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Author Topic: Resurrect the Airborne Regiment? Yes/No?!
the patriot
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posted 29 June 2021 16:13      Profile for the patriot   Author's Homepage   Email the patriot   Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Hello,

Having been five years now that our great nation has existed without an Airborne Regiment on paper, how does everyone feel about the idea of bringing back the unit to the Order of Battle? For a country of our size, simple logic would dictate an airborne mobile capable force. That's political issues notwithstanding of course.

-the patriot-


Posts: 281 | From: The Great White North | Registered: Jun 2000
JO
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posted 29 June 2021 17:16      Profile for JO   Email JO   Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Canada has a huge landmass - it needs a highly mobile rapid-reaction unit that can respond to threats in far-off regions such as the Arctic (not just threats - imagine an airplane crash, or something like that nuclear-powered Soviet satellite that broke up in space and spread itself all over Canada's North a few years back). It could also use an "elite" unit to which members of the Forces could aspire - the morale boost of having a world-class elite battlefield unit would be significant. I realize we do have the JTF - but its small size and extremely selective testing puts it out of the reach of a vast majority of soldiers, and as such does not aid morale in the same way the Airborne did. The Airborne was a useful unit for developing infantry and fieldcraft skills to a very high standard - an invaluable training ground.
However, it did have its limitations; like all parachute infantry units, it had high strategic mobility, but limited tactical mobility (ie. can't move too fast or far once on the ground, especially when compared to mech or air cav units); and of course there was always the difficult problem of extraction once the mission was done (especially in Canada's nether regions). A natural question rising from this: would an airborne or air cavalry unit be better for rapid reaction in Canada? There's points for both.
If we did bring back the Airborne as a para unit, how would we structure it? We could try something along the lines of the SAS, for example: instead of set up for parachute assault, train it in battlefield special operations (green ops) and able to work in small platoon- or company/commando- sized groups as well as a battalion level; able to handle long-range reconnaissance behind enemy lines or destoy key objectives. In short, not a conventional airborne/parachute unit but a special operations unit. Or we could set it up like the US Rangers - a qualifying Commando course, specializing in personal and small-unit fieldcraft and light infantry skills (expand on the Airborne Indoc course?) as well as the qualifying jump courses. A person who passes the course would receive a "Commando" patch on their uniform and be given the option to join the Airborne - not all would have to; some could return to their units and disseminate their developed skills throughout the infantry. Those who go to the Airborne would spend a maximum three years there and then have to return to their parent unit to pass on what they learned; they could return later on and pass a refresher course to spend another three-year tour. Officers in command positions should have experience commanding in the regular infantry at the level they are intended for in the Airborne - an Airborne Commando commander, for example, would have to command a line infantry company first to qualify.
I don't know how many of these ideas would be practical, but they may work. What do others think?

Posts: 12 | Registered: Jun 2000
bossi
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posted 30 June 2021 13:28      Profile for bossi   Email bossi   Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Once upon a time, each Militia unit would nominate their "top soldier" for the jump course - it was a goal to strive towards, the wings were something both tangible and visible (and, there was only one "Total Force" standard).

The concept of an "elite" unit also makes perfectly good sense, as long as it remains elite. Furthermore, it seems increasingly obvious that we need a "rapid reaction" unit.

However, don't forget - it also made sense for Canada to replace our aging helicopters, but political considerations overrode logic and common sense. Thus, I harbour no illusions or hopes as to the reversal of the decision to further erode Canada's military capabilities.

The Airborne Regiment is now merely history, just like the Bonaventure, Baden & Lahr, a light-weight summer dress uniform, ... need I continue?

