What can i expect from an operational tour?

Fresh from my CMSR (passed out 29/09/07) and with a boyish enthusiasm belying my 30 years, last night i put my name forward to volunteer to go on a Force security tour on Op Herrick.

No information was provided at the time as to what his may entail (although I'm sure when i ask next week there will be info available)

In the meantime, however, should i be selected to go, what could i be expected to do and how does the process work?

well you may spend two weeks at chilwynd barracks then on to the unit you are going out with for predeployment training followed by leave then on the tour.
Piles. No piles ointment.


Book Reviewer
Mostly pretty dull, relieved by moments of 'excitement'.

Best thing - finding out what REAL mates are!

Do it - you won't regret it.
And if you realy are a bird or not.
BIGBIRD101 said:
Sorry guys, its just a nick name. I'm only 5'8" and male.
That won't be a problem for some. 6 months in the desert can change people...
Just remember your soap on a rope...
as you are a sapper I would say that you'd get to do plenty. The Infantry tend to do most of the stagging on and force protection jobs (but you will get some of that as well - can't let the Inf have all the fun!)

There will always be danger, comes with the uniform. Incoming, IEDs, mines, paper cuts, they are ever present but vary in their degree of intensity depending on where you are sent. Even the NAAFI managers are exposed to it.

Try the Sapper forum if you don't get many TA sappers giving constructive advise. I was Inf so wouldn't be too sure of your exact role. I did work alongside some sappers and I know they work their socks off and have a great esprit de corps - and don't moan as much as the infantry for sure! :)
BIGBIRD - It is something of an Army cliche but the best advice I had pre deployment was "Go with the flow" - it didn't really occur to me to follow this advice until about two months into the tour though!!

I actually think that it is no bad thing to be going with your level of experience as the OPTAG training will build on what you have recently learned and you will be more receptive to the Reg ways of doing things as opposed to the TA - and that is the path to true happiness on an Op tour.

When in theatre you will find the Regs are a little less "army balmy" than the TA - N.B it is their job not necessarily the adventure as a first tour can seem to TA bods. Listen and learn and do as you are told and you will find your feet quite quickly. I found that much of the "Gucci kit" I bought that seemed like a good idea in the UK just became surplas crap once into the daily life in theatre, copy the regulars kit wise - the basics is all you need. Always ask for help if you are not sure - I was always amazed and how well the Reg SNCO's looked after us, especially at the beginning of the tour.

Always keep a sense of humour.

"Exitement" - there is a good chance that there will be some. If you have listened, learned and do as you are told you will get through it and find that you are serving with some of the best human beings on earth.

Make the most of down time!

Have a good tour. It will be a life changing experience, you will make the best mates ever. Stay safe.

Other than that whatever happens, happens - the bold truth is that no one can predict what an Op tour will be like.

The best of British to you. Proud of you mate.


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