British Army EW in the 1980s - just what did 14 Sigs do?

Note also that the UK capability was part of a much larger NATO capability, the national elements of which had good mutual relations and exercised in concert often enough to be able to work together very efficiently
How to irritate the Regulars on a staff course with yet another stupid question (part 254 out of 1023):

"So, when do we get to class Offensive EW as "Fire Support", integrate it into the fire plan, and brief it as part of the Bde/BG Orders?"

Followed by a little light going on behind the Gunners' eyes as they wonder whether they can grab that too...
 
Go and wash your mouth out. The Royal Signals DID NOT call EVERYONE "Combat". There were four trade groups:

Combat trades. As you say, Signalman, Radioman, Lineman, Driver, Powerman, Storeman etc. "B" pay spine. No route to Supervisor, formed the bulk of RD cadre and LE careers as QM, MTO etc.

Operators. Data Telegraphist, Radio Telegraphist, Radio Operator etc. "A" pay spine for RTgs, "B" for the others. Route to Supervisor was Yeoman of Signals (YofS). LE career as Traffic Officers.

EW. Linguists, Special Telegraphist. They did their trade training in Loogabarooga, and kept to the 9/13/14/other posting circuit. "T" pay spine, time-based promotion to Sgt. Route to Supervisor was Supervisor Radio. LE career in the EW world. Think they were called Traffics too. Might be wrong on the LEs.

Technicians. Radio, Radio Relay, Terminal Equipment (and Crypto if you're old enough). "T" pay spine. Time-based promotion to Sgt. Route to Supervisor was Foreman of Signals (FofS). LE career as Telecommunications Officers Technical (TOT).

Oh and the box you were using for rebro was called IBRU - Interconnecting Box Rebroadcast Unit. It allowed 3-way rebro, whereas the D10 method didn't.
RTG's were elevated to the T pay spine in 1983.
 
I'll just drop a name that will put shivers down the spine of any Spec Op form the 80-90s:

Charlie Edgar.

No need for PERCEC, he's been dead for years.
 

Glad_its_all_over

ADC
Book Reviewer
I'll just drop a name that will put shivers down the spine of any Spec Op form the 80-90s:

Charlie Edgar.

No need for PERCEC, he's been dead for years.
Bless. I was 70s vintage and he was teaching Radio Theory then. "Morning, *******!" was as sociable as it ever got.
 

Glad_its_all_over

ADC
Book Reviewer
Strictly 14 was the tactical EW regiment of the Corps. There were also 13 up on the Dutch border and 9 down in Cyprus
Neither of them with any sort of role supporting the Army.
 

UpInThemGuts

On ROPS
On ROPs
Go and wash your mouth out. The Royal Signals DID NOT call EVERYONE "Combat". There were four trade groups:

Combat trades. As you say, Signalman, Radioman, Lineman, Driver, Powerman, Storeman etc. "B" pay spine. No route to Supervisor, formed the bulk of RD cadre and LE careers as QM, MTO etc.

Operators. Data Telegraphist, Radio Telegraphist, Radio Operator etc. "A" pay spine for RTgs, "B" for the others. Route to Supervisor was Yeoman of Signals (YofS). LE career as Traffic Officers.

EW. Linguists, Special Telegraphist. They did their trade training in Loogabarooga, and kept to the 9/13/14/other posting circuit. "T" pay spine, time-based promotion to Sgt. Route to Supervisor was Supervisor Radio. LE career in the EW world. Think they were called Traffics too. Might be wrong on the LEs.

Technicians. Radio, Radio Relay, Terminal Equipment (and Crypto if you're old enough). "T" pay spine. Time-based promotion to Sgt. Route to Supervisor was Foreman of Signals (FofS). LE career as Telecommunications Officers Technical (TOT).

Oh and the box you were using for rebro was called IBRU - Interconnecting Box Rebroadcast Unit. It allowed 3-way rebro, whereas the D10 method didn't.
Do you really think there was anything "Combat" about the R Sigs?
 
Don't know about EW but, I can tell you that the Sovs deployed regularly in complete radio silence.

