This isn't a new thing, a friend of mine passed P Coy in 2002 and had to wait 8 months to do his jumps because all the airframes were elsewhere - in this case I believe they were in Afganistan being used, amounst other things to ferry musim pilgrims about. Government PR (aren't we nice guys!!) over-riding training neccessity????
THS, as I said in my previous post, 'I believe' that was the case, I wasn't there and have no first hand knowledge of why the delays were happening, I just know they were. My info on this came from the delayed future para himself. As for the importance of being seen as 'nice Guys' on ops so as not to get blown up, I reckon thats done at 'bloke on the ground' level not government policy level, the latter of which magically happens to be plastered all over the worlds press in a 'lets all pat ourselves on the back way and a large section of voters in this country fall into this catagory, this could be helpful to us way'. I stand corrected on the airframe issue, and apologise for posting an inaccuracy.
This has not affected the Battalions operational parachute training. The wider support to the services/ops as a whole by the Herc fleet must come first. TA bods waiting at Brize to get jumps in can do just that. Wait. Para Regt recruits have had to go the Battalion without wings in the past for the same reasons. Such is life in our ever increasingly smaller, overstretched, Armed Forces. Cheers BLIAR!
Not advocating changing the way we train our lads or the neccessity for P Coy and a lengthy Jumps course but I'm sure these lads would jump regardless if asked. Of note is the the French at Dien Bien Phu where a despearate General Navarre decided it was worth the risk to parachute in volunteers who had undergone no training whatsoever. The statitistics showed that fewer jumps injuries were incurred on the first jump than on subsequent lobs. In all 700 non trained volunteers actually made their first jump in to Dien Bien Phu and a further 1800 followed. Hardcore. Refusals were remarkably infrequent which goes to prove that that these fit young Regt blokes fresh from P Coy would probably be on the ball should the balloon go up. Airborne.
But many of the non-trained volunteers at Dien Bien Phu were drawn from 'line' regiments of the French Army. In other words (in Para speak) 'hats' were brave enough to do a job that apparently only those with the Para 'Esprit De Corps' are ballsy enough to do.
Same as the Light Infantry who dropped into Arnham....
Not really the point, is it? We all know - apart from senior officers and politicians - that the Army does well out of fostering tribal instincts. The "para" ethos - pre-para/ P Coy/Jumps/ wings up - has been spectacularly successful in producing tight-knit fighting units.
The only reason para drops are not used in modern times is because of (a) airframe shortages (b) a reluctant RAF (c) a staff system too slow to seize a moment of opportunty (d) an endemic culture of risk-aversion seeping downwards through the Forces. Telic 1? see (a) to (d).
Stacker, its clear you've jumped on the rather fashionable Parabashing bandwagon. Baa-aa-aa. The 'operational neccesity' argument for live dropping will be there to the end of time - it's boring. The point is, a (reasonably fundamental) part of Para training is being neglected because our oh-so-wise government are spending money on pi$$-ant initiatives rather than preserving the effectiveness of our Armed Forces.
We should take a leaf out of the Septics book: if a unit is airborne or airmobile then co-locate and officially attatch the required aircraft and aircrew to that unit in the way you attatch a REME unit to a Cavalry Reg. It makes sense.