Should the OTC Gun troops be disbanded?

Discussion in 'OTC and ACF' started by steptoe, Aug 1, 2005.

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  1. I have been playing with OTC gun troops for about 6 years now; I have done 4 courses Camps and 5 KG6s.
    So what I say is based on experience.

    For the last few years I have noticed a distinct change in OTC gun troops. Some Gun troops are finding it harder to get the bods in. Some are finding it harder to keep them in and I think I know why.

    For a start to do any thing on the Guns now you must be qualified. Even the numbers 4, 5 and 6 need gun level one to compete in kg6, which takes up a whole terms training.

    Normally I would say great, I love the guns. But allot of the people join the troop for other reasons.
    It is now becoming harder and harder to even get the Guns in the first place to actually to this training.
    So if every new person must be gun trained and we have no guns what’s the point?

    Live firing is restricted pretty much to kg6 and courses camp, and blank ammo is becoming rare.
    Places on Brief Encounter are becoming fewer too.

    I thank the RA for the support they have given in the past, and the excellent BSM's and SMIGS they have sent us.
    But I think that they must at some point and say we just don’t have the resources to continue.

    May be CO's of OTC are now starting to think the same?

    Any thoughts?
     
  2. From what I saw on the first week of KGVI at least half of the gun troops appear to be going along quite strongly.

    Guns Level 1 has never been a problem from what I've seen as it can be ran during the freshers first term of training easily.

    Blank ammo may be hard to get but that just saves on cleaning and we may only live fire twice a year but thats a hell of a lot more than our infantry company get to field fire.

    Guns troops may be getting more difficult to run but surely everything good is worth fighting for.
     
  3. Steptoe, you started playing with the guns around the time I was finishing, also after around 6 years and 6 KG6s. So some continuity here.

    The problems you're pointing out aren't really anything new, manning for gun troops has often been a problem. As far as taking a terms training to make sure no.s 4, 5, and 6 are up to the job, well that's what we always did in my OTC.

    We weren't chucking live HE around the countryside outside annual camp or guns course that much either, although sharing a TA centre with a battery in 24 Airmobile Brigade did mean that we 'piggybacked' on their quite generous ammunition allocation. As far as blank goes, well we fired an order of magnitude greater amount of live than we ever did blank, so shortages of that are nothing new.

    When you say places on Ex Brief Encounter, or Certain Shag as it was known to generations of RA YOs, are fewer do you mean it's smaller, or that your OTC gets fewer O/Cdts on it, a symptom of increased take up elsewhere perhaps?

    And what possible other reason could there be in joining the Gun Troop if it's not for the guns?

    I honestly can't see things being so desperate as to warrant the end of the most entertaining troops in any OTC lucky enough to have a Gun Troop.
     
  4. No! No! No! No! No! No! No! No! No! No! No! No! No! No! No! No! No! No! No! No! No! No! No! No! No! No! No! No! No! No! No! No! No! No! No! No! No! No! No! No! No! No! No! No! No! No! No! No! No! No! No! No! No! No! No! No! No! No! No! No! No! No! No! No! No! No! No! No! No! No! No! No! No! No! No! No! No! No! No! No! No! No! No! No! No! No! No! No! No! No! No! No! No! No! No! No! No! No! No! No! No! No! No! No! No! No! No! No! No! No! No! No! No! No! No! No! No! No! No! No! No! No! No! No! No! No! No! No! No! No! No! No! No! No! No! No! No! No! No! No! No! No! No! No!

    That would be the wrong answer. I only did a few Ex and KGVIs but the guns must not go.

    It is easy for the Inf Wings to fire off their blanks and potter around training areas. It requires little training and blanks don't really kill people - they are relatively safe - ish! Guns require huge training areas because they are dangerous. Therefore the crews have to be well trained - but, as Strut_Jack and PartTimeGeordie says, we used to do that and have a bloody good time whilst doing it. At least you are doing something unusual -

    "What did you do at the weekend?"

