Does the RAF regiment have a future?

I've often wondered this. Just WTF is the point of the RAF Regiment?
Granted I was RCAF not RAF, but we are light blue not brown, our job is putting aircraft in the air not ******* about playing silly buggers.
When we played war back in the good old days in Germany, all groundcrew were issued a SMG, with which we were supposed to defend our dispersals against infiltrators.
These were supposed to be repelled by the odds and sods from the rest of the base, before they got to us, but we were the last line.
We were all trained to act as a base defence force. Is this not the case in the RAF?
In those good old days of RAF Germany, the Regiment did security outside the wire, plus they did SHORAD and coordinated STO operations both inside and outside the wire. Groundcrew did inside the wire.

IMHO (from multiple TACEVALs) they were pretty good at what they did. A bit of a niche sport and not particularly complicated, but they were well trained and equiped for their role. It wasn’t something that conventional infantry routinely rehearsed or were equipped for.

In the intervening years, they had a role in the period of expeditionary posture. Less clear and defined than in the Cold War years, but still highly relevant. The fact that it wasn’t ever really used wasn’t their fault.

Now, with much of the RAFs expeditionary capability flying of carriers and the appetite for bare base DOBs gone, it’s hard to see where their future lies.
 
On Soviet war plans, it seems to me that there were far easier ways to destroy the platforms and decommission the facilities on NATO airfields than running expensive and complicated SF operations against them, LRDG stylee. If the major installations weren't, simply, treated to an unexpected and unwelcome dose of instant sunshine at STARTEX, treating them to a good drenching of persistent agents would have rendered them sufficiently incapable as to meet the need. One SCUD is a lot cheaper than an entire Spetsnaz company, after all.

Of course, there is also the old joke about the two Guards Motor Rife Colonels sitting outside Les Deux Magots, after the war, enjoying a fine with their coffee, chatting, when one idly asks "by the way, who won the air war, do you remember?".
My first camp was the first UK AD airfield to be "Hard", we went over night from sticking signs on windows reading "sandbagged" to full blast proof NBC proof shelters,that we seemed to be in 2 or 3 times a month at first.
seems strange to read that at many locations these shelters are being turned into hardcore.
 

Kefi

Old-Salt
In those good old days of RAF Germany, the Regiment did security outside the wire, plus they did SHORAD and coordinated STO operations both inside and outside the wire. Groundcrew did inside the wire.

IMHO (from multiple TACEVALs) they were pretty good at what they did. A bit of a niche sport and not particularly complicated, but they were well trained and equiped for their role. It wasn’t something that conventional infantry routinely rehearsed or were equipped for.

In the intervening years, they had a role in the period of expeditionary posture. Less clear and defined than in the Cold War years, but still highly relevant. The fact that it wasn’t ever really used wasn’t their fault.

Now, with much of the RAFs expeditionary capability flying of carriers and the appetite for bare base DOBs gone, it’s hard to see where their future lies.
RAF Regiment History.
In 1969 an RAF Regiment presence was established at Salalah (Oman) in order to assist in the protection of the airfield (operating Oman Air Force Strikemaster, RAF transport aircraft and Wessex helicopters). The deployment was to counter a wide spectrum of threats from the Russian and Chinese backed Communist rebels operating from neighbouring Yemen. Initially the Support Weapon Flights were deployed from RAF Regt Field Sqns, but this expanded later to full Field Sqn deployments, this endured to the end of the campaign in June 75. Although 81mm mortars provided a major part of the defences, ZB298 infantry radar, 0.5inch and 7.62mm machines guns were put to regular effective use.
The method of defence included manning fortified "Hedgehog" positions up to 7 km beyond the airfield in order to neutralise rebel incursions and attacks before they came within effective range of the airfield perimeter.
During one such fire mission on 14 Oct 1972, 15 Sqn RAF Regiment was fully engaged delivering a rapid rate of fire from their mortars, when an incident put the mortar detachment out of action
 
RAF Regiment History.
In 1969 an RAF Regiment presence was established at Salalah (Oman) in order to assist in the protection of the airfield (operating Oman Air Force Strikemaster, RAF transport aircraft and Wessex helicopters). The deployment was to counter a wide spectrum of threats from the Russian and Chinese backed Communist rebels operating from neighbouring Yemen. Initially the Support Weapon Flights were deployed from RAF Regt Field Sqns, but this expanded later to full Field Sqn deployments, this endured to the end of the campaign in June 75. Although 81mm mortars provided a major part of the defences, ZB298 infantry radar, 0.5inch and 7.62mm machines guns were put to regular effective use.
The method of defence included manning fortified "Hedgehog" positions up to 7 km beyond the airfield in order to neutralise rebel incursions and attacks before they came within effective range of the airfield perimeter.
During one such fire mission on 14 Oct 1972, 15 Sqn RAF Regiment was fully engaged delivering a rapid rate of fire from their mortars, when an incident put the mortar detachment out of action

That’s all very commendable, but it’s yesterday’s wars. No point trying to fight them today.

If a similar operation were to take place today, I doubt RAF Regt would be pushing 7k out, the Army would be used to dominate ground.
 
I was but a mere slip of a Sapper at the time, never knowingly met him.
The sappers who cleared up the place for us on arrival were fantastic. They worked bloody hard and threw some great parties (I recall the Gp Capt set a 2-can rule so the Sapper OC told him they would save all theirs for Saturday nights and have a blow-out once a week. POD didn't have the balls to say no!). The young lad driving the heavy wheel tractor clearing the site for our mobile ATC cabin had the biggest grin on his face as submunitions pinged off the dozer blade.
 