Dileas Gu Brath
Mark Bossi, Esquire



Posts: 268 | From: Toronto, Ontario, Canada | Registered: Jun 2000
HastyP
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posted 30 June 2021 23:24      Profile for HastyP   Email HastyP   Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
My heart says "yes" but my mind says "why?"
Are parachutes merely an outmoded form of tranportatioin?
It seems a fine concept to be able to
insert a group anywhere in the world quickly, but how to sustain them? Pararescue is still a viable entity, but airborne?
they have been touted as the answer for assisting in
natural or manmade disasters across this
large country mainly to justify their existence.
However, survivors of an aircrash in the
Arctic would freeze to death well before any material aid could reach them and natural disasters are more a case of evacuating
people rather than dropping more in, and radioactive
crash waste will not go anywhere very fast.
Regretfully the only situation I see making
practical use of paratroops since WWII was
the US Army's plan to load C-5's with paras
in the States and drop them to previously
assigned defensive positions in Germany,
but that was during the Cold War.
I'm not anti-para (have quite a few jumps myself)
but can anyone give some real reasons for
having a parachuting force? I'd like to
consider them.

Posts: 1 | From: belleville, ON, Canada | Registered: Jun 2000
Boyd
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posted 01 July 2021 03:54      Profile for Boyd   Email Boyd   Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I'm not sure that you're wrong about parachuting, but doesn't it make sense to train your "rapid reaction" force to be able to reach the battle field in the most time proven method.

I also think that roles outside Canada are more likely than sending paras to clean up nuclear waste in the Arctic. The most likely example would be a UN mission gone seriously awry. While I'm sure that a horde of former peacekeepers will leap forward to assure me that the UN is always quick to allow it's peacekeepers to take the required action(LOL), what, if any, plans exist for extracting or reinforcing a Canadian force overseas? JTF2 isn't a option for a wide variety of reasons, the least of which is that they are simply TOO small to be of any real use. A good type of mission example might be the British Paras in Sierra Leone. They came in quickly to secure the area to achieve a short term objective, then bogged off.

Essentially, what I'm proposing is a battalion sized force who's role is to provide a force that can reach any of our UN missions rapidly in the event of a serious escalation in a UN mission. While the political aspect of creating this force would be difficult for a wide spectrum of reasons(If you called it Airborne or Commando, the same peacenik hippies that were screaming about Canadian peacekeepers having claymore mines in East Timor would claim that this force is a group of government sanctioned baby killers.), I think that not having a independent rapid reaction force, but still sending our forces to far off lands operationally is a disaster waiting to happen.


Posts: 4 | From: Vancouver, BC, Canada | Registered: Jun 2000
Michael OLeary
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posted 02 July 2021 23:59      Profile for Michael OLeary   Author's Homepage   Email Michael OLeary   Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 

OK folks, lets go for some brutal honesty here. I know that there are a lot of proponents of the Airborne Regiment out there, but generally they are those who served in the unit and succeeded through their own dedication, and/or willingness to be assimilated. Generally I have found that there are thee types of servicemembers that talk about the CAR:

- those who who have never served and "have no right to an opinion because they have never served"
- those who served, thrived and defend the CAR,
- and those who served but don't support it, which is 'sour grapes' because they never really fit the "airborne mystique."

And I guess you can consider me to be in the first group.

And it is this differentiation driven by the strong CAR advocates which make any rational discussion of the unit, its roles, employments and usefulness difficult.

Let's consider some of alternative views:

- The CAR was never used in its primary role.
- It actions in Cyprus were simply because it was there, its credible performance was because of the quality of its soldiers, not because of its primary role. Other Canadian battalions have performed as well in crisis.
- It was expensive to maintain, which is a real-life factor, as unmilitary as it seems.
- The airborne regiment drained many of the parent regiments' best soldiers, with the attendance loss of those personnel to the originating battalions.
- The airborne regiment also attracted many undesirable soldiers, often with excellent personal field skills, but unable to work in a military team. They were, however, willing candidates for the 'elitism' of the CAR and readily sent there where they joined others of the same rebellious ilk. This formed the core element of the few that gave the many their poor reputation.
- Good soldiers stayed with the CAR, or returned to it, there was insufficient cross-pollination to see a perceptible "increase in basic light infantry skills in the battalions by returning soldiers."
- Despite the high technical ability achieved by the CAR, if they had developed such a comprehensive light infantry capability, why don't the light infantry battalions have a published light infantry doctrine?
- The existence of the airborne regiment, while a career objective for few (who now aspire to their battalions' recce platoons), has never been proven to have contributed to the morale of the Army at large. They were like the battalion hockey team, which in most units was coddled and pampered, missing much of the exercise season to be taken away for games. Soldiers build unit (or Army) morale on shared experience, not on separation and elitism.

