special ops

Discussion in 'Gunners' started by uavgunner, Mar 5, 2005.

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  1. does anyone here know anything about special ops?

    I mainly want to know about selection and what the battery itself is like.If there is anyone here from 473 battery or anyone who has been on the course could they tell me as much as they can becuse im thinking of giving it ago after my upcomeing telic tour.
  2. Some of them good, a lot of them not half as good as they should be. One or two very bad NCO's. Generally misunderstood and disliked by most gunners and definitely on the way out. The patrols are a waste of talented soliders. They are under-equipped and under-trained for what they pretend to be for. If you want something worthwhile, go and join PF, 148 Bty or SF - all of whom will actually be used to do what they train for.
  3. Worked with some of them on Telic 2, they seemed top guys. Some were Arty, some from other units. Quite a few of them did a longer tour than anyone 8 months. Anyone who met the NCO running the show out there said he was a top guy.

    I beleive at times they have been underfunded..but I thought that had been readdressed now???

    If you can get to talk to some of them that might be an idea.. if you want to contact me I can give you some names to try.
  4. Met their CO in the HQ at the airport, very nice chap, tried to get me to do selection (if yoy can call it that) for his mob!! Politely declined on that occasion.
  5. Interesting choice of words, what would you like call it ? I had 25 on my first course, none passed
  6. Some good points and I agree with th assement of some of the NCO's, thing is there are a lot of leftovers form days where selection consisted of a week long assement ex and your in. I would hope most of those lads had moved on by now.

    The point about being under equipped is true as well, thing is they come under 5th for admin and miss out on some of the more basic infantry bits, when 5th replaced the plain green PLCE with the DPM varity, being an RA unit they got those frigging turtle shell vehicle kit bag things, cr@p beyond belief, 4/73 refuse to give up thier green patrol bergans and probably still use them to this day. Also, I didn't tell you this right :wink: but thier GPS were all "aquired" in GW1

    Are they on the way out, don't see why, finally the powers that be are reliasing that th eRA need more STA assets not less, I was an ex member of 94 and we all said it was a massive mistake getting rid of the locating regt, and now there are 2 (reg ones that is) and more within the TA. To use the arguement about PF, 148 and the like doesn't work either, they all have thier own roles, yes they also do recce, Op and Damage assessment but that isn't thier natural role. I like the line, something more useful refering to 148, surely they are much more redundent than 4/73, I mean how often is there a requirement of Naval Gunfire Bombardment ?
  7. Welly, fair points and my first post a bit OTT. But. Don't have an argument about what things should be like. If things went by the book the Bty should be THE premier dedicated non SF deep recce unit.

    Sad fact is though that nobody cares about them. PF have the airborne brotherhood to look out for them and You Know Who has always dropped them a bit of help because they see them as an active recruiting ground. In the days when it was 5 AB the Brigade cdr bore the PF Plt on his books as a non established black economy luxury because they were always seen as being at the tip of the spear. Though the Power Rangers might change things, PF have always been well regarded and looked after by their parent brigade.

    Likewise 148, (who are about a lot more than NGS) who are a v professional mob indeed and looked after by the Cdo who see them as fitting in well with their ethos, useful to have in the toolbox etc.

    Unlike 4/73 whove always been poor relations coz 1 Arty Bde arent interested. The story about the green bergans says it all. 1 Arty see 5 Reg as just another bit of the gunners. 473 should always have been on infantry scales. Instead they have to fight for it. Result they are underequipped for a massively demanding role.

    Yes they were on Telic 2 but not in role - they were scraping around doing an infantry job to justify their existence. But why not Telic 1 ? A big conventional battle where in the end the UK brigades had to beg USMC forward observer teams and put others into Basra to do the 473 job because they did not have enough deep special op teams. Not to denigrate the blokes who are good. But the writing is on the wall. The arty care about big guns and uavs. The only people which will do 473s job in the future is going to be SF and at a push PF and 148.
  8. Thing is I really don't have an arguement with that, becuase its the truth.

    The Para and Cdo elements will always look down on these upstarts whilst 4/73 will smugly look down on them and so the cycle continues, thing about them is they are so wrapped up in their self created veil of secrecy that pepole who matter over look them. The only people who understand them are tehmselves, shame really.

    Thing is, looking at the way this MoD works, they will disband them only to reform in larger amounts years latter when the use is identified
  9. Is it true that you can apply to 4/73 Bty straight from Larkhill, or is it recruiting bumf?
  10. Yep that been possible for a while, same I belive also goes for 148.

