Officers advanced school - station organisation



Officers advanced school - station organisation


Covers introduction, dual aspect, stations of two main types, station structure, specialised services, non-operational stations, control of stations in operational commands, bomber, fighter command, 2nd T.A.F., coastal, amendments and questions.



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Four page typewritten document

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Reference: A.P. 1301 Chap. 1 paras. 4 – 23.
[underlined] Introduction [/underlined]
1. When Air Force Units of any kind are assembled on a permanent or a semi-permanent basis, they are generally known as stations and on every such station an officer is appointed as Station Commander who is responsible for its general administration and functional efficiency to the next higher formation.
2. He will have to assist him a number of subordinate commanders, on certain stations they may be unit commanders with full powers of Commanding Officers delegated to them by the Air Council. In addition, he is provided with a staff of administrative officers who form his station headquarters staff. His principal assistant is known as the Station Administrative Officer and as Station Commanders have considerable operational or training responsibilities, much of the administrative routine is normally delegated to the S. Ad. O. The Adjutant, Assistant Adjutant, Senior Accountant Officer, Senior Equipment Officer, M.T., Medical and Catering Officers form the remainder of his headquarters staff.
[underlined] Dual Aspect [/underlined]
3. On all units there is a dual aspect – the functional and the administrative. Thus on a station there may be two or three flying flights which would be the functional side, and a headquarters flight, which, with certain ancillary services, is the administrative. This principle applies to stations and all higher formations up to the Air Ministry itself.
[underlined] Station of two main types [/underlined]
4. (a) Self Accounting Stations.
(b) Non Self-Accounting Units – satellite airfields, signals units and other small units which may be housed in requisitioned premises.
5. Stations can, broadly speaking, be divided into the two foregoing types. Those which are large and self-accounting are to a greater extent independent, than those which are small, subsidiary and non self-accounting units. These latter are often of a highly specialised nature and may be physically detached and independent as far as command and functional control are concerned, but dependent on a parent station for administrative services. In the former case the station is static, clearly defined and easy to control, in the latter improvisation has to be resorted to frequently and success is often dependent on the personality, common-sense and initiative of the Commanding Officer.
[underlined] Station Structure [/underlined]
6. In formations throughout each level in the R.A.F., although they are diverse in character and function, the basic principles of organisation are the same, but as the scale descends the complexities decrease. A C-in-C is served by an Air Staff and an Administrative
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Staff which are repeated on a lower scale at Group level; a station has a Commanding Officer who is served by the O.C. Functional Units, S. Ad. O., Adjutant and Specialist Officers who are counterparts, in a lesser degree, of the officers of Group and Command Staffs. For ease of control the work is decentralised in the same manner at each level. It is this standard system of organisation which by competent administration enables the R.A.F. to operate as an efficient and co-ordinated whole.
7. The principles of station structure are simple and straightforward. The functional side of the station is divided, as the circumstances demand, into Wings, Squadrons and Flights, the Headquarters Unit into administrative sections such as Equipment, Accounts, M.T., Communications, Messing, Catering and Medical. The present tendency on flying stations is to divide into three wings: Flying Wing, Technical Wing and Administrative Wing. Officers being appointed to command each, but usually with powers of subordinate commander only, the Station Commander in effect being O.C. of each wing himself.
[underlined] Specialised Services [/underlined]
8. In addition to the Sections already mentioned which form the universal administrative services for all units in the R.A.F. there are certain specialised services appropriate to the functions of the units which they serve. Examples are signals, armament, photographic and meteorological services which are the functional servants of the units, but come under the Station Headquarters for domestic administration.
[underlined] Non-Operational Stations [/underlined]
9. The majority of non-operational stations in this country are connected with training, maintenance and transportation. With certain exceptions they are permanent or semi-permanent stations falling into the self-accounting category. Their structure usually consists of a number of independent wings commanded by senior officers with full powers of commanding officers delegated to them by the Air Council. The usual administrative services are incorporated in the Station Headquarters Unit as opposed to the functional aspect of the wings, which provide the link to the next higher formation.
[underlined] Control of Stations in Operational Commands [/underlined]
10. The problem of fully co-ordinating function with administration is a considerable one. The present system of controlling a number of stations from a parent base has proved successful. Different terms are used for the base as a connecting link between the Groups and Stations in the various commands, but the principle is much the same. In some instances the control is purely operational and in others it is both operational and administrative.
[underlined] Bomber [/underlined]
11. Previously bomber stations with their satellites were directly controlled by Group. As these increased in number with a corresponding increase in squadrons, groups could not handle the vast amount of detailed work. Bases were formed consisting of three stations, Base Headquarters being set up on one, which was then called base Station; the other two being known as sub-stations, each of the three having its own Station Commander. The Stations, whilst controlled operationally from base, have their own independent domestic organisation.
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On the other hand, the Base Commander has certain control of administrative matters affecting operational efficiency. Stations are divided into three wings, all daily servicing personnel now being centralised in the Technical Wing, leaving only flying personnel on Squadron strength.
[underlined] Fighter Command [/underlined]
12. Sector Stations have operational control of forward fighter stations which are self-accounting units. Both Sector and Forward Fighter Stations may have satellites under their control.
[underlined] 2nd T.A.F. [/underlined]
13. A group consists of separate wings, each made up of a number of squadrons. Operational control passes from Group through Group Control Centre to Wing Headquarters. Wing Headquarters is virtually a fully mobile station.
[underlined] Coastal [/underlined]
14. There is no intermediate control level between Group Headquarters and Stations.
[underlined] Amendments to this Precis: [/underlined]
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1. What is meant by (a) the functional and (b) administrative aspect of a R.A.F. Station or Unit?
2. What is the difference between a self-accounting station and a non self-accounting unit?
3. How is equipment and pay obtained in a non self-accounting unit?
4. Outline briefly the structure of a station which is a School of Technical Training.
5. Outline briefly the system of station control in,
(a) Bomber Command
(b) Fighter Command
(c) Coastal Command
(d) Tactical Air Force
6. What specialised services are on your station?
7. What is a base?
8. What is the difference between a Forward Fighter Station and a Satellite?


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