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Gunnery Training Team

#1
Just got back from Op HERRICK and wanted to thank the hoods at GTT for all the support and Joint Fires training etc they threw our way. Much appreciated by all my blokes certainly - just a shame there aren't enough resources or instructors to go round!

Who'd have thought it - useful people at Harry Larkers!

Beers are on us @ Wilsons - where else?? :D
 
#2
Have to agree with the some of the sentiment from G_G. From the OP perspective, GTT (and the School) were still stuck in the old Cold War era. Lets face it, many of the old-style IGs were put out to pasture at GTT to either die or get promoted and hop on the merry-go-round of Larkhill jobs without keeping themselves up to date.

However, a number of more operationally experienced IGs have been doing a cracking job and are preaching the new "gospel" of true all-arms fire support. Being post ICSC (and top grade according to them at least!) with recent operational experience, these are the sort of people we need at the School. I await to see some of the stories from 19 Regt in the Gunner, just to prove how well-advanced their all-arms integration has been.

What does need to be sorted is the pathetic lack of equipement to train on - it is a little too late to be getting the full suite of kit in theatre when under daily contact!
 
#3
Go_Gunners! said:
Lightsabre said:
Just got back from Op HERRICK and wanted to thank the hoods at GTT for all the support and Joint Fires training etc they threw our way. Much appreciated by all my blokes certainly - just a shame there aren't enough resources or instructors to go round!

Who'd have thought it - useful people at Harry Larkers!

Beers are on us @ Wilsons - where else?? :D

Sorry don't agree. Like most of Larkhill, GTT is living in the 1950s somewhere.
When was the last time you were there?? and doing what?

It's views such as your's that are old fashioned, and misinformed. Open your eyes, take a look around the Arty centre, and see how much recent experience is there. The RSA is leading the way on a number of tri-service operational packages, and this can only be done with credibility if the instructors know what they are talking about. Also the next time you're in theatre, do a head count of school personnel assisting out there, I think you'll find the ratio is pretty good.
 
#4
GG i have to disagree with you totally. The Artillery Centre is totally committed to deploying the Regiments upon operations and spend a lot of time changing procedures to keep in line with what is required in the various theatres.

Nice to see that the efforts that all the departments at the Artillery Centre are making to remain flexible and the centre of excellence are apprieciated.
 
#5
GunnersQuadrant said:
The Artillery Centre is totally committed to deploying the Regiments upon operations and spend a lot of time changing procedures to keep in line with what is required in the various theatres.
Well said that man.
 
#6
mastergnr said:
Also the next time you're in theatre, do a head count of school personnel assisting out there, I think you'll find the ratio is pretty good.
Too good, I would suggest, given the lack of TA FOO courses ;)

msr
 
#7
Is there going to be a shortage of IGs now that there is no GIC?

I have heard the various rumours of "mini-GIC" being started on FOOs course and modules added when needed, but when does this take effect?

Sounds a bit like another case of changing formats of courses and career paths before allowing catch up behind (Length of Time Served vs Age Based anyone? - Regtl Duty, then Non-RD, then RD as a FOO, but there isn't time??).

Could there now follow a period where not enough are qualified to instruct so they have to drag people in from other jobs, or am I not up to speed on procedures (possibly the case...)
 
#9
I'm not an expert in this by any stretch, but I have been closely involved with the whole training shebang for the last 2 Op HERRICK Bdes and I can offer this. I have also just returned from Afghan so am reasonably current. He says. ;)

It seemed to me - at times - that the whole Joint Fires effort was being pushed along by effectively one bloke (who I won't name but anyone in the know in this game knows who I am writing about) from Larkhill. He was on every single training event there was going, and I kept bumping into him at random meetings all over the country. I understand that there are hundreds of people in Larkhill so why so little effort thrown at what must be seriously hardcore business for the Boom Boom Boom crowd?

I also understand that no (i.e. zero) additional training is given to the 3-odd people (and I may be wrong) involved with HERRICK training and specifically PDT. Please someone tell me this isn't the case? If it's true, it's an absolutely travesty from an organisation that is the first to jump up and down about training standards. Well, it certainly seems that way from the varous utterances from HQ DRA.

And Gunner_Quadrant is quite right in my humble view - this isn't a problem that can be laid at an individual's door - this smacks of corporate failure and G_G's post is insulting to all those folks I know work jolly hard in Larkhill.

