FirstSpear

3RAR Loses Para Role

Yesterday was a sad day for paratroopers everywhere. Our brothers in Australia’s 3RAR officially lost their parachute role and will be a Mechanized Infantry unit from here on out. To add insult to injury they are scheduled to move in December from Sydney to Townsville. When you see an Australian Soldier wearing the distinctive wings of 3RAR know that he was a part of something special. Buy that man a beer.

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26 Responses to “3RAR Loses Para Role”

  1. Craig P says:

    A sad day indeed, interesting to note that the 3RAR wings or Battalion wings shown above were also worn by ‘A’ Field Battery ‘The Airborne Gunners’ which were 3RAR’s Offensive Support Battery also lost their Para role in 2009 and made into a Medium Battery moving also from Sydney to Brisbane. They hold the honour of being Australia’s senior Army unit being raised in 1871 for the Sudan war. This final action has ultimately faded out all things ‘Airborne’ in the ADF and killed off a proven capability and also the type of Soldier being ‘Airborne’ creates.

    It’s been good brothers.

  2. TINY says:

    We are not going to mechanized, we will be light infatry.

    It was a sad day indeed followed by much drinking.
    This just shows how many jump hates there are that never got the chance to be “Airbourne” in the Australian army.

  3. Administrator says:

    Tiny, I thought you guys were being saddled with M113s?

  4. Strike-Hold! says:

    Its bad enough losing jump status and reverting to regular light infantry – but it would suck great big green monkey balls to lose jump status and have to go mech!

  5. Darcus says:

    My condolences, comrades! Which idiot decided this? Aren’t they aware of the enormous tactical use paras can provide? Equiped and trained well they are able to indirectly kick asses of whole enemy divisions…we got enough Mechs, don’t need more!
    So tell all ex-paras to wear i.e. a badge with these wings in freetime too and I’ll go and invite some to eat and drink with me…!!!

  6. PARA says:

    ughh all we need is more legs in this world. i though i felt a disturbance in the force, the stench of new legs being born is wafting stateside.

  7. PARA says:

    all in all sorry bros. here is one for the breezes..

  8. CHIPS says:

    Would love to honor these soldiers with a top quality Unit Chip. Feel free to contact me at [email protected]

    Sorry to hear about this.

  9. Winston says:

    I would just like to remind all the splat-cats, that para drops were merely your method of entry. You were not specialist in any form and once on the ground you were just another pair of boots. Or did you really expect the RAAF to have hercs on call to pick you up 24/7?

    Just a quick reminder that 3RAR never did an operational jump (Shoalwater bay doesnt count), however you will get plenty of practice jumping out of the bag of mogs, lavs and buckets in the near future.

  10. ParatrooperJJ says:

    Where are they going to recruit for the SAS now???

  11. 13FAirborne says:

    sorry guys. If you guys are ever in NY or in Italy when I am there, show me your wings and I’ll buy you a beer. The fraternity of Paratroopers will miss our brothers in the Aussie Army. The toughest conventional force out there in the World is the Airborne! The Espirit De Corps and carmaderie are second to none!

  12. 13FAirborne says:

    I realize that a parachutist is not merely a Soldier who arrives by parachute to fight, but is an elite shock trooper and that his country expects him to march farther and faster, to fight harder, and to be more self-reliant than any other Soldier. Parachutists of all allied armies belong to this great brotherhood.

  13. Craig P says:

    Every comment so far has been positive about the Para role and it’s unfortunate demise…of course it didn’t take long for the Airborne Hater’s to appear. Winston if we are going to remind people about capabilities and SWBTA lets rewind back to 2005 when ‘conventional’ or ‘non-para’ units were halted from entering the training area by tree hugging left wing hippies while the ABG (Airborne Battle Group) inserted by the warr-iest means possible with their American counterparts from the 1/501st.

    It’s about the type of Soldier Airborne created, something other light, Mechanised or Motorised units could never fathom. Courage is not required when jumping off the back of a truck.

