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16 Parachute Brigade Deploys by RAF Hercules,..... 1974..... Joint Air Transport Force


tonyot
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When you think that the RAF are pushed to provide two aircraft these days and then publicise it as the biggest drop in years,..... we were doing this regularly until the 90`s,..... as seen in this 1974 film of 16 Parachute Brigade......FF to the action if it gets boring ...

 

 

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Great stuff, different times and different camouflage schemes. Different rather posh and now archaic accents too from the Officers. 

 

The desert 'empire' scheme on the Hercs seems odd considering the NATO element but obviously that changed shortly thereafter. But things have come back around. 

 

Very interesting no need to FF. Good catch Tony. 

 

 

 

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23 hours ago, noelh said:

Great stuff, different times and different camouflage schemes. Different rather posh and now archaic accents too from the Officers. 

 

The desert 'empire' scheme on the Hercs seems odd considering the NATO element but obviously that changed shortly thereafter. But things have come back around. 

 

Very interesting no need to FF. Good catch Tony. 

 

 

 

Oh we had plenty of posh officers like that well into the 90`s! Mot of those RAF senior officers are wearing WW2 Medals too. The CO of 2 Para in this film was a General when he inspected us at our passing out parade in the 80`s!! He was the Colonel Commandant of the Para Regt until recently I think?

Yeah the Herks were soon toned down, first the roundels and white cap over the flightdeck, gloss to matt,.... then the grey and green scheme. 

Glad you enjoyed it mate,.... it might have been 1974 but it was basically the same when I did it in the 80`s-90`s...... shame we`ve lost all of that capability now and that 2 Herks are a major event today while the Airbus thing is,..... well,.... unavailable as it cannot drop paratroopers safely!

Cheers

          Tony

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That's a great find Tony. 

It's very sobering and sad to realise just how much our forces have shrunk in such a relatively short period of time. 

Great dose of nostalgia though, just before bedtime. 

Thank you for sharing it with us. 

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10 hours ago, tonyot said:

 while the Airbus thing is,..... well,.... unavailable as it cannot drop paratroopers safely!

Cheers

          Tony

Well, that  would appear to be no longer the case as, the French Air Force has recently cleared and certified paratroop drops from its A400s.

Given that the C-130 is shortly to be withdrawn from service,
I would suggest that the RAF may now expedite said clearance and certification?

Indeed,  it would seem they now have an incentive to do so unless of course we do not participate in operations that require air dropping lots of soldiers?

Good wee film though even if the top drawer accents grated on ones nerves a bit! 😉😊.

The C-130 DOES look good in the sand /stone /black finish though.

 

 

John

 

 

Ps. We had two officer cadets who immediately affected "posh" accents from the moment they got the white tapes on their epaulettes!

Don't know who they were trying to kid! 😂

Edited by Beermonster1958
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Posted (edited)
14 hours ago, Beermonster1958 said:

Well, that  would appear to be no longer the case as, the French Air Force has recently cleared and certified paratroop drops from its A400s.

Given that the C-130 is shortly to be withdrawn from service,
I would suggest that the RAF may now expedite said clearance and certification?

Indeed,  it would seem they now have an incentive to do so unless of course we do not participate in operations that require air dropping lots of soldiers?

Good wee film though even if the top drawer accents grated on ones nerves a bit! 😉😊.

The C-130 DOES look good in the sand /stone /black finish though.

 

 

John

 

 

Ps. We had two officer cadets who immediately affected "posh" accents from the moment they got the white tapes on their epaulettes!

Don't know who they were trying to kid! 😂

The French may have cleared it to drop `some' paratroopers,..... but the RAF are having massive problems and cannot safely conduct sym sticks from both doors at the same time,.. a basic requirement,....... and not for a full load of troops,..... making it pretty useless so far for a bread and butter tactical airlifter role,....... and from a brand new design too,...... somebody somewhere seriously cocked up,..... it is like designing a fighter that can fly at Mach 2 but not fire weapons! Last I heard the French were managing limited numbers from one door only,...... which is pretty poor. 

 

EDIT,.... I`ve just found footage from Airbus of a sym stick drop of 80 troops,......... using a French chute (not the UK LL Chute),..... which is still ten less than we dropped from a Herk,..... plus a huge supply wedge on the tailgate,..... so the A-400 is still a drop in capability,.... for all of its extra size! 

 

Edited by tonyot
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Fantastic! I wish we still had an Air Force and capability like that. I love the accents too, much better than some of the slurred ‘gangsta’ speak and incessant ‘literally’s one hears today. The good old Pathé news announcers were best, could do with more of that kind of thing.