We regularly reported the Potsdam Garrison and associated units 'Crashing Out', only to be told by 'others' that it never happened, because there was nothing on the airwaves !

To achieve this, Sov officers took over telephone boxes and, used landlines through Zossen for comms. Other agencies were told this on numerous occasions and, basically said it was a load of b******s !

When the last CinC (GSFG) GSWF published his memoirs on his retirement, this method of a silent deployment throughout the DDR was mentioned on more than one occasion !

Luckily, we never had to put up with the real deal, they would still be telling us we were wrong, as the Sovs rolled through the IGB. :rolleyes:
 
We knew that 14 Sigs often played as Exercise enemy, recording our Tx's (my Bn 2ic featured prominently in one post ex debrief for his total lack of VP skills which allowed 14 sigs to find Bn HQ) and generally trying to DF us.
Ex Crusader 80 I was sat in the back of our squadron Sultan one sunny afternoon. The net was getting very busy and a lot of the traffic was just shite clogging up the net when out of the blue our adjutant pops up with “Hello all stations this is zero. Minimise, minimise. This is an Army Air Corps control net and all unnecessary traffic - Oh Shit!”
 

Glad_its_all_over

ADC
Book Reviewer
Don't know about EW but, I can tell you that the Sovs deployed regularly in complete radio silence.

We regularly reported the Potsdam Garrison and associated units 'Crashing Out', only to be told by 'others' that it never happened, because there was nothing on the airwaves !

To achieve this, Sov officers took over telephone boxes and, used landlines through Zossen for comms. Other agencies were told this on numerous occasions and, basically said it was a load of b******s !

When the last CinC (GSFG) GSWF published his memoirs on his retirement, this method of a silent deployment throughout the DDR was mentioned on more than one occasion !

Luckily, we never had to put up with the real deal, they would still be telling us we were wrong, as the Sovs rolled through the IGB. :rolleyes:
True dat. Generally the first hint that something was afoot was once they were actually out and about in the ulu.

I imagine there were other strategic I&W means to which lowly grunts in I(BR) Corps wouldn't have had access.
 

Brotherton Lad

LE
Kit Reviewer
My 14 Sigs story (which I expect is OK to report a third of a century later) goes as follows:

Phone rings at 0200 in our West Berlin quarter, winter early 1986. DF in the Harz mountains have picked up the signature of a new AD piece of kit on a training area in SW DDR. We're crashed out to get there and have a sniff, arriving by 0730 on a very cold morning. Welsh RCT driver, sneaky-beaky WO2 and little ol' me.

There it is on a firing point about 1000m away. We're watching from the business end of a field firing range. It's the West's first ground photography of SA-11 Buk, much later used to shoot down MH17.


1571750476366.png


(Not my photo.)
 
Operators. Radio Telegraphist, Radio Operator, Data Telegraphist, etc. "A" pay spine for RTgs, "B" for the others. Route to Supervisor was Yeoman of Signals (YofS). LE career as Traffic Officers.
Roadster, sorry to slightly drift off-topic but I've sorted into level of competence. RTg skills included radio op AND DTg. Please ensure that in future you put the greatest Signals trade first - we were second to no-one!!. :)
 
Bless. I was 70s vintage and he was teaching Radio Theory then. "Morning, *******!" was as sociable as it ever got.
Not making this a pissing contest but Charlie was my SMI when I went through training in the 68. (Year 68, not squad 68).
Don't know about EW but, I can tell you that the Sovs deployed regularly in complete radio silence.

We regularly reported the Potsdam Garrison and associated units 'Crashing Out', only to be told by 'others' that it never happened, because there was nothing on the airwaves !

To achieve this, Sov officers took over telephone boxes and, used landlines through Zossen for comms. Other agencies were told this on numerous occasions and, basically said it was a load of b******s !

When the last CinC (GSFG) GSWF published his memoirs on his retirement, this method of a silent deployment throughout the DDR was mentioned on more than one occasion !

Luckily, we never had to put up with the real deal, they would still be telling us we were wrong, as the Sovs rolled through the IGB. :rolleyes:
Good job 14 (and the Squadrons before them) did things not reliant on radio usage, then.

