Quote of the week

The RAF was a comparatively tightly organised, high tech force, by and large with more modern equipment and operational command techniques than the Navy, and more so the Army. One consequence was that they were able to collate and distill information fast for their own purposes.

The upshot was that they had more up to date PR to hand on a regular basis.

Thanks to old_rat Posted: 16 Jan 2009 17:41

Wednesday, 25 February 2009

Aircrew Medical

Much has been made of the differing medical and fitness standards between the three services. clearly each has a unique set of demands, reflecting the needs of each service. On Land, the army may need to close with adversaries, at close quartersand at short notice. This requires considerable amounts of stamina and strength of character.

Aircrew are subjected to differing physiological stresses and are require high levels of alertness and mental agility having for example to concurrnetly track multiple targets, compare with other sources, evaluate, analyse, fuse and disseminate them, whilst frequently having to guide the front crew, where best to place the platform; all whilst moving at some speed.

In the navy, sailors are frequently required to sit round all day, wondering what to have for the next meal, happliy listening to their iPods, whilst they glide over the ocean at a most civilised pace. Intense 20-30 second bursts of explosive force can be required, these usually coincide with leaving a bar on a run-ashore. Even these are optional.

Surely the differences between our three services are a source of strength and should be celebrated. As opposed to certain factions pretending to be something they are not? Despite these differences , the intelligence elements of the 3 armed forces have always led the way regarding joint working. With the coming of the JPA, there is reputed to be a move in CDI's area to avoid wasteful administrative action against individuals of some services who may not be able to meet ther requirments of their single service.

There are draft proposals being circulated to re-allocate some intelligence specialists to another service, rather than loose their skills altogether. This could produce a win-win situation for both the MoD and the individual.

Monday, 16 February 2009

No 5 Army Cooperation Squadron

Respected Sunday Times journalist and former Intelligence Corps analyst Mick Smith raises some interesting questions in this article yesterdayhttp://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/uk/article5734089.ece

Air Command have made significant investment in the training facilities to make sure that this platform reaches IOC with the right number of IAs to do the job. This has including sacrificing mission duration, giving away the AAR / long-loiter capability.

Against that commitment from the RAF it seems that we are still short of key rear crew. Given close to 10 years advance notice we still seem to be heading for a long-predicted train crash. There is a view that part of one service has not been able to keep its side of the bargain. Clearly it has important commitments elsewhere, and , when you are getting shot at, green suited one and two stars have a louder voice than the light blue ones.

How do we resolve this situation? Early discussions have indicated that the Royal Artillery may have some available manpower, albeit tactical imagery analysts, the Sentinel would gain the advantage of having som FOO capability on board, possible even JTAC. There are clear advantages here for the delivery of deep fires.

The ISTAR and Counter-ISTAR community are becomingly increasingly joint. With the current tempo of land operations, the RAF is stepping up to the mark filling an increasing number of undermanned or gapped posts across the J2 community. Answers are at hand, it only needs for the respective stakeholders to find the bandwidth to get to the table to close this matter out.

As ever A2 Branch stands ready to engage.

Saturday, 14 February 2009

Progression in the Intelligence Branch

I have been asked by several JNCOs if it is necessary to take up an academic pursuit, such as Open University to enjoy a full career in the Intelligence Branch?

The answer in short is a resounding NO! The RAF Intelligence Branch recognises that its enlisted women and men are of exceptionally high intellect. Whilst some may care to pursue extra-mural academic qualifications, this is for their own satisfaction as opposed to a seeming desire to gain professional advantage over their peers.

It is generally recognised that the work of the Imagery Analyst requires not only deep technical understanding, including the target array, complex IA techniques, collateral intelligence processes, all-source fusion, as well as the complexities of reporting.

Reporting is a critical attribute for the Imagery Analyst, ones analysis can be routinely circulated at JIC and Ministerial level, and you may be required to represent UK and brief, at international level. If you get it wrong at that level, there can be exceptionally grave consequences at and lasting international reprecussions.

Many RAF Imagery Analysts have to undertake long haul flights and are then faced with further difficulties such as having to brief in a foreign language, for instance at the NPIC at Bolling AFB.

Many Imagery analysts find that utilising all their Virgin Flying Club Miles and their Marriott Rewards Bonus points can be difficult. In such cases the Branch provide a counselling service

Wednesday, 11 February 2009

Wanted - The Famous 5 ?