If we want to prepare a case for a revived (or maintained) airborne capability, build it with todays needs, budgets and forces in mind.

What role and missions can we realistically perceive that such a unit might meet?

Even augmenting a Canadian UN mission, when we are talking about a deployed infantry battlegroup, will 600 light infantry soldiers be a help or an impediment (lacking transport, resupply, etc.) At the reach of a CC-130, or even a borrowed Starlifter, what the hell good is 600 men who can't get themselves out? Do we really think there is the political will to set outselves up for an another Arnhem? Perhaps an airborne engineer battalion would better meet humanitarian aid and disaster response roles?

Our primary operational jumpers right now are SAR Techs and the Skyhawks, neither of which use classic military jump styles or equipment. And has there been a decrease in quality of these groups becasue rge CAR no longer exists as a feeder organixzation? How many SAR Techs or Skyhawks even came from the CAR?

Do we even need a military jump capable force for most of the perceived missions? A battalion (or two, three?) trained over a summer each to jump by sport parachute standards would secure the capability, at a lower cost and lower attrition rate. Lower descent velocitiies, square steerable chutes, shorter training times - cheaper, faster, easier.

Many people point out the JTF as a the 'elite' organization. I would hazard to say they are eleite and that the CAR never really was. Entrance to the CAR was unit recommendation (because you wanted and deserved it, or it was the quickest way to get rid of you) and passing the jump course and airborne indoc (both of which were primarily drill and obedience focussed (please correct me if I'm wrong)). The JTF balanced physical and psychological selection, we'll never know the stats but I suspect that there were as many CAR failures and those that succeeded in the JTF selection. 'Elite' doesn't necessairly equal 'elite.'

Many people, including myself, are willing to listen to rational argument for the re-establishment of another (or even more) infantry unit(s). But lets build the case on concrete argument meeting todays defined missions and needs, and staying within todays budgets and capability envelopes. Specialist unit of any kind are expensive, diffivult to mainatian, and constitute a drain on the personnal and resources of the Army as a whole. Any such units have to generate a personnel and morale 'profit' to be worthwhile. Tentative, hypothitical employment possibilities don't so that.

The CAR was good for the CAR, and that's about it. The Army at large hated to see a unit gone from the order of battle, I would hazard to suggest it didn't necessarily mourn the CAR as it was.

As a final note, I'd like to say that I have nothing particular against an airborne capability. The CAR saw many of the best soldiers of our regiments, unfortunately it also saw many less desirable characters. In many respects, for their reputation in and out of the Army, the Airborne has no-one to blame but itself. If the current operational tempo is to be maintained then perhaps we need more infantry units (as well as the supporting arty, armd, engr, tn, sup, etc., etc.). But I don't personally think we ned the CAR back first.

Mike
http://regimentalrogue.tripod.com/



Posts: 30 | From: Halifax | Registered: Jun 2000
JO
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posted 03 July 2021 13:32      Profile for JO   Email JO   Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Perhaps the first question to ask when approaching this issue is this: Does Canada really need a rapid reaction infantry force anymore (leaving aside the prickly question of what kind of force - para, air cav, marine, or other - for the moment)? Would it be in Canada's interest to have a unit that can rapidly move to an area to "put our presence on the ground"? And, very importantly, could we afford it? What could we use a unit like this for?

There's bound to be a variety of opinions on this. What do people think?


Posts: 12 | Registered: Jun 2000
Michael OLeary
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posted 03 July 2021 23:31      Profile for Michael OLeary   Author's Homepage   Email Michael OLeary   Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
If we put aside the details of role and organization, aren't we basically asking, "Should the Canadian government support a DART, or a CAR?"

Realistic humanitarian support (domestic and/or international) versus power projection (assuming one light infantry battle group (at best) constitutes power projection).


