Para Platoon earning the Maroon beret

Caversham

Former RM Commando, Moderator
Joined
Mar 22, 2009
Posts
5,455
Reaction score
8,507
Many of them initially thought that the balloon was an elaborate practical joke. :)
I have to say that the second balloon jump on my BPC was the most terrifying jump I ever did; purely because I knew what was coming. The silence at 800ft was astounding, broken only by the muffled gargling of the first 180ft of descent until your canopy fully deployed; none of which you knew about on your first!

Alan
 

Rkec

Valuable Contributor
Joined
Sep 29, 2008
Posts
349
Reaction score
193
Yep.

Helicopters do not have the range that a C130 has. If you want to insert troops within a relatively short range, helos are fine. If you need to reach out further then a Para drop remains a tactical gold standard. Do a quick google on the operating radius of a CH47/Merlin and compare to C130 or C17 and you’ll see the huge difference.


Mark my words- 2&3 PARA will be absorbed into SFSG in the future.
I agree on a smaller specialist task level, parachuting is still highly relevant and important. But do you think the days of loading them with 50-100 highly trained soldiers, flying at less than 10,000 feet, below 200mph would politically survivable? I say it in the context of rebels in the likes of basic countries like Yemen being able to get their hands on units capable of taking down F-15's. I know it's always the famous last words, but I just can't them being risked like that ever gain.

Maybe my point isn't even important anyway, maybe just the fact that the enemy thinks they could be possibly used like that is enough to tie up their resources for a while.
 

Grey man

Royal Marines Commando
Joined
Jan 30, 2020
Posts
82
Reaction score
162
I agree on a smaller specialist task level, parachuting is still highly relevant and important. But do you think the days of loading them with 50-100 highly trained soldiers, flying at less than 10,000 feet, below 200mph would politically survivable? I say it in the context of rebels in the likes of basic countries like Yemen being able to get their hands on units capable of taking down F-15's. I know it's always the famous last words, but I just can't them being risked like that ever gain.

Maybe my point isn't even important anyway, maybe just the fact that the enemy thinks they could be possibly used like that is enough to tie up their resources for a while.
Mate I’m with you- they only need a coy of Para qual’d blokes. Gen!
 

thirdtry

Valuable Contributor
Joined
Sep 28, 2019
Posts
268
Reaction score
330
Mental reading about how the 82nd Airborne jump so regularly.

As far as I know the American parachute is one of the most dangerous in NATO. The 'acceptable' fatality or severe injury rate with the British parachute (unopposed) is just under 10% whereas the American one is something like 20%. This is why the DZ in training jumps is lined with medics. Happy to be corrected if wrong on that; I think I got it from "Paras: Men of War" series. Funny watching that when the Sgt briefs all the lads "there's a good chance some of you won't be standing up after this, everyone happy with that?".
 

john lewis

Venerated Contributor
Joined
Jun 2, 2015
Posts
1,213
Reaction score
782
Once a parachute assault capability is binned it cannot be rapidly reactivated. Making strategic decisions based upon current political circumstances is short-sighted and dangerous.

Parachute capability and reach still has a place in the mix; both strategically and psychologically.
As a relatively small, non-aligned nation France ensures that its airborne assets remain prominent and demonstrates the nation's reach where it needs to do so.
What one of my screws said to me was that it may seem unnecessary to some now but as soon as you get rid of it is when you’ll need it (think something similar happened with snipers but don’t quote me on that).
 

1919

Member
Joined
Nov 15, 2019
Posts
46
Reaction score
45
Do you still see a role for everyone in the Regiment to be qualified to jump? Or do you see it going the way where only specific roles need to be trained?

As someone said to me (might have been on here in the past), why would you take 50 highly trained blokes and fly them slowly and at low level over enemy territory? Do you believe that the bosses see those days as being long behind them?
The French did it in Mali a few years back.

 
Last edited:

Chelonian

Moderator
Joined
Aug 10, 2010
Posts
10,373
Reaction score
12,069
...but as soon as you get rid of it is when you’ll need it (think something similar happened with snipers but don’t quote me on that).
Exactly that. In the 1970s sniping was regarded by many as being irrelevant to modern warfare. Royal Marines and Parachute Regiment disregarded the conventional wisdom and kept it alive passing on the skills and experience acquired over many years.

The French did it in Mali a few years back.
And Kolwezi, Zaire, 1978.
 

Wings

Venerated Contributor
Joined
Nov 3, 2014
Posts
1,201
Reaction score
1,104
Yep.

Helicopters do not have the range that a C130 has. If you want to insert troops within a relatively short range, helos are fine. If you need to reach out further then a Para drop remains a tactical gold standard. Do a quick google on the operating radius of a CH47/Merlin and compare to C130 or C17 and you’ll see the huge difference.


Mark my words- 2&3 PARA will be absorbed into SFSG in the future.
Its been on the tables before to have us as sfsg
 

Wings

Venerated Contributor
Joined
Nov 3, 2014
Posts
1,201
Reaction score
1,104
I have to say that the second balloon jump on my BPC was the most terrifying jump I ever did; purely because I knew what was coming. The silence at 800ft was astounding, broken only by the muffled gargling of the first 180ft of descent until your canopy fully deployed; none of which you knew about on your first!