    Last time I was up there , which was a while Iago I must admit, the CO's policy that all sprogs were "advised" to apply.
  11. As a non artillery bloke I was just wondering if you get any extra pay?(specialist add pay)

    Is there a parachute roll?(para pay)
  12. I was there 95/96 and I tihink they either got or where going to get Band 3 pay for full screws, not sure what it is with the new fangled pay structure, not sure how the course structure is at the mo, it used to be pass OP Selection = Basic Special Observer, pass a number of varied courses including Spec Rec and Demolitions, can't remember the rest = Advanced Special Observer, and finally attend a Patrrol Leaders course at LRRP school = Det Commanders. But I think that all gone to cock now

    There is no airborne role for them so so there is no para pay. Now there was talk of getting individuals through jumps at a ad hoc basis but I am unsure where that got to. Basically they tried to swing it but the need isn't there so the mone men won't stump up.

    What do you get ? A nice green badge that looks like a snooker triangle and an experience few get to try
  13. One easy solution for the Bty would to repeat history, post them to Germany, to come under control of 1 Div. :idea:
    Therefore providing deep recce for them, Whilst PFPL provides Deep Recce for 3(UK)Div, with Brigade Ptls, still in 3 Cdo Bde.
    I realise Fmn Recce are already providing the service for 1 Div, but its an option for a unit that really has a shaky future..... Comments Please :?
  14. I find it intriguing that so many fell that 4/73 are role less and heading for the scrapheap but not other similarly misused units. The argument seems to stem from a belief that too many do their job when in fact they are the only unit that does their job.

    SF does have a Deep Recce role but more and more they are utilized in the strike raider role, many due to salivating MP’s who think they are the solution to all their troubles, anyone remember Portillos speech ??!? PF have there own role, prior insertion, recce, DZ/LZ establishment and continuing recce ops for 16 Bde, this idea of PF being 3 UK Divs Deep Recce element really is a side show as such and is oft fuelled buy a red lid blindness from Div Ops, also I notice they too seem to be getting dragged into a more strike capability, Sierra Leone ???? The one that makes me laugh the most is 148 Bty, great unit, superbly trained men but they as well have a role, Naval Gunfire Bombardment, and out of all of these groupings the most redundant, when’s the last time they were utilized in role ? 82 ? Now I’m not saying they should get disbanded, far from it after all the last large scale operational Parachute drop was in the Suez and I truly believe there is a parachute landing role still within the British Army.

    So what of 4/73 ? Well their role is to provide Arty Int and Targeting staff with Targeting Information for Deep Strike, they are the ONLY Regular Patrolling unit that does this full time, and unfortunately they are probably the unit that does this the least. Why is this ?

    1. Mistrust, this is a relatively new unit, originally formed as Stay Behinds in the early 80’s as a troop, formed into a Bty in the 90’s, there are some who know next to nothing about this unit. When is comes to op deployment many brass go with who they know not always in what a unit does.
    2. Misunderstanding, as previously mentioned many mistrust this unit as they don’t understand what they do, what is more criminal is those who THINK they know what they do, how many here still thin they are Say Behind OP’s ????
    3. Beret Blindness, Look in any Div Ops and you will see it festooned with wings and daggers, when it comes to deployment and exercise you will see their loyalties kick in. Also in these circles they are seen a wannabes, I remember one member of 7th who quite angrily insisted that they were known as Stay Behind OP’s not Special OP’s for no discernable reason, he simply didn’t rate them even though he had never met one let alone worked with him.
    4. Over reliance on technology, many G2/J2 staff I have worked with love things like Phoenix and other arty locating technology, it makes their job easier you see. OP’s have to positioned in reliable locations to pick up relevant surveillance, a UAV you just point in the general direction, set it off and watch the results come in live, pick the wrong location then redirect mid mission to find something.

    Shamefully it is these reasons that 4/73 are perceived to be on the endangered list, you see these other units are protected buy there hosts, 148 by the Commando Fraternity, PF by the Airborne Brotherhood, what’s 4/73 got ? 5Regt ? 1 Arty Bde ? I remember a call once to give them Sandy berets and be brought under the DSF wing, this would have been nice but pointless as they do not provide support in any way to the hooligans and really shouldn’t be grouped in such a way, also can you imagine the latent jealously bubble over on that one.

    We live in a world where information and intelligence rule, if anything that this Iraq and the WMD debacle has proved is we need more of it not less, its fine having digital satellite pictures, live aerial footage and sound and radar presences but none of this matches with eyes on the ground, don’t forget A10 pilots relay on technology for identification as well. Perhaps there is a call for a STA (Patrol) Regt in the regs like the HAC ? Maybe bring 4/73 and 148 under the same umbrella ? They both follow extremely similar training methods, although the NGFO role may have to be rethought.

    Well there’s my tuppence..