Para Surge into Helmand 08?

From the "Afghan Fighting - Latest Reports" thread -

armchair_jihad said:
Biggest blitz by paras since WW2 to crush Taliban

BRITAIN is to deploy its biggest contingent of paratroopers and special forces since the second world war in a bid to crush the Taliban in Afghanistan.

Ministers are to send 3,000 paratroopers, including the entire Parachute Regiment, to southern Afghanistan in the spring, as well as trebling the number of special forces in the country.

It will be the first time in the regiment’s history that all four para battalions, including its reservists, have fought together on the same battlefield. ...

< snip >

The deployment comes amid fears that the Taliban are likely to regroup over the winter and retake terrain from weaker Afghan forces unable to hold their positions.

< snip >

UK special forces will also concentrate for the first time solely on southern Helmand and will be expected not only to target the Taliban but also the drug barons funding them. The RAF will increase the number of aircraft in the country, adding Tornado and Typhoon ground attack planes to its existing Harrier squadrons.

A group of high-level civil servants has been set up to investigate the possibility of hiring private contractors to perform defensive duties in warzones. The group, which is being lead by Peter January of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office and includes high-ranking officials from the MoD and the Department for International Development, has been consulting experts from the private sector for some months.
My bold.

On first sights it looks like a welcome reassessment and well supported surge. However, without wanting to kick off a line infantry v. Para fight I'm just wondering:

a. Is the above forecast of 3 Regular Para Bns ( presumably supported by IRs from 4 Para rather than sub-units ) surging into Helmand true, or poor reporting?

b. If so, I'd be interested to know why.

I was rather hoping that the performance of the R Anglians, Mercians and Grenadiers on the recent deployment, combined with the effect of the end of the AP to allow line infantry to become consistently strong light infantry, would significantly narrow the percieved gap between them and the Paras.

Having experience of working alongside the Paras, and friends in them, I don't doubt that they are excellent light infantry. They proved it thoroughly on their deployment to Helmand. The same is true of the RM. But I think that since 2003 the remainder of the infantry have equally proved well up to the task in Iraq and on HERRICK. I'm thinking of the R IRISH, RGR and RRF on the initial deployment, as well as the subsequent ones.

Is the Para-orientated surge a consequence of some brigade rotation I don't know about, or a deliberate choice?

I'd be cheesed off it i was a maroon lid wearing areoplane jumper outer of.

Back on deployment already to that shet hole already.
NO slur on the line inf nor over hyping of the Reg (whom I've worked with and think are marvellous). The bottom line is that the Para Reg is someting Joe Nugget who reads crap papers like the Times can understand and so he'll take a second look and hopefully buy the paper.

Sadly it's a lot to do with selling shite papers and maybe a bit to do with Govt spin. I remember prior to the AFG operation in 2002 16 AA Bde was stood up and then stood down again as it was seen as better for the Army to deploy the Spearhead Bn (then the PWRR I think) as Reg had been to Kosovo in 99, Macedonia in 00 and Sierra Leone in 01 and there was lots of senstivity to the idea of a "2 tier army". When this got to Whitehall they decided it wasn't such a good idea and sending the Paras would generate more and better headlines- so everyone had their Xmas leave cocked up.

It's unfortunate we live in such militarily illiterate times.



It is 16 Bde's turn to take over the AO, and it is taking it's manoeuvre units with it the same as the other brigades. This includes Para and air assault Bns, as I understand it.

1 Para will be doing their own thing under DSF.

Still, it will be the first time that all 4 Para Bns will have troops deployed to the same AO at the same time.
When it says all 4 that's an error right? Does 1 Para still exist? No slur intended there, I'm under the impression that 1 Para et al became the SFSG, or are they just part of it?

Either way, If it's true then good luck to them all! It's nice to see a Regt using their TA Battalion like this.



