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Army Aviation & Mobile Command's helicopters (a split thread)

Pusser

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Loachman said:
Air Defence Command and Air Transport Command continued to exist post-unification. 10 Tactical Air Group (which included CH136 Kiowa, CH135 Twin Huey, CH113A Voyageur, CF116 for CAS, and CC115 for short-range transport) belonged to Mobile Command (Army) and Maritime Air Group belonged to Maritime Command. These were all smunched together to form Air Command in 1975 - the second-worst military decision after unification. One of the lies told in justification was that it would give all "airmen" a common identity. It ignored the fact that 10 TAG and MAG people identified with their original parent Services/Commands and NOT with airforcey people.

If anything does need to be wound back through time, that travesty is begging for it.

Back in the early 90s (if I recall) the Commander Air Command came down to address a MAG conference.  Apparently he spent a good part of his speech slagging the Navy (to be fair, probably in a good-natured, service rivalry kind of way) and it went over like a lead balloon.  He (a fighter jock) had apparently failed to realize that at that time a large number of MAG personnel, across all "air" occupations, and especially at the more senior levels, were ex-RCN Fleet Air Arm and pretty damn proud of it. 
 

Happy Guy

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Good2Golf said:
LM, I hear that the heavy lifters remember their RCASC heritage and at the annual mess dinner will sneak the old RCASC March Past, 'Wait For the Wagons' (also was the RASC and Transport Branch march pasts) into the line up.  That's old school...and there are still a few pre-unification Army Aviators (Tpt) around to help the young kids remember... ;)

G2G
I'm told that the the RCASC used to fly the Chinooks.  The Tfc Tech trade were formerly all RCASC.  When the environmental uniforms came back around 1987 they were green/brown and blue tfc techs.  When the RCAF Comd chain started getting colour sensitive all Tfc Techs were changed to the blue uniform some years ago.
 

Old Sweat

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Happy Guy said:
I'm told that the the RCASC used to fly the Chinooks.  The Tfc Tech trade were formerly all RCASC.  When the environmental uniforms came back around 1987 they were green/brown and blue tfc techs.  When the RCAF Comd chain started getting colour sensitive all Tfc Techs were changed to the blue uniform some years ago.

The RCASC flew Voyageurs in 1 Transport Helicopter Platoon, starting in the mid-sixties. I think, but am not sure, that the unit became 450 Squadron a few years later. Add: (The 1965 Canadian Gunner indicates that the first troops airlifted by the platoon were members of 2nd Surface-to-Surface Missile Training Battery Royal Canadian Artillery from CFB Shilo.)
 

FJAG

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Old Sweat said:
The RCASC flew Voyageurs in 1 Transport Helicopter Platoon, starting in the mid-sixties. I think, but am not sure, that the unit became 450 Squadron a few years later. Add: (The 1965 Canadian Gunner indicates that the first troops airlifted by the platoon were members of 2nd Surface-to-Surface Missile Training Battery Royal Canadian Artillery from CFB Shilo.)

Definitely. I slung loaded many a gun and ammo under 450s Voyageurs in Pet in the early seventies. If I remember correctly 450 Sqn was split with half the sqn and HQ at Uplands and the other half in Edmonton (although I can't remember now if Edmonton ever had the CH113s or whether that split came about after 450 converted to CH47s)

Here's some background on the 450 designation after unification:

With the integration of the three services into the CF in 1968, CF headquarters tasked the commanding officer of 1 THP (note:1 Transport Helicopter Platoon RCASC ) with selecting an air force numerical designation for the unit. The commanding officer, proud of the unit’s Army heritage, was reluctant to accept one of the previously established RCAF unit designations.

Upon discovering that designations up to and including 449 had already been assigned to RCAF squadrons, the commanding officer requested approval to use the next sequential numeric designation of 450; he was refused.

With a change of command, the newly assigned commanding officer appealed the previous decision. This time, the CF approved the numerical designation of 450, subject to Royal Assent. It was formally granted in 1970, the same year that 450 Squadron moved from St. Hubert to CFB Uplands at Ottawa, Ont.

It was only after Royal Assent had been granted that CF leadership discovered a Royal Australian Air Force squadron had carried the designation 450 during the Second World War. But because Commonwealth coordination of air force squadron numbering had expired after the war, there were no legal or procedural requirements for the CF to verify if the designation had been previously used by another air force.

The Canadian designation stood and 450 Squadron members bonded with those of 450 Royal Australian Air Force Squadron Association. Many who served in either squadron still keep in touch today.

See: https://www.aviation.ca/2013012214668/news/canada/military/14668-chinook-once-again-takes-to-canadian-skies

Also lets not forget to mention all those L19 flying artillery air observation post officers from the RCHA's various Air OP Flights who had to convert to Kiowa helicopters in the early 70s and who ended up in several of the Tac Hel Sqns.

