I'm not a Gunner but the the following info should apply:
1. Some positions on op tours will be filled by regular individual augmentees, usually within HQ-type formations or with units that are lacking personnel with specific skills. A trawl will usually be made for such personnel although there is no harm in mentioning that wouldn't mind volunteering for a tour.
2. There is a list of restricted countries and, should you wish to visit one for whatever reason, you either will need to obtain permission or else take your chances on leave and risk dropping yourself in the sh*t. I like to travel to non-touristy places as well and found that a posting to Germany offers the perfect base in the centre of Europe to get on a train and go exploring Eastern Europe when you have a bit of leave.
Hope this helps. Someone should be able to expand of this if you need it.
The answer to both your questions is NO! (except in some unusual circumstances).
As an integral part of your unit you will go where they go, when they say you will.
There will be some opportunites to volunteer for organised expeditions, so just stay keen but be seen to be part of the team at all times or you'll not only get a bad name with management but your mates will think you're a pr ick.
You cant have the best of two worlds, I had 2 mates who decided after 12 years they needed a break so they knocked on the CO's door and said we are going round the world for 2 years, we might join back up again.
They were both in full screws in desirable trades (DC OPA and Adv Sigs) and didnt have too bad a track record.
Both came back after 2 years one complete with Tai Bride!!, 1 joined back up again and was given his rank/job and lost 2 years seniority the other now escourting illegal immagrants home (not very busy!)
Anyhow if you did join up and put your nose to the grindstone for a few years and get some cash to carry out said travels, you may be able to do the same although if your a drama merchant you will most likely get a tablet.
Theres plenty of oppurtunities to go and do adv tng in some far flung places, but dont go to some hairy arsed under water knife fighting unit and expect adv tng, Although most Units these days are man strapped so little time for swanning off like Frank......
As also advised most overseas tours have R+R and Adv Tng but because you are "on duty" you will find that trips must be planned and done as a group, Put this down to the previous F**ckwitts and the growing current claims crisis.
2. There is a list of restricted countries and, should you wish to visit one for whatever reason, you either will need to obtain permission or else take your chances on leave and risk dropping yourself in the sh*t.
I wonder just how restrictive is the list of restricted countries? I presume the Army would not give permission for visiting the North West Frontier of Pakistan or Chechyna... but what about milder places such as Tehran??? or maybe Zimbabwe? Anyone any idea whereabouts they draw the line?