Right, I'm going back to Pprune where I belong!

PS Sorry I was going to quote a post (above) but the technology baffles me.
 
#12
msr said:
GunnersQuadrant said:
FOO.... whats a FOO these days. :) FST Comd

When we get issued more than Light Gun for the weekend
, I'll change the terminology ;)

msr
What would you like...most of the other equipment reqs work done dailey not just on the w/ends....what would an AS90 do all week sat in some hanger .......!!!!!!!!!
terminology is the same the same in the Gnrs ....foo is a foo.. op is an op ...cp is a cp gnr is a gnr ..........
 
#13
Lightsabre said:
I'm not an expert in this by any stretch, but I have been closely involved with the whole training shebang for the last 2 Op HERRICK Bdes and I can offer this. I have also just returned from Afghan so am reasonably current. He says. ;)

It seemed to me - at times - that the whole Joint Fires effort was being pushed along by effectively one bloke (who I won't name but anyone in the know in this game knows who I am writing about) from Larkhill. He was on every single training event there was going, and I kept bumping into him at random meetings all over the country. I understand that there are hundreds of people in Larkhill so why so little effort thrown at what must be seriously hardcore business for the Boom Boom Boom crowd?

I also understand that no (i.e. zero) additional training is given to the 3-odd people (and I may be wrong) involved with HERRICK training and specifically PDT. Please someone tell me this isn't the case? If it's true, it's an absolutely travesty from an organisation that is the first to jump up and down about training standards. Well, it certainly seems that way from the varous utterances from HQ DRA.

And Gunner_Quadrant is quite right in my humble view - this isn't a problem that can be laid at an individual's door - this smacks of corporate failure and G_G's post is insulting to all those folks I know work jolly hard in Larkhill.

Right, I'm going back to Pprune where I belong!

PS Sorry I was going to quote a post (above) but the technology baffles me.
I was under the impression that GTT supported all Close support PDT. And when I say GTT, what I really mean is GTT backed up by a number of personnel from the RSA. What additional training, in your opinion, should they undertake before supporting PDT??
 
#16
django_strikes said:
Eh? Still a FOO...FST Comd is different role for a FOO
GQ is correct (as usual) - but it's largely a matter of semantics.

The core gunnery role is conducted by the OPA (now the Team 2IC in most cases) leaving the FOO (in old money) to command the team. There is a discussion going on around the bazaars about whether the FST Comd need be a Gunner (I have my views) and whether he/she need necessarily be an Officer (again, I have my views).

I should also point out that the latest tranche of FSTs delivered to Op HERRICK includes 2 FST Comds whose primary role is FAC, not FOO.

You can still use the term 'FOO' in relation to a Germany based Regiment, although a number of Germany-based FOO Parties are about to be trained up as FSTs later on this year. Full conversion across the Gunners by 2009.

So if you want an extremely interesting job, transfer to the Gunners - especially if you're a FAC as we will soon be offering full term careers for them.
 
#17
Hmmm. As a crusty old FOO I am not sure I support the change. If there is a suggestion that officers no longer need to be the FOO (or FST Comd or whatever name they are this week), then there is a serious risk of the British Army traipsing down the Septic route of requesting fire rather than ordering it.

(to blow my own trumpet for a moment) I spent a fair amount of time working with Yank artillery, both at the gun end and with their FIST teams, both on dry exercise and live firing. For my views on this see my Duncan Essay in 2001 (which won joint first prize, natch) which examined the employment of FOOs and their rank. Every single US Lt Col I spoke to wanted to go the UK route of having Captains on the ground being able to command artillery, but cannot afford it (mixture of shortage of officers, carrer structure and money). Why should the Brits be looking at moving to the more rigid and centralised American system?

I thought the British Army always put utmost faith in the man at the sharp end, while people at HQs looked at the 'big picture' and controlled the release/consumption of assets. Is this going to change?

If so a cynic (such as myself) might say it is because a Sgt and LBdr are a damn sight cheaper than a senior Capt and Bdr.

