Special Observer/148 Battery- UKSF

Hi there

Just a query, i have been doing a lot of reading on these two paricular groups of the Royal Artillery.

I would like to ask, do many of the serving personel in these two respective batteries go on to serve in UKSF.
It seems like a potential option as both jobs seem very kind of spec op like.

Any insight would be appreciated.

yeh i know alot of people in RA and Army itself say 473 special observation bty go on to do special forces. the 16 week specials obs course was created and designed by SF and Para Reg.

It says in Royal Artillery and 4/73 in your signature .... but Oath and P1 under it... does that mean you are already in 4/73... i had thought everybody joined as gunners and specialised in Phase 2?........i could be very wrong though. Cheers for your advice.

148 Bty as I am sure you will know is a part of 29 Cdo Regt RA and the soldiers are selected from that Regt to join the Bty (which is based in Poole), 4/73 selction process is indeed guided by the SF. BUT any Gunner can opt later in their career to attempt the All Arms Cdo Course (29 Cdo) or 4/73 selection. Don't base a Regt selection around wanting to go SF, base it around what you fancy doing, then if you/the chain of command feel you are up to it give 4/73, Cdo Course, P Coy, Selection a bash. If you get injured or aren't quite up to it you have a trade under your belt to fall back on.
Mate - 4/73 Bty are about to go through some very interesting changes.
Mate, if you able, could you expand on these changes? Myself and a few other people who are about to embark on a career in the gunners have an interest in looking at 4/73 at some point in the future. Any change in role or make up might affect my regimental choice (one that is made during phase 1/2)

LAIT, thanks for that, glad to hear the role isn't changing. It's what attracted me to the battery.

I'd imagine units like 4/73 are exact the kind that will come through the SDSR and come off well.
Out of mild curiosity, could somebody enlighten me and tell me what 4/73 Bty is for (excuse my ignorance)? My understanding is that it is a stand alone Div recce sub-unit presumably tasked with adjusting depth fires and otherwise contributing to the depth battle targeting cycle?

Is this correct? If so, given that we seldom operate above Bde level nowadays, presumably they now deploy in smaller groupings to support Bde recce (FR and BRF Sqns)? Is this Bty tasked with generating the BRF FSTs and JTACs or are they employed in some other capacity? I assume that they must have a troop on each operational iteration? And if not who does their job when they are not?
Brave Coward - 4/73 USED to be the "stay behind OPs" - the dudes that dropped in/inserted behind enemy lines and called in depth fires for about 5 minutes (or longer if good) before getting run over by a T-72/80/90/BMP etc. They did and still do the special patrols course, formulated and DSd by some SF types (among others) to allow them to fulfil this specialised patrols role.

As the cold war became a thing of the past, the stay behind element became less important, but the patrols element remained current and yes, in a bid to be operationally relevant, they picked up the BRF FST piece nicely. They now form a number of FSTs to augment a deployment, still particularly in the BRF. FR FSTs are not exclusively filled by 4/73 - each Close Support Regiment (AS90 type) has a FR Tac Gp Bty now under recent changes - these are, as the name suggests, a Tac Gp only (ie, BC, FSTs, no guns) and provide the FR element of each Brigade with FSTs.

4/73 have other specialised roles, but the operational relevance of BRFs and the support 4/73 provide to them has kept them going - and furthered their well deserved v.v.v. high reputation.

They are a specialist unit and one the Gunners are proud to own - but you can volunteer to join them from any cap badge. I know of one REME officer that joined, saw the light and has transfered cap badges now (well done him).
D-J thank you. Not an organisation I was familiar with at all.

Do they provide a Tac Party to each BRF and therefore have an element permanently deployed on operations?
Not forgetting that 4/73 Bty is open to all arms not just the Gunners. A lot of Infantry go for selection and the pass rate is around 5 or 6 in an intake of about 100 (that was a few years ago)
I can only see 2 - right hand file, 3 back, RLC. Chef maybe? Attached? Middle file, last but one, Fijiian (?) - maybe AGC? Then behind him a HAC cap badge (attached for OP tour no doubt, as HAC provide a TA elm of Special Observers). Left file, 2nd back is RHA cypher.

As I said above though, 4/73 open to any cap badge (as is 148 bty). one thing I'm not 100% on is whether all of 5 RA wear the khaki beret, or is it just 4/73? I ought to know really...


Book Reviewer
What about a) the female in the middle file in front of the bloke wearing a No.1 Dress hat? and b) right-hand file, sixth man back, directly behind the Rupert/WO? Can't see anything above his mouth, but his collar dogs look distinctly non-RA. Int Corps perhaps?
This photo's been done to death previously, on the TA forum I think.
The Indonesian soldier is Guards, first rank (by SSM) RHA, third rank rear (large collar dogs)???There is also 2 AAC blokes in, and several other Regt's (I was on exercise with them in Arizona, then Afghan)

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