 

It still strikes me as odd that any Air Force with ambitions and responsibilities can feel it can do without Hercules. It must be a bit frustrating now for the lads entrusted with actually jumping?!

 

 

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1 hour ago, speedy said:

Does anyone know what the actual problem is?


I got this explanation from Defense News:

Quote

The requirement for 116 paratroopers being dropped simultaneously is proving quite difficult to achieve given the physical constraints of military parachuting. Unlike a civilian who opens the chute at their convenience, a military paratrooper’s chute is opened automatically by a static line inside the aircraft. As the parachutist steps out of the aircraft, the static line pulls taught, removing the so-called D-bag (deployment bag) from around the parachute, allowing the latter to open very quickly.

The D-bag remains attached to the static line. And the more paratroopers jump out, the more D-bags accumulate on the static line. This is the issue that Airbus has been working on, making slight modifications to the outside of the side doors to solve the problem of flapping bags.

 

Although I could have sword I’d heard it was something to do with the prop wash and a risk of sending paras colliding as they jumped from opposite sides. Maybe that was just rumour.

 

I too am surprised there’s no place for the Herc still. Especially in more special forces roles. But I expect it’s more about cost than function.

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13 hours ago, speedy said:

Does anyone know what the actual problem is?

It could be due to the propwash from those massive props,..... combined with the fact that the British low level parachute opens quite quickly,..... so a compatibility problem? That said,.... the French have also struggled like mad with the Airbus,..... so fair play for managing to drop 80 troops from both doors,....... but even that is a small number compared to the 90 troops from a stretched Herk,.... plus a large stores `wedge' dropped from the tail gate.  

The RAF do not seem to be prioritising the para dropping role,...... which is a travesty really as 16 Airmobile Bde is the UK spearpoint force. An all out effort to drop paras into Jordan on a high prestige exercise could only manage 2 x Herks (a third may have been used for heavy drop?) which is a Company Group of troops,...... yet we have three battalions of the Para Regt!! The Russians and Chinese must have been having a good old laugh? We were still dropping Battalion Groups like the main film depicted into the 90`s!

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7 minutes ago, tonyot said:

It could be due to the propwash from those massive props,..... combined with the fact that the British low level parachute opens quite quickly,..... so a compatibility problem? That said,.... the French have also struggled like mad with the Airbus,..... so fair play for managing to drop 80 troops from both doors,....... but even that is a small number compared to the 90 troops from a stretched Herk,.... plus a large stores `wedge' dropped from the tail gate.  

The RAF do not seem to be prioritising the para dropping role,...... which is a travesty really as 16 Airmobile Bde is the UK spearpoint force. An all out effort to drop paras into Jordan on a high prestige exercise could only manage 2 x Herks (a third may have been used for heavy drop?) which is a Company Group of troops,...... yet we have three battalions of the Para Regt!! The Russians and Chinese must have been having a good old laugh? We were still dropping Battalion Groups like the main film depicted into the 90`s!


It’s so depressing isn’t it. The best trained professional soldiers in the world constantly hamstrung by bean counters sat in safe offices who know the cost of everything but the value of nothing.
 

And we’re meant to be becoming more flexible and responsive, yet the major tool to achieve that is being taken away and inadequately replaced. Why do our lads and lasses whose lives are on the line always have an arm tied behind their backs by damn accountants? They’ll be just sending everyone to the hot dusty places on EasyJet next, then chartering foreign coaches to battle. 

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5 minutes ago, Lord Riot said:


It’s so depressing isn’t it. The best trained professional soldiers in the world constantly hamstrung by bean counters sat in safe offices who know the cost of everything but the value of nothing.
 

And we’re meant to be becoming more flexible and responsive, yet the major tool to achieve that is being taken away and inadequately replaced. Why do our lads and lasses whose lives are on the line always have an arm tied behind their backs by damn accountants? They’ll be just sending everyone to the hot dusty places on EasyJet next, then chartering foreign coaches to battle. 

Agreed,...... 2 Para had to go to the States and take part in a US exercise so that they could take part in a major jump,....... blokes who are still in are telling me it is impossible to keep in date and when jumps do come up they are from the civvie Skyvan training aircraft and not from a Hercules,....... the RAF are sadly letting the Airborne Forces down. 

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Greatly enjoyed the film, @tonyot!  One of my favorite exchanges is with the battalion CO and the interviewer.  CO: (clipped accented voice) "if that fails, there's the padre to pick up the bits."  Interviewer: "All denominations?" No answer to that one.  LOL!  

