AMF (L) ACE Mobile Force

Discussion in 'Military History and Militaria' started by TheBigUn, Feb 2, 2011.

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    After browsing over this thread it’s apparent that there are more than a few ex AMF (L) members on here.

    AMF (L) was undoubtedly some of the best years of my Army career. Winter in Norway, summer in Denmark, Turkey or Italy. It was always a good laugh and many of the ‘war’ stories are still told to this day.

    Some of my memories good and bad;

    Having all the latest Gucci kit while the rest of the Regiment looked on enviously, smocks, Gore-Tex, windproof trousers, gaiters, SA80 etc........ Other arms asking what the badge was on your jumper.

    Loading ships in the middle of the night at Marchwood in-between Christmas and New Year. The cookhouses at South Cerney/Brize/Lyneham. Sailing to Norway on the RFA Sir Geraint, being booted out into the cold every morning for Captains rounds and it being -25C when we first arrived in Trondheim.

    Skiing on wooden NATO planks with leather bindings, thankfully they were soon replaced by the new plastic skis with wire bindings. Tennis racquet snow shoes. Norgy shirts and jumpers. Tent sheets, FFS whose idea were they? Being second man on the pulk, say no more. The astronomical price of beer down town, offset by the £8 a day LOA paid in cash on arrival.

    Painting vehicles 4 times a year, green and white, green and sand, green and black, black and white.... Hagglunds BV206, the best arctic vehicle ever. Studding tracks and tyres. Using the sports pitch as a giant skid pan and doing 7th gear reverse slides in CVR (T)

    Doing RAAT tasks on SPTA in black and white vehicles.

    Arriving at Incirlik and walking down the ramp off the Herc to go straight up the ramp of another one flying to Erzurum. Accidently crossing the border into Georgia and Armenia while on Ex in the Anatolian mountains. (The only unit to invade the USSR during the cold war.) ^_~

    Three days on the troop train travelling from Erzurum to Mersin, train toilets being a hole in the floor straight onto the tracks. Cooking on a hexi stove on the train flats while the train was moving.

    The DFDS ferry to Esbjerg and beer being rationed. Copenhagen, Danish beer and Danish women. The great EFI beer robbery at the Guard Hussars barracks. (Notice the theme here?)

    There are plenty more but I'll save them for another day.

    So, all of you ex AMF (L) cold war warriors. What memories do you have of AMF (L)?
    • Like Like x 1
  2. Blimey, where to start. So in no particular order;

    Studding tyres in October, what a cold and monotonous job. Usually carried out in conjunction with sorting out the snow chains which were inevitably rusty and dirty. As a result I used to go home both freezing and filthy.

    The helpful (?) serving staff (Hong Kong Chinese) on the Sir Galahad (“wat you want, we shut”) who loved throwing a fried egg (allegedly) onto your tray. Don’t worry if you dropped it, it would bounce back up. I was sorry for loss of life when Sir Galahad sank in Falklands but not sorry for it sinking. God I hated that ship.

    Pre Norway exercise on Dartmoor; Ex Dry Shod. Was there an ever more inappropriate name for an exercise? It started with rain and finished with rain and never ceased in between. I swear I started growing webbed feet. Hypothermia was not an option, it was compulsory.

    Being able to buy your duty free’s before deploying to Norway. On arrival, my Polaris sleeping bag and Gortex bivi bag (this was 1982 – Army had not heard of Gortex at this time) was waiting for me and all paid for by first weeks LOA.

    March and Shoot comp at the end of each exercise. No pre training, just got out of the back of the wagons, donned your kit and started running. I/we must have been fit in those days because we used to win it year in and year out.

    Danish barracks that had beer in the vending machines and some of the most gorgeous female comcen ops I have ever seen. R&R in Copenhagen and the Spunk Bar (a bible reading room apparently!!).

    Running round the Kiwi, again and again and again (probably why we pissed the March and Shoot – See above).

    More to follow as the memory allows
  3. Ventress

    Ventress LE Moderator

    AMF- great times, 1983-85; supporting the Inf Bn medically at Voss and Mjolfjell camp. We had a RMO on one tour who went on the obligatory cocktail parties and always came back dressed in another National army uniform, the best was as a Italian Military Policeman, said he swapped it for his Airborne beret.
    • Like Like x 1
  4. white track driving in the BVs... brilliant.

    Living in snow holes.

    fun with the Norgy army, and getting leathered in the local establishments. The goodbyes of the 'Norway wives' at the end of the season.
  5. AWT course, build up ex's, live firing, Jumping onto Voss lake, downhill skiing and OTP in Voss town, big ex up north each year, northern lights....loved it, cracking role.

    Venty....think we did a few winters about the same time.
  6. My office overlooked AMF(L) workshops in Bulford, when it closed down we benefited from last chance options on what was being skipped. The ladies of the office spent months on out of date ration pack chocolate.

    Something that I may find of interest - I was given a US style cot / campbed which has spent a few years as a campsite workbench.

    Would anyone find this familiar if I describe it as having some interesting grafitti including Donald Duck in a compromising situation?
  7. 20 mile biathlons in the rain, on red klister.....

    I'm still waiting for hardship pay for having to wear those ****, trenchfoot and frostnip inducing ski-march-blister-whinge boots.
  8. X59

    X59 LE

    All the ski resorts have your wooden planks with cable bindings on the walls for decorations now !
  9. Do they bear the scars of my many falls then as well? Saits preserve us, because our snowplows won't....
  10. X59

    X59 LE

    Most of 'em are stained by the snot and sweat of fear that comes from trying to control an overloaded, runaway pulk on an unfeasably steep slope.
  11. Defined as something your old arthritic granny could saketboard down on her way to Bingo
  12. Dryshod training on Perranporth Sands in 1980?

    Windproof smock that I still have - a design classic.

    A very smart black Log Sp Bn stable belt.

    And a load of memories - most of which I can only share with LE Lt Cols these days.

    NATO should never have ditched the AMF(L) but it was our fault - we wanted to keep the ARRC!
  13. Ventress

    Ventress LE Moderator

    Did our Dryshod in Devizes with the AMF RAOC- flogged us to death, like it was some Heroes of Telemark pre-selection. The AWT with 1PWO and the Battle of Vinje and then up North for the really cold weather!
  14. Brotherton Lad

    Brotherton Lad LE Reviewer

    5 winters with 1 PWO 79-83. Brilliant role which made us all very fit. All our Arctic gear set off for the Falklands on the Atlantic Conveyor in 82.

    Snow holes, ski-joring, -38C in tent sheets up by Elverum. Norwegian girls (jeg elske dej?), expensive beer. Getting snowed in in Oslo for 3 days when the railways closed. All that money.
  15. My coldest memory was arriving for Ex HARDFALL '80 when the temperature was 42 degrees below. I felt sorry for Gunner J...y B...s who was buried up to his neck in the snow by his fellow Rocketeers, who then educated him regarding the dangers of drinking frozen yellow water! Ah! The good old days!