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RAF WSOp (AIRCREW) jumps course?

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RAF WSOp (AIRCREW) jumps course?

Old 12th Aug 2014, 01:46
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RAF WSOp (AIRCREW) jumps course?

Hello all first time poster here. I am wondering if anyone can answer do WSOp's in the RAF do a basic parachute course as part of their training? If so do they earn the right to wear parachute wings or light bulb badge as I've heard some guys in TCW/TSW do.


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Old 12th Aug 2014, 08:17
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The answers are no, they don't, and therefore no, they don't.

Last edited by Captain Radar....; 12th Aug 2014 at 08:20. Reason: amplification of answer
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Old 12th Aug 2014, 08:31
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I believe that allowing aircrew to land by parachute risked far too many serious injuries and therefore a potential loss of a large training investment. However there used to be a less risky course available for aircrew which involved a parachute drop from a Herc into Poole Harbour - this was cancelled some years ago for cost saving, although I was told that this was just a drop in the ocean!
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Old 12th Aug 2014, 08:52
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The thing about training aircrew is.... you'd kind of like them to see the whole mission through.
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Old 12th Aug 2014, 09:00
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Pj

Are you thinking of the NCO WsOP / aircrewman thimajig and comparing / confusing it to what the USAF Parajumper Specialists - PJs do as they have to go through jump school at Fort Benning (equivalent of our 'P' Company , Parachute Regiment) as part of their training ?

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Old 12th Aug 2014, 09:02
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Loadmasters used to do a short para course as part of their basic training.
It was discontinued in the late 1980's.
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Old 12th Aug 2014, 09:16
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All Loadie trainees who successfully completed the 'movements and loading' bit of the training did the jumps, irrespective of their subsequent posting to fixed wing or rotary.

In my case, we did the same course as Paras who had progressed through P Coy (I think) successfully; but we left after the first 2 jumps. The first was from a balloon, the second from a Herc. Both 800 feet.

Because only 2 jumps were completed, then of course no para wings were awarded.

CG

(I think it was stopped on cost grounds as much as safety, along with the fact that the vast majority by then were going rotary anyway.)
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Old 12th Aug 2014, 10:16
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The Poole Harbour course had its equivalent in the Far East in the 60s with a drop into the Johore Strait off Changi, from an Argosy as I recall. I applied for the course, but there was a long waiting list and I got posted away before my name came up.

We had a crew abandonment trainer at Marham where we practised jumping out of a Victor onto a rubber mat. Fortunately I never needed to put these skills into practice, as the statistics for successful rear-crew abandonments from all of the "Vs" were not good, to say the least!
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Old 12th Aug 2014, 10:30
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All Loadie trainees
The female Loadies in the 80's must of been a tough bunch?
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Old 12th Aug 2014, 11:49
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Oo-er, unreconstituted MCP thinking there!

And they were a tough bunch! Mo, Leanne, Ronda and 2 others whose names escape me were on my (93) AAITC and loadie bit. And they were a good bunch too.

CG
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Old 12th Aug 2014, 11:52
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successful rear-crew abandonments from all of the "Vs" were not good, to say the least!
I was aware of that TTN, but what would you say the success rate was in a viable abandonment? By that I mean, orders given and within the abandonment envelope; not oo-er, it's coming apart NOW!

CG
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Old 12th Aug 2014, 12:09
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CG,

Not a MCP comment at all - I just cannot recall the girls doing the para course? Re your 'All Loadie trainees'...standing by to be corrected?

Although rotary was becoming the bias, the Para Course was ultimately two-fold, to undertake - at the time - Loadmaster/dispatch duties on a TS Sqn, and also to provide a degree of empathy with the parachutists, especially the refusals? I'm sure there was a character building argument soaked in there as well?

S4D
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Old 12th Aug 2014, 12:20
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The requirement for the Trainee loadmasters to undertake a short course of parachute training was in response to the eminently reasonable demand by the army that anyone despatching paras had to have personal knowledge of the risks etc. The ladies did not 'cross over' to the Hercules until fairly late on by which time the jump requirement for the ALM had ceased. I was involved in the decision to cease ALM para training.
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Old 12th Aug 2014, 13:29
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The Mini jumps course at Brize for ALM students had certainly stopped by about mid 85. That said I notice PJIs have started wearing the military parachutist badge....seems somewhat strange as in the past their qualification badge always used to be the Brevet with Parachute centred in the wreath..... Now they want to wear both.......
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Old 12th Aug 2014, 16:11
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I was involved in the decision to cease ALM para training.
......and I got recoursed from the last course to do it (127 cse) [mid '86] to the first course that didn't (128 cse) and was the happiest failed student on the planet!

Jumping out of the balloon in particular brought with it stories of panic and horror. I did para dispatch from 10grand (in a Puma) with the Danish Jaeger Corps a few years later, and I can see the appeal of freefall, but for me: No thankyou; I sit firmly in the camp that only a fool will leave a serviceable aeroplane that does not have wheels/skids in contact with the ground.

Nowadays, some JHSS (RAF) MAOTs attached to 16 Air Assault do the jumps course and get the wings. They do not do P Company.
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Old 12th Aug 2014, 16:29
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That said I notice PJIs have started wearing the military parachutist badge....seems somewhat strange as in the past their qualification badge always used to be the Brevet with Parachute centred in the wreath..... Now they want to wear both.......
Perhaps they want to become the "3 Winged Master Race"...

On a serious point, is this because they feel wearing the Parachute Badge with wings on the right arm gives them more credibility that just the half wing on the chest for some reason?

(PS - Not having a pop at them for doing this, but it might be interesting to know why it happens)
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Old 12th Aug 2014, 16:39
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I was under the impression that the PJI's who wear the two winged badge on the right arm do so because they have passed the relevant physical test ie either P Coy, Pre-Para or All Arms Commando.

This should also apply for the TCW / TSW / MAOTs. No physical course pass should mean the light bulb. Of course the majority haven't passed it and walt around pretending to be an airborne warrior....

I know of only 1 RAF Regt member who has not passed any of the 3 above courses who has his wings, but then again he'd got to the end of selection.
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Old 12th Aug 2014, 17:02
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Slightly pedantic point but isn't the PJI wing deemed an 'honorary flying badge' rather than a brevet as they have never undergone any form of aircrew training?
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Old 12th Aug 2014, 17:10
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I was aware of that TTN, but what would you say the success rate was in a viable abandonment? By that I mean, orders given and within the abandonment envelope; not oo-er, it's coming apart NOW!
A bit of trawling has come up with this thread from 2003 - some good stuff in it, including from the late lamented Art Field, with whom I flew on many occasions. I think half the problem was that given the acknowledged difficulties with rear-crew abandonment, the order to abandon would tend not to be given until, as you say, it was coming apart. An earlier, controlled abandonment might well have had better results, as was the case with the Vulcan which had an engine fire over Yorkshire, one of the very few instances where all five escaped more or less intact. Incidentally the pilot on that occasion had the misfortune to be in the LHS of the one that crashed at Luqa with less happy results.

http://www.pprune.org/military-aviat...-question.html
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Old 12th Aug 2014, 17:12
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S4G- it was me being the MCP by ignoring the girls in my first post! Agreed the empathy point, it was cited at the time.

CG
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