Whilst observing, from the VIP suite, the throngs of attendees at yesterdays CT exhibition I noticed a small group of `gifted amateurs` `coming together` (bad tradecraft skills chaps) on one of the stands. It was hilarious to watch each of them wary of each other - as they formed a small defensive position in the center of the hall. Nobody seemed to be talking to them, they all looked confused and unsure and it reminded me of an episode of Lost !

This jogged a memory of a couple of books that I once discovered (but did not purchase) in the Childrens Book shop run by a lovely lady called Judith in Hay on Wye:

`The Intelligence Corps Saves The Island` and `The Intelligence Corps and Anna` - both by Marion Frow.

Any Branch or Flight members got copies of these as apparently they are used as advanced tradecraft manuals !

Good to see a good number at lunch. I hope that you all got home ok ? I shall be attending again today - same timings and security procedures for lunch.

Tuesday, 10 February 2009

Outsourcing the PS function - The RAFIA ?

Office security in the Intelligence Corps Directorate needs to be reviewed urgently (particularly a clear desk policy) as a sneak preview of their latest magazine (and previous issues on sale at e-bay) reveal that all they appear to do is adventure training or sport !!

However, it could be another one of those SIPE or is it SNIPE black/cypress green/french or squirrel grey ops ???

Why not consider out sourcing the protective security function ? Here is one instance of a company local to Chickers that should be on any RFI list :


The RAFIA - visit them before they visit you ! ............................................................Oh we have ! :)

Stop them Baddies !

I, like many other likeminded counter terrorist security & intelligence professionals, shall be at this today and tomorrow.

Just to give others a chance, this year I will not be presenting at the conference but will be holding an informal lunch from 1300hrs on both days in Leiths for those of you who can make it – please wear your RAF P&SS or Int Branch lapel badges for recognition by the maĆ®tre de.

We will be represented on stands by a number of former members who provide exacting solutions to counter terrorist MO learnt from over 90 years in protecting assets.

I understand the Army lot are as usual too late for the party although they have pre-booked space at this:

Toodle pip

OS Int Job Fair

From our good friend Former Flt Sgt Harry Plotter - you all remember him ? Slighty rotund with milk bottles glasses, great for looking at female green slime arrses !

"Thanks to all those former members of the Branch who turned up to the job fair at the RAF Club last week. It was also good to see so many serving members managed to attend, despite the high tempo of current operations.

For those who were not able to attend, one clear message came though:

There is plenty of work out there for experienced imagery analysts, both in the public sector, JARIC and D Mil survey and in industry. The deep expereince that only the Branch can bring will certainly provide firm employment when you do decide to leave the service.

I know that some of you work alongside other members of the intelligence community where employment is less certain. Unlike their counterparts, RAF Intelligence Analysts have no need to end up on the so-called "curcuit."

Harry of course has his own blog over at http://imageryanalyst.blogspot.com/ - where you can read more about this event and further post Int Branch career options - why not pop in and hear the latest from the leading IMINT providers to the UK intelligence machinery.

Friday, 6 February 2009

Recommended Reading

RAF Police - Bombay to Ascension 1918-2007

An illustrated record of RAF Police activities in Europe, Asia, Australasia, South America and the South Atlantic.

This book describes in detail the wide-ranging police, security and intelligence operations undertaken by the RAF between 1918 and 2007 in a vast area of the world stretching south from the Himalayas through Asia, Australasia, the American Continent and the islands in the South Atlantic Ocean. It includes Special Investigations, Counter-Intelligence, Air Transport Security, Canine operations and much, much more undertaken by this unique branch of the Armed Services.

"An excellent read - I could not put it down. It made me think - why did I transfer to the Intelligence Corps ?" - Glad_it_is_all_Over

"If only this book had been published before I had gone to the ACIO I would definitely have served for longer and in the RAF" - Bound Apprentice

`Forewarned, Forearmed ! - what a load of tosh ! This is the definitive textbook for all students of military security and intelligence matters" - Alfie Boy

"An ideal companion and background reading material for `coal face security practioners` who wish to transfer their service skills and vocational experience to the commercial risk management sector- a great read, I learnt a lot " - Director of Education & Training `The Sacred Chest Foundation`

Available from Horus Training Wing, Defence College of Intelligence, Chicksands - Intelligence Corps tradespersons please show your ICA membership card for your signed complimentary copy.