 

Speaking of accents, an RAF officer told me once that there is a distinct RAF officer's accent that individuals cultivate over time, regardless of class origin.  Is that true/partially true?

Edited by TheyJammedKenny!
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In A400s defence and believe me, I am not the aircrafts biggest fan, the C130J also had problems dropping parachutists when it was first introduced. PTS would always use C130Ks for the Para courses. Unfortunately C130 availability is limited these days by only having 14 aircraft in the fleet. Of those ,some are on deployment and others are in maintenance leaving less than half of those available. The days of 60 plus C130s are gone. Even the RAF Falcons jump from a Canadian registered civil Dornier DO228 these days.

  
    John

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Back to the subject of 16th ABN BDE in the 70s - 90s, I'm impressed by the anti-tank resources in the TO & E of the reinforced battalion group in 1974.  I assume the WOMBATs were replaced by MILAN by the 90s.  Did the brigade ever use Striker with Swingfire?  The Ferrets would have been long gone by the 90s.  Also, did 7RHA disperse its artillery resources among the battalion groups in the 90s, such that each battalion group would attach one 4-gun L118 battery?

 

In addition, did the regiment's military police attach themselves to a battalion group?  It seems to me that someone would need to secure EPWs, if any, at a drop zone.

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On 7/26/2021 at 1:47 AM, TheyJammedKenny! said:

Speaking of accents, an RAF officer told me once that there is a distinct RAF officer's accent that individuals cultivate over time, regardless of class origin.  Is that true/partially true?

 

I'd not say that I've noticed in the last 20 years of working with them,  but...

I'm pretty sure that the senior RAF officer in the film is Neil Cameron. He was the son of a CSM in the Seaforth Highlanders, but as his Dad died when he was less than three weeks old, he was brought up by his mum and grandparents, and left school aged 16/17 to work as a bank clerk. The war sent him on a rather stratospheric career (he wasn't a Cranwell graduate, but began as an RAFVR Sgt pilot, commissioning in 1941).  He ended up as CDS and - in retirement - Principal of King's College London. I suspect anyone who met him when he was Lord Cameron of Balhousie might have assumed from the clipped tones and the peerage that he must have been from a well-heeled background, but the reality was a bit different.

Lt Col Howlett (later General) on the other hand, was educated at Wellington College before going to Sandhurst and commissioning into the family regiment before transferring (as officers did in those days) to the Paras. The boss of 16 Brigade at the time was David O'Morchoe, or, to be exact, Brigadier David Nial Creagh, The O'Morchoe, hereditary Chief and Prince of the Ó Murchadha  - descended from the Kings of Leinster (I think it is)....

 

Yet you'd never tell that Neil Cameron had a slightly different background to the two senior army officers in the film...

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On 7/26/2021 at 4:05 PM, TheyJammedKenny! said:

Back to the subject of 16th ABN BDE in the 70s - 90s, I'm impressed by the anti-tank resources in the TO & E of the reinforced battalion group in 1974.  I assume the WOMBATs were replaced by MILAN by the 90s.  Did the brigade ever use Striker with Swingfire?  The Ferrets would have been long gone by the 90s.  Also, did 7RHA disperse its artillery resources among the battalion groups in the 90s, such that each battalion group would attach one 4-gun L118 battery?

 

In addition, did the regiment's military police attach themselves to a battalion group?  It seems to me that someone would need to secure EPWs, if any, at a drop zone.

We used WOMBATS into the 90`s alongside MILAN mate,..... good bit of kit the WOMBAT,..... mounted on Rovers,..... the Para Regt didn`t want to give them up. Yeah Ferrets were gone by the late 70`s along with the entire Airborne RAC Sqn when 16 Para Bde was disbanded and became 7 Filed Force with a limited Parachute capability ,......... when 5 Airborne Bde was stood up in the aftermath of the Falkland in the mid 80`s the Household Cavalry contributed a Squadron  CVRT and some of them went through P Company and got their wings up too. 

7 RHA usually has a battery attached to a battalion for deployment,...... becoming  part of the battalion group alongside medics, engineers etc,.... and yes even Monkeys!! The RMP`s were mostly used for traffic duties or to secure POW`s and part of the RMP unit at Aldershot were Para trained,.... wearing maroon berets rather than red.   