  14. Ken Fischer says:

    ADF is not without parachute role. Parachute operations will be conducted by 2 Commando Regt as apart of taskings.

  15. Winston says:

    Craig P.

    Is SWBTA an operational deployment?

    Who deployed to Timor though their intended means? Didnt elements of 1 and 3 BDE deploy through their intended means while 3 had to make like the rest of the mortals and jump out of a mog in Dili?

    When did 3RAR EVER deploy into a hostile environment via parachute? As much as they want to complain and bluster about being a unique insertion method, 3RAR was a huge waste of resources. Talk of courage or what ever you want, 3’s re-roling has more to do with commonsense than anything else. Its all about the natural evolution of the ADF’s warfighting capapbility.

  16. RJ says:

    Nix the soldiers with the training to utilize that method of insertion, and you nix your options to fight. Who cares what has happened in the past, limiting yourself now could mean headaches (or worse) in the future. But, everyone fights over resources, and unfortunately for 3 RAR, their gov’t decided they weren’t economically feasible anymore.

    Talisman Sabre 05 was a great time.

  17. Aus CDM says:

    Leaving aside the wider debate on the role of Para and its tendency to provide pyhricc victory (which has been controversial from its very beginning – Crete 41, Market Garden 44)

    To be fair in providng comparison to other nations Para units. 3 RAR did not have any competitive entry system, such as P coy for British paras, the 3 RAR entry requirement was to pass a para medical and nothing more and as was correctly pointed out they have never had an operation al drop. This however never stopped its members from undeservedly adopting the elitist mindset that arose from being associated with the ‘para’ fraternity. Immediately across the road from them in Sydney is the unit that will maintain the para capability, 2 CDO, who do have a stringent selection criteria. selection course and training that closer meet the definition of ‘elite shock trooper’.

    3 RAR do however deserve credit for their actions as light infantry (eg Kapyong, Coral-Balmoral) which had nothing to do with Parachutes but exemplified their ability as light infantry (they also produced CPL Roberts-Smith VC, MG for the SAS).

    The task of 3 RAR now is to get over the loss of their para role and focus on becoming the best at what they now do – light infantry – as they will be now be sharing a base with the other two light batallions (1 and 2 RAR) and their deeds, not a set of cloth wings on their arms, will now be the only thing to distinguish them.

  18. sgt diaz says:

    sad sad day next jumps for guys!

  19. Duty First says:

    3RAR going to Adelaide and going Mech was nixed a good 5 years ago when 5/7 de-linked to form the two Mech Battalions.

    SASR will continue to get most of its recruits from leg Infantry units, just like it always has.

    The jumping behind protesters comment is highly amusing, however worthless as any indication of effectiveness.

    Anyone with their finger on the pulse would have been well aware that the government was never going to pull the trigger on a 3RAR drop, any past, present or future government have demonstrated over and over again that they’re going to look towards SOCOM before Land Command for anything messy. 2 Commando would have got any gig going, so maintaining 3RAR as a para unit made little fiscal sense.

    Like AUS CDM said, they need to embrace moving up to the Ville with their two new neighbours and get ready for their first decent deployment since INTERFET. Then they can get some runs on the board and have something else to talk about other than their different coloured hat.

  20. Ross says:

    Dont knock it til you tryed it!

  21. Ross says:

    Jumping that is!

  22. CPTA says:

    Welcome to the club guys. We know how losing your airborne status sucks. 20th EN BDE (formerly AB). Lost ours summer of ’10. COs still have it but Big Army decided the C2 didn’t need to be ‘knees in the breeze’

  23. The Fizz says:

    A few points.

    1. D Coy 6 RAR were the first Para Unit in the RAR.
    2. 3RAR (Para) deployed to Timor on a boat.
    3. 2RAR went to Timor in planes. (go figure)
    4. 3RAR have NEVER conducted an operational jump.
    5. When did 3RAR ‘prove’ this capability?
    6. 3RAR have always been light infantry who just happen to jump out of planes. They are not, and were never, equivalent to the British Para Regiment. They do no selection. Or special course. They do the same IET as all other infantry and then do the parachute course that even girls have passed as part or 176AD Sqn, Nothing special.