While at 4RA I was lucky to have 2 very good OP(A)s to work with. While they were superb at their job, they were not convincing enough to brief a Coy Comd in detail about the full suite of effects available, nor did they have the experience to fully appreciate the scope of a large all-arms action. If the officer is to be replaced by a technically superb (at Gunnery) NCO, who is to take command of the Infantry company if the Coy Comd gets slotted? Who will brief the CO of the Cav (or Inf) BG if the BC is called to Bde or is slotted?

By all means get the (very able) NCOs of a FOO party to obtain accurate target data and move the fire as required, and by all means train all members of the party to be FACs and give them experience of directing naval gunnery. But then that costs money doesn't it? With the FOOs' course being one of the most expensive courses ran by the British Army, any move to change the current (extremely flexible and battle proven) situation will smack of budget constraints and change for change sake.
 
#18
the change has nothing to do with budgets, the Gunners are simply moving with the times and giving our guys the best training we can for deployment.
 
#19
It was my understanding that SNCOs ar being made FST comds because we dont have enough FOOs. If a Regiment need to take 10 FST teams away (is that the ORBAT?) then you do not have enough FOOs internally (usually) to support that. You either trawl for another team complete from another Regt (happening now with various Regts), or use your Level 4 OPAs as FST team Comd. Similarly I would imagine that TAC-P OCs are being used as they have a broad knowledge of OS effects.

It all boils down to manpower and the perceived shift towards the hallowed universal observer - a FOO team able to use all OS assets, rather than having to call for a FAC etc.

The logic behind a FOO being an Officer is extant and as I haven't deployed in the FST role and don't fully understand how it differs from a FOO party (apart from the air control piece) I would imagine that the preference for a FST team Comd to be a FOO (or equivalent ranked officer) still remains - but where to get the manpower?

If however FST teams are not FOO parties, but have the capability to call for fire (as well as other assets) and don't support the manoeuvre arm comd in the same way, then does it need to be a FOO?

I think I know this: currently Regiments cannot get enough FOOs - the supposed career chain for a Gunner Officer was changed under LOTS to be RD tour, then Non-RD tour (training Regt, TAC-P, whatever), then FOO. The reality is that they cannot get the manpower and are now frequently extending the first tour officers in the Regiments to give more experience and then sending them on the FOOs course early (by maybe a year) to get an extra FOO. This is great on paper, but where does that FOO go next? Adjt for 4 years to fill the time to promotion (first look on the board as a Grad = 8 years to promote at 9 year pt)? Adjt for 2 years and then SO3 paper clips for 2 to fill time? Promote to Major early?

Slightly off track of the thread, but it links in to my earlier point about GIC course and being qualified to go to GTT - if there is no longer a GIC course and no-one is being taught the modular method yet (so no IGs in about 2 years), then that is another Non-RD tour taken away to fill time. What next? Double FOO tour? CPO/BRO (3 years), FOO (2 years), FOO (2 years), Adjt equivalent (2 years) and promote?

D_S is now getting frustrated so is going to lie down for a bit...;-)
 
#20
I believe that the first RD tour is too long; about 30% too long, especially considering the current operational tempo.

A greater number of FOOs could be gained simply by reducing the first RD posting to 24 months, especially for graduate officers. They can then go to RSA and complete their FOO course before taking up their position as a FOO.

Once a FOO officers could be streamed into those going for the long haul (i.e. people who want to become DRA and CRA and higher) and those who fully realise that their talents will see them making Lt Col in their last few years. The latter group can have 2 extended FOO tours while the former can complete 2 years as a FOO and then go and play staff officer somewhere.

All officers will still go to Shriv for JDSC/AJD/pick this week's name, and so if someone who had selected to take the 'slower' route does brilliantly there then they can be switched between streams (after all, 99% of staff work is pish easy - just requires someone who can think and write coherently and (if possible) concisely).

Also a large number of officers leave the RA at their 8 and 16 year points (SSC and IRC/half pension). The majority of the 8 year people all know that they will, no matter how brilliantly their military career progresses, leave in order to take over the family company or take up a lucrative position in the City, etc.

Instead of forcing these people to do SO3 jobs (when they know that they will get more than enough time behind a desk later in life) why not keep them as FOOs? Not stuck in the same Regiment for 4 or 6 years, but posted around to spread experience and to keep them motivated (e.g. 2 years as a light role FOO, 3 years as an armoured FOO).

With a bit of help from the muppets of MCM Div (the people that lie to everyone about their careers and postings) it might just work.
 

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