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Posted (edited)
On 7/26/2021 at 9:04 AM, Brizeman said:

In A400s defence and believe me, I am not the aircrafts biggest fan, the C130J also had problems dropping parachutists when it was first introduced. PTS would always use C130Ks for the Para courses. Unfortunately C130 availability is limited these days by only having 14 aircraft in the fleet. Of those ,some are on deployment and others are in maintenance leaving less than half of those available. The days of 60 plus C130s are gone. Even the RAF Falcons jump from a Canadian registered civil Dornier DO228 these days.

  
    John

Cheers John,.... I`m not knocking the crews or lads and lasses who work on the Herks mate,...... just the top brass. It is just a poor do that they cannot support the Armys spearhead force as they are supposed to.... and they are allowing the MoD to sell off sorely needed Herks.  

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2 hours ago, tonyot said:

and they are allowing the MoD to sell off sorely needed Herks.

 

Without breaking the site rules on politics, 'MoD' would be better replaced with 'Treasury', and they always get what they want one way or another (unless it involves chopping the Red Arrows, which gets PM-level intervention to stop it)... It's often a case of 'well, you've made your case, which we are now going to ignore. You have two options - one of which is deeply unpalatable and the other quite unacceptable, but they both save money. Choose which sort of kick in the pants you want and let us know, yes?'

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8 hours ago, tonyot said:

yes even Monkeys!!

You mean Rock Apes?  Monkeys have tails, ya know.  

 

WOMBAT sounds like a mean system that could be put to great use to clear all sorts of obstacles.  Like any recoilless gun, it would have made a helluva flash and kicked up all sorts of debris in the back-blast, which would have triggered the opponent to single out the Rovers-portees for special treatment.  OTOH, I think you could say the same thing about MILAN, so it's even.  Not surprised that the paras were averse to giving up this weapon.

 

------

 

Perhaps this puts us in "bun fight" range, but what are the sorts of vanguard-like missions you could anticipate the Parachute Regiment conducting, using parachute delivery of personnel, on today's battlefield, against a near-peer adversary teeth-deep in area-denial weapons, like long-range SAMs?  In the postwar world, I can recall only three U.S. parachute operations under combat conditions, at least two of which could have been performed by other means (helicopters!), and all under the umbrella of unchallenged U.S. air supremacy.  

 

The only reasonable scenario would be if/when the delivery aircraft could survive combat entry, which would have to follow establishment of at least "challenged" air supremacy and substantial roll-back of enemy air defenses.  This could be quite late in any campaign, and hardly the stuff of a "vanguard force."  Either way, you could use Chinooks to the same effect after forward-staging them, and simply air-land the troops.  Even "leg" infantry would do at that point.  The danger of employing paratroops is that the minimum safe altitude from which they drop may well not be "safe" for the delivery aircraft for LOS reasons and the shock effect of a mass assault likely short-lived against a near-peer ground adversary, who can call in indirect fire on the LZ before the paras can even rally.  The short-range L118s are a poor substitute for M-777s, which could at least answer those fires, assuming they could be set up to fire quickly.  That means the Regiment would be in trouble the moment it landed, and rely on CAS as a substitute for lack of organic fire support.  Under the conditions of challenged air supremacy, CAS is possible, but I think only if the AFAC can get tally on the enemy's guns.  Otherwise, the Regiment becomes nothing more than a big, expensive way of drawing the adversary's fire.

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8 hours ago, TheyJammedKenny! said:

You mean Rock Apes?  Monkeys have tails, ya know.  

 

WOMBAT sounds like a mean system that could be put to great use to clear all sorts of obstacles.  Like any recoilless gun, it would have made a helluva flash and kicked up all sorts of debris in the back-blast, which would have triggered the opponent to single out the Rovers-portees for special treatment.  OTOH, I think you could say the same thing about MILAN, so it's even.  Not surprised that the paras were averse to giving up this weapon.

 

------

 

Perhaps this puts us in "bun fight" range, but what are the sorts of vanguard-like missions you could anticipate the Parachute Regiment conducting, using parachute delivery of personnel, on today's battlefield, against a near-peer adversary teeth-deep in area-denial weapons, like long-range SAMs?  In the postwar world, I can recall only three U.S. parachute operations under combat conditions, at least two of which could have been performed by other means (helicopters!), and all under the umbrella of unchallenged U.S. air supremacy.  

