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TG1 Retention again


Retired Rock Star 5.5.14
1000+ Posts
Techies are paid for what they know, not what they do.

Out of my 22 years, I had about 18 months in 3 separate 'back office' roles.

1) QCIT as the Unit Tool Controller but was still on standby for Afghan with a Tonka Sqn and no protection from DWR.

2) Docs Cell - only put in there to get a Mech SNCO out on the shop floor, and to (WO's words not mine) force the other NCO's who were reticent in gaining the extra auths to do so. I would put the overalls back on when it came time to auth them as I was competent in everything and would train & assess.

3) CAMO - Staff work essentially but so important to Aviation Safety and ensuring compliance from all in an MRP 145 environment.

All that I knew that could be 'accused' of swinging the lead (there probably are others that genuinely were doing that) whilst safe in a warm office were still prepared to bolster the relevant manpower roster.

Jobs like the above (apart from docs cells as they were about prior) have only come about in the aftermath of XV230 and Haddon-Cave in an environment were there needs to be competent fingers on the pulse to remind those holding the safety delegations / responsibilities of their remit.
Still struggling to see what use a Harrier or Jag Q is these days.

Oh, and I did Docs Cell at XV Sqn for 18 months.


Ex-Harrier Mafia Member
1000+ Posts
Still struggling to see what use a Harrier or Jag Q is these days.

Oh, and I did Docs Cell at XV Sqn for 18 months.
Accumulated experience dear boy and it is has actually come in useful quite recently as certain equipment a colleague looks after (a recent Naval acquisition) still uses a Two Core, Twisted Pair Databus using Manchester II Bi-Phase ala Harrier. Not just that but all of that fault finding knowledge and ability to conceptualise, built up over easily 20 years of proper spannering gives me a unique perspective which still serves me and ultimately the people I support very well.

It's not about the Q's or the X annotations. Same shit sandwiches everywhere you go, they just need nibbling away at slightly differently.

Oh and I wasn't the Docs Cell tea making bitch with super shiny pants, I was the Docs Cell Super Tech who was happy to put his dirty overalls back on when called up, along with formalising and developing policies for a 5th Gen Aircraft that require actual underpinning technical knowledge and operational (especially QRA) experience. 😂👍


Nothing will change unless the top brass have an honest look as to what is wrong with the RAF. I don't think more money will solve all the issues (don't get me wrong it will go a long way). There needs to be a fundamental shift in how the RAF Operate and what is required of each trade. Need to look at pilots for a start. Why can't we have NCO pilots who just want to fly and be damm good rather than an officer who is just trying to push on to the next rank. If they want to push on take the commission early on.

While some see FTRS as dead mans shoes its a workforce that is not being used correctly. Most capability owners see it as saving money, but change the contract to reflect an OOA in that period and i suspect you will see a significant change on how the FTRS cadre are used and recruited.

TBH can't see anything changing as the TOP Brass won't change it as its not a priority for them. Shame as the RAF is run by those in OR1-OR9. If High Wycombe went up in a puff of smoke the RAF would sill function as all those tasks could be done at Unit/Sqn level and delegated down.


Super Moderator
Staff member
1000+ Posts
FTRS is just a diversion, relying on the past doesn’t provide a solution for the future, and if you think there’s too much back scratching in the regulars, you ain’t seen nothing yet.

After years of below inflation rises all trades will be impacted sooner or later, if you take into account that UK pay rises would have been higher if it wasn’t previously dampened by people who can’t join the RAF the underlying issue is even bigger.

At some point AFPRB will have to more realistic and put through some honest recommendations, although with a change in Gov
due next year I can’t see that happening.


You ain`t seen me.
1000+ Posts
At some point AFPRB will have to more realistic and put through some honest recommendations
The problem with pay review boards is that they get told at the start what money is available. So it's irrelevant what they know, think, or suspect, if they're told 2% is all that can be afforded, then 2% will be their "independent" recommendation.

Cat Techie

Licensed A/C Eng
Is it possible they are holding out until after the Autumn statement on Wednesday?

We've had another 3 PVRs this week, all from the 'Cpl-Sgt 10-18 years service' range.
Because they can join BA and be paid loads more in a short time doing a paid zero to hero licence course.


These graphs shows a lot leaving and not being replaced.
View attachment 1011967
Annual stats are due out any time now. Will make for interesting reading.

My trade OR7 ET rate is over double the RAF average. As soon as people hit EDP they are gone; that’s if they even wait that long.

For me, pay could fix this. The problem for the MOD is that they don’t have enough to keep me in.