1 Para still exists, and is the core of the SFSG.

4 Para is sending a cohort of IRs to backfill 2 & 3 Para, in the same way that they sent IRs to backfill 3 Para on Herrick 4.
Thanks. I knew that all Para Bns were part of 16AA but thought that one was permanently "on loan" to another Bde. Perhaps that was purely an Op Banner thing.

The Duke : Why are you lot only sending a cohort? Didn't you send a Century (+) group on the last one? By the way... 12 minutes to reply to a Para thread... is that a personal best? :D




To be honest, we are stretched thin. 3 Telics and one Herrick since 2003, with this making our 5th deployment in 5 years. This one is including a call on those who did Telic 1 as they have now cleared the 36 month barrier. The intention is for a cohort of 120 pax!

12 minutes? I must be slowing down! Still, at least this one is not asking about training for P Coy, or run times.
Concur with The Duke. 16 Bde's turn in the Stan, forecast some time ago and they will take their own battalions with them. SF will be supported by SFSG (normal form) and 4 PARA reinforcing 2 & 3 with IRs, hence all 4 battalions.

Complete spin on the part of The Times.
The_Duke said:
4 Para is sending a cohort of IRs to backfill 2 & 3 Para, in the same way that they sent IRs to backfill 3 Para on Herrick 4.
Surely the IR's are going to run out of time? I mean I thourght that they could only be deployed 'X' amount of times in 3 years?
Heard a nasty rumour that the RHF (2 SCOTS) are also deploying with them
Without looking into it at work, the whole of 16 Bde, including me, 2 & 3 going plus what you said
PoisonDwarf, I would be suprised if the RHF were deployed.

Most of the Infantry won when the AP ceased. I think the RHF got something of a raw deal. Well, some Bns had to.

One of the really valid objections, or rather voices of warning, when it was proposed was that it would create something of a "two tier Infantry". While the term was, in my opinion, unfairly used in the late 90s and early 00s ( Line Inf did Granby, and nearly all the Bosnia tours while the Paras were generally kicking their heels until SL ) it wasn't official.

However, with the end of musical chairs those Bns left in bonk locations - Glencorse and Blackpool spring to mind as examples - risk becoming the equivalent of the 2nd Bns under Cardwell i.e. a 2nd XI destined to backfill others, fulfil RART tasks and take admin cases. Perhaps I'm overstating it, but I think thats how the Jocks have seen it so far.

The Regt were in Iraq in mid 04 as a Bn (-), and deployed a handful of company groups for short Ops in 05, twice I think. Since then SLE, JW and RART have taken up the time. There have been recurrent rumours about HERRICK ever since the move to Glencorse, which never materialised.

I doubt they will now. This is no bad thing in many ways... the pads need the time with their families after some busy years - its no mystery why the FTRS page is asking for pretty much anyone. But I haven't been suprised to hear that the keen singlies are restless.

Apologies - back on thread.

Putting overstretch aside (if that's possible) its good to hear about the draft plan, obviously.

Jiffing PMCs for the more bone FP tasks, adding extra air assets, more infantry, and generally more blokes to make SSR and development the main effort sounds like the way ahead.

Twosup - Not sure whether you're agreeing with eSeL that non-para Inf are also deploying?

The_Duke - wasn't making a dig, just a sh1t joke about roman units! ( Ah, a log all to myself, how kind )


Rumour confirmed - 2 SCOTS have been warned off for H8. Not sure how you can describe Glencorse as a bonk location, given comparisons with Canterbury, Fort George etc. I'm sure 3 and 5 SCOTS would gladly swap. A decent location combined with a half-decent role is the key - ask 1 SCOTS.
Royal Jock, thank you, I stand corrected! Pleased to hear that the Bn are getting the Op that the Jocks are raring for, the first really good one for a fair while.

As for locations, you might a point there as well. Never went to Canterbury but from Fort George as NI Ops 4 Coy anywhere looked pretty good. As the Jocks used to shout.... "Cooooneheeeeids!"

Are the warriors going to stay and who has been invited to look after them?

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