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Parachute training

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Parachute training

Old 18th Jul 2006, 11:44
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Parachute training

I live under the racetrack flown by the Hercs dropping at Weston on the Green (frequently) Apart from special forces is there any need for parachute training? When was the last drop in anger? Arnhem perhaps. Perhaps the a/c could be better used elsewhere.
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Old 18th Jul 2006, 12:03
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2 Sqn RAF Regt, Sierra Leone, 2000 was the last para insertion.

I'd suggest that the current global situation has far more need for fast-insertion light troops than the Cold War of the 60s, 70 and early 80s. Not completely out of order to imagine them being used to secure an LZ prior to evacuation of UK citizens, for example.

FWIW the current availablity of airframes is such that large numbers of newish recruits are not able to get onto para courses, as the needs sandy-side are taking priority.

Last edited by airborne_artist; 18th Jul 2006 at 12:20.
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Old 18th Jul 2006, 12:32
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Im not serving in the armed farces but it seems common sense to say that if we cease to maintain that capability sods law will be invoked and we will then have need of it.

I'd suggest the biggest worry at the moment is that overstretch may be undermining training for all three forces. You can get away with it short term, but if it goes on the price paid by those at the sharp end is potentially very high.
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Old 18th Jul 2006, 15:27
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Why does everyone quote Arnhem when they think parachutes (more troops arrived by glider than parachute) and forget Suez.
As for when the last time there was a mass paradrop, the US did one during the start of the latest Gulf war and the Boys from Hereford have buried expensive parachutes paid for by the British taxpayer in Afganistan since then.
So yes there is a need to keep the capability and if Mr Reed is pained by the Hercules in the circuit just wait till the A400M turns up - better sell your house now.
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Old 18th Jul 2006, 15:47
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hmm interesting comment wz662. I too live under the Weston pattern. The C130 Js and Ks dont bother me but you are saying the A400 will be noisy?? Hopefully not as noisy as the Skyvan. Mike Read wasnt complaining about the noise in his post was he?
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Old 18th Jul 2006, 16:24
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Just a guess really, but with all those blades and the turning both ways on each wing thing, the noise it'll make is certainly going to be different. We'll have to wait until Marshalls get the test bed Herc flying (poor old Snoopy) to have a real idea of what it'll sound like.
Oh and by the way I live on the edge of Salisbury plain and by comparison the airspace around Weston is dead - I'd be complaining about the closeness of the M40 .
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Old 18th Jul 2006, 21:07
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Originally Posted by wz662
Just a guess really, but with all those blades and the turning both ways on each wing thing, the noise it'll make is certainly going to be different. We'll have to wait until Marshalls get the test bed Herc flying (poor old Snoopy) to have a real idea of what it'll sound like.
Oh and by the way I live on the edge of Salisbury plain and by comparison the airspace around Weston is dead - I'd be complaining about the closeness of the M40 .
And GR9's............


Good to see the driver got out ok though
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Old 18th Jul 2006, 21:51
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I'm pleased airborne artist put you right with 2 Sqn RAF Regt - it gets right up the noses of the Parachute Regiment.

And yes, there is a great need for the ability to deploy troops quickly into an area, such as the Sierra Leone drop proved. As long as the support is on task when required it's certainly more useful than starting an op with knackered troops because they've tabbed 50+ miles.
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Old 18th Jul 2006, 22:05
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Originally Posted by Rocket Chucker
I'm pleased airborne artist put you right with 2 Sqn RAF Regt - it gets right up the noses of the Parachute Regiment.

And yes, there is a great need for the ability to deploy troops quickly into an area, such as the Sierra Leone drop proved. As long as the support is on task when required it's certainly more useful than starting an op with knackered troops because they've tabbed 50+ miles.
Dont disagree RC, but (asking because I dont know) what is the usual casualty rate, if any, from a tactical/operational jump?
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Old 18th Jul 2006, 23:26
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Originally Posted by wz662
Just a guess really, but with all those blades and the turning both ways on each wing thing, the noise it'll make is certainly going to be different. We'll have to wait until Marshalls get the test bed Herc flying (poor old Snoopy) to have a real idea of what it'll sound like.
Oh and by the way I live on the edge of Salisbury plain and by comparison the airspace around Weston is dead - I'd be complaining about the closeness of the M40 .
Look here wz there is already an engine test bed for the A400M
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Old 18th Jul 2006, 23:39
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Originally Posted by movadinkampa747
Look here wz there is already an engine test bed for the A400M
And that one will probably stand more chance of flying than the A400M
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Old 18th Jul 2006, 23:53
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Does 2 Sqdn RAF Regiment have problems getting aircraft for practice jumps?
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Old 19th Jul 2006, 00:30
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Last time I was there we were using the sky-van to take off from Honington and drop into a nearby field that the farmer had agreed to let us use. That was 2002 though.
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Old 19th Jul 2006, 08:39
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what is the usual casualty rate, if any, from a tactical/operational jump?
ISTR that in training about 2.5% is acceptable - for static line in wartime I understood that the drop height would almost certainly be lower than 800' AGL, and that a higher surface wind would also be acceptable, so I'd expect the casualty rate to double at least. By casualties I mean non-fatal, but unable to fight.

Last edited by airborne_artist; 19th Jul 2006 at 09:11.
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Old 19th Jul 2006, 08:54
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I cant remember the figures but the German casualty rate at Crete was truly shocking - especially in the first wave. But they still took their objective.
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Old 19th Jul 2006, 11:12
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Originally Posted by Mike Read
I live under the racetrack flown by the Hercs dropping at Weston on the Green (frequently) Apart from special forces is there any need for parachute training? When was the last drop in anger? Arnhem perhaps. Perhaps the a/c could be better used elsewhere.
Hi,

That I "have jumped from a perfectly servicable aircraft" is my only link to military aviation, so I'm biased.

I believe it is worth the effort to keep a parachute capability larger than the Special Forces.
Most of the young men who volunteer for this are inherently "fighters". Those who make it through the training will have shown determination, discipline and spirit.
If they, now knowing what it is like, choose to continue in the business of exposing their bodies to such danger, they form a great group that can work miracles.
The training will also have given them great self-confidence and maturity.

Best regards, Transall.
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Old 19th Jul 2006, 11:16
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The casualty rate of the assault of Crete was the reasons the Germans didn't carry out more large scale assaults. On the other hand the Allies used Crete as justification for airborne troops.
I've previously mentioned Suez as the last big air drop from the Brits, but it was also the first use of helicopters for airborne assault - a whole ten years before the Yanks 'invented' helicopter assault in Vietnam.
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Old 19th Jul 2006, 11:35
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Well said Transall
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Old 19th Jul 2006, 22:49
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Airborne artist beat me to it again although I thought it may have been nearer 3 to 3.5 but it depends as said on drop height, weather conditions, time of day and a s**t load of other things that can really screw your day up such as strength and capabilities of the enemy.

However I'll bow to superior knowledge - thanks AA.

Transall, excellent comment. I found that the airborne squaddie had a deal more professionalism about him than the 'standard issue grunt' and could be relied upon to go longer and futher without any substantial support.

As for German paras in WWII, they had more balls than me, those bu**ers dived out the aircraft head first - sod that for a laugh - feet first is bad enough. Their equipment was also significantly different to allied gear and not as reliable.
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Old 19th Jul 2006, 23:33
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Jumping is the easy bit....it is afterall just a way of getting to the worksite.

For sure it is one heck of a commute sometimes.
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