Kefi

Old-Salt
Just to confirm that the RAF Regt is not Inf & have zero Inf skills. Although they have won a few golds during the Cambrian mills skills. They do have RAF Regt instructors on PCBC & provide men for the SFSG & an exchange SNCO attached to the RM. Not to mention the forward air controllers attached to 16 air assault & 29 Commando. Its a bit of a mystery where they get the tick in the box to do these high profile Inf & commando jobs?

 

Kefi

Old-Salt
That’s all very commendable, but it’s yesterday’s wars. No point trying to fight them today.

If a similar operation were to take place today, I doubt RAF Regt would be pushing 7k out, the Army would be used to dominate ground.

0 the irony of your statement :rolleyes::D, so all the pages of posts slagging the Rocks off for the job they did/do are now full on ally because the pongs get to do it, welcome to the world of ARRSEo_O
 

Class 66

War Hero
RAF Regiment History.
In 1969 an RAF Regiment presence was established at Salalah (Oman) in order to assist in the protection of the airfield (operating Oman Air Force Strikemaster, RAF transport aircraft and Wessex helicopters). The deployment was to counter a wide spectrum of threats from the Russian and Chinese backed Communist rebels operating from neighbouring Yemen. Initially the Support Weapon Flights were deployed from RAF Regt Field Sqns, but this expanded later to full Field Sqn deployments, this endured to the end of the campaign in June 75. Although 81mm mortars provided a major part of the defences, ZB298 infantry radar, 0.5inch and 7.62mm machines guns were put to regular effective use.
The method of defence included manning fortified "Hedgehog" positions up to 7 km beyond the airfield in order to neutralise rebel incursions and attacks before they came within effective range of the airfield perimeter.
During one such fire mission on 14 Oct 1972, 15 Sqn RAF Regiment was fully engaged delivering a rapid rate of fire from their mortars, when an incident put the mortar detachment out of action

15 Sqn Mortars also helped in the retaking of Musa Kala in 2007. I had just turned up for our pre deployment recce. Some of you need to complain to the Brigade responsible and tell them that we are/were not up to standard. Maybe the Mortar course Instructors at Netheravon got it all wrong?
 
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Class 66

War Hero
That’s all very commendable, but it’s yesterday’s wars. No point trying to fight them today.

If a similar operation were to take place today, I doubt RAF Regt would be pushing 7k out, the Army would be used to dominate ground.
The RAF Regiment push out daily to around 5/6/7/ km when in Kandahar and Bastion to Dominate the ground, conduct compound raids, searches, Medical and Veterinary visits to villages, OPs etc. The AOR had a footprint of approx 500 Sq KM.
 

Class 66

War Hero
In those good old days of RAF Germany, the Regiment did security outside the wire, plus they did SHORAD and coordinated STO operations both inside and outside the wire. Groundcrew did inside the wire.

IMHO (from multiple TACEVALs) they were pretty good at what they did. A bit of a niche sport and not particularly complicated, but they were well trained and equiped for their role. It wasn’t something that conventional infantry routinely rehearsed or were equipped for.

In the intervening years, they had a role in the period of expeditionary posture. Less clear and defined than in the Cold War years, but still highly relevant. The fact that it wasn’t ever really used wasn’t their fault.

Now, with much of the RAFs expeditionary capability flying of carriers and the appetite for bare base DOBs gone, it’s hard to see where their future lies.
In 32 years in the Regiment I never heard the word Security, The RAF Regiment Does not do 'security'. It defends Air bases amongst a myriad of other things using the principles of Defence and Patrolling. Mutual support, All round defence, Deception, Depth, Offensive spirit, Concealment and communications, hope i havn't forgotten anything for the 5% purists who use this site! This was correct up until 2014, I am now a stinking Civvy.
 

Kefi

Old-Salt
@Class 66 we must remember to get on board with the ARRSE retards & remove any association to any form of Inf training, knowledge, battle won history. This is very important as the hard of thinking here will get all upset & there will be a gnashing of teeth & all sorts of wailing :p followed by a mod jumping in to call foul play by the nasty Rock ape:eek:

 
In 32 years in the Regiment I never heard the word Security, The RAF Regiment Does not do 'security'. It defends Air bases amongst a myriad of other things using the principles of Defence and Patrolling. Mutual support, All round defence, Deception, Depth, Offensive spirit, Concealment and communications, hope i havn't forgotten anything for the 5% purists who use this site! This was correct up until 2014, I am now a stinking Civvy.
Yes, you forgot to add they also provide human baseplates for mortar tubes....
 

Class 66

War Hero
@Class 66 we must remember to get on board with the ARRSE retards & remove any association to any form of Inf training, knowledge, battle won history. This is very important as the hard of thinking here will get all upset & there will be a gnashing of teeth & all sorts of wailing :p followed by a mod jumping in to call foul play by the nasty Rock ape:eek:

Well, my memories of the army are, i was in a battalion that robbed post offices, same company, dug in on Stanta, warning order for a water crossing the next morning, all the so called hard men on the platoon talked about refusing to do it and mutinying! Following morning got to location and the assault pioneers were there with a MK5. assault boat, look of relief on all the hard mens faces! Who in their right minds wants to live with idiots like that? No wonder 15/20% of the RAF Regiment are ex army! Some of us do not suffer fools. Out.
 
0 the irony of your statement :rolleyes::D, so all the pages of posts slagging the Rocks off for the job they did/do are now full on ally because the pongs get to do it, welcome to the world of ARRSEo_O

Stop making things up about what I said.
 
The RAF Regiment push out daily to around 5/6/7/ km when in Kandahar and Bastion to Dominate the ground, conduct compound raids, searches, Medical and Veterinary visits to villages, OPs etc. The AOR had a footprint of approx 500 Sq KM.

Were you there to see it?
 

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