My 14 Sigs story (which I expect is OK to report a third of a century later) goes as follows:

Phone rings at 0200 in our West Berlin quarter, winter early 1986. DF in the Harz mountains have picked up the signature of a new AD piece of kit on a training area in SW DDR. We're crashed out to get there and have a sniff, arriving by 0730 on a very cold morning. Welsh RCT driver, sneaky-beaky WO2 and little ol' me.

There it is on a firing point about 1000m away. We're watching from the business end of a field firing range. It's the West's first ground photography of SA-11 Buk, much later used to shoot down MH17.


View attachment 424704

(Not my photo.)
Not quite DF but close. That would only tell you where it was.
 

Brotherton Lad

LE
Kit Reviewer
Not making this a pissing contest but Charlie was my SMI when I went through training in the 68. (Year 68, not squad 68).


Good job 14 (and the Squadrons before them) did things not reliant on radio usage, then.



Not quite DF but close. That would only tell you where it was.
I know.
 
Ex Crusader 80 I was sat in the back of our squadron Sultan one sunny afternoon. The net was getting very busy and a lot of the traffic was just shite clogging up the net when out of the blue our adjutant pops up with “Hello all stations this is zero. Minimise, minimise. This is an Army Air Corps control net and all unnecessary traffic - Oh Shit!”
We were on the same Ex. Bn HQ was set up in a barn on the edge of the village of Benthe, just outside Hannover. We had done pretty well up to the lifting of radio silence - we'd connected to the German civvy phone net, laid line to the Coy HQs in nearby villages and used vehicles to deliver sig instructions and other paperwork. As a result we'd not been picked up by the "enemy".

As soon as the 2ic got on the net he started waffling, speaking en claire, keeping the pressel switch pressed in while he ummed and erred and generally breaking all the rules - brevity, clarity etc.

The Sig Pl WO went storming off to the CP and gave him a bollocking, supported by the RSM (who's previous job had been Sig Pl WO). The 2ic's nickname in the Bn was FUB (Fat useless bastard) - pretty obvious why. The junior officers disliked him intensely - heaven knows why the CO tolerated the buffoon.
 
Roadster, sorry to slightly drift off-topic but I've sorted into level of competence. RTg skills included radio op AND DTg. Please ensure that in future you put the greatest Signals trade first - we were second to no-one!!. :)

Sparky types, without our power packs NOTHING happens, all you handbags are dependant on constant power 24/7................ 2 sugers please, and some hobnobs, thank you wireless operator!:numberone:
 

Glad_its_all_over

ADC
Book Reviewer
We were on the same Ex. Bn HQ was set up in a barn on the edge of the village of Benthe, just outside Hannover. We had done pretty well up to the lifting of radio silence - we'd connected to the German civvy phone net, laid line to the Coy HQs in nearby villages and used vehicles to deliver sig instructions and other paperwork. As a result we'd not been picked up by the "enemy".

As soon as the 2ic got on the net he started waffling, speaking en claire, keeping the pressel switch pressed in while he ummed and erred and generally breaking all the rules - brevity, clarity etc.

The Sig Pl WO went storming off to the CP and gave him a bollocking, supported by the RSM (who's previous job had been Sig Pl WO). The 2ic's nickname in the Bn was FUB (Fat useless bastard) - pretty obvious why. The junior officers disliked him intensely - heaven knows why the CO tolerated the buffoon.
i imagine the CO was aware of the Julio-Claudian dynasty and wanted to make sure that, in order to deter assassination, his likely immediate successor was thoroughly not to the lads' taste. That's how it work in the infantry, right?

Except the Paras, they prefer to parachute in a new CO to take over from the 2i/c who's just won a major battle, of course.
 

Glad_its_all_over

ADC
Book Reviewer
Sparky types, without our power packs NOTHING happens, all you handbags are dependant on constant power 24/7................ 2 sugers please, and some hobnobs, thank you wireless operator!
Proper dets have their own gennies with them. Just add benz and a hint to El Sproggo that it's a good idea to power it down before checking the oil.
 

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