Posts: 30 | From: Halifax | Registered: Jun 2000
ducimus
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posted 10 July 2021 00:11      Profile for ducimus   Author's Homepage   Email ducimus   Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Posted to ducimus.com by a regular infantry Captain 2 Feb 2000.

Here's some more food for thought... and perhaps heresy to some: Do we really need a para capability? Gone are the days of the mass-drops (WWII). Given that we cannot possibly do everything, can anyone see Canada using its para capable forces in the forseeable future?


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ducimus
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posted 10 July 2021 00:14      Profile for ducimus   Author's Homepage   Email ducimus   Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Reply posted to ducimus.com 4 Feb 2021 by a retired reserve infantry Major.

I agree that there is no way that we or anyone might mount a strategic para drop of the WWII type with any hope of success. I do think, however, that we must maintain the capability to insert, by para, a small tactical force (up to company str.) into a situation. Rotary wing transport is great but I feel that a ni insertion by para troops equiped with GPS to get to the FUP might provide enough suprise to ensure success of the mission. Just my $.02.


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ducimus
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posted 10 July 2021 00:15      Profile for ducimus   Author's Homepage   Email ducimus   Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Reply posted to ducimus.com by a serving regular infantry Captain 11 Mar 2000.

For all the arguments which attempt to support the sustainment of an airborne capability, none seem to be able to provide concrete examples of their use in combat in the past 40+ years. The "airborne mystique" remains firmly embedded in Normandy and Arnhem. The mobility these forces provided in WWII has been replaced by airmobility. Since Vietnam, the use of helicopters to rapidly deploy ground forces when air superiority can be maintained has been entrenched. I would much rather see an emphasis on hel-ops up to bn level than an increased airborne capability.
That being said, no-one seems to have considered or developed theories on potential uses of airborne troops in more peaceful situations. Perhaps it is the difficulty of envisioning the stereotypical tough guy paratrooper in less tense situations.
I would suggest that maintenance of a basic jump capabaility may well gain palatability as, for example, the capability to drop a security force and airfield repair team preparatory to deploying the Disaster Emergency Response Team (DART) on either domestic or international aid operations. But, we should also consider that this could as readily be done with civilian sport parachuting technologies (2 days trg, slow descent steerable chutes, etc.) to reduce costs and simplify getting and maintaining the best personnel on the ground without undue dependence on completing a lengthy course focussed on physical conditioning.


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ducimus
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posted 10 July 2021 00:18      Profile for ducimus   Author's Homepage   Email ducimus   Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Reply posted to ducimus.com 8 May 2021 by a serving reserve infantry Corporal.

-The short answer would have to be no. -Should we aim to have one in the future, probably. But this should be far down on the shopping list even if we miraculously got a 10 fold increase in DND budget and manpower. -The purpose of airborne troops is strategic. (Tactical operations will invariably be better fulfilled by either heliborne or ground based troops.) -There are then 2 types of strategic airborne operations. First, clandestine type operations such as sabotage, assasination, abduction, rescue etc. This would fall to CSIS or specailized groups such as SAR or JTF and involve small groups (if not individuals) and, accordingly, a single small aircraft. Second the short term military operation. Securing bridges, beachheads, airfields, etc. or as a flanking type manouver to sever enemy supply/retreat/communication. If the situation makes such operations potentially useful then they also will dictate that the operation be large. Battalion if not brigade or division strength. Now aside from the obvious problem for the Canadian forces to commit such a large portion of our extremely low troop strength to such an operation (a certain WWII bridge comes to mind). There is also the problem of getting several large, slow aircraft deep behind enemy lines. Since the mass drops of yester-year AA technology has become extremely effective, portable and inexpensive. The American's managed a significant insertion during the gulf war only after first reducing this threat AND establishing ABSOLUTE air superiority. Against any opposition strong enough to make a large airborne operation a strategically good idea, our airforce just doesn't have the #s to achieve the same thing. The obvious response to what I've written so far is "What about multinational forces?" Well what about them. Other nations with airborne units have as many or more of them than we have in all our infantry. If we add a battalion or even brigade to an operation with several divisions from other nations is that enough to make a differnce? Of course not. I'm sure our allies would prefer we used the meager funds, manpower and training time to send a larger number of troops with another specialization.


