Paras -MOD Cut Backs, only 120 to be trained to jump.

Discussion in 'Royal Air Force' started by Boris Blank, Aug 15, 2010.

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  1. First post - be gentle!

    Read in todays Sunday Times (page 2) that due to cut backs in the Herc fleet and costs, only 120 Paras will be trained to jump in future. I would presume that what it actually means is that only one company will be "in role" at any given time with the remainder having no jumps at all until their "in role" turn comes around or more likely a single permanent jump trained company that the jocks in the rest of the battalions fight to get transferred in to. Can't see the unit title being kept for much longer either, not much point having a Parachute Regiment if there are only 120 of you!

    Didn't mention the TA though, they tend to cost less to train so possible to retain their jump status? Dunno.

    As an ex-para its heartbreaking to hear this news (which as far as I can see is not yet cast in stone but not far off it) especially as parachuting is fundamental to the whole essence of being a Para, its our heart and soul of what makes us different. Everything that makes a para a para revolves around that windy step out into the sky. You had to work hard to get there, you had to work harder to keep getting there.

    There have been few (if any?) operational Para Reg drops since 1956 and those that may have been done were presumably very small scale. I recall being told in the mid 70's that any operational drop would be company-sized, possibly battalion sized at best but certainly no bigger (due to RAF lift capability and the deadly reality of modern anti-aircraft defences even against low-level aircraft). Looks like that warning has finally become reality. You guys will be aware that the US 101st Airborne went through a similar process becoming Air-Mobile/Air-Assault but now has only a few jump trained soldiers (I forget but I think its only a battalion?). Despite this change, the 101st is still seen as one of the US's premier fighting units although I'm sure I remember hearing that it took some time to rebuild the morale of the Division.

    I'm personally gutted about this even though I can see the reasoning behind it. Its a difficult challange to get through - lets hope the Paras (or whatever designation they end up with in the future) retain the same fighting spirit tomorrow as they do today. Theres a special breed of man that becomes a Para, will the Regt still be able to retain and recruitsuch men in future? I really don't know but the regiment will never be the same thats for sure. I hope, I really do hope that the tough, professional and yes elite Parachute Regiment has an equally tough, professional and equally elite heir but somehow I think that once the bulk of the current para-trained troops churn-over that something will be lost forever.

    As an added kick in the teeth to our senior service, it looks as if the Royal Marines will come under the command of the Army in future (again, mentioned in same article). The army inherits an amphibious force but loses its airborne teeth.

    Gutted and annoyed that I can see why they are doing all this. I can see this going through as well, the Air Assualt Brigade which contains non-para trained troops has been too successful and looks to have sounded the death-bell of the Parachute Regiment.

    Ready for Anything.......... apart from defence cuts!
  2. Sorry, but I can't seem to find the bit of your Post where you tell us what paper you work for...
  3. Seems like a sensible move to me, for all the reasons that have been rehearsed endlessly in these pages. A pathfinder company might well be a very useful element of an airmobile brigade.

    Now that Jackson is gone, I hope Parachute Regiment special pleading will have no more clout than any other regiment's special pleading. But watch the gutter press for fireworks!
  4. Not sure what you mean but I'm a Postie nowadays if that matters.
  5. Is popcorn and beer required for this thread?? :pc:
  6. Move over the sofa, I dont think Boris has ever made one of them windy steps into the sky,ex Para my fecking arse

    I smell a journo :)
  7. I hate saying it but I agree, I just don't like it.

    I think you're right about the press but having an air-assault brigade that includes para's pretty much softens the impact to the general public. The MOD's line no doubt will be that they "aren't killing off the Para Regt, (not yet anyway), just changing their role". But its the role thats the important bit. Have to say, the last I heard (which was some time ago admittedly) was that there was only one battalion "in role" at any time - still the same?
  8. I think your nose may well be smelling your own arse my friend.

    Why on earth would a "Journo" post about something thats already in a newspaper? I'm not here asking questions, I'm passing on something I've read about but not seen posted - if you want to know my credentials then ask away. I've already stated what I am, don't insult me by calling me a liar.
  9. We have had many journo's on here, posting like you and have been found out to be on a fishing trip! Although in this case, it would be you who is biting :wink: ...Looks like I will need that popcorn and beer after all.
  10. Ha! Ok, I admit that I bit (blimey, poetry!). I take it I'll have to buy the popcorn and beer by way of apology - Becks do ya?
  11. Firstly I'd take the Sunday Times article with a huge dose of salt. All of the Sundays, but especially that particular paper, notoriously run half-rumour and gossip up the flag-pole to see who'll salute it. Perhaps 16X and the Parachute Regt are indeed in for a re-organisation, but that's not a new thing. After all, it was only recently that one their battalions was re-roled as SFSG.

    The story of the Screaming Eagles' transformation from Airborne to Air Assault is an interesting one. The low morale was indeed there, but perhaps this was not due to lack of Jump status, rather the removal of a 'volunteer filter' in the form of Jump School which ensured that every one from the cooks and clerks to the Infantrymen were all motivated volunteers. The introduction of the Air Assault qualification and badge went a long way, I believe, in restoring the esprit de corps in the mid-1970's.
  12. Agreed, there have also been similar stories in the past that came to nothing. I just think this one has the timing right given the scale and sweep of the cutbacks that are being proposed throughout the forces. If the story proves to be incorrect I'll look a right pratt but at least I'll be happy!
  13. According to the BBC report here BBC News - Parachute Regiment soldiers face 'special payment' cut , Para's "who would never be asked to jump out of the back of a plane" will loose their jump pay. This links in with my original post above that the long-term (possibly even near-term!) aim is to reduce the number of jump-qualified Paras to an absolute minimum.

    Note to mods - this original thread was posted in the Infantry forum but moved to the RAF forum for some reason, any chance it can be moved back to Infantry please?
  14. This is yet another slash into the fighting element of the MOD - to "save money".

    Meanwhile there are no cuts in "the Department" for Civil Servants' jollies. There are now even more than ever "seminars" for MOD staff including GLBT (Granary, bacon, lettuce and tomato), disabilities, diversity, self-assertion, and the latest is the environmental seminar. The list goes on.

    What is the combined cost of these jollies?

    Ah well, you get what you voted for.