a few weeks before you deployed
where the intelligence officer would start setting a scene
and it was about Russian activity up north
and NATO's northern flank, thank you,
and they, and things were hotting up
and getting more intense.
It was a completely false scenario.
And so vessels were seen
or aircraft activity was occurring.
And everyone in the squadron,
apart from the junior pilot knew it was complete rubbish,
but the junior pilot was egging, oh my god,
this is, we're goin' up north
and the Russians are gonna be there
and it's getting a bit tense.
So you would deploy and then in the deployment
early doors you'd do a few sorties,
cuz they considered this safe activity
in, you know, let the junior pilot at least fly a few times.
But the scenario was developing
and it got to the point where it was set up
that the boss was the formation leader
and the number two was the junior pilot
and things got particularly tense
and now no duff he had to go, right,
that it's happening boys you're launching and it's you two.
And, right, the boss was in
and so he would, he took the brief,
right this is what we're gonna do
and this is it
and the little junior pilot was genuinely thinking
oh my god this is it.
I'm going against the Russians right now
with the squadron boss, oh my god.
And it was designed that the aircraft wouldn't
and couldn't get airborne.
Faults were put in with it that it wouldn't start
or whatever it would be.
and the whole squadron was in on it.
And the aim of it was that the boss would go
and brief and start and taxi and the poor junior pilot
no matter what he tried to do wouldn't be able to start
or wouldn't be able to taxi
and the boss would get on right with him on the radio
and he would have to go for the spare aircraft
which equally couldn't work with the end result being
that he had let the squadron down
and he couldn't airborne because he was rubbish.
And you're not supposed to be finding it as a funny as it
and then at the end of it he would come in
with his head hung low thinking he just let the world down
and what's he done.
And the boss would debrief him and chew him out
and he was gutted and then all the squadron were there
and they'd laugh at him and it was all very amusing.
And I probably haven't reflected
on it as well as others have,
but it was definitely a lot of fun
and every time the JP always took it in good faith.
And they then made sure that they were involved
in the next one who came and it's just a thing
that 421 squadron did.