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ducimus
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posted 10 July 2021 00:20      Profile for ducimus   Author's Homepage   Email ducimus   Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Reply posted to ducimus.com 10 May 2000.

While reviewing the posts on the subject of "do we need a para capability" I am somewhat disturbed by the lack of awareness towards the tactical employment of airborne forces in battalion strength.
Most of the posts seem to only envision "mass airborne drops" such as that of Operation Market Garden, Crete, etc. However airborne forces have been used at the battalion level very successfully in the last 40 years.
The British have a firm grasp on the viability of what role airborne forces can play as evidenced by the information found at <http://www.army.mod.uk/army/organise/infan/para/roles.htm>
While the decision to disband the Canadian Airborne Regiment was primarily a political one, the present situation of keeping Canada's airborne forces in the jump company of a light infantry battalion form is a failure to employ the resources properly.
Here are some examples of successful battalion level airborne operations since the Second World War, taken from the 1st Tactical Studies Group (Airborne) website at <http://www.geocities.com/Pentagon/Quarters/2116/> Date: 1964 Units: USAF C-130 squadron, Belgian Paratrooper Bn Operation: Dragon Rouge Troopers: 320 Belgians, 1 American Country: Belgian Congo Dropzone: Stanleyville Airport Aircraft: C-130 Hercules Equipment/supplies air-delivered: Gun jeeps, Crew-served machine guns Type Air delivery: Day Mass low-level tactical personnel static-line jump
Operation DRAGON ROUGE, "RED DRAGON" in English, was one of the most dramatic military missions undertaken during the Cold War. It involved a flight of more than 4,000 miles by USAF C-130s carrying Paratroopers of the crack Belgian 1st ParaCommando to rescue hostages who had been held for more than three months in the Congolese city of Stanleyville.
Africa was an unstable place in the 1960s, even more so than it is today. The former Belgian Colony of Congo, now known as Zaire, was granted independence in 1960, and almost immediately became the site of chaos. When the crisis ended in early 1964, a new one broke out as Congolese rebels calling themselves "Simba" rebelled against the government. The Congolese government turned to the United States for help. In response, the U.S. Strike Command sent JTF LEO, a task force made up of a detachment of C-130s, communications personnel and an 82nd Airborne security team, to Leopoldville.
By early August, 1964 the Congolese, with the help of the LEO force and a group of white mercenaries led by Major Mike Hoare, was making headway against the Simbas. In retaliation, the Simbas began taking hostages of the whites in areas under their control. They took them to Stanleyville and placed them under guard in the Victoria Hotel.
While the world watched anxiously, in Washington and Brussels the United States and Belgium were hard at work trying to come up with a rescue plan. Several ideas were considered and discarded, while attempts at negotiating with the Simbas failed - no one could be found to negotiate with!
In mid-November the C-130Es and crews of the Tactical Air Command rotational squadron from Pope AFB, NC were called back to their temporary duty base at Evreux-Fauville AB, France from missions throughout Europe. The crews were told simply to go to their barracks and get some rest, because something big was brewing. On Tuesday evening, November 17, the crews were told to report to the operations room on the Margarite where the airplanes were deployed. The crews were told to rig seats and take-off. Just before take-off, each navigator was given a Manila envelope and instructed not to open it until their airplane had reached 2,000 feet and there were no mechanical problems to make them turn back. When the crews opened the envelopes, they learned they were going to Klinebrogel, a Belgian military airfield outside Brussels. When they got to Klinebrogel, each airplane loaded with Paratroopers wearing red berets, then took off again after being handed another envelope. This time it told them to head south for Moron AB, on the Spanish Mediterranean. At Moron the navigators went into Base Operations where they were given maps and instructions for the next leg of their flight, to Ascension Island in the South Atlantic, where they arrived 18 hours after leaving France.
By this time everyone knew they were on their way to Africa, but first there was a time of "hurry up and wait" on secluded Ascension, where the rescue force was out of sight of the prying eyes of the world. While they waited, the American airmen and Belgian paras got to know each other, and began working out procedures to drop the Belgians.
