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The RAF Regiment: why so disliked by so many British soldiers/marines?

Discussion in 'Military History' started by Ripvulcan, Jan 26, 2009.

  1. tp3813

    tp3813 Member

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    >Urhq
    >Truth....Didnt do p company...I aint mad....I did a joint service parachute >course at Netheravon...Home of Glider pilot regiment of old....Only did two >sports jumps mate.....Not a para badged course. Just a forces voluntary >sports thing.
    ---------------------------
    Ah yeah I did that too, before becoming paratrooper. interesting course.
    just two things I didn't like

    1. Having to pack my own parachute. Every time I was convinced I f**** it up and crapped myself in case it would not open.

    2. Instead of jumping straight out like a Hercules, one has to actually stand outside the aircraft on a little step, holding on to a wing strut before getting signal to go. Not good for ones nerves :D

    on the plus side it was more enjoyable because being much higher spent longer in the air and had a beautiful view....and no bloody great containers strapped to your body either. i was on the support weapons and really hated jumping with a bloody great 81 mm mortar barrel strapped to me -although I believe these days they have door bundles.
     
  2. urqh

    urqh Tea drinking surrender monkey

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    Thats the one, and gernerally they get a female to hang out first to make sure the guys at front dont get to hesitate...If she can do it you lot can bloody well do it....
     
  3. Sagi

    Sagi recruit

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    Trust me mate, the ordinary field Sqns do that a lot more than you think. I remember when a bunch of guys from my Coy were seconded to act as replacements on the RAF Regt perimeter patrol at the COB in Basra and the Regt boys didn't even bother to bring their personal weapons, well they did but I dont think pistols count for much in a firefight. It was sickening to behold.

    Also they do get all the gucci kit because they arent funded out of infantry funds. I'll say one thing, the RAF looks after its own. More than once I've wished I'd joined them instead. lol

    As for the Army's unthinking blind obedience to orders, I think you'll find that went totally out the window when the HM Armed Forces introduced Doctrine in the late 80s. Ever heard of Mission Command? Manouevrist Warfare? Today's Infantryman conducts tasks that in the past would have been viewed as SF only. Every single section commander is given massive leeway to conduct his task his way. Now in the predoctrinal era I do not know, but I've heard some terrible things.

    Actually, I would contend that, not most but, many people in the Infantry would be capable of passing PRE-PARA or P Coy fairly easily given the opportunity or motivation to go for it. The reason for the high dropout rate in your PRE-PARA may be the low entry standards required of Gunner recruits.

    Compared to;

    To sum up; RM select recruits with MSFT scores 4 levels higher, 6x as many push ups, 3x as many sit ups plus 6 pull ups in order to pass. I'll ignore the rest.

    Army recruits need to do 5x as many push ups to pass, and 2x as many situps and if they do do the MSFT they must get 1 level higher. And those figures are for normal TA infantry recruits not regular Para or Air Assault soldiers.

    I'll leave Officer selection for now but the trend is essentially the same, with the exception that the Infantry get the very best of every Army officer cadet intake rather than the candidates self-selection that naturally follows RAF officer recruitment practices.

    Scary, no?

    That said II Sqn do seem to be a fairly tough unit and certainly can give any Line Infantry unit a run for their money (Look up the "Rock in a Hard Place" series in youtube) but they are a shining and fairly unique example. Most that I have personally worked with have been below par to say the least. PRE-PARA today is different to P-Coy in a number of ways but it does seem to balance out very nicely when you consider them side by side. I wont bore you with that comparison.

    Fixed that for you. :D

    They do say this and it makes my blood boil. Far worse though is that they say this with absolute certainty in their voices! After a month or so of this my unit in Iraq may have stole their Colours... And kept them for some two months. Oh the shame. They shut up.Like I say, they make me froth at the mouth and Im a fairly easy going guy. I don't even hate the RLC.

    I think this is endemic of them being in the RAF really. As seen above the physical standard that the RAF Regt attract is pretty poor but is still far above that of a normal RAF body on camp (4press ups, 7 sit ups and a 2.4km run in 12mins 11secs) and seen as they dont get around much thats all they can compare themselves to on a regular basis.

    I only joined the forum so I could set the record straight here and now. The RAF Regt are nothing special. They rate at the very best as on par with, or slightly below, the line infantry. They cannot claim to be in the same association, never mind league, as either the RM or Paras, with the notable and totally unique exception of II Sqn.

    Sagi out.
     
  4. R.A.F.Family

    R.A.F.Family recruit

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    I was concerned that the implication is that the raf reg are dissliked by other services,this is not the case in my oppinion,as already mentioned the training is 31 weeks my son is with 34 sqdn and soon to be deployed,out of the sqdn about 64 that started the training with him about 8 completed the training and passed out,this is proof enough that only the fittest and most commited have the honour to wear the raf reg mud gaurds,as already mentioned sqdns are attatched to the marines, paras,special forces support teams,they are very well trained and competant in many weapons systems,i have many friends from various regiments including the marines and they have nothing but respect for the rock apes,i accept that there is some banter and the raf reg is as bad as all the others at dishing it out but when the chips are down all of our armed services are profesional and united in acheiving there goal.
    R.A.F.Family
     
  5. GRW

    GRW Pillboxologist WW2|ORG Editor

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    Welcome to the forums RAF, and thanks for your input!
     
