Paras without planes: RAF running out of Hercules

Discussion in 'The Intelligence Cell' started by the_boy_syrup, Jun 27, 2009.

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  1. the_boy_syrup

    the_boy_syrup LE Book Reviewer

    Interesting piece in todays Mail which no doubt will open up a few old discussions here on Arrse

    The RAF is so short of warplanes that Paratroopers do not have enough aircraft to jump from while they complete their training.
    The Ministry of Defence has been forced to hire civilian planes to try to clear the backlog of hundreds of soldiers unable to train or qualify.
    The crisis stems from a lack of Hercules transport aircraft, ideal for dropping Paratroopers.

    The RAF has lost the use of 13 Hercules since the start of the Iraq war in 2003
    When the Iraq war began in 2003 the Armed Forces had 51 Hercules available, but four have been shot down or destroyed in Iraq and Afghanistan and at least nine have had to be retired due to the intense workload. The remaining fleet is working flat out to support operations abroad.

    In some units barely half the Paras are certified to jump - with hundreds unable to earn their wings or maintain their skills once qualified.
    Recruits must complete a course of at least six jumps - culminating in a massed low-level jump from a Hercules at night, wearing full kit - plus two more with their unit to gain their coveted 'wings' badge and become fully-fledged Paras.
    After that they cease to be operationally deployable unless they can jump twice a year.
    Many have already lost their entitlement to specialist pay of £5 pay per day because they have failed to jump at all for two years.
    Recent figures have shown just 55 per cent of soldiers in the 3rd Battalion The Parachute Regiment are certified to jump.

    With senior officers in uproar, the MoD has finally admitted the scale of the problem and agreed to hire a fleet of much smaller civilian Skyvan aircraft - normally used for amateur skydiving flights.

    Critics claimed the stop-gap measure was shocking evidence of Government penny-pinching, which had left the Armed Forces increasingly unable to carry out realistic training for war.
    MoD officials confirmed a commercial contract was being prepared, and said Paras would be jumping from Skyvans instead of Hercules by the end of the summer.
    A recent National Audit Office report warned of a crisis in military transport from 2010 as more Hercules planes become unusable.
    The situation has infuriated commanders, especially as it provides ammunition for critics who claim parachuting is largely irrelevant in modern military operations.
    It is understood that senior Army generals considered downgrading parachute training on cost grounds, giving new recruits their wings after fewer jumps while maintaining a much smaller cadre of fully-trained Paras.
    But the 'Para hierarchy' have won the day - for now - and the MoD has found the cash to hire a number of Skyvan twin-propeller aircraft to try to catch up with the growing training backlog.
    One serving Para officer said: 'It's far from ideal.
    'The Skyvan is not much like the real thing - you jump off the rear ramp in small groups, instead of 80 or more blokes going out of the side doors of a Hercules.'

    Tory defence spokesman Liam Fox said: 'Our troops are expected to train like they fight, but now our proud Paras are being forced to jump from civilian airplanes flown by civilian pilots, when neither would be a wartime possibility.'
    But an MoD spokesman said: 'This is an efficient way to fill the gap in Hercules capacity.
    'The standard required to qualify as a Paratrooper will not change.
  2. 'Realistic Training for War...'

    How is practising large scale para drop's training for war? When was the last time they tried it?

    Don't worry, for all you outraged maroon types, fingers poised, i'm just joking. ;) :twisted:

    (Then again, you ARE para's, so probably need it spelled out :D : :p
  3. 8O sad indeed!
    The article
  4. FCUK off hat.
  5. the_boy_syrup

    the_boy_syrup LE Book Reviewer

    30 Mins to get a "Why do we need Para's - Fuck off hat" responce

    I'm getting good :D
  6. FCUK off hat.[/quote] :sleepy: :tp:
  7. Pararegtom

    Pararegtom LE Book Reviewer

    Syrup, I read when you first posted this, you wont get an insult from me, it,s a sad fact that Liebour have ruined the capability of our Armed Forces.
  8. Couldn't they use the Globemaster?
  9. Have not got enough Hercs,FFS we aint got enough lorrys
  10. Haven't you twigged yet?
    We won't need either as part of the new European Army. We can rely on the French and Germans to help us out with our equipment shortcomings in the future.
    Equipment and manpower shortfall's are not accidental, they are intended to force us into co-dependence with Europe.

    Its the same with devolution of Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, why do we need a United Kingdom when we will all be united under Europe?
  11. And hire our Airlift from the Russians
  12. Oh we are indeed educated. I wondered how long it would be! I am right in saying that El Gamil airfield,Suez was the last time on at least a scale of battle group during Operation Musketeer?

    I do believe that kepping 3 Bn's of airborne troops is a little overkill! which if I remember rightly when I was in 5AB at least one Bn had a reinforcement company of Gurkhas! In this current climate the money could be spent elsewhere. As the past 15 years have prooved warfare is now about being armoured and mobile - Gulf 1 & 2, Bosnia, Kosovo, etc.

    I'm now going to dig in and take cover! :)
  13. the_boy_syrup

    the_boy_syrup LE Book Reviewer

    Totally agree with you mate I think it's a dammed disgrace the way every one in the forces is being treated
    How we can fanny about with the Airbus thingy when it's been clear for years we need more Hercs and Globemasters

    I would have thought the massage would have sunk in by now they need more Helicopteres and transport aircraft
    Mind without the Typhoon Top Gear and 5th Gear would have nobody to race against

    I only put the bit in about hat v Paras because no matter what it always seem to end up with that argument

    Now if I can only get some one to post something with the words "Suez" in and Ashies back if he posts "It's all Thatchers fault" I'll win Arrse thread bingo

    Fingers crossed :wink:
  14. My bold
    Yet we are already getting mutterings about heavy armour being outdated and not necessary for the future.
    At the risk of running around in circles there ae an extraordinary amount of people who cannot see this country fighting anything beyond the current Arghanistan type war.
    The amount of posters who tell us we do not need warships, fast jets or heavy armour any more is quite astonishing.

    Or are we saying that jump trained Para's are just another capability we need to sacrifice for expedience this year?
  15. Possibly, more likely just dump the capability on the grounds that one of our EU allies will be able to fill the gap should we need it.