Air Support to Close Support - advice needed

Discussion in 'Sappers' started by hogstable, May 30, 2006.

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  1. I am a member of 106 (WR) Fd Sqn which is leaving the comfortable role of Air Support with 73 Engr Regt and switching to Close Support as part of the newly reforming 72 Engr Regt.

    Any advice on what this role entails and the best way to prepare and train guys up for it including myself. I am guessing it is the bangs and bullets WW Two style but as I say looking for advice.

    Over to the more experienced sappers.
  2. Close support? sure you dont mean general support.
  3. I thought that the role would have been general support. I take these as the definitions, please tell me if I am wrong

    Close support - in a BG, put in Fd forts, minefields - lay & clear, route denial, reserve dems, clear En obs in view of the bad guys. In short getting shot at by the En. Bridging of gaps so our troops can pass. 'Front line' stuff running about the battlefield.

    General support - The BGs have passed through so no longer 'front line'. Improve routes, put in other bridges like LSB, water supply. Basically looking after communications in ther rear and getting shot at by 'insurgents' in the rear areas.

    75 is roled as general support as is the Royal Mon(g)s I believe, 131 Cdo is supposed to be to although it gets blurred.

    So the way I see it 59 Cdo would deploy a Tp per Cdo for the Booties to play with, 131 stayed at Bde doing gear in the rear stuff. I accept that in reality it all gets blurred and you are sent where you are sent so some of our guys were in a close supt role for Telic as will be the case with others too.

    Does this help?

    I know the Corps is trying to get all Close Support under armour which to be fair, I can't see us being able to do due to training time, so whether we will be Close Support for Wheeled Inf I don't know. It would make sense to have us as general support for 3 and 16 Bdes, blue hatted so we can provide a lot of guys for general and air support stuff to provide a Tp or individuals rapidly.

    Over to yourselves.
  4. As an ex member of 73, what are the future plans for the Regt??

    I had heard a rumour that 129 HQ and Support Sqn was moving from Nottingham.

  5. This is in the public domain so I can tell you , subject to change of course !!! - they are still hedging their bets a bit...

    Jersey - went to Royal Mon(g)s - the hours of fun they can have "No we are the oldest TA unit", "No WE ARE THE OLDEST" ... yeh brill eh !

    129 was a HQ Sqn, because they are saying they will never deploy a RE TA Regt, that is now becomming a HQ Tp - apparently hardly any change in the number of guys.

    350 and 575, no change.

    129 will be reformed as a Sqn in the East Mids, Leicester way and Northants I believe. It will cause some probs as 106 provided a lot of good guys ans Jersey did as well but now they are all together in the East Mids. It will be a fab leaving do though !!!!!

    Who were you with ?
  6. I would take the classification of the TA regt's with a bit of a pinch of salt (with the exception of 101(EOD) who are clearly mainly EOD...)

    In the rebalancing paper the reformed 72 Engr Regt (V) has it's role stated as close support. One of it's squadrons will be 299 (Para) Fd Sqn (V). Another will be a field squadron based on the current 72 (TEE) Fd Sqn, part of 71 Engr Regt (V), the third will be 106.

    with regards to the distinctions in close or general sp within the TA it's all a bit wooly really. Recent mobilisation has seen 100 Sqn from the Royal Mons (A general Sp regt) joining a regular close sp regt.

    The last three formed troops to deploy on telic were from 75 (General Sp) and 73 (Air Sp) both attached to a regular close Sp squadron (TELIC 3). and the Troop from 71 (Air Sp) was attached to 3 Armd Engr Sqn for the duration of TELIC 4. And for those not in the know, although it is called 'Armoured' 3AES has Armd and Fd troops.

    whatever the nominal distinctions made between TA units, in reality we all do the same trg and the same modules. Air sp only involves 3 modules more than a standard Cbt Engr would do (ADR, Harrier, TFHE). My experience of Gen Sp regiments is that they concentrate on trg that would suit a field sqn in a close sp unit, just like the Air Sp units.

    I doubt very much that any TA unit will ever be Armd but there is a role for Field Sqns in close sp regts.

    A further clarification is that Air Sp does not mean Air Assault... i.e. nothing to do with 16 (AA) Bde. The engr regt for 16 (AA) Bde is a Close Sp Regt. Air Sp units work primarily on behalf of HQ STRIKE - a RAF command, albeit through the LAND chain of command. The main role of Air Sp units is to sp RAF deployments to bare and austere operating bases and to provide support to the JHF in the field. Harrier Sp is technically also a role but these days is very limited as most of the harriers now operate off aircraft carriers.

    and what do you mean by "Blue Hatted"???
  7. Exactly as you said, the guys can be sent anywhere to do anything, must be that 'ubique' word again !!

    Although there are only 3 Air Spmodules, putting the Air Sp into a level that passes for the RAF is the big thing, but as a knocker it is lift it, tap it etc, the main emphasis is on the planties and the senior types. So although all Fd Sqns should be capable of Air Sp only a few would pass muster for the RAF. This is not saying that underpants are worn on the outside of trousers just that the Sqn has trained specifically for that role and I am sure any decent Sqn could do that with a bit of training. I would imagine Gen Sp having a corresponding higher skill level in route improvement, bridging for example and I am seeking advice on what a Close Sp Sqn should train for.

    By 'blue hatted' I mean the normal lid as opposed to our Cdo and Abn to be bretheren, with their much higher selection criteria and therefore lower numbers. So I was referring to a 'normal' Sqn to follow on and do work for them as a backup releasing them to do well you know , Cdo and Abn type stuff.

    I was confused at the designation of this Regt being Close Support as opposed to the Gen Sp and I was trying to ascertain how it makes things different
  8. Just to clarify Air Support is 3 subjects, not 3 modules as stated above. There are in fact 5 modules in an air support package. They are 2 airfield damage repair, 2 harrier support and TFHE, thats a total of 100 credits.

    Close support engineering is just that, close support to an armoured battlegroup, the point made above about the troop with 3 squadron was slightly off kilter. 3 AES are indeed close support by trade, they however deployed on telic as a theatre specific general support squadron, ie they left thier armour in the UK and went soft skinned.

    As a general rule of thumb, close support is mainly tracked, general support is mainly wheeled. The engineer training is pretty much the same, less the tracked courses needed to be either an Armd God or a mech fieldie.
  9. Unless you're in the light role, in which case CS is wheeled or even booted :)
  10. As a former member of 39 fd sqn , who spent 9 months in soltau with 73 sqn , making the close support concept ! Its dead easy , armd troop lay the bridge ,fascine what ever , Fd troop do the defile markings and clear up al the damage caused by the armd farmers simple