 

The only reasonable scenario would be if/when the delivery aircraft could survive combat entry, which would have to follow establishment of at least "challenged" air supremacy and substantial roll-back of enemy air defenses.  This could be quite late in any campaign, and hardly the stuff of a "vanguard force."  Either way, you could use Chinooks to the same effect after forward-staging them, and simply air-land the troops.  Even "leg" infantry would do at that point.  The danger of employing paratroops is that the minimum safe altitude from which they drop may well not be "safe" for the delivery aircraft for LOS reasons and the shock effect of a mass assault likely short-lived against a near-peer ground adversary, who can call in indirect fire on the LZ before the paras can even rally.  The short-range L118s are a poor substitute for M-777s, which could at least answer those fires, assuming they could be set up to fire quickly.  That means the Regiment would be in trouble the moment it landed, and rely on CAS as a substitute for lack of organic fire support.  Under the conditions of challenged air supremacy, CAS is possible, but I think only if the AFAC can get tally on the enemy's guns.  Otherwise, the Regiment becomes nothing more than a big, expensive way of drawing the adversary's fire.

Excellent and, very cogent reasoning.

I admit to being no expert on the subject but, I am puzzled by allegations that the RAF is not actually or, is not going to be able to support the Army on operations following withdrawal of the C-130.

Perhaps too much emphasis is being placed on mass drops of paratroopers?

The A400M is certainly perfectly capable of supporting them by air dropping supplies and munitions etc.  A recent test drop on Salisbury plain saw 23 tons being heaved out the back end.  That's basically 2 C-130s worth!

Ok, I know that's a very simplistic way of looking at things but, as the British Army's role changes, then surely the RAF must adapt to suit that?. So, how exactly does that tie in with "not supporting" the Army especially,as they (the RAF) will also be adapting to whatever role changes are implemented  by the government of the day.

Given that any future conflicts we are likely to find ourselves dragged into are likely to be multi national affairs then, the RAF fleet is going to find itself doing a variety of jobs, out of which dropping lots of troops is probably not a priority?

We are where we are. Speaking as a layman, I wonder if the current A400 bashing has more to do with unwillingness to change, nostalgia and yearning for the "good old days" than any practical issues with the aircraft.

As, an enthusiast, its true that one will miss the old Herk but, is its demise really the disaster that some imply?

As I said, I am no expert but, I choose to believe that the RAF, in this context, will continue to do its utmost with whatever resources it has at its command.

Time will tell.

 

John

 

Edited by Beermonster1958
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Posted (edited)
14 hours ago, TheyJammedKenny! said:

You mean Rock Apes?  Monkeys have tails, ya know.  

 

WOMBAT sounds like a mean system that could be put to great use to clear all sorts of obstacles.  Like any recoilless gun, it would have made a helluva flash and kicked up all sorts of debris in the back-blast, which would have triggered the opponent to single out the Rovers-portees for special treatment.  OTOH, I think you could say the same thing about MILAN, so it's even.  Not surprised that the paras were averse to giving up this weapon.

 

------

 

Perhaps this puts us in "bun fight" range, but what are the sorts of vanguard-like missions you could anticipate the Parachute Regiment conducting, using parachute delivery of personnel, on today's battlefield, against a near-peer adversary teeth-deep in area-denial weapons, like long-range SAMs?  In the postwar world, I can recall only three U.S. parachute operations under combat conditions, at least two of which could have been performed by other means (helicopters!), and all under the umbrella of unchallenged U.S. air supremacy.  

 

The only reasonable scenario would be if/when the delivery aircraft could survive combat entry, which would have to follow establishment of at least "challenged" air supremacy and substantial roll-back of enemy air defenses.  This could be quite late in any campaign, and hardly the stuff of a "vanguard force."  Either way, you could use Chinooks to the same effect after forward-staging them, and simply air-land the troops.  Even "leg" infantry would do at that point.  The danger of employing paratroops is that the minimum safe altitude from which they drop may well not be "safe" for the delivery aircraft for LOS reasons and the shock effect of a mass assault likely short-lived against a near-peer ground adversary, who can call in indirect fire on the LZ before the paras can even rally.  The short-range L118s are a poor substitute for M-777s, which could at least answer those fires, assuming they could be set up to fire quickly.  That means the Regiment would be in trouble the moment it landed, and rely on CAS as a substitute for lack of organic fire support.  Under the conditions of challenged air supremacy, CAS is possible, but I think only if the AFAC can get tally on the enemy's guns.  Otherwise, the Regiment becomes nothing more than a big, expensive way of drawing the adversary's fire.

 

Monkey,.... is the name given by British soldiers to the RMP MP``s,......... and yes Rock Apes are RAF Regt....... who laughingly like to refer to themselves as `The Regiment',.... LOL!