    "Oh, went out with the OTC."

    "Did you get cold and wet?"

    "Yes, but chucked sh1t loads of shells down range - filled the air with shrapnel and will be farting cordite for a week! Also, had a cracking night down the pub and drank my own weight in booze!"

    As for Certain Shag, this years was full and they had a cracking time! Wish I had gone. I would have pulled as well.

    Also, what do you need a blank round for a light gun?? Pointless.

    A BSM without a 'tash must be a hat! I have know loads and tehy are all the same - small with porn star 'tashes!

    Gunnery is an art, not for the stupid or casual members - therefore, it takes dedication and devotion to excel in it. TA Lt Gun units need keen members of the UOTC to support them on their training exercises - makes more money for the Cadets and also makes them better trained on the guns prior to exercises. Long may it continue.

    (In the spirit of fairness, the following "fun" wings are available at OTCs around the country - Inf, RE, Sigs, REME etc. They are all a bit dull and don't involve blowing stuff up!)

    What-o!!!
     
  5. OTC gun troops should definetly not be disbanded. I'm a first year and there was little doubt in my mind that I wanted to be a gunner. There has also been no shortage of other gun troop recruits and a badassed recruiting campaign is planned for the upcoming intake. this of course is basically lots of booze, blowing stuff up and advertising the fact that the gun troops are always the first in, the last out and have the most reliable personel. First and last to the bar of course and reliable personel as they always pack plenty of good chat, and none of the so called essentials. I heard that warm kit is for the weak.

    ---------------------------

    SA80, Light Gun... you decide.
     
  6. Little doubt? No doubt should be the answer!
     
  7. And married to small, angry, and somewhat terrifying jocks as I recall Goatbag.

    Although in fairness it was Mrs. BSM who pulled my last BSM up for trying to prise my head off on one occasion. He seemed genuinely chastned, for about 10 minutes.
     
  8. I hope people have not missed the point. I am not disputing how cool the RA troops are, or how refreshed they get in the bars.

    What I am saying is that if there is no resources then may be there should be a rethink?
    Most UOTC Gun troops need to beg, borrow or steal the guns they use. Even the TA are having problem getting guns that work.

    I know that our local Battery has 2 guns VOR at the moment, and are reluctent to lend those that work to OTC's as they fair fear that they too will be broken.

    I know my CO gave the RA HQ the option of pulling there finger out to support us or he would pull the plug, as recce can be done with the RAC and FOO etc with the Inf.

    We train MTQ1 in Sept- Dec, and RA Feb to May, so as the new guys need to be gun trained, no guns.. no fun..
     
  9. I don't think I missed the point, I made the point that ammunition scales and manpower have always been a bit of a bugbear, I'm not sure what relevance the training cycle has, your OTC is doing it exactly the same as we always did. It was never the case of just grabbing some poor unfortunate and making him a breech creature on the first week of camp or suchlike.

    As far as kit goes, well we either got our kit from the co-located TA battery, which, as Goatbag mentioned, benefitted from the technically trained OTC types who exercised with them in return, or alternatively we used pool guns. A pain in the arrse when compared to the well maintained stuff from the battery and in terms of actually getting hold of it, but unless I've got it very wrong, fewer Light Gun roled units means more pool guns, so there isn't a shortage of kit in that regard.

    Having people qualified to drive tractor vehicles and light gun might be a problem, but it was a problem a few years ago too and we managed.

    As far as OTCs breaking guns, certainly it happens, my username might suggest which bit of CES I trashed but in our defence it was actually a BSM from 29, later to be found in the TES team on the Plain, who dropped a gun on it's elevating handwheel, seeing him subsequently trying to depress with just the hub to grasp was a chuckle.

    Bottom line is, none of the challenges currently faced by (your) OTC gun troop(s) are new or insurmountable, you've already shown your class by choosing Guns now show your character by making it a continued success.
     