On Sunday before Thanksgiving the force left Ascension and flew across the Atlantic and much of Africa to Kamina, an airfield in the southern Congo. There the crews and Paratroopers waited again. By this time all hopes of negotiation had vanished, and that evening the American and Belgian commanders were told to launch Operation DRAGON ROUGE.
In the early hours of November 23, 1964, 5 x C-130s took off from Kamina, each with 64 Belgian Red Berets in full combat gear seated on the red nylon troop seats in its cargo compartment. Behind the assault force came seven more Herks, with Chalk 12 configured as a hospital ship. The C-130s flew north at high altitude, then dropped down to treetop altitudes to follow the Congo River as they neared the city of Stanleyville.
As the sun was breaking over the horizon out of the African Veldt, a CIA A-26 INVADER flown by a Cuban mercenary pilot made a strafing pass over the Stanleyville Sabenas airport. Right behind the A-26 the first C-130 roared low over the runway. As the airplane came over the field, Paratroopers led by Col Charles Laurent spilled from the doors on either side of the airplane. Within seconds, 310 Paratroopers were in the air, then landing on the strip of grass alongside the runway. The five jump planes came around for another pass to drop the jumpmasters and bundles of equipment. As the airplanes came off the drop zone, they began taking fire from a .50-caliber Heavy Machine Gun. After dropping the troops, Chalks Two through Five left the area for Leopoldville, where they were to refuel and stand-by. Chalk One, carrying the C-130 mission commander, Colonel Burgess Gradwell, and flown by Captain Huey Long of the 777th TCS, orbited over the airfield until they were hit by several heavy shells that knocked out hydraulics. Long pointed the battle-damaged airplane toward Leopoldville.
Forty-five minutes after he jumped, Col. Laurent reported that the airfield was secure. Five other C-130s roared in for assault landings from their orbit point near Stanleyville. Each airplane discharged troops and vehicles to join the Paratroopers on the ground, then took off again and headed to Stanleyville. Meanwhile, Chalk Six, flown by Captain Mack Secord's crew, approached Stanleyville. They had lost a life raft after takeoff from Kamina and had to return for the spare airplane. Secord was told to land, and wait with Chalk Twelve, the hospital plane, until the Belgians returned to the airport with the hostages.
After leaving the airport, the Belgian rescue team made haste to reach the Victoria Hotel before the Simbas carried out their threats to kill the hostages if a rescue was attempted. Several blocks from the hotel a Paratrooper rounded a corner just in time to prevent the Simbas from firing a second volley of shots into the assembled hostages, who had evidently been walking toward the airport. Some of the hostages later said they thought the Simba officers intended to turn them over to the Belgians unharmed, but some of the Simbas, who had been drinking and smoking Hemp all night the night before, decided to take matters in their own hands. They shot their own officers, then turned their guns on the hostages. They had fired one volley, picking women and children as their targets, and were preparing to fire another when the Red Berets showed up on the scene. At the sight of the Belgians, the Simbas lost their courage and ran! The Belgian Paratroopers had stormed the city and freed the hostages. Casualties included 3 Soldiers dead and 7 wounded, as well as 27 dead among the hostages, but 2000 hostages were saved
After more than an hour on the ground at Stanleyville, Mack Secord's crew finally saw the first hostages coming toward them. As they were the most badly injured, they had been driven to the airport. Seeing the engines running and thinking the C-130 was about to take-off, the frightened whites rushed aboard the airplane through the open rear ramp. Secord's loadmasters, there were two aboard, tried to get them over to the other airplane where a doctor waited to tend their wounds. After finally getting the most seriously injured people to leave, Secord's crew closed up their airplane and began taxing for the runway. As they passed a clump of elephant grass, a pair of Simbas ran out. One ran alongside the airplane trying to get inside the door while the other sprayed the underside of the wing with a submachinegun. No one inside the airplane knew what had happened; the whole thing was witnessed by the crew of Chalk 12. Secord took off and headed for Leopoldville. When he got there, he had to be bodily lifted from the airplane and taken to the hospital where he was treated for a brain concussion he had received the night before when he bumped his head getting into the airplane.