RAF Security - Yes we Can !

Here we are once more assisting the public sector in ensuring their (and ultimately joe citizens) data is secure:


If in doubt call Adastra IM for all your Information Security needs !

PS: not a hint of an elite army IT security unit to be seen.

Busy re-writing DIAN 4 again I suppose ?

Boathouse door?

Never mind the hackneyed old "colour of the boat house door" question.

Could I kindly encourage you to take a peek at the videos on the right from Ad Astra IM

You might need to refresh to get them to load

The question of NOW is what does SOA stand for?

Did I hear you venture that new human capital resource house: Jalapeno connection-soa

Bonzo Dog's Hero ?

It was only recently that I realised that The Marsh Arabist was in fact a member of 49 – or as we in the know call it 49 !

He self compromised himself to Bonzo Dog by accident during OP WE ARE THE MEN IN BLACK, which as the world now knows, was the codename for the successful recovery from incarceration by the Mysterons of `The King` - Elvis Presley.

More detail can be found and described in detail in Chapter 6 of Petra Sarajvo’s book `49 KRU (Kidnap Rescue Unit) – I was not in that either`

To be quite truthful and honest, TMA saved Bonzo's life that night (as he went on to many times since) by slotting at least three `french grey men` who were about to operate on him following his own own stupidity in being captured whilst checking his Twitter account and of course waiting for `Standby! Standby` signal in his IPOD earpiece !

He certainly knows how to empty 72 rounds into a target from 200 metres – what a shot and from the navigators seat of a fast moving Segway to boot!

Elvis certainly left the building (spacecraft) that night !

One of my best mates

I have known Already Jacked Genius since 1980 when he completed the Air Warfare Intelligence Course at RAF Waddington, Lincolnshire. Shortly after the course he volunteered to take a sabbatical from the Army and to undertake air intelligence duties.

The Intelligence Branch Officers of the RAF, being the premier service of the Armed Forces, have unique capabilities in their arsenal specializing in gathering, analysing and providing strategic and tactical defence intelligence – both in peace and war. It’s a highly specialized field that offers exciting opportunities within a fast-moving, international environment which Jacko appreciated to the full as his previous intelligence duties were concerned with ensuring that acetate traces of the German plains were accounted for in the unit MOD F102 !

I next met him 1987 when, following a request to extend his secondment ,we were both posted to the Tactical Imagery Wing, where his abilities were tested to the full as he attempted to manage (not very successfully to tell the truth) the rapid interpretation of incoming reconnaissance imagery. Again an eye opener for this, as then, recently commissioned Intelligence Corps LE officer whose only previous experience with imagery was a short ground phot course at NITAT with `big Tom` - allegedly a hero in his own darkroom !

Sadly, I lost touch with Jacko when I was promoted (before my time) and became Squadron Intelligence Officer producing intelligence assessments in order to brief personally, aircrews before their missions and subsequently both the Iron Lady & the Cabinet.

Jacko and I met him again in 1993 when I was the Senior Intelligence Officer to the Joint Air Reconnaissance Intelligence Centre (JARIC) at RAF Brampton in Bedfordshire, and he had to pick up some high quality satellite enhanced map coverage for an adventure training exercise that he was Quartermaster for.

Luckily, our paths crossed again in late 1998 when I met him in the corridor at the Permanent Joint Headquarters (PJHQ) where I was in charge of operational planning and management for the Balkans campaign and he was the Assistant to the ADC for Maj Gen Alison Dyson, the Army’s diversity Champion.

It was during this short meeting that I discovered that Jacko was about to take a second secondment to the RAF in order to understand more how the Army could learn from the professional standards and methods offered by the Provost & Security Branch in relation to defence security risk management matters. He had spent the previous six months with the RMP - the real powers behind Army Security and great friends of the P&SS Branch - Us Masons must stick together !

I would not hesitate in recommending Already Jacked Genius to any employer. However, his penchant for using the interweb during work hour should be closely moderated.

Mistral Matrix

The Mistral Matrix, what a caper that was. I dont suppose any of you remember that fresh faced young Warrant Officer "Medals Mistral". It was only after he was commissioned into the Intelligence Corps that it came out that all along, he was a closet N Guage model railway collector.

