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bentwaters81tfw

Scampton to close.

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I am so annoyed about Scampton closing I'm having a problem keeping  civil . Did my ATC summer camp there in 68 , Vulcans on scramble practice  nearly everyday . Blue Steels ..Magic !

Is the Lancaster  Gate Guard still there ? Whats it going to be ? Another Hemswell / Swinderby like Antiques farm to film bargain hunt or another Persimmon housing estate that will be falling apart before the buyers move in ? 

🤬

RAF 100 ,nice one ! *********** Country. What a wind up .

🤬🤬🤬🤬

Thought I was already hot 'till I read that :poop::angrysoapbox.sml:

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18 minutes ago, bzn20 said:

Whats it going to be ? Another Hemswell / Swinderby like Antiques farm to film bargain hunt or another Persimmon housing estate that will be falling apart before the buyers move in ? 

🤬

 

Or worse still, a prison like Coltishall 😞

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They are only doing it so they can take the kink out of the A15. :whistle:

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Any guesses where the Reds will end up? I guess the options are few and far between - Valley or Coningsby?

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3 billion in saving's the MOD is tasked with what a suprise! If you harp on about how much you are spending on our armed forces then tell them

to save 3 billion you've invested nothing,be honest and tell them you need to sell off asset's and self finance,except there comes a point when when

there's nothing left to sell,How many cash strapped council's today sold off their housing stock back in the eighties and would love those rent's coming in

today? 

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I get the impression that the modern Air Force is going to rely on STOL aircraft or even VTOL...……...so to be honest, in the future, they are not going to need Bases with long runways so, expect a fair few more to go under the hammer.  A bit like the 2nd World War when the airfields were hit hard...…………...fighters deployed to much smaller fields and managed without an airfield until it was repaired.  I wouldn't be surprised to see smaller bases - minus runways in the future, just hard standing...……...time marches on, it never stands still, one can cut down on personnel and maintenance with smaller locations.  Also reminds me that many an airfield has a "satellite" station, an alternative base should home base be compromised to relocate to.  Whats to say, some pen pusher in Whitehall has the brain wave to make "Satellite stations" the Prime station and sell off the bigger station that costs a lot of money to run...…………..MOD is sitting on a lot of prime locations which stands to make them a lot of money when sold off to land speculaters

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Its about time we had a BOMBER COMMAND Airfield in full preservation . . .

 

It would become a technical school for all warbirds preservation, we should not forget our history.

Airshows abound with no military secrets, hence why Waddington has stopped,.

Ideal for films with such a location and nmo doubt other aviation related things that could be centred  on a historical site .

 

Pie in the sky I suppose as pen-pushers only see £ signs and savings. G*ts.

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I would suggest that the F35 is partially responsible for this, a very interesting NEW report on this aircraft is available on Hyperscale.

Apparently it needs another few billion spending on it to make it as capable as an F16,which by the way has a very good "kill"ratio against it

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I was saddened to hear this news. Hoping for a last-minute reprieve, but at the very least, a museum and memorial to all the history and aircrew/maintainers that worked and flew there should be created. Maybe Sir Peter Jackson could buy the property  and use it for his film headquarters when he gets around to making his tribute movie about 617 Squadron's raid on the dams.

Mike

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Look stop your moaning ..the senior service has only got two air stations and a part share in some property in Norfolk.....so plenty of scope for more cuts yet🤣🤣🙄

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So they give with one hand (Tempest II) and take away with the other (Scampton)

 

i would not be surprised if the Reds are reduced to a 6 or 4 aircraft display team the way things are going. Or the Reds could be the first drone display team !

 

Robert

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3 hours ago, bzn20 said:

Is the Lancaster  Gate Guard still there ? 

They had two over the years. R5868 aka ‘S’ for Sugar which now lives in the RAF Mausaleum in Hendon and NX611 which was bought by the Panton brothers and is gradually being restored to flight status.

 

I’ll reserve judgement on the base closure and as to what will become of it and where the ‘arrers will end up.