  6. 2SQ/22REG

    2SQ/22REG New Member

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    The RAF Regiment is officially classified as a UK Elite Force, they are a member of the SFSG (Special Forces Support Group) who have more training than the Royal Marines, they are primarily involved in the Seizing of Enemy Military or Civilian Airfields, and their defence up to a 60KM Radius of the airfield. They are involved in both Robust Defense and Search & Attack Operations. They are experts in CBRN, and take part in Covert and Overt Special Operations and Anti Terrorism Warfare. Their primary role is of course the defense of RAF & Army assets and the protection of facilities, that facilitate the movement of all Allied Military Forces. They are very highly trained, twice as long as the Royal Marines. They are highly mobile, which gives them the edge over the Royal Marines and Para's, they being able to draw on immediately available air assets to aid deployment. They work closely with the Para's, Royal Marines, SBS and the S.A.S. There role is pivotal to securing Airbase Operations and Air superiority in a war zone to support the British Army and Allied Forces especially in terms of supplies, hardware and vehicle transportation, Air Drops, Rapid Medical Evac, Troop Movement, Air Support and reconnaissance. These guys deserve every respect. The RAF Regiment static base and air defence gunners are however not an Elite Force on there own, but are a cooperative strategic element of the RAF Regiment. Not a lot is heard about the RAF Regiment, such is there specialised roll.

    The name "Rock Apes" comes from an incident, [SIZE=12.8000001907349px] in the Western Aden Protectorate in[/SIZE] November 1952, where RAF Gunners were on patrol, they used to shoot the Baboons as they used to throw stones and rocks at the Levy camp, and cause other issues, setting off traps and mines and causing damage. A bullet ricocheted and hit a patrol officer. It just missed his heart, and he survived. The gunner who took the shot, went to see the wounded patrol officer, who asked the gunner to call him a "Rock Ape", but only with a smile.

    Years later, the Royal Marines based at Gibraltar, also for a time, donned the nickname "Rock Apes"

    We all take the piss, but none hate anyone involved in the Military. We are all the same and need each others specialisms that make up the greatest Military Force, not the largest, but the smartest and most highly trained forces in the world.

    God Bless all our troops, in all their roles, Uk forces are the best in the world who deserve better ration packs and boots.
     
  7. Terry D

    Terry D Well-Known Member

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    As a civilian, I don't think I have any prejudices in favor of any one outfit or another. I have been on some sports teams, though, and I think it is the nature of young men in any uniform to form tribes, wear 'colors,' and have rivalries with other tribes in different colors. That's normal and within its limits not necessarily bad. As a historian, though, I sometimes think that the proclamation of any one corps as an elite or superior to others takes things too far. I haven't spent a lot of time studying elite units, partly because they get covered by everybody else, but I have looked at a fair number of ordinary line outfits (British 50th Division, 9th Australian Division, US 7th, 28th, 29th, and 32nd Divisions) and at different times all of them performed superbly. There were also times when they performed less well. It always seems to come back to the basics--good leadership, good, hard training, proper tactics, cooperation of all arms, proper logistics. Some units and corps claim to have a patent on these things (US Marines, German SS, insert your favorite elite or your own regiment here), but from what I can tell nobody really does.The badge you wear doesn't matter, the accomplishment of the mission does.
     
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  8. 2SQ/22REG

    2SQ/22REG New Member

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    All of what you suggest is correct, other than the fact that the RAF Regiment is a classified UK Elite Force, HQ'd under the Special Forces Support Group, with the SAS, SBS, 1 Para and the Royal Marine Commando's. Mistakes get made comparing UK Marines to US Marines etc. They are not the same thing at all. The Royal Marines are part of the British Army, not the Royal Navy. The US Marines or indeed the SEALS are not an Elite Force, however the US Recon Marines are an Elite Force. The badge you wear doesn't matter, as all Military Personnel have a role to play. But there level's of competence do matter, and deserve respect for passing through selection and for the difficult tasks they undertake, 75% of SAS Selection, who are all current serving personnel drop out in the 1st phase of Endurance Training. In 2013, 3 Soldiers died, during a Fitness Exercise during Selection, these guys were already considered extremely fit, and in active Service. Only 10% at most make the final selection stages, and it has been known that 0% have made it through the process and were returned to the Regiment from were they applied to join. Were as it doesn't matter what badge you wear, it is clear that these Elite Regiments are the goal of so many Military Personnel, and respected by all. Every Regiment, Troop or Squadron can be proud of their duty, no matter the rank, but just as in civilian life, we admire those who hold position and look to them for Inspiration as our peers and mentors, and we should not take away from our Elite troop the very difficult tasks, that ordinary soldiers would never be able to achieve, there Elite status IMO demands the utmost respect, for what they put themselves through, to go way beyond regular training to protect Queen & Country and the citizens within.
     