  10. I remember the incident well! And your colour was very Joint in its colour!! :lol:
     
  11. I thought somewhere midway between Joint and Airborne.

    He asked me if my neck was okay for several weeks afterwards, I think he had visions of his career being blighted by a claim for damages from a nearly dismembered O/Cdt. On reflection I think he would have been fine since at no time did he attempt to sh*g me.
     
  12. strut_jack wrote: "but unless I've got it very wrong, fewer Light Gun roled units means more pool guns, so there isn't a shortage of kit in that regard."

    I've heard rumours (so have your pinch of salt on stand-by) that some Regular units may revert back to Light Gun. Anyone know if this is true? If that is the case then Guns for UOTCs will be even trickier to get hold of. Also the amount of spare rounds seems to have shrunk since Bin Laden kicked off.

    It seems that live fire is getting increasingly hard to deliver barring the untouchable KG6 and Courses Camp. I also get the impression, and I could well be wrong, that blank ammunition is increasingly hard to scrounge. Speaking as an OTC Gun Bunny of a few years, it does get a tad boring shouting bang all the time (unless your crew get creative or carried away with their 'Bat Sims' but that's beside the point).

    I think the point Steptoe is making is that while UOTC Gun Troops are feasable and to be encouraged in the hear and now, the future of them looks shakey. I for one would hate to think of my wing going to the wall as I've spent many happy nights, port in hand, with my mates holding my semi-concious head, but they do seem to be on the wane. I think the question should be will they be around in say 5 years time? Be interesting to see what the other Gun Troops have noticed. In the mean time long live the Bunny!
     
  13. Training is never a problem. It takes 3 days to get a bunny slick on positions 2,4,5. It can be done in a weekend.
    Gunnery is the only sub-unit in the otc for which you can work towards qualifications. The training is a lot better structured than any of the others.
    Personnel is sometimes an issue for some otcs (Birmingham, or is it Bristol? One of the B's), but we never have trouble raising a full troop and a few extras to make the hot brown.
    I was personally getting a little bored of gunnery 8O doing pre-KGVI dry training. Sitting on my no.3 seat for a week straight, fiddling with my knobs (and laying the bastard occasionally too). However, the moment the first round went down the range on competition day, all the enthusiam comes rushing back.
    Gunnery is Funnery!
    As for having to shout bang, try and liven it up. Wing in a few kablammies and shazzams.

    The gun troops should NEVER be disbanded, as it's far too much fun. So what if resources are scarce. Adapt and Overcome!

    40rgt highland gunners are now light gun, and 105 (TA) are changing from cloud punching to 105's as well. Plus 29 and 7paraRHA of course.
     
  14. what do you think we do with the guns? same as everyone other gun crew does. yeah, we might be a bunch of scrounging students but we don't pull the gun to pieces and try and break them. if a gun goes VOR then 9 times out of 10 its through general wear and tear, not because some student monkey has decided that the taboo gear would look better if mounted on the muzzel break. after looking round the gun park before second week competition of KG6, all the guns had the proper matenance carried out. i agree guns are scarce and so we look after them.

    i really hope your not a gunner and are some random mong, and if you are a gunner then you've obviously missed the point of what the RA actually do. gun recce's done by the RAC? are you mad? if recce isn't that improtant to the RA then why is a Battery the BRO's train set? and if the inf are so good at being FOO's then what are all FOO's from the RA? think about what you're saying, because it doesn't make sense.
     
  15. When you say the RAC can do recce, I hope you mean the breakdown service! The other lot would just peer out the turret and say;
    'Well I wouldn't have a picnic here, would you Geoffery?'

    As for guns being VOR. The two guns that we were lent kindly by 101 were both VOR before we had the chance to do anything. One had a buggered wheel/suspension, and the other was fubared by the reme fitter.

    'I'll just check the recuperator........oooh that's a bit tight.....PING..boink.....bollocks i've fooked it'

    The only thing that did work properly was the PMS batteries! And they never work!
    If it hadn't been for leeds, lending us theirs, we wouldn't have had a very good competition day.