 

Yes Wombat used to kick up debris,..... even the grass jumped into the air.. It is not in service anymore as far as I know.

 

We have an Airmobile Brigade,.... but the RAF don`t have the air power to move it,..... not even in battalion sized groups and definitely not in its primary parachute role. When you are behind enemy lines,.....in a conventional infantry role,...... numbers count. 

 

Since the 80`s the parachute role was never designed to be used on the battlefield or in a high air defence area,......... especially without ECM or support aircraft to clear a way. Our role was to rapidly reinforce exposed flanks and for `out of area' operations,...... especially in Africa (during the Gulf War the 82nd Airborne deployed in such a way to secure a flank for the armour as they drove into Kuwait and I think the 101st did the same by helicopter?). In the 80`s a British LPBG would parachute onto,... or close by an air head or access point and hold it. The FUPBG would rapidly reinforce the first drop and then Air Land operations would commence with the remaining force, bringing in heavy equipment too. The Brigade was on rapid stand by for such operations 24/7.

 

Of course there were also options to drop company groups for special operations, either by parachute, helicopter or by tactical air land by Herk and we practised these too. In Sierra Leonne this option was used to support the SAS during Op Barras and since then the idea has been developed into the SF Support Group,..... with  1 PARA forming  major part.

 

Parachute Company Groups were dropped into Afghanistan for operations,........ but this seems to have caused a mindset that this was all that was required now,....  however now that Afghanistan is over,......  the Brigade should be,.... and I think it is,.....moving back to the idea of deploying the entire Brigade by air wherever it is needed. Unfortunately the withdrawal of the Hercules and the unsuitability (so far) of the A400 for Airborne operations is hindering this. The brigade seem to be relying on the USAF and US Airborne to keep their parachute capability current,.... which is a crying shame. 

 

You mention the SA-80,.....I have never liked the weapon and preferred the 7.62mm SLR,....... and Afghanistan exposed the lack of harder hitting weapons at section level. The Britih Army is introducing a new 7.62mm rifle to supplement the SA-80 and widespread use of the GPMG has also helped this,...... the Parachute Regiment employ more GPMG`s than a line infantry unit for their added firepower.  Even in WW2 it was not exactly the preferred option to land on a hot DZ,..... and of course a night drop is always the preferred way of deploying.

 

Do I think that Airborne,.... especially parachute operations are obsolete,...... no way,...... and most countries still have them. Do I think that they should be limited to small company sized raiding forces,......well they have their place,..... but no,...... I still thank that mass parachute drops of a battalion or even brigade size have their place,...... especially in low air threat areas,...... although attack aircraft leading the way and low level contour flying are still an option in medium threat areas. With so many `hot spots' around the world at the moment they are as relevant as ever,..... take Africa,...... terrorist groups are often abducting large groups of children and taking them miles into the bush,....... well a battalion sized parachute force can rapidly reach the area much quicker than it would take to self deploy a force of helicopters to the area,....and and then jump in to rescue the children/hostages etc,..... there is a reason why the current 16 Air Assault Brigade remains the British Army spearhead force. 

 

Cheers

           Tony   

Edited by tonyot
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21 hours ago, XV107 said:

 

Without breaking the site rules on politics, 'MoD' would be better replaced with 'Treasury', and they always get what they want one way or another (unless it involves chopping the Red Arrows, which gets PM-level intervention to stop it)... It's often a case of 'well, you've made your case, which we are now going to ignore. You have two options - one of which is deeply unpalatable and the other quite unacceptable, but they both save money. Choose which sort of kick in the pants you want and let us know, yes?'

Agreed!

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 (QUOTE) "I still think that mass parachute drops of a battalion or even brigade size have their place,..."

 

Some really interesting comments Tony as you clearly know your stuff and provide a great read - thank you. I agree that a battalion drop (say in a like situation to what the French REP found at Kolweizi) would still have it's place but a brigade+ sized operation deployed by parachute...? Given they had limited use in large scale deployments 75+ years ago in WW2, how could anyone envisage, say, a brigade or certainly an AB Division ( by those like the US who still have them) being deployed in the future; certainly if deployed against a first rate and modern military power anyway? 

 

Even the Germans who effectively pioneered airborne operations quickly saw the limitations of large scale deployment after the WW2 early war disasters and unacceptable casualty rates in the Low Countries and Crete and effectively, then used them for the remainder of the war solely as what they were/are; i.e. elite infantry units.

 

Let's hope our young men never have to find out if large scale airborne operations still have a future in modern war.

 

Gary 

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