    Yes it is sad loosing part of a units history, but it is time to move on, and adopt more relevant techniques of insertion. Parachuting is now the realm of covert SF insertion techniques.

    Let me just close by saying, as a fellow infantryman, I have worked with 3RAR, and assessed them on war-fighters and at JTW. They are just as capable as 1 and 2 RAR. Now they have the chance to show the rest of the regiment what they are made of, without the added burden of maintaining parachute competencies. Show us what you’ve got Old Faithful.

  24. Gen. James Gavin says:

    Show me a man who will jump out of an airplane, and i will show you a man who will fight – other units have seen soldiers crumble on deployments. Our insertion method gave each member courage, determination and especially espirit de corps.. Army strives for these in every soldier and they just destroyed the only unit that had it. We’d been chomping at the bit for almost 30 yrs for an op jump, you going to hate the soldiers who served in the 80’s cause they didn’t do picquet overseas? There is no selection, but it is voluntary. Sign YOUR name craphat!

  25. gusto says:

    As for jumping not being anything speical well you get in a herc loaded down with 70-80kg of kit.Tac fly to the DZ hurl yourself out at 3 am in the morning into pitch black darkness.So dark you can’t see but have to listen for your pack to hit the ground as it dangles below you.Land hard then find out your in charge and there is a 60 km march ahead.

    I’ve travelled the world no one cared I was infantry no brotherhood.However the Airborne brotherhood is alive and well.
    Dutch,Russian,French,Greek,Brits,Canadian I even got work in Israel from a ex Paratrooper.As a 82nd trooper once told me “you jump the big jump and hump the hump”.Unless you’ve served in a Parachute unit you don’t have a clue about it.

  26. gusto says:

    I was a direct entry soldier to 3 RAR in the early 90’s.Six thousand men responded to the ad campaign at the time.160 were taken.All recruit instructors were from 3 RAR all Infantry training instructors were from 3 RAR .It was Brit Para orientated, 45 guys made it through to 3 RAR.The Infantry corp itself canned any further selection courses that 3 RAR wanted to run.3 RAR then ran their own mini P company through D company under the guise of an orientation course.Faliures sent across road to 5/7 at the time.
    The Australian army as a whole has never used paratroopers and has no history of operational jumps save one artillery unit in WW2.So its an infantry only mind set.
    Unlike other armies in Australia if you wanted to be Airborne apparently your Infantry skills were not up to scratch(tall poppy syndrome).A northern furphy.Fizz in his comment above fails to mention 1 and 2 RAR are not the best and that any battalion in the RAR 5,6,7,8/9 are also as good.And lets not forget who has won the most battle honours for the RAR…3.
    3 RAR changed, in fact the army changed after Timor.And the growth of SF as many Airborne stalwarts moved over the road.
    I’ve been in one other RAR battalion.It was a mix of blokes from everywhere the only people who use to stop and shake hands regardless of rank where ex 3RAR .I’ve spoken to guys who joined 3 RAR from other battalions and one guy that has been in every battalion..they said 3 RAR had the best spirit hands down.
    I was at my 20 year reunion at 3 RAR this year and was very proud of the huge turn out of old and bolds…however the point was made which is true.The spirit has moved across the road to 2 CDO…and most of the young dream of going there.And speaking to my friends in 2 CDO they all say “we are still Airborne”.
    3 RAR has been the online battalion for three years now.The trip to Afghanistan ,the battalions second there,is a bribe to stop the flood of discharges and to stop the wives complaining about the lost of money.
    All in all its another blow to conventional Australian forces as SF take over ever dangerous job and the Australian army continues to become a niche one who just feeds blokes to SF to do all the fighting