RA Jobs - OPs

Discussion in 'Gunners' started by Bad_Crow, Apr 5, 2007.

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  1. My cousin recently approached me. He's joining the army some time this year and told me he was joining the RA. You wanna play with big cannons i said!

    His answer NO.

    He's been put under the illusion he can start from scratch after phase 2 training as an OP assistant. Which to me sounds a bit like a FOO's job only within the RA orbat rather than within an Inf Coys.

    Can any gunners shed some light on

    A) Is it a specific area of The RA he can go into or is it like the Careers bloke who told me i could go into Recce Platoon straight after catterick?

    B) What will he actually be doing? I think he expects to be some sort of Jonny Sass Type in a ditch 20k infront of enemy lines.

    Any info i would appreciate as the Army website leaves something to be desired!

    Edits due to my mongness!
     
  2. The FOO is RA, all Gun Btys had OP partys commanded by a FOO and several Acks. In time gone by most guys had to work on the guns prior to getting in the OPs unless they were lucky. It seems they gear people straight from training for the role, you need to speak to a currently serving Gun regt member to see if this really happens. I am unsure wheter you can leave Phase 2 with a Basic OP Ack qual

    Its a top job working in small groups usually embedded with an Inf coy or armd sqn for protection,, its not sammy sas but you get in the thick of it
     
  3. what do you get from phase 2 these days, I remember blokes with a driving qual (still requiring conversion) and little knowledge of anything else. its the Regt/Bty responsibility to knock them into shape and get them fit
     
  4. You cannot leave Phase 2 with a OP Ack qualification, but you can join the Tac Grp on arrival at your unit, but if you complete a guns course at Phase 2 then the chance is that you will go straight on the guns, get yourself on a ACS cse
     
  5. Hi this is how this job is suppose to be sold in the offices!

    Responsible for locating the enemy and directing fire from guns, missiles, mortars, aircraft and attack helicopters onto targets.

    The Job
    Observation Post (OP) Assistants work directly with the Royal Armoured Corps and Infantry at the forefront of the Army's operations, identifying and firing onto enemy targets. Your job is to use modern surveillance and targeting systems, including optical, thermal, laser and radar technology to locate the enemy and relay that information to the appropriate weapon system. You will then direct fire onto the target, whether it comes from AS90 assault guns or a flight of attack aircraft.

    Luckily i have a friend(just the one) in the RA's and i know this can't be done directly from phase 2, there is a long haul to get to that stage. But not everyone will know this, because the RA's have just changed the way they allocate there jobs in the offices. We used to sell them all the jobs and when they got to Larkhill they were put into the relevant trade to suit the unit and individual(or this is what we were told).
     
  6. The Job
    Observation Post (OP) Assistants work directly with the Royal Armoured Corps and Infantry at the forefront of the Army's operations, identifying and firing onto enemy targets. Your job is to use modern surveillance and targeting systems, including optical, thermal, laser and radar technology to locate the enemy and relay that information to the appropriate weapon system. You will then direct fire onto the target, whether it comes from AS90 assault guns or a flight of attack aircraft.


    Twiggy, i could not have put it better myself, you must have thousands wanting to do that job.
     
  7. It is unusual to come straight from Phase 2 onto the OPs, but it does happen.

    If your cousin is interested in doing it (and joining the RA) he should make sure he is put onto the GCS (Gunner Command Systems) or it may now be ACS (Artillery Command Systems) course at 24 Bty in Larkhill (the Phase 2 Trg Bty). This is basically the "signals" course for gunners and will qualify him to do signalling - the junior job in an OP party.

    Before long, if he has the aptitude, he will do an OP Assistants course (OP Ack) and begin to call in fire, rather than make brews and sit on the radio. Especially evident in an armoured (AS90) gunner Regt is that a junior OPAck is basically signaller and so very similar to a signaller in the command post or other areas. He would have to be able to operate dismounted though and work accordingly (set up OPs, carry load etc).

