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What future has British Military Parachute Training?

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What future has British Military Parachute Training?

Old 1st Dec 2007, 08:29
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What future has British Military Parachute Training?

My son-in-law is a military PJI (Parachute Jump Instructor) who has expressed his concerns, frustrations and apprehensions for the future of this highly valued skill for both the instructional arm and the future for the Parachute Regiments. He sights, amongst other factors, the lack of available aircraft because of vital overseas commitments, off services due to old age, shortage of spare parts, technicians and the general lack of political interest. Fortunately Special Forces seem less affected.
Your learned thoughts would be greatly appreciated.
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Old 1st Dec 2007, 08:58
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GPMG
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To be honest I think that it is an outdated method of inserting troops. Just as cavalry charges were in WW1.

I can only see the benefit of HALO or LOHA now as mass troop insertions work better with helicopter, with the added benefit that you can extract the troops as well.

However I do think that it is folly to completely lose a method of operating, you never know when a particular campain will require it. I bet a certain regiment has pretty strong views on the subject as though.
 
Old 1st Dec 2007, 10:08
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You'd probably do well to post the same issue over on ARRSE and get the views of the biggest customer - the Army. We provide the training and aircraft, but they are the majority of who we re-introduce to gravity at altitude.
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Old 1st Dec 2007, 13:31
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Danger

GPMG has hit the nail on the head.
You could also argue that the types of Op that the Para deployable troops get into these days are beyond the reach of UK Plc. We have whittled our forces down so much, that it would need to be a 3rd World nation that we take on effectively with paratroops.

There does however, remain a vital place for highly trained and motivated infanteers. They provide a very workable pool of expertise to allow sufficient numbers to move through SF selection.


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Ps. A very strange 1st post, with some pointed criticism, almost like a lazy journalist trolling for some easy column inches
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Old 1st Dec 2007, 13:36
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GPMG
Thanks for your thoughts
quote
"I bet a certain regiment has pretty strong views on the subject though."

The regiments you refer to are a massive recruitment boost for the Army, they inspire confidence in young men therefore the loss of the Red Beret, should it happen, would be a sad sad loss.

MR C HINECAP
Take your point ref ARRSE but i'm just learning how to post in this forum.

sapper
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Old 1st Dec 2007, 13:40
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A journo might make a typo, but a 62 year-old one would know the diff between sights and cites. No offence Sapper.

CG
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Old 1st Dec 2007, 13:42
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Does every Brit Mil aviator who has the capability to eject/bail out undergo parachute training? including live jumps?
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Old 1st Dec 2007, 14:09
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To a very limited extent - when I were a lad, all we did was some jumping off benches and learning to roll/land. Then a bit of swinging in a harness - oh and the spectacularly amusing drag behind a landrover on the airfield at North Luffenham so that we could practise undoing Koch fasteners one handed! Live jumps - certainly not, a chap might get hurt.

As for the main thought behind this thread, I would say that mass personnel jumping is a thing of the past as we just can't afford to maintain a capability which is so unlikely to be used. SF is of course a different matter and would form the cadre from which to regrow the capability if the need arose. Just why the PJIs are RAF and the PTS in Air Cmd I've never really understood.
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Old 1st Dec 2007, 14:20
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Two things - don't underestimate the political power of the Paras. Any attempt to take away their airborne training would be met with real fire. Secondly, there's a strong argument for retaining the ability to insert troops without direct control of a runway.

It won't be a brigade-sized drop, clearly, but the effect of a battalion of para-inserted troops plus AH-64 plus top cover could be just what is needed if HMG has to extract British/Eu civilians from a country where normal rule has broken down. Imagine the fuss at the wash-up if it was even rumoured that the lack of rapidly and flexibly-delivered forces had lost British civilian lives.
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Old 1st Dec 2007, 16:27
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To be sure the PTS real estate at BZZ could be better used for air cargo, after all cargo/pax are core to the 'AT super base' of the future. Current facilities could not cope with supporting 6 x C17, 50 A400/C130 plus the 330's. The pax terminal update has been shelved/deferred again I believe.
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Old 1st Dec 2007, 19:23
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Any chance of the Gateway being updated?
Suddenly, he woke up, and it was just a cruel dream.
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Old 1st Dec 2007, 19:41
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Up the Reg!

Airborne artist has hit the nail one the head!! There is alot off top ranking brass that are para-trained its not called the maroon mafia for nothing.
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Old 1st Dec 2007, 21:17
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When was the last time the Parachute regiment were deployed somewhere nasty and arrived under a canopy? I'd guess Suez in 1956 but I could be mistaken
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Old 1st Dec 2007, 21:41
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VecVe - if you value your good looks, don't remind the Paras that it was the RAF Regt who jumped into Sierra Leone to support 22 in 2000
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Old 1st Dec 2007, 21:59
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I personaly don't like the idea of leaving a working aircraft, however I am glad that there are those who enjoy the challenge.

The Paras are by no means the only good Inf unit around but they are still bloody good and scare the out of most. Their Para training is clearly a major part of their identity and even if this was all there was to it then I would say we should keep the capability.

As others have said before however, it is never a good idea to loose a capability, even if we cannot forsee it's use in the near future. Even if they never dropped in anger again (unlikely I think) the very fact that we have the capability keeps the enemy guessing and denies them the oppertunity to concentrate their forces. For this reason and others it is essential we keep them trained.
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Old 1st Dec 2007, 23:23
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I'm surprised that the Army still allow the RAF to continue parachute training, especially as PJI's are non-combatant and definately not soldiers. I would have thought they would have their own more experienced personnel that could give a much more current 'military' slant on things.
As the main parachuting customer is the Army, I unfortunately feel this is again the PTI trade trying to justify their existence in a trade which should have been civilianised a long long time ago.
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Old 2nd Dec 2007, 01:09
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US Paratroops

I would point out that the US Army dropped a battelion of Rangers into Afghanistan in 2001 and the entire 173rd Airborne Brigade into Northern Iraq in 2003. The US Army maintains an entire airborne division and 2 seperate parachute brigades.

Helicopters can travel much less distance loaded with troops than they can unladen, so you can do a parachute insertion/helo extraction at a somewhat greater range than you can helo-in/helo-out.
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Old 2nd Dec 2007, 09:24
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akula
Ps. A very strange 1st post, with some pointed criticism, almost like a lazy journalist trolling for some easy column inches

My first post and bang a slight wagging finger. Please be assured that journalism falls way short in my none existent skill bank, as correctly pointed out by “charliegolf”. My public profile should give you a clue regard the few skills I do still retain, I’m proud that at 62 I’m still of value in a public life saving environment.

Back to my original post, any reduction or cessation in Para training affects in addition to the Army Parachute Regiments, RAF personal. The highly skilled flight crews and loadmasters, all the staff at the ParachuteTraining School, Weston-on-the-Green Staff & of course the Red Falcons Display Team. Most replaceable some may say by cheaper to employ civilian staff but sadly once these skills have gone it’s nigh impossible to bring them back should the need ever arise. I hope it never happens but that me.
spr
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Old 2nd Dec 2007, 16:46
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I thought that apart from op essential stuff (black) that we'd put a moratorium on para trg for a number of years?
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Old 2nd Dec 2007, 18:12
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AIDU
There's nothing like selective reading and quoting is there.....
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