The Royal Air Force has its own private pretend Infantry unit called the RAF Regiment: formed on 1st February, 1942. Usually known as the 'Rockapes', its original role was concerned with airfield defence although this is no longer a role that even the RAF can pretend is important. Consequently they have expanded into almost any area which they believe might justify their existence. The list currently includes:
- Manning TACPs (Tactical Air Control Parties) attached to 16 Air Assault Brigade
- Combat Search and Rescue (CSAR)
- 1999-2008 Forming part of the Joint CBRN Regiment with three squadrons from 1RTR
- Training other members of the RAF military skills. [Snigger]
- Ceremonial duties
- Maintaining a parachute-capable Field Squadron (II Squadron RAF Regiment)
- A small number of personnel form part of the Tri-Service Special Forces Support Group.
- Parachuting into enemy territory to rescue hostages. Yes their website does actually claim that.
In order to fulfill these demanding roles as the aggressive wing of the RAF, they have every piece of Gucci kit known to man. They also have a lot in common with Walter Mitty, who it is said believed that he was anything he wanted to be - if he just imagined it then it was so!
The 'Rockape' has to do just this - as it gives him a sense of achievement and allows him to justify his existence to himself and (hopefully) others. Unlike most of the adults in the RAF, the 'Rockapes' have an almost religious belief in their own publicity. Usually found either in the bar, at Silverman's or reading Soldier Magazine (or reading Soldier Magazine in the nearest bar to Silverman's) - so he can order all the Gucci kit. Remember, these are the heroes who would have beaten off Spetznaz attacks had World War 3 come to pass... as long as the Russkie SF landed at a participating airfield!
Unfortunately, the amount of training teams they have dispatched around the world seem to have equalled some respect (Good God/Allah/Jehovah [delete as applicable]!). Even though the Ministry of Defence and Army have attempted to replace them, they have a nasty habit of surviving. Rest assured that when the world ends, it won't just be cockroaches and Keith Richards left, but only because the Gucci kit has saved them.
To become a Marksman in the RAF Regiment you have to do this:
- Pass Weapons Handling Tests (same as the Army).
- Pass the Annual Personal Weapons Test (CI) at Marksman standard (same as the Infantry).