    We have guys here that due to manpower shortages in specific trades came to OPs more or less straight from 24 Bty (via Iraq). Very good and keen and learning fast. If he is definitely going RA, then he will receive presentations at Phase 1 on what Phase 2 entails.

    In short, not quite SAS living in a hole for weeks on end, but slightly more exiting than regular guns. And he can do it from Ph2, but may not be pushed that way.
     
  8. Thats a good point, Sigs is definitly the way ahead to get into OPs, I was down to do Survey till my TSM stuck me on an advanced sigs course (to get my advance course under my belt for promotion), then it was off up the sharp end (albeit in APs not OPs)

    However I have met the odd bunny regt lads who went OPs fairly early on, what they told me was either they had a slot in an OP and got lucky or they bounced about the Bty for a bit (ex on the guns, ex in the CP, ex in an OP etc) till THEY found the the best place that THEY thought you would be best suited.

    Word of warning however, although the description sounds 'ard as feck and, lets face it, the job itself isn't that far from the description, he will NOT be starting his career bringing down fire, his into action drills will be

    1. Hessians down
    2. Cam net up
    3. Brews on
    4. Stag on

    Till he can be trusted to not cock up (too much) on the net


    edited to add:

    Perception goes a long way with OPs as well, be a warry b'std and you usually find you way in there, one of our long term AP lads was ex Junior Para before rebadging, because of the infantry side to his prior service he became a candidate straight away, plus in another Bty a lad turned up who was ex-TA with wings up, rumour was he was ex 21/23 and again found his way up the FEBA
     
  9. Like many other people in here i was "offered" that chance to get on the Op's after some time spent on the Guns and via the BC's crew route and as far as I am concerned it was the best job i ever had (that includes my current one)

    You have a heck of a lot of freedom in the role and it can be physically tough but you are right you have to earn the trust of people already on the crew and it takes a lot of courses (adv Sigs/Op Ack) and time before you get the full benefit from it but once you do it is a very rewarding role.

    Like most jobs in the Army though you only get back what you put in.
     
  10. 148 Cdo FO Bty is always very short of volunteers in the rank of Gunner and its probably the best OP job in the Gunners (stand by for incoming from 4/73, 7 Para RHA etc...). All team members are eligible for para training and those trained are on para pay. To get in vol for 29 Cdo during Phase 2 (at present the policy is that all volunteers for 29 go there). You're better off in an ACS trade but, whatever trade, once you get to 29 - via the commando course - volunteer straight away for 148 - and don't take BSM's 'no' for an answer (may take a bit of diplomacy here!). Once in 148 you will need to pass the Naval Gunfire Assistant course - lots of long-range yomping and other delights - and, of course, you have to get on with the lads. Sounds an impossible task but plenty have done it. Alternatively stay in a gun battery FST - but there is less para pay floating around in gun batteries...

    Good luck to your 'oppo' wherever he ends up.
     
  11. I'm also joining the RA this year and am also going for OP Assistant. My recruiter (who is RA) has not said anything to me about not being able to go straight from phase 2. From what I can understand you do a signalling course at phase 2 and become a signaller in the OPs straight away.

    Like I said he has said nothing about not getting straight in and will put my name up for the job right after i pass selection.
     
  12. Theres no saying you won't, but you need to be practical, theres not a never ending supply of jobs in a Regt, there is normally only one slot in an OP for a Gunner Signaller, you then need to thinka bout how many OPs in a Bty and then a Regt, competition may be tight. Wer'e not trying to disuade you from joining, just trying to ensure you have the facts of life before rocking up at your Regt.

    Something else they should do is show you other roles in the Royal Regt that you have never heard of (Radar op, Logs, UAV op, GMLRS op etc) I joined up wanted to be a Blowpipe (showing age now) operator in 7RHA, ended up a SoundRanger in 94 Locating, but I'm not moaning about it as it sounded a good job and you know what ? It was

    Go to Pirbright with open eyes and mind, don't forget your first year you will probably be a brew bitch anyway, its your apprenticeship, once you have an advanced (or L3 ???) or specialised course under your belt then things will change for the better


    Oh and welcome to the Royal Regiment