Newcomer with a question on FST's

Discussion in 'Gunners' started by Viking_blue, Feb 23, 2013.

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  1. Hey.
    I've just begun my army application, my original first choice of job selection was for the infantry, particularity the parachute regiment as I want to be at the sharp end of life so to speak, however after achieving 61 in the BARB test my recruiter suggested the Royal Artillery, and becoming a gunner, observation post assistant. which having read up on the subject looks fairly brilliant, as joining a fire support team is exactly the kind of thing I'm looking to do, which is working close to, and on the front line, within infantry and mechanized units, calling in support, or at least helping to co-ordinate that support.
    However I do have a few questions, such as:

    1. what is the actual likely hood of me being able to join a fire support team? (as in, will I just be sent to a Gun like an AS90 for the next 4 years, waiting for an opportunity to join a FST, or can I join one straight from phase 2, as I really want to join 29 Commando regiment RA, in a FST role)
    2. In short can I join the 4/73 battery straight from phase 2, to become a special gunfire observer, or do I have to put a few years graft in first, in order to apply for their 20 week selection course.

    I know there is a wealth of information on the internet about these jobs, and trust me I've looked, however a lot of it seems to be jazzed up abit, so finding the right answers can be difficult. I have my formal interview on Monday, so I want to be as clued up as possible when I go in the AFCO, as my job choices still aren't nailed down yet, I passed pre-selection last week, where I achieved the Para's fitness requirements and got marked four on the team tasks and ice breakers so Para's is still an option.
  2. In reply to your first question, yes you can join an FST upon posting to your first unit. Some units may run it differently and there is talk of running an "OP cadre" type course in order to select the best people from the Battery once the Afghanistan close down (thereby the demand for more FSTs) is complete.

    For your second question, yes you can apply straight to 4/73 upon completion of phase 2.

    Any further questions then please feel free to ask.

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  3. Thanks a lot mate, definitely helped. so now I guess I'll face a decision one day weather to apply for 29 Commando regiment after phase 2, or apply for 4/73 Battery, or 7 para RHA, there's definitely a lot of choice and variations and that's one of the massive selling points of the Gunners for me and looks like a really good service to join and a good career, but lets not run before I walk and just concentrate on getting in first :), my recruiter said he'd get the Gunners to come talk to me on Monday, and as it stands I'm putting the Royal Artillery down as first choice! thanks again for the reply mate
  4. I would recommend that you put down 29 as your first choice. If you get in and pass the all arms course than you will have an exciting and demanding initial role, which will give you great opportunities and a very solid foundation. Once you are Cdo qualified you can go 148 Bty,supporting SF as an FST. With Cdo course under your belt you can do the jumps course to get your para wings (doesn't work the other way around). You could then go 4/73 if you wanted (unlikely once you've tasted 29 or 148, but very achievable). It is possible to post between 29 and 7 RHA if you wanted a change. However you sound a bit too bright for the paras!


  5. When 148 Bty is in 30 IX Cdo I would suggest the chances for a young RA Gunner to join them will become a little more limited.
  6. Volunteer for Rapier, its the way forward

    pensionpointer will provide all the details from FSA to FSC :)
  7. Hey got another question, as the Gunner sergeant at the AFCO couldn't come speak to me because he was busy, so my question is can someone please paint me a picture of what the the role of an artillery observer will be.
    As in will I be working working right on the frontline, going out on patrols, rifleman first Arty Gunner second so to speak?
    Or will I be far away, a couple of kilometres back listening to frontline radio traffic and relying that info back to the batteries?
    And are fire support teams often deployed with in a FSG?
    Sorry if I sound like an idiot, I just want get as much information as possible to make sure it's right for me. Thanks

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  8. Thanks for the reply's, I've got another question though, because the Gunner at the AFCO was unable to see me as he was busy, so in short can someone paint a picture for me on what the role on the battlefield would be. As in would I be in the thick of it with the infantry units, rifleman first Arty Gunner second so to speak?
    or rather would I be 2 Km back, observing all the situation and relying information I get from the front line units to the gun batteries?
    Thank you.
  9. It depends on the tactical situation. If you are armoured (in a warrior) then you could find yourself driving all over the place trying to get eyes on the target. Dismounted with infantry you could still find yourself with the lead section observing targets. Don't be fooled into thinking you are there to fire machine guns and throw grenades at the enemy. You are there to provide a service to enable the supported unit achieve their mission. When everyone around you is firing down range you will more than likely find yourself sat on your backside with a radio handset glued to your ear.

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  10. Thanks mate that's exactly the type of insight I was after :) and you've actually summed up the exact thing I want to be doing, which is at the front providing a critical job on the front line. I aren't bothered about being the first guy in a compound with a dagger between my teeth, all gun's blazing hahah I just didn't want to end up 20 km, listening to the action over a radio and feeling disillusioned about the job I went into.
    But by the sounds of it the job looks like my cuupa tea. :-D while everyone else is firing their SA80 a2's or something, I'd potentially have a whole gun battery at my disposal to eliminate the threats!!!
  11. You could find yourself working in a HQ though, in what is called the Joint Fires Cell which is the critical link between the FSTs forward and the assets available so there is variety in the job if you want it.

    Working there is not seen as shirking away from the action as you are providing support to the guys on the ground and a decent JFC can be the difference between a good Battery, and a poor one.

    Posted from the ARRSE Mobile app (iOS or Android)
  12. Oh okay thanks dude, and don't worry I never accuse any role in the forces and shirking away from the action. Its hard to get my point across about what I want to do without sounding like some Call of Duty playing, Action man wanna be faggot hahah but in essence the job does sound like everything I want to do.
  13. Is 148 Bty moving to 30 IX Cdo?
  14. Yes, at least the capability of calling in Naval Gunfire Support (and other forms of Joint Fires) for 3 Cdo Bde will be heading that way. If the Battery name goes with them I have no idea.

    And for that you can thank several very Senior Army Officers who made their cuts in the way to best 'hurt' 3 Cdo Bde.
  15. So i'm guessing 29 Cdo got shafted and lost pieces in the cuts?