  9. lwd

    lwd Ace

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    That sounds like you are using a rather odd definition of "Elite Force". Certainly not one I am familiar with or would agree with for that matter.
     
  10. Drew5233

    Drew5233 Member

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    Mistakes? You have just made one, Royal Marine Commando's are part of the Royal Navy, always have been and always will. They have never been part of the British Army and never will.
     
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  11. Drew5233

    Drew5233 Member

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    RAF Regiment only do 4 month tours as to the British Army who do 6 months on ops.....Wankers
     
  12. Sheldrake

    Sheldrake Member

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    This looks like a wind up, and only posted here because no one will bite on ARRSE or PPrune! It is a parody of the attitudes which have generated hostility within the Army and embarrassment within the RAF. .Which serving or veteran Gunner would post as "2 Sqn/22 Reg"?

    The term "Elite force" is one found in "military enthusiast magazines" not the British Ministry of Defence publications. The RAF Regiment is NOT classified as a UK Special Force. Some members of the RAF Regiment are indeed part of the UK Special Forces. I understand that 2 Sqn provides one platoon and FAC parties for the Special Forces Support Group. But that does not make the RAF Regiment as a whole SF any more than the signals squadron supporting 22 SAS makes the entire Corps of Royal Signals an "elite" or the entire Royal Regiment of Artillery are special forces because 148 Battery's FSTs are para, commando and dive trained and support the SBS.

    A friend of mine, an ex soldier and successful businessman had a bit of a mid life crisis. This took the form of serving an operational tour that he had missed in his service in the REME during the relatively untroubled 1980s. He took advantage of the relaxed upper age limits to serve as an RAF Regiment reservist on Op Herrrick. This was very admirable but, if you can meet the fitness standards aged 50 it cannot be "special forces standard." Most of the RAF Regiment are comparable to the Luftwaffe field formations not the Fallschirmjaeger.

    Bringing this back on topic, The underlying reason why the RAF Regiment has been resented by the Army is because it is competition. Its the same reason that the RAF fought against the Army having its own aircraft. Ultimately jobs for airmen mean fewer for soldiers. The RAF Regiment was founded in the aftermath of the fall of Crete and has hung on ever since. The RAF may see this as collateral for the day when they need to trade their soldiers for the aircraft flown by the Army. ;)

    Paradoxically, by the time the RAF Regiment was capable of defending airfields, the Germans were incapable of attacking them. By 1944 the RAF Regiment were increasingly being used as light infantry to hold quiet sectors in the Italian campaign. One of their squadron holds the Col Belvedere/ Terelle sector north of Monte Cassino during the May 1944 offensive. By August 1944 the RAF Regiment was being run down and RAF Regt gunners were being posted as individual replacements to Army infantry battalions in Normandy.

    The RAF Regiment;s finest hour was probably the capture and defence of the airstrip at Meiktila in Burma. A squadron was ferried forwards in Austers and fought off the Japanese. I can recommend the history of the RAF Regiment in Burma. Unfortunately the title of the book "Constant Vigilance" has been undermined a little by JK Rowling using the term for defence against the dark arts. ;)
     
  13. Drew5233

    Drew5233 Member

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    264 Squadron Sir, Dam fine body of men and The Royal Corps - Every man, boy and child is elite when it's know as 'Gods Regiment'.
     
  14. Slipdigit

    Slipdigit Good Ol' Boy Staff Member WW2|ORG Editor

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    Royal Marines are part of the British Army...I would be careful who I said that around.

    Also, I'll be sure to pass on your evaluation of the SEALs as I come across them. They are a somber bunch and often need a good laugh.

    As for the Marines (USMC), well they are the Marines and that is enough said.
     
  15. Drew5233

    Drew5233 Member

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  16. lwd

    lwd Ace

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    Good call. Looking back at it a really impressive level of troll sign. The fact that he hasn't returned is rather indicative as well.
     
  17. Drew5233

    Drew5233 Member

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  18. lwd

    lwd Ace

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    The "wind up" was in reference to this post:

    Which was full of statements that several other posters called to question as well as some very debateable opinions. Much of it seems to be in pretty much direct opposition to your opinions on the topic by the way.

    Although this one may also be included with some legitmacy:

    It should also be noted that these two are the only posts under that username on these boards.
     
  19. Drew5233

    Drew5233 Member

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    I'm confused, your quotes are empty boxes. Anyway I can only speak of the RAF Reg and that they are into Merchant Banking in a very big way ;)
     
  20. Drew5233

    Drew5233 Member

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    Here they are training about to do their 'Five Mile of Death'

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4pbxeXYhgoY
     

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