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April Fool ?

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posted on Apr, 5 2005 @ 02:57 PM
It was announced by The Daily Telegraph (Friday April 1st) that the Special Air Service is set to leave No 1 Parachute Training School at RAF Brize Norton and move to Fort Bragg.

This move (SAS and 'Pathfinders') is due because

"RAF Officers fail to understand the equipment and training requirements for specialised parachuting because they have no operational experience".

As most descents are made at 20,000 feet or above, at night and with large operational loads and weapons, most jumps are made on to dark and unmarked and possible hostile DZ's, somebody at Special Forces HQ asked for the course to be updated.

Apparently the RAF were 'shocked' by this request and were at a loss to know what to do and were still incapable of delivering an 'end=product to those requiring it.

I can readily associate with this criticism because of my own experience when No 1 PTS was running it's last course at RAF Abingdon in June of '76.

I had just returned from Oman and was really board and craving excitement! Another thing was I was freezing cold. (It was only 98' whilst Oman was a balmy 128' in the shade) So I volunteered for a jump course and was sent to Abingdon - The Rest Home for Sick Airmen . No medical - apart from the usual 'cough', and was pronounced 'fit to jump!'

Got there AND to my horror - there would be no 'P' Company, No Tower, no Knacker-Cracker (Fan) and certainly no Balloon! What a bummer!

We spent all of week 1 packing our parachutes, practicing rafter work and ground work and OH! Almost forgot! Spent a lot of time out on the pop!

Week 2 spect even more time doing 'Side Rights' or 'Rear Lefts' until finally on Wednesday morning, we were going to do our first descent.

Up until then, we always been told, "Nothing, ever goes wrong! But just in case you get a 'Hung Canopy, 'Roman Candle' or the 'Twists', this is what you do!"

Eventually I jumped from a Cessna over Weston-On-The-Green aka 'Blood-On-The-Grass' and wrecked my right knee because I landed toes, knees, nose - and all on my first descent. Not allowed to jump any more that course. I think it was 'Murphy's Law' because those who jumped two sticks after mine, one person landed on the hanger roof - did a perfect 'Side Right' and speared his right thigh and another chap landed in a turkey farm a mile over the Reading/Oxford road. Lucky escape eh?

I've jumped at night with suspended bergen and full weaponry and it aint fun. Especially if you jump over an 'unknown' DZ.

However, I just have this nagging thought at the back of my mind. The storey was published April 1st. So, was it an April Fools Day joke?

[edit on 5-4-2005 by John bull 1]

[edit on 5-4-2005 by John bull 1]

posted on Apr, 5 2005 @ 02:59 PM
I just dunno how that happened. Perhaps one of you more enlightened chaps can let me know.


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