 

Trevor

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3 hours ago, SimonR said:

Any guesses where the Reds will end up? I guess the options are few and far between - Valley or Coningsby?

Wittering seems to be the place on a lot of tongues right now going by what I've seen on a lot of other forums and social media. The main rationale is that the Reds could have the place all to themselves. A few have also mentioned Wyton for similar reason.

 

Waddington and Leeming are also names I've seen come up a fair bit in those same forums. I don't know about Waddington, but Leeming could make some sense. With 100 Squadron the only flying unit there right now, there's plenty of hangar space available and infrastructure for Hawk support is already in place.

 

Valley is a complete non starter as it's far too busy and will become only busier when Linton's aircraft are transfered there. The Reds will be fighting for space on the ground and in the air at Valley. I think it would be a similar situation at a fighter station like Conningsby.

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59 minutes ago, upnorth said:

Wittering

Haven't the Army got that now ? Going on past MOD cock ups , they are real experts at it ..... Having a Hawk infrastructure already in place at Leeming ….. It will be somewhere else.

The Reds were based at Brize in late 70s , flying out of Kemble but with HQ at Brize . The personnel were in Brize Married Quarters , we only saw the actual Arrows just before the start of the new Air Show season and again right at the end except Brize Open Day and more exciting than a bog standard air show. 

When reading all these  special needs of the Reds...….. Need space ,need a less busy Station , need good hangarage . We want to be on our own …. AKA, another place to shut in a few years to save money and Its becoming an even more expensive toy ,how long before they vanish ? Just saying .

On these requirements an Army Camp would be a good idea and go to Wittering and wait for the Tempest ( Red )Drone to turn up, handy for the 9 seater Container in the A1 Little Chef (abandoned ) car park near Peterbro '. Or not busy  Benson . Bomb Burst over Henley will stir them up a bit more than rowing boats

Edited by bzn20

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Wittering is still RAF, A4 logistics HQ & they have reopened the airfield for UAS, so plenty of room for the Reds.  Cottesmore up the road is now in the hands of the Army and last time I was there, they had turned part of the runway into a 6 lane motorway for  crash exercises. 

The only gate guard at Scampton is the newly (last year I think) installed fake Hawk. 

I want to know if Scampton does close, what will they do with the restored Guy Gibson office & of course the grave of his dog. 

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Ps, did anyone else notice that Linton on Ouse is to close as well. Another WW2 airfield, still perfectly functional if a little out of the way. 

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Drove past the entrance to Scampton a number of year's ago & it looked dilapidated then, so I think it always was going to happen. 

Surprised by the closure of Linton, as a North Yorkshire lad, the sound of those Tucanos is constant in the week.

Plus saving 3 billion over 22 years ! ?

Edited by roys

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2 minutes ago, Hockeyboy76 said:

Guy Gibson office & of course the grave of his dog.

No idea about the office, a difficult to keep a tiny part of a building I would think but they need to shift N******r's grave before the PC lot arrive and go in to orbit over it . Not just a Dog it's part of  RAF History and more importantly The Dam Busters , a kind of Corner Stone the RAF stands on today . 617 Sqn, it's almost sacred ,it is the RAF .

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Lets not give away £40 billion and spend it on what we need, for crying out loud, how hard is it to see the ludicrous decisions being made on a whim. 😡

I know....why not give the lot away and ask the Irish Government to look after our sovereignty, we have for them for a while.

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Thats the cost of throwing money away at that F-35 thingy!!! Thoroughly disgusted at the suggestion of Scampton to close Major part of RAF history too.

And what about HHA witheir Hunters etc....????

My second ATC camp was there in 1969.  Somewhere I have a map of the grounds showing  all the buildings. They were dished out so we cadets could find our way around.

 As for the Reds, hope a home will be found but at a couple shows they are only allowed to do flypast. Will that ruling be extended to be the only thing they will be able to do??? Just as an aside, they flew right over my house Saturday just gone in two very tidy Vic formations. I think they were heading back to Farnborough after a display at Hastings. Goose bumps and all that....

