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Thread: Executive Posts at an OTU

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    Default Executive Posts at an OTU

    Could anyone tell me what were the executive positions at a typical Coastal OTU?

    Are Chief Instructor (CI) and Chief Flying Instructor (CFI) different positions as I have seen the titles seemingly used interchangeably in ORBs and particularly logbooks. Likewise o/c Training Wing is also thrown into the mix with the same individual given different titles at different times only to show up later with an old title with no mention of being temporarily assigned to a specific post (ie acting).

    Also would the C/O of an OTU usually also be the Station Commander.

    If anyone can shed any light on what was the usual set up at an OTU regards senior positions it would be much appreciated.

    Best Regards

    Andy Fletcher
    Per Speculationem Impellor ad Intelligendum

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    Hi Andy, canít offer much here except to note that the CO of a unit (OTU, Sqn etc) is a separate appointment to the Station Commander. Not sure about Coastal Command, but Bomber Command sqn or otu COs were Wing Commanders, Station Commanders were Group Captains.

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    Andy,
    Have never seen an organisational diagram of the staff structure of any type of OTU, let alone a CC one, but they were pretty big units, probably three to four times the size of an operational squadron, so would probably be divided into a good number of Flights, or even squadrons. An OTU was probably most equivalent to a large Wing in size, and as most of the aircrew "pupils" were qualified in their trade, I do not know how much stress was put on discipline. Lower training schools normally had a CFI (for flying discipline), plus a CGI for non-flying, but whether the latter would be necessary at an OTU is not known to me. OTU's probably also had senior posts for the operational instruction of navigators (originally observers), wireless operators, air gunners, flight engineers, etc, as there was still quite a bit of classroom instruction at OTUs, although not as much as at "normal" pre-grad schools. Also, of course, pilots had to convert to the aircraft type (or types) used by the OTU, whereas other crew members had rather less stressful introductions to the latest type of equipment fitted to the aircraft which they had to take responsibility for and get to know, although much of this they might already be familiar with. I think even at OTUs. there would be the Station administrative staff, which would include all the usual suspects, including medical officers (and other staff), accounts, admin (including pay & accounts), signals, Crash Fire, Link Trainer Section, etc, etc., and this was, I believe, quite separate from the resident OTU. Heavy Bomber OTUs had upward of 54 aircraft on strength, and Coastal units may have been similar. Just a few thoughts off top of my head - not exactly what you want, but hopefully including the odd insight.

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    Hi Richard,

    Many thanks for the answer. I thought that Station Commander (Stn Cdr) and C/O of a resident OTU were different positions but in the case of the 8(C) OTU ORB it gives the name of the Stn Cdr who subsequently signs off monthly summaries in logbooks as C/O 8(C) OTU.

    David,

    Again much as I thought but as I said in my original post the positions of CI and CFI seem to be used interchangeably, logbooks being the main culprit with monthly summaries often signed off by the CI but the ORB referring to the same individual as the CFI. All very confusing.

    Thanks again to both of you for your input.

    Best Regards

    Andy Fletcher
    Per Speculationem Impellor ad Intelligendum

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    Hi Andy

    Most of the OTU ORBs I have, tend to indicate that the station commander and OC, OTU where the same person, usually a Gp Capt.

    The CI/CFI was generally a Wing Commander, with a Sqn Ldr CGI, sometimes a Wg Cdr. There were also Flight Commanders (Conversion Flight and Operational Flight (s) or similar) of Sqn Ldr rank. Under these there could also be section leaders/specialists.

    On formation many OTUs were commanded by the CI/CFI until the arrival of a Gp Capt CO.

    Malcolm

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    Hi Malcolm,

    Many thanks for the information. Subsequent to my post above I have since found the following listed in the ORB that confirms what you say about the Station Commander: ".... and is to conform to the normal OTU policy in that the C/O of the OTU will exercise the functions of the Station Commander."

    Your reply above seems to imply that the position of CI/CFI one and the same, is this correct?

    Cheers

    Andy Fletcher
    Per Speculationem Impellor ad Intelligendum

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    Hi Andy

    Yes it seems the CI also was the Deputy OC and therefore senior to the CGI so the title CFI seems to have been dropped.

    Malcolm

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    Andy Fletcher (29th June 2019)

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