Does the RAF regiment have a future?

Caecilius

LE
Kit Reviewer
Book Reviewer
It may be true in as much as that's what you have been told, or that's what a local may have said, but I am telling you unequivocally that it's wrong.
It's what went up in at least one patrol report...
 

ugly

LE
Moderator
Most infantry units are capable of defending airfields after being trained to do so but here is the crux of the matter....you have to train them, you can't just let them loose on a working airfield. To do so would be disasterous.
I know, how on earth we managed to defend MPA before the rocks arrived I'll never know, only faux pas I recall was siting a section around the mares harbour fuel farm with a GPMG on top of one of the big bins of avgas. Apart from that we did ok. I suspect its because the accom wasn't built was why an infantry company was tasked with it as part of QRF!
 
It's what went up in at least one patrol report...
One patrol report - so what the int types call 'single source, uncorroborated' then? Ignoring the fact that Afghans have been known to tell the odd fib or two, I find this surprising.

When I first got to Kandahar in 07, it was getting rocketed several times a week. The Romanians who did FP had had a nasty mine strike incident, wherein the first guy out of a BTR stepped on a mine, and so did the next couple who got out to help. The result was that the Romanians stopped doing outside the wire stuff and took over the towers.

2 Sqn RAF Regt took over and started to dominate the ground and the attacks dropped off, once or twice a fortnight. Then 51 Sqn took over. Their boss smashed them, the patrol tempo went right up and the reports from the locals was that they thought there was a new unit with twice the manpower had taken over. When I left there had been 53 days straight with no rocket attack. The graffiti in the portaloos about the Sqn OC was scurrilous, but they genuinely made a quantifiable difference.

So I'm surprised if they gashed off a significant part of patrolling around Bastion, particularly since in the interim, electronic patrol traces had come in and you could easily see where you had and hadn't been (I want to say Tiger but I forget now).
 

Alamo

LE
I
One patrol report - so what the int types call 'single source, uncorroborated' then? Ignoring the fact that Afghans have been known to tell the odd fib or two, I find this surprising..
Not going to get dragged into detailed arguments about the various points he makes, but the reality is that when one simple example of things he states to be fact is complete tosh, it doesn't speak well for the validity of his argument.
 

cheekychimp

Old-Salt
The self inflicted injuries. I have personally seen the video of the osprey one.



Not a tactical genius, just in the cavalry so I know that sitting on top of a hill is not the correct way to conduct a clearance patrol. There's a reason that the cavalry were given the defence in depth role after the battle of bastion (which alone indicates abject failure on the part of the RAF Regiment).
There's no such video, you are a liar.
 

cheekychimp

Old-Salt
The self inflicted injuries. I have personally seen the video of the osprey one.



Not a tactical genius, just in the cavalry so I know that sitting on top of a hill is not the correct way to conduct a clearance patrol. There's a reason that the cavalry were given the defence in depth role after the battle of bastion (which alone indicates abject failure on the part of the RAF Regiment).
You obviously have difficulty in understanding the written word. Defence in depth? As I said, that you chose to ignore, the RAF Regt never had the responsibility for the Bastion AO. So the chances of the USMC saying "crack on Brits, do our job for us" we're zero. Which were about the same chances of the Brigadier 're-rolling a cavalry unit to secure the Dasht. It never happened.
 
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cheekychimp

Old-Salt
The self inflicted injuries. I have personally seen the video of the osprey one.



Not a tactical genius, just in the cavalry so I know that sitting on top of a hill is not the correct way to conduct a clearance patrol. There's a reason that the cavalry were given the defence in depth role after the battle of bastion (which alone indicates abject failure on the part of the RAF Regiment).
What platform was the video captured from? PGSS, Greeneyes or DH3 ? And where did you see it from? Be very careful how you answer.
 

cheekychimp

Old-Salt
The self inflicted injuries. I have personally seen the video of the osprey one.



Not a tactical genius, just in the cavalry so I know that sitting on top of a hill is not the correct way to conduct a clearance patrol. There's a reason that the cavalry were given the defence in depth role after the battle of bastion (which alone indicates abject failure on the part of the RAF Regiment).
Yet again you've proven incapable of understanding the written word. I said "AFTER" clearing the footprint the best place to dominate the area is from the high ground. I've worked with some outstanding cavalry officers in the FAC/JTAC world, thankfully you're not one of them.
 