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Let's be honest the Reds have been at Scampton for only a third of their history.  And the RAF managed half it's life without the Reds.  I'm pretty sure the public were more impressed by tied-together vics of Gamecocks (state of the UK art fighters) or 22 Hunters (state of the UK art fighters) cavorting within sight rather than 9 noisy antique trainers laying coloured smokescreens in the far distance.

The loss of the original home of 617 seems overrated, I'm always intrigued at "continuous history" of some squadrons that seem to have been disbanded one day and sprang back to life the next at the other end of the Empire.

 

Running for cover...

Will

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9 hours ago, malpaso said:

Let's be honest the Reds have been at Scampton for only a third of their history.  And the RAF managed half it's life without the Reds.  I'm pretty sure the public were more impressed by tied-together vics of Gamecocks (state of the UK art fighters) or 22 Hunters (state of the UK art fighters) cavorting within sight rather than 9 noisy antique trainers laying coloured smokescreens in the far distance.

The loss of the original home of 617 seems overrated, I'm always intrigued at "continuous history" of some squadrons that seem to have been disbanded one day and sprang back to life the next at the other end of the Empire.

 

Running for cover...

Will

 

You make some very good points.

 

Scampton indeed has been only one of the places the Reds have called "Home". The Reds are also not the RAF's first air demonstration team.

 

From all I've read, most of the buildings at Scampton are in a fair state of dilapidation and it would incur exorbitant costs to bring them up to modern standards or replace them with buildings that meet modern standards. The reality is that, outside of a place to park the Reds, the base is surplus to RAF needs.

 

Off the top of my head, I can't think of another military demonstration team that has a base all to themselves so why should the Reds be special in that regard? I think if the Reds are to be kept and Scampton not, then Leeming is the most logical place to put them given that 100 Squadron use the same version of Hawk as the Reds do. Why not move them to a place where the facilities and infrastructure for their aircraft type are already well established?

 

As for the Reds flying an "antique" aircraft; at least they still fly an aircraft that is relevant to the RAF in other contexts. I'm originally from Canada and grew up watching the Snowbirds team at shows. I love them and their show, but they fly a true geriatric relic of an aircraft that no longer represents anything in contemporary RCAF service except the Snowbirds. I would dearly love to see the Snowbirds get a fresh and relevant aircraft, but I'm not holding my breath.

 

If money is an issue but an air force still wants a flashy PR performer on the airshow circuit, I often wonder if those air forces who opt for the solo fighter option might not have the better idea? Instead of having a dedicated team, you could pass the job of the solo demo among the active duty units. The idea seems to work well for those who currently do it.

 

Then there is the question of if the current situation justifies having a dedicated team at all. They are very expensive PR, but PR is all they are and that can't be the main priority of a military. I was talking to a Dutch F-16 pilot at a show last year and asked him if there was a new F-16 solo demo in the works and he said that it very likely would not happen again as operational commitments would preclude the use of any F-16s as dedicted show performers.

 

On the matter of the base's historical value, is there not already a dedicated monument to the Dambuster raids at Woodhall Spa? Is Gibson's office and his dog's grave not encompassed by the RAF Scampton Heritage Centre? Could that heritage centre not be maintained somehow in spite of base closure?

 

I tend to agree with you about RAF squadrons and their "continuous" histories. If you look into the histories of most of the really historic RAF units, keeping their histories going has often been a matter of transfering the more senior unit's number plate to a less prestigious unit on the same day or day after the former had been disbanded. A lot of those senior squadrons have histories a lot less "continuous" that it might seem at first.

 

A lot more has been done over the years to ensure the 617 number plate has stayed active among active duty units than has been done for other historically significant RAF units. If you look at  the legend that the Spitfire became, why has the RAF not ensured that the number plate of the first unit to have them, 19 Squadron, been kept as active duty and on fast jets? Surely being the first to operate the Spitfire should have given 19 the same level of immortality that breaching dams gave to 617, no?

