Two rescued, two missing, after two RAF Tornados crash in Moray Firth, Scotland – Published 3 July 2012 1942 GMT/UTC

(Image: RAF)
Tornado GR4
(Click for more on GR4)

“Two people have been picked up by helicopter after two RAF Tornado jets crashed in the Moray Firth.

The Ministry of Defence (MoD) said the Tornado GR4s, which each have a crew of two, were from RAF Lossiemouth, on the Moray coast.

The RNLI said Wick, Invergordon and Buckie lifeboats were searching for two missing crew south of Wick.

The MoD said one of the aircraft had been seen in the water and the other was classed as “missing”.

Aberdeen Coastguard was alerted to the incident at about 13:50.

An RAF helicopter picked up two people and flew them to Raigmore Hospital in Inverness.” – BBC

More from BBC News

3 July 2012 2250 GMT/UTC:

Search for missing RAF aircrew suspended

RAF SAR crew criticised for beach landing ‘so the pilot can buy ice cream’

(Photo: � Crown Copyright/MOD 2012)
RAF Sea King Rescue Helicopter

“The UK�s media have gleefully reported on the landing by a search and rescue helicopter crew on a beach, �so the pilot can buy ice cream�, to quote the Telegraph newspaper.

After the Royal Air Force (RAF) Sea King landed on the sand at Winterton-on-Sea, onlookers watched (and photographed) a crew member exit the aircraft and enter a beachside caf�, before emerging with ice creams.” waypointmagazine.com

Goaty says:� SAR ops often involve beach landings, it is important for crews to regularly practise this skill. Considering the great service these crews give the public, to begrudge them from taking the opportunity for a little cool refreshment on a hot day, is quite petty. If a crew made a flight, or diverted from an emergency call, especially to buy ice-cream (wouldn’t happen), that, would be worth criticism. Leave these guys alone, they deserve respect, not this….

Last year the same Daily Telegraph (29 Nov 2011) was saying

“Britain�s highly respected Royal Navy and RAF search and rescue teams are to be privatised despite objections from the Duke of Cambridge.”

and,

“By 2016 the country�s coastline and mountains will be patrolled by civilians replacing 90 RAF and Royal Navy pilots, the Government announced. The move will mean the end to 60 years of military search and rescue by servicemen who have saved thousands of lives both at sea and off mountain tops.”

Apart from the RAF and the RN, our current SAR providers include the Coastguard, who have their own rescue helicopters. They are already facing planned cuts -� 50% of Coastguard Maritime Rescue Co-ordination Centres (MRCC�s) are to be axed.

(Photo: MCA)
Coastguard Rescue Helicopter

I doubt whether SAR ops run by private companies (presumably for profit) would ever be able to match the very high standards the public have enjoyed for the last three decades.

Both the future privatisation of SAR & the Coastguard cuts could result in a loss of vital expertise and local knowledge, perhaps then the ‘hue and cry’ will be not be so much about ice creams as lives lost.

Full story here:
http://www.waypointmagazine.com/story371

UK Government announces independent military medals review

 

The Prime Minister has announced an independent review of the rules and principles governing the awarding of military campaign medals.

 
Campaign medals

Campaign medals (stock image)
[Picture: Sergeant Adrian Harlen, Crown Copyright/MOD 2011]

David Cameron announced that Sir John Holmes will carry out a fresh, independent review taking account of the longstanding principles that have determined past decisions.

The existing guiding rules and principles for the award of military campaign medals are that:

•  awards will not be considered after a period of five years has elapsed after a particular military action

•  individuals will not be rewarded twice for the same military campaign, ie no “double medalling”; and

•  awards be based upon significant “risk and rigour” for the individual concerned.

The Coalition Government stated its intention in its Programme for Government, published in May 2010, to review the review the rules governing the awarding of general campaign medals as a part of its commitment to rebuilding the Armed Forces Covenant.

The review will not consider individual gallantry awards, nor will it cover medals for long service or good conduct; which are the responsibility of parent government departments.

The review should draw on, but not necessarily be guided by, the work already undertaken as part of an initial Ministry of Defence medal review.

Sir John, who is currently Director at the Ditchley Foundation and formerly served as the UN’s Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency and as Her Majesty’s Ambassador in Paris and London, will be supported by a small team based in the Cabinet Office.

The review will ensure that all interested parties, including the veterans’ organisations, are fully consulted, and aims to deliver a report with recommendations where appropriate for any change by the summer to the Government.