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B42T

LE
Yes. I got told 'thats the way it is. Dry your eyes' by the Wing Commander who was backing his Sgt's decision to deny boarding to those who had arrived well before the four hour time but we're stuck in a slow moving queue and therefore hadn't made it to the desk by the four hour mark.

Questions have also been raised about other areas of RAF policy. The response is invariably 'thats just the way it is. We're the experts. Don't question us.'



The army does a lot of dodgy stuff, especially at unit level, but at least it had a general trend of attempting to be a fighting force and deliver effect.



Fair one. Of everyone in uniform I've encountered, they're by a margin the least professional. Highlights include: wearing sky blue gaiters on PCD, parking on top of a hill in Ops Box Belleauwood and thinking it was a good use of ground, shooting their own armour in Bastion, taking a number of self inflicted casualties from their own grenades in the battle of bastion, an RAF regiment signaller calling a regular army OC a 'hat' over the net, army callsigns visiting villages in Belleauwood within base plate distance of bastion and discovering that the last ISAF callsigns to visit were there several years before, army callsigns asking for a white forces picture in Belleauwood and being told 'there isn't one really', and so on. I dislike the RAF but nothing comes close to my loathing of the unprofessional joke that is the RAF Regiment.
Jesus wept, obviously your ex wife got gangbanged by many rocks and raf bods, probably rlc too.
Who gives a toss, you cock gobbler
 

clayp1g

War Hero
I know, how on earth we managed to defend MPA before the rocks arrived I'll never know, only faux pas I recall was siting a section around the mares harbour fuel farm with a GPMG on top of one of the big bins of avgas. Apart from that we did ok. I suspect its because the accom wasn't built was why an infantry company was tasked with it as part of QRF!
Could that be because the Resident RAPIER Squadron was still looking after Stanley?
 
Could that be because the Resident RAPIER Squadron was still looking after Stanley?
Rapier Sqn down there from the start of the conflict onwards...
 

clayp1g

War Hero

ugly

LE
Moderator
They were but if airfield defence was rafreg responsibility why was the QRF coy tasked? Surely the apes should have looked after both?
 

clayp1g

War Hero
They were but if airfield defence was rafreg responsibility why was the QRF coy tasked? Surely the apes should have looked after both?
It was the RAF Regt responsibility for short range air defence EG Rapier. You where there as the RIC. Your story above highlights why that should have been done by a Regt Sqn.
 

ugly

LE
Moderator
It was the RAF Regt responsibility for short range air defence EG Rapier. You where there as the RIC. Your story above highlights why that should have been done by a Regt Sqn.
No we were there as a Bn, so why weren't they deployed? It was after all an island wide exercise?
As I said above perhaps the fact that there were no buildings apart from one big shed without power although Jumbos on contract were landing twice a week if I recall. Maybe because they weren't RAF assets to be protected?
 
i will admit that being ex crab,given that the whole plan to defend and keep the FIs depends on keeping the airfield safe that a RAF Regt sqn is not tasked there comes as a surprise to me, when I was there me and my small metal gun formed the first line of defence for sneaky landings on the airfield
 

ugly

LE
Moderator
Whilst I was there the CLF changed from Gen DLB to some chip packet wearing bar code type. If he was worried about it surely he would have demanded an additional flight of apes to guard the naafi and state that no they dont do barriers.
 
Back on thread.

1. The Army has no desire to guard / defend airbases expeditionary or otherwise.

2. The RAF has no desire to have the Army guard / defend its airbases.

Unless both change the RAF Regiment has a future.
 

kevster

Old-Salt
At an airbase in the Middle East sometime in the mid-naughties, there were around 450 USAF personnel assigned permanently to its security force. The base was in a 'friendly' country, with very limited off base patrolling regime, no significant threat, and the perimeter wasn't specifically guarded except by the occasional roving patrol. I know the US has a different ethos and approach to providing physical security, but it does give an idea of the scale.

A RAF Field Sqn, fully manned and including the HQ element and it's minimum level of organic support, is around 170 personnel. The entire regular RAF Regiment cannot, even as its main effort, provide complete ground defence (including Tesseral/off base patrols etc.) for a major airfield in a conflict zone by itself, and certainly not for an extended period. All it can do, and is meant to do, is to contribute some boots, and provide specific expertise, experience and SME command and control. If you're going to even think about making a half arsed attempt to provide security for a major operating base, like Bastion, then other units are going to have to be included, and would in all probability make up the majority of the numbers. Whether they have a desire to or not.
 
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