Alan

2nd jump is always the worst glad I didnt do balloon jumps
 

Grey man

Royal Marines Commando
Joined
Jan 30, 2020
Posts
82
Reaction score
162
As far as I know the American parachute is one of the most dangerous in NATO
Correct. It’s a dicey piece of kit notorious for deployment malfunctioning. A 3 PARA lad was critically injured about five years ago as a result. Unfortunately the cold truth of war would dictate that whilst soldiers creaming in on a jump are unfortunate, they are minorities. The much higher and serious risk is a helicopter/airframe going down. For example, A Chinook being used to transport air assault troops being shot down is likely to kill most of the 39 troops in it. A Chinook being wiped out knocks out a significant percentage of our aviation support. That is why we so desperately tried to avoid it in Afghanistan, and moved heaven & earth if one was grounded, let alone shot down, when it happened out there.


John Lewis said:
What one of my screws said to me was that it may seem unnecessary to some now but as soon as you get rid of it is when you’ll need it (think something similar happened with snipers but don’t quote me on that)
End of the day, if you have cause to insert light role infantry into a hard to reach/deep area , Parachute insertion is a very realistic tactical option. I’m not talking “Market garden 2", just paratroopers and the bare bones of a logistic tail- enough to seize and secure the airfield to allow subsequent unload of further forces if required.

Pick a location outside of helicopter range where there is a need to have an influence in a hurry (I can think of a few in deepest darkest Africa). Jump in, secure airfield/landing strip, secure the people we don't want stranded there anymore and wait out for exfil.


Yep. Gravity does the job.

What matters most is what the boots on the ground do, regardless of delivery by landing craft, C-130, chopper or lorry.
Great point. In the same breath.. When was the last time a Commando shimmied across a 30ft rope, half fell off and then climbed back on?
The Parachute Regiment will always be ringfrenced because, like the Corps, it is consistently among the best recruited & well trained infantry units.
The PARA’s would survive without a hardcore Bn scale parachuting capability. Depot & P Coy - and the test it represents - remains central to that.
 
Last edited:

Chelonian

Moderator
Joined
Aug 10, 2010
Posts
10,373
Reaction score
12,069
The PARA’s would survive without a hardcore Bn scale parachuting capability.
Yep, I think that the future of the Parachute Regiment possibly lies in a larger SFSG role. I'm not referring to the strategic concept here but the political justification for existence. The unique amphibious role of the Royal Marines is more credibly argued to the tax paying public.

Could the Parachute Regiment shed a regular battalion? Probably. Obviously 3 PARA would be culled on the grounds of ugliness, lack of charm and general grunginess. :)
 

1919

Member
Joined
Nov 15, 2019
Posts
46
Reaction score
45
Yep, I think that the future of the Parachute Regiment possibly lies in a larger SFSG role. I'm not referring to the strategic concept here but the political justification for existence. The unique amphibious role of the Royal Marines is more credibly argued to the tax paying public.

Could the Parachute Regiment shed a regular battalion? Probably. Obviously 3 PARA would be culled on the grounds of ugliness, lack of charm and general grunginess. :)
Looks like that could be the way both the Paras and the Marines are going, into a kind of 2nd tier special forces, like the Americans or the Australians. It makes more sense, I guess, than having them perform a role too dissimilar to that of any line infantry unit but at greater cost.
 

Wings

Venerated Contributor
Joined
Nov 3, 2014
Posts
1,201
Reaction score
1,104
Mental reading about how the 82nd Airborne jump so regularly.

As far as I know the American parachute is one of the most dangerous in NATO. The 'acceptable' fatality or severe injury rate with the British parachute (unopposed) is just under 10% whereas the American one is something like 20%. This is why the DZ in training jumps is lined with medics. Happy to be corrected if wrong on that; I think I got it from "Paras: Men of War" series. Funny watching that when the Sgt briefs all the lads "there's a good chance some of you won't be standing up after this, everyone happy with that?".
British parachute isnt even 10% its one malfunction every two hundred thousand chutes used
 

Wings

Venerated Contributor
Joined
Nov 3, 2014
Posts
1,201
Reaction score
1,104
Looks like that could be the way both the Paras and the Marines are going, into a kind of 2nd tier special forces, like the Americans or the Australians. It makes more sense, I guess, than having them perform a role too dissimilar to that of any line infantry unit but at greater cost.
We are trained that way and should be treated that way. Not as a line infantry regiment personally believe we should have 1 paras kit as its lighter and we can then jump with more and not rely on 7 air dispatch dropping the rest
 

Wings

Venerated Contributor
Joined
Nov 3, 2014
Posts
1,201
Reaction score
1,104
Keeping people in the loop as John Lewis from the forum passed out.
Theres now 1 in week 5 depot and one waiting to start after passing prac from the forum.
Good to hear. Any interest message me
 

Caversham

Former RM Commando, Moderator
Joined
Mar 22, 2009
Posts
5,455
Reaction score
8,507
British parachute isnt even 10% its one malfunction every two hundred thousand chutes used
An SF guy on my BPC had a malfunction on the night jump! :eek:

Alan
 

Johnny_Anonie

Moderator
Joined
Mar 17, 2019
Posts
1,306
Reaction score
1,623
We are trained that way and should be treated that way. Not as a line infantry regiment personally believe we should have 1 paras kit as its lighter and we can then jump with more and not rely on 7 air dispatch dropping the rest
What’s the craic these days with getting a posting into/ tour with 1 PARA, are blokes still rotated through from 2&3?
 
Top