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Does the RAF regiment have a future?

Didn't seem too onerous - fill the big holes with the right sort of ballast, and roll out a few pieces of Class 30 or 60 over it. (I suppose that must be the "kicking tin" you mention ?)
Fill the small holes with a version of Araldite out of a cement mixer.
Installing RHAG - Rotary Hydraulic Arrester Gear - was interesting to watch someone else doing.

39 seemed to be good for careers too, every officer was MICE at least, and all SSMs were WO1 Clerks of Works.

It was called EM2 matting IIRC. Came in planks about 6’ x 1’, they had to be slotted in place one at a time and then stood on to get them to lay flat. I did it once, in 1983. Boring as ****.
 
being part of a risk and loss averse nation is a fundamental part of our operating conditions
ISTR hearing that posited at other points in my life. Possibly not prior to the FI campaign (we were still a nation at [Cold] War, and didn't think soldiers at war were nekkid as babies unless swathed in body armour), but certainly before GW1, and indeed, thereafter - a period when soldiers a third my age were racking up campaign gongs in double figures in the space of a 3 year engagement (or so it seemed).

Right now, with the tail-end of the embarrassment and humiliation of TELIC and HERRICK still lingering in the popular recollection, you might be right.

But there will come - as sure as eggs is eggs - a day when that bruise has faded, and "Something Must Be Done" politics will have Tommy back in the firing line again.

However ill-advisedly.​
 

Dalef65

Old-Salt
That's going to come as a surprise to members of... Tac Comms Wing, part of 90 Signal Unit. Even the official website says they've been in existence nearly 40 years...


I think there's a bit of artistic licence being employed in that link.
Specifically where it says the unit moved to Belize in 1976. I believe the link has deliberately ommited the disbandment of 1988, and also omitted the fact that the unit was reformed in the early 2000s (although not in the exact form it was previously.)

As far as I know, (and I've been out since 1996), the Army still does Air support Tactical Communications for the RAF.
 

Bodenplatte

War Hero
It was called EM2 matting IIRC. Came in planks about 6’ x 1’, they had to be slotted in place one at a time and then stood on to get them to lay flat. I did it once, in 1983. Boring as ****.

That sounds like Marston Matting, or pierced steel planking. Rolling out Class 30 and Class 60 was much faster, especially where class 30 was carried on a bobbin on the flatbed of a 3 tonner and fed over the cab on a framework, and under the front wheels of the truck.

 

Euclid

War Hero
I'm simply going by what I saw them do in a warfighting context. As for light role RAC, I saw both in Iraq and there really isn't the difference you're suggesting. Each could convert very quickly to the other and the RAF Reg was playing in Safwan long before we got to Basra Airport.
Fair enough.
 
That sounds like Marston Matting, or pierced steel planking. Rolling out Class 30 and Class 60 was much faster, especially where class 30 was carried on a bobbin on the flatbed of a 3 tonner and fed over the cab on a framework, and under the front wheels of the truck.


EM2 was aluminium and was the replacement for PSP.

Yes I remember Class 30 and Class 60 well :)
 
It wasn't an RAF Regt Airfield Construction Branch, it was RAF engineers
Wrong. When transferred to the Royal Engineers, it’s title was the RAF Airfield Construction Branch. It held that title from 1948. Prior to that it was the RAF Airfield Construction Service. It think it was originally formed as the Air Ministry Works Unit.

The numbers of the old RAF Squadrons were four digit. 5001 became 51 Field Squadron (Construction) RE in 1966. 5003 - 53 etc.

I was going to raise RE Air Support as an example of how the Army does provide dedicated, full time support to the RAF. To me, there’s little reason why force could be done in a similar way.
 
Similar situation.
The RAF TCW (Tactical Communications Wing), was disbanded in 1988, and its role and function was transferred to the Army's 21Signals Regt.
In the same vein, the personnel were given a couple of choices...Go across to the Army or find another job in the RAF. It didn't go to badly.

My opinion on the headline subject is, in the current climate it's just a matter of time before the RAF Regt gets disbanded and the Airfield guarding role is given to the Army.

Not trying to upset anyone, but it's gonna happen sooner or later.

Horseshit.

Two C*nts and a Wireless had operational command of 21 Sig Regt(AS) and 244 Sig Sqn(AS). 21 and 244 were an intrinsic part of TCW, and “merely” components of TCW. This was certainly so until 1993 when I was in 244. The big cheese in UK (Hangar 66 at BZZ) was an RAF Wg Cdr. Oddly enough, for an RAF formation, on an RAF airfield doing comms for the RAF.
 
Didn't seem too onerous - fill the big holes with the right sort of ballast, and roll out a few pieces of Class 30 or 60 over it. (I suppose that must be the "kicking tin" you mention ?)
Fill the small holes with a version of Araldite out of a cement mixer.
Installing RHAG - Rotary Hydraulic Arrester Gear - was interesting to watch someone else doing.