For the rest of the day, C-130s and other transports shuttled between Stanleyville and Leopoldville. More than 2,000 people were airlifted out of the city. That night a Belgian mechanic working on a DC-4 was killed by sniper fire. Several times during the day the field was mortared, and every airplane was hit by ground fire during their landings and takeoffs. One was hit in a wing fuel tank. The airplane crew chief whittled a plug from a broom handle and wrapped it with a rag and used it to plug the leak.
The airlift continued the next day. Late in the day the Belgians were pulled out of the city and flown to Leopoldville. Early the next morning a smaller scale mission designated as DRAGON NOIR/BLACK DRAGON, freed hostages held at Paulis, a town 225 miles northwest of Stanleyville. The hostages at Paulis had also been harmed by the Simbas. An American missionary had been beaten to death during torture.
After DRAGON NOIR, the rescue force retired to Kamina to await further orders. While they were waiting, an African thunderstorm prompted one C-130 crewmember, none of whom had had a bath in days, to grab soap and go out into the rain for an impromptu shower. The rest of the force followed his lead as the airmen and Paratroopers ran around naked in the rain! A few days later, in response to political pressure from the Third World, President Lyndon Johnson ordered the force ouf of Africa.
For their role in DRAGON ROUGE, the C-130 crewmembers recieved the 1964 MacKay Trophy for the most meritorious flight of the year by USAF aircraft. All of the crewmembers were decorated with the Air Medal, while Captain Mack Secord received the Distinguished Flying Cross.
Date: 22 February 2021 Unit: 1st Bn/506th Airborne Operation: Junction City Troopers: 845 Country: Vietnam Dropzone: Katum Equipment/supplies air-delivered: Gun MULEs (M274s), 105mm artillery pieces, 81mm, 4.2 inch mortars, 1/4 ton jeeps, 3/4 ton trucks Type Air delivery: Day Mass low-level tactical personnel static-line jump
On February 22d, 1967, Paratroopers of the 2d Battalion, 503d Infantry, 173d Airborne Brigade, parachuted into a wide clearing in the jungle of War Zone "C" as part of Operation Junction City. Their mission was to form a blocking force near the crossroads hamlet of Katum, South Vietnam, to support a large-scale cordon and search by U.S. forces. The 780-man Airborne task force was delivered in two sorties of aircraft from Bien Hoa Airbase. The personnel drop of 13 x C-130 Hercules aircraft arrived over Drop Zone Charlie at 9:00 a.m. General Jack Deane, Commander of the 173d Airborne Brigade, Lieutenant Colonel Robert Sigholtz, Commander of the 2-503d Task Force, and Sergeant Major Harold Proffitt led the jump from the first aircraft. A total of 778 troopers hit the silk in two passes over the small drop zone, settled to the earth, and began assembling without any enemy opposition. Thirty minutes later, 10 heavy drop C-130s arrived and dropped 6 x M101 105mm howitzers, 4 x 4.2 inch mortars, 6 x 81mm mortars, 4 x 3/4-ton trucks, 5 x jeeps, 6 x M274 "Mule" vehicles, one trailer, and 3900 rounds of artillery and mortar ammunition. By 10:00 a.m., all 845 men and equipment were deployed into blocking positions and the command post and artillery firebase were established. As units from the U.S. 1st and 25th Infantry Divisions, the 11th Armored Cavalry Regiment, and the 173d Airborne Brigade began closing the horseshoe around suspected Vietcong (VC) and North Vietnamese Army (NVA) positions, Operation Junction City became a series of small unit firefights for the Paratroopers. On February 28th, the "Sky Soldiers" of the 173d overran the Vietcong Central Information Office, a key enemy propaganda facility. As the multi-divisional attack continued through mid-May, major battles raged around the horseshoe with three Vietcong regiments and one regiment of NVA regulars. Operation Junction City succeeded in driving major enemy forces from War Zone "C" across the border into sanctuaries in Cambodia. The operation was terminated on May 14, 1967.
In 1978 the 2e Regiment Etranger Parachutistes jumped into Kolwezi, Zaire in order to rescue a civilian population in grave danger. The mission was a success, as the civilians were evacuated and the regiment suffered 5 dead and 25 wounded.
For anyone who thinks that Canada does not need an airborne capability due to the "ineffectiveness" of a single airborne battalion, do some additional research, and then re-examine your original thoughts. I'm sure that you're opinion will be swayed.