:cheers:
 

Old Sweat

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FJAG

Remember how we used to have a code system roughly based on fire planning and army call signs to request helicopters that we had worked up with 427. Kiowa were the 10 series, UH1s were 20 and up  and Voyaguers were the 30 block. So, a Kiowa to do Air OP might be H12, while a Huey to lift a battery recce party could be H24 and one to lift a L5 would be H27, while we might ask for a sequence of Voyaguers to move a gun group by H33 for the CP and then H34s and H35s to lift guns and ammunition. Two Guns had its own officers mess then and we had invited 427 to frequent it, so we solved a lot of issues over as glass or two. Most important, we trusted each other and the results showed it.

For example, as a BC if I wanted a Kiowa to do Air OP, I would send something like "Niner, This is One Niner, Request Hotel One Two in area Grid Squares 1935, 1936 from 1400 hours for flank protection for India call sign, over."
 

Good2Golf

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Happy Guy said:
I'm told that the the RCASC used to fly the Chinooks.  The Tfc Tech trade were formerly all RCASC.  When the environmental uniforms came back around 1987 they were green/brown and blue tfc techs.  When the RCAF Comd chain started getting colour sensitive all Tfc Techs were changed to the blue uniform some years ago.

HG, not all Traffic Techs are light blue, some are still green, such that when the Tfc Tech gets their LM qualification, they retain their green beret with the flying gear, like the loadie on the right:
MP-Gallant-with-airmen-from-450-Tactical-Helicopter-Squadron-600.jpg
 

FJAG

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Old Sweat said:
FJAG

Remember how we used to have a code system roughly based on fire planning and army call signs to request helicopters that we had worked up with 427. Kiowa were the 10 series, UH1s were 20 and up  and Voyaguers were the 30 block. So, a Kiowa to do Air OP might be H12, while a Huey to lift a battery recce party could be H24 and one to lift a L5 would be H27, while we might ask for a sequence of Voyaguers to move a gun group by H33 for the CP and then H34s and H35s to lift guns and ammunition. Two Guns had its own officers mess then and we had invited 427 to frequent it, so we solved a lot of issues over as glass or two. Most important, we trusted each other and the results showed it.

For example, as a BC if I wanted a Kiowa to do Air OP, I would send something like "Niner, This is One Niner, Request Hotel One Two in area Grid Squares 1935, 1936 from 1400 hours for flank protection for India call sign, over."

Absolutely right and if I recall correctly 427 actually became part of the 2 RCHA mess a few years before it was torn down. I recall one particular 427 mess dinner where the dress was "casual" and upon arrival we were seated on folding chairs in rows one behind the other like in an aircraft and were fed wine and TV diners.

During my years with 2nd Horse we had a month long exercise every February without vehicles. All movement was done strictly by helicopters, 427 for the L5s and 450 for the C1s. I can still feel the snow and ice getting into every pore of my skin under my parka from the down drafts while hooking those suckers up. Four moves a day and one a night every night. Never had a bad incident - those were good crews. We burned a lot of aviation fuel and 105 rounds on those exercises.

One more piece of trivia. The FOO parties had to fly into their positions as well and since most of Pet is one large forest we started by rappelling in with chainsaws with the responsibility that every man had to cut down two trees per deployment until we had cut out HLZ's large enough to take the Hueys we used then.

Fun times.

:cheers:
 

Old Sweat

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In Petawawa in the summer landings were softer because the black flies were thick enough to break your fall.
 

dimsum

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Pusser said:
(a fighter jock) had apparently failed to realize that at that time a large number of MAG personnel, across all "air" occupations, and especially at the more senior levels, were ex-RCN Fleet Air Arm and pretty damn proud of it.

I remember there was a reunion of some RCN FAA folks at the Work Point Gunroom when I was a Naval Cadet there on course.  As I was told multiple times, they were not "Pilots", they were "Naval Aviators".
 

daftandbarmy

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Dimsum said:
I remember there was a reunion of some RCN FAA folks at the Work Point Gunroom when I was a Naval Cadet there on course.  As I was told multiple times, they were not "Pilots", they were "Naval Aviators".

Of all the whirlybirds I've been 'meat cargo' in, the RN choppers were the best. Any weather, any terrain, any where, any time... without bitching. Much (like when we tore their doors off or something trivial :) ).
 

Happy Guy

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Good2Golf said:
HG, not all Traffic Techs are light blue, some are still green, such that when the Tfc Tech gets their LM qualification, they retain their green beret with the flying gear, like the loadie on the right:
MP-Gallant-with-airmen-from-450-Tactical-Helicopter-Squadron-600.jpg
G2G,
I stand corrected.

Cheers
 
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