hi, i have just completed my BARB test today and i was offered the job of Special Observer, would u please be able to tell me what this part of the artillery does and what the training is like? thanks.
4/73 Battery was formed in 1982 in response to an identified capability gap in the surveillance of the Deep Battlefield. It was identified that there was an inability to accurately assure Heavy Artillery deep into enemy territory. Along with being able to direct accurate artillery fire it would also mean that Intelligence could be gathered at a tactical level on such things as Headquarter locations, Main Supply Routes, Reserve troop locations, vehicle concentrations and force numbers.
The way in which this would be carried out was by inserting troops into Hides, allowing the enemy to advance over them. Then using their hides as mounting bases the troops would carry out reconnaissance patrols to locate rear area locations of the enemy.
Due to its main role of bringing down artillery fire it was decided that this small, highly trained unit would be established within, and from Artillery units. One troop was first established in 5 Heavy Regiment Royal Artillery, and later a second was formed when 32 Guided Weapons Regiment was re-rolled as the second Heavy Regiment .Initially a selection process was put into place by instructors and advisors who had experience in this field of work. After the bedding in period The Parachute Regiment were tasked to supply training instruction.
As the skills base and operational capabilities have evolved , once again we have a specialised Subject Matter Expert in place in order to provide and sustain the Operational effectiveness of this highly motivated body of Surveillance Soldiers.
Absolutely feck all, had enough banging on about it, I will leave you with 3 things
1. Do a search as stated, use a combination of "4/73", "Sphinx", "Special Observer", "Special OP" and you should get loads of info
2. If you want a more glam picture then read this months Gunner mag if you can, there is an article on the STA Patrols course, shortened version online here
3. Don't want to put you off but 6 from 43 is a good pass rate, my first course was over 30 starters 0 passed (4 lasted the course, one was binned, 3 put on the next courses exercise 2 passed, 1 binned)
That Gunner magazine article wellyhead posted the link to is no longer available. I had a read of it before but wanted to save it for reference. I checked my cache and can't find it. Don't suppose anyone happen to save it?
As has been suggested on similar threads re: Cdo/Para/Special OP/SF, can be a good idea to get some time under your belt in "normal" forces.
In fact, I dont know if 5th Regt RA (4/73s parent unit) accept straight from trg.
The BARB results may just point you in that direction - my advice would be this: do Command Systems (signals) at Ph2, go to a Field Gun Regt (AS90 or Lt Gun), ask for OPs, do a year or 2, try for selection.
Failing that, I will check with someone I know who was there not too long ago for some info. Good luck!
OP_ACK, you're a star mate. I'll give that email a try and see what happens. Cheers again.
django_strikes: I've emailed the staff at 4/73 Battery. You can go straight into the Battery after phase 2 but have to wait for an STA course date. A lot of ex/current members say it's a good idea to get some experience first, but the battery itself don't seem to discourage recruits straight from phase 2 trying. Up to the individual I guess.
Ahh lucky someone asked i also had this job come up after my BARB test to. Looks very hard. But i put down for my job choices Royal Artillery Light Gun, RLC Pioneer, Royal Artillery Gunner Special Observer.
So What i may do is go Light gun and get some time under my belt first then maybe go for Royal Artillery Gunner Special Observer.
I have just been advised by a friend who is an EX-Gunner, to go for 7 PARA RHA, or 29 Commando, get a set of wings or the Commando dagger on my arm before i even try to attempt the course, he also said that the course is an ALL ARMS course so that anyone in any regiment could get into the Battey after proving yourself on the course, he did mention that i may stand a better chance of getting in coming from an artillery background working with OP's and also a PTI course would help aswell. Is this correct?