 

The bottom line is that military bases open and close or get transfered from one service to another, military units get established, disbanded and transfered around from base to base. That's the nature of militaries wherever they are; always has been, always will be.

Edited by upnorth

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On 7/25/2018 at 7:24 AM, upnorth said:

I tend to agree with you about RAF squadrons and their "continuous" histories. If you look into the histories of most of the really historic RAF units, keeping their histories going has often been a matter of transfering the more senior unit's number plate to a less prestigious unit on the same day or day after the former had been disbanded. A lot of those senior squadrons have histories a lot less "continuous" that it might seem at first.

 

A lot more has been done over the years to ensure the 617 number plate has stayed active among active duty units than has been done for other historically significant RAF units. If you look at  the legend that the Spitfire became, why has the RAF not ensured that the number plate of the first unit to have them, 19 Squadron, been kept as active duty and on fast jets? Surely being the first to operate the Spitfire should have given 19 the same level of immortality that breaching dams gave to 617, no?

 

 

Although there have been instances of renumbering to keep the senior plates going, this isn't that common, particularly not in the last 50 years.  The practice was all but outlawed in the early 60s when it was noted that 3 Squadron had remained in existence by renumbering other units twice in the space of two years (first 96 Squadron was R/N'd and when the Javelin force was drawn down a little, 59 Sqn went and 3 became a Canberra squadron).  Some Reserve squadron numberplates have changed, but the rules are (were, since we've done away with them) different for R plated units. XV, 16 and 20 became XV(R), 16(R) and 20(R) as the result of political direction - all three were to be disbanded post Gulf War 1, and to avoid headlines about squadrons being disbanded on return from war (something which happened after two rather larger wars...), 45(R) lost its identity for a bit - before being assigned to the METS, as was, while 16 and 20 were assigned to OCUs without a 'shadow' identity. In the case of the TWU squadron numberplates, then it was relatively easy to keep 19, 92 and 74 up and running, even though this was at the cost of other numberplates with some history to them (79, 63, 151 and 234 succumbing to the reorganisation of the TWUs/renumbering)

 

The major renumbering period was at the end of the war - numberplates were 'owned' by Commands, but the vagaries of wartime service meant that the squadrons had been scattered about the globe [Hitler gave not a jot for the neatness of the Air Ministry's numberplate policy, the dullard....] and it was decided to return them to their parent commands. Thus you see renumberings of squadrons in Germany and the UK to put squadrons back in the right place (mainly to Fighter Command), and similar adjustments so that numbers which had been associated with (say) the Middle East were back in the 'right' place - another reason for 8 remaining out of the UK, by the by.

 

19 Squadron being the first to operate the Spitfire doesn't give it any real advance on any other Spitfire squadron with a distinguished record.  617's unique status is simply because George VI removed the requirement for a squadron to have 25 years accumulated service before a Standard could be awarded, on the basis of its wartime record. This was taken to give the squadron special status in terms of numberplate policy and has given the squadron protection in past reduction in service strength and now serves as a useful tool to ensure that 'Government disbands Dambusters! Boo! Hiss!' headlines are avoided. I suspect that as the decision to grant this effective status was made by the King, no-one is going to tell the Queen that her  father got it wrong....

 

If a case were to be made for an early award of a standard for distinguished service, a case could be made for 92 - one of the top-scoring squadrons, and according to some, the highest scoring RAF unit of the war - or 249 (which has also been credited as such in some sources, with its defence of Malta adding to the squadron's distinction). But that's a moot point.

 

As you say, it's the nature of the beast. No-one seems to mourn the fact that Montrose, or Larkhill, or Bircham Newton, or Upper Heyford, all historic sites for the RAF in their own way are long gone.

 

Edit - the pedant in me demands I note that 617's 'unique' status is in the context of this discussion - the same applies to 120, who were also granted an early award of their standard by command of the King in recognition of their contribution to the Battle of the Atlantic.

Edited by XV107

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