39 seemed to be good for careers too, every officer was MICE at least, and all SSMs were WO1 Clerks of Works.
I enjoyed 39. A lot of variety, big machines and lots of tours. Waterbeach was a nice place to be; ten minutes from Cambridge. RAF Ely was up the road and really did lay on a bus full of nurses for parties.

Bomb mats were similar to Class 70, but much wider and heavier. Kicking tin referred to Harrier support; runways and pads constructed from aluminium planks that were literally kicked to engage them. Until 1991, that was 38’s role, not 39. It pretty much died a death then; the capability was moved to 39, but it wasn’t much use with Harrier GR7.

The EM2 that @bob_the_bomb referred to was, in fact, AM2. Purchased from the Americans to extend Stanley airfield in 82-3 and still around now. Not used for crater repair.

There were a few MICE amongst the officers; it wasn’t a requirement. Most of my time there, two OCs were chartered, no one else. The SSMs were combat stream; each Squadron had a design cell with Clk Wks and an MPF.

Good Regiment.
 
I enjoyed 39. A lot of variety, big machines and lots of tours. Waterbeach was a nice place to be; ten minutes from Cambridge. RAF Ely was up the road and really did lay on a bus full of nurses for parties.

Bomb mats were similar to Class 70, but much wider and heavier. Kicking tin referred to Harrier support; runways and pads constructed from aluminium planks that were literally kicked to engage them. Until 1991, that was 38’s role, not 39. It pretty much died a death then; the capability was moved to 39, but it wasn’t much use with Harrier GR7.

The EM2 that @bob_the_bomb referred to was, in fact, AM2. Purchased from the Americans to extend Stanley airfield in 82-3 and still around now. Not used for crater repair.

There were a few MICE amongst the officers; it wasn’t a requirement. Most of my time there, two OCs were chartered, no one else. The SSMs were combat stream; each Squadron had a design cell with Clk Wks and an MPF.

Good Regiment.

AM2. That’s the badger.

I blame age, time and too much Warsteiner.
 

Rheinstorff

Old-Salt
Wrong. When transferred to the Royal Engineers, it’s title was the RAF Airfield Construction Branch. It held that title from 1948. Prior to that it was the RAF Airfield Construction Service. It think it was originally formed as the Air Ministry Works Unit.

The numbers of the old RAF Squadrons were four digit. 5001 became 51 Field Squadron (Construction) RE in 1966. 5003 - 53 etc.

I was going to raise RE Air Support as an example of how the Army does provide dedicated, full time support to the RAF. To me, there’s little reason why force could be done in a similar way.

I think you’ll find you’re wrong; it was never part of the RAF Regt, it was another part of the RAF and it was manned by engineers from the RAF engineering trades. Do pay attention.
 
I think you’ll find you’re wrong; it was never part of the RAF Regt, it was another part of the RAF and it was manned by engineers from the RAF engineering trades. Do pay attention.
I never suggested it was part of the RAF Regiment. Do keep up.

It was a stand alone branch, formed well before the RAF Regiment was conceived. It may have employed RAF engineering trades, but it wasn’t entirely manned my them. There were trades that only existed in the construction branch and there were other non-engineer RAF trades in the Branch. There were also, until 1940, a lot of Army pioneers employed, and a lot of civilians.
 

Q_Man

Old-Salt
But 39 was considered the posting from hell. Nobody wanted to spend all their time ‘kicking tin’*

* Sapper speak for the rapid runway repair kits.

Having done seven years at the 'Beach, I loved it.

Apologies for thread drift.

Always got on well with the RAF Regt, tended to stick together when away as the RAF would lump us together in terms of accommodation etc lest we defile their wrenches, fight their blokes and nick everything not nailed down (if you can remove i'r with a Gerber, it's fair game).

As for their future, I think they have one. Merging training could work as with Defence Medical Services with specialist Phase 2 airfield defence and jumping the EFI queue. They have a role but there are economies of scale to make in terms of training and procurement.
 
Yet we have just committed a light Cav sqn to Mali and have had a detachment of three Chinooks there supporting the French. How long before we get sucked into to that shit storm. Look how we ended up getting sucked into Bosnia. In 1993 it was just the Cheshire battle group escorting UN aid convoys. By 1995 we were having artillery duels with the Bosnian Serbs.
You have had troops in Mali since 2013
 
I don't think we had light role RAC in Iraq, did we? Light cavalry has only existed as a capability since A2020.

Weren’t one of the Queens (RL or RH?) doing stuff out on the Iraq/Iran border?
 
Weren’t one of the Queens (RL or RH?) doing stuff out on the Iraq/Iran border?
I don't believe the term 'Light Cavalry' had been conjured up at that time as the units were still considered armoured rather than under trained light infantry.
 

FORMER_FYRDMAN

LE
Book Reviewer
I don't think we had light role RAC in Iraq, did we? Light cavalry has only existed as a capability since A2020.

I know they're not RAC but it seemed to be what the Duke of Boots were up to.
 

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