

 

 

 

 

I couldn't agree more, but all the voting members were 1* military officers, from all three services.  1* is Brigadier General, Air Commodore, Commodore, so reasonably high up in the food chain.

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