To be honest I did question how he was so quick to take control of the Map Store at Brawdy.

Oh yes, old Misty, as we used to call him, whatever became of him, I bet he is on the CLAS roll now, joshing along with his old pal the Guru??

That will be ..............?

“Intelligence is best done by a minimum number of men and women of the greatest possible ability”.

– R.V. Jones, assistant director, Royal Air Force Intelligence Section during World War II, and generally regarded as the father of scientific and technical intelligence.

Hide & Seek !

“I’ve written a poem.”
“Who sir?
"You sir?”
“Yes sir, me sir.”
“No, sir!”
“Yes sir. Listen

“They seek him here, they seek him there,
“those Cypress Greenies (or French/Squirrel Greys ?) seek him everywhere.
“Is he in heaven or is he in hell?
“That damned elusive Ad Astra.”

With many thanks to Sir Percy Blakeney (RAFVR)

Thursday, 5 February 2009

What a Man !

“I have known RWOC for close to 20 years. We both met on the Army Combat Survival Instructors’ Course where we were on the same syndicate. At the time we were both working in a unit working behind the Iron Curtain, in East Germany responsible for monitoring the activities of the Group of Soviet Forces Germany.

Despite being captured by the hunter force Reb quickly convinced them that he was a BT engineer from Luton, on secondment to the BT Exchange in May Street Belfast. He was set free, I was subjected to 24 hours of stress positions and harsh. All I got to show for it was a HAC Gurnsey style cardigan and membership of a good dining club near Lincoln’s Inn. He proved excellent at building relationships with the East Germans, in part due to his command of “Hoch Deutch” that had become quite unfashionable during the communist era. His command of the language combined with his superior rapport-building skills set him out as a man apart from the rest of us.

Whilst other crews spent the night roughing it in fields and woods, with Reb we were always guaranteed a room for the night in a 5 star hotel or some schloss still in the hands of its aristocratic owners. If it were not for the fact that I knew he was a common Intelligence Corps Other Rank this aspect of tradecraft demonstrated to me he has many qualities befitting an Officer in the Royal Air Force.

Some of the relationships that Rebel formed with the underground intelligencia are said to have paved the way for the fall of the Berlin Wall.

I next saw RWOC in Iraq in 1991, where he was working as a member of the Iraq survey group, under Command of a man I now know to be an agent handler as well. Much of Rebs work was now at the diplomatic level, dealing with Ministers and heads of the armed forces. Even after it had been de commissioned and grounded at Cosford, Reb was still flying everywhere by Concorde - again showing traits that only a person who has worked closely with the RAF can do.

Over the years the more I got to know Rebel the more I noticed the occasional slip about “Century House”, or that other temple of espionage tradecraft “the Cotton Centre”. Eventually he let slip that he had been trained at Fort Halstead, AKA the Fort.

This truly is one impressive guy, good to know he is on your team. When he gets together with another Agent Handler, these guys are truly unbeatable. I am not worthy - Respect !

Highly Recommended

“I was Eye Spy's unconventional tactics instructor at K Branch.
His expereince and maturity marked him out from may of the younger Royal Marine and Army students, where they excelled in physical fitenss, he remained well ahead of the field due to his excellent problem-solving and rapport building skills. His solution to the notorius Stelling Minnis apparition test, was the most complete we had seen from a student in the 20 years the course had been running.
On posting to the 49 Para KRU, his early development of Life-Form detectors in collaboration with TSS, were invaluable for detecting and then avoiding GSFG personnel when we were deep in PRA. Many in Int Branch HQ RAF (G) actually beleived that we were looking for Command Bunkers belonging to HQ GSFG and 16 TAA, which belies the reality.
The exisitance of underground Chalactran and Vultan colonies in the Letzliger Heide remains a closely guared secret until today. If it was not for Eye Spy's 's excellent relationship building skills they would have continued to fight for domination of our planet, even today.
Only due to Eye Spy does peace continue to reign today, as he still keeps them supplied with and endless supply of back copies of PC world, Air Clues, Flight safety magazines and "Narrow Guage Railway Modelling Today" - the latter coming from a particulalrly complex KRU case know as the "Mistral Matrix"
Eye Spy has saved the World again! Thank you 49 Para, thank you KRU superheroes !!!”