Posts: 17 | Registered: Jul 2000
ducimus
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posted 10 July 2021 00:21      Profile for ducimus   Author's Homepage   Email ducimus   Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Reply posted to ducimus.com 8 Jun 2021 by a serving reserve infantry Private.

Yes, Canada does require a para cabaility. For, example a company of Canadian soldier on a UN tour are taken hostages by about 200 rebels during a chapter 7 peace enforcement mission. Normally, Canada would negotiate a settlement, but unfortunately the rebels are fanatics that merely want to demonstrate to the Westtern world that they are not afraid of NATO or the UN, etc... Unfortunately, Canada disbanded its only rapid reaaction para battalion and no other country could help, becuase they were busy rescuing their own soldiers or they refused to help, becuae Canada hasn't been pulling its weight. 3 days later 120 Canadian soldiers are executed and the slaughter is seen on CNN around the world. If Canada, had a para capability of approximately 500-700 soldiers the majority of would have been saved. I am suggesting that Canada need an airborne brigade for airborne drops like WWII, no. Canada needs a dedicated para battalion for company and battalion missions, but not to be used like the SAS, but merely as highly motivated paras (ie better infantry soldiers who like parachute); the JTFII should cover SAS style operations. HMM, maybe the JTFII should be renamed the Canadian SAS and their roles expanded in addition to a Canadian Parachute Regiment.


Posts: 17 | Registered: Jul 2000
Ex Coelis
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posted 19 July 2021 17:03      Profile for Ex Coelis   Email Ex Coelis   Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
If we had the budget and the military and political will, it would be a great asset to have a high readiness Forced Entry organization in the form of a parachute deployed Light Infantry Battalion/Brigade to expediently accomplish our foreign policy.

However, the military is not over the Somalia syndrome; neither are the politicians. Our Army is presently reshaping itself into a Medium Force with restricted capabilities for high intensity conflicts. We are persuing interoperability with the US Army by following very closely the transformation of two of their Brigades into IBCTs (Interim Brigade Combat Teams. The aim is to be able to be "attached" as seamlessly as possible to these formations in the event of a multinational operation.

The Army Staff worked very hard in the past months to produce a proposal to the CDS and Minister on how to restructure itself in order to find sufficient funding to pay for the O&M; of the new LAV III.

THIS is the reality.

I have served with the Cdn Abn Regt and the Parachute Company in a Light Inf Bn. I am a light soldier at heart. The Army needs to be able to use the parachute as a deployment method of personnel and equipment for SAR, MAJAID, Relief Supplies, Resupply of troops in remote areas, insertion of strategic troops, rapid reaction capability etc. I think the delivery method will stay no matter what.

Viable Option. Regroup paratroopers, after a thorough selection, from the Light Inf Bn with the CPC. CPC would become core of a rapid reaction force centraly located. Doesn't hurt to be close to the Hercs either. Roles: Early entry force, CSAR, Protection/Cordon force for JTF2 operations (like the Rangers for Delta and the Parachute Regt for the SAS), DART/MAJAID, Light Inf specialist formation (Pathfinder, Mountain Operations) in addition to CPC's vocational training of paratroopers. Size: Two company-groups plus actual CPC establishment.

Feasible, most resources already exist, politically acceptable.


Posts: 2 | Registered: Jul 2000

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