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Reserve Special Observers.


War Hero
Saw this over at the other place. Might be of interest to anyone currently serving in the RNR but looking for something a bit more challenging:

The HAC is currently looking for serving members of the Reserve who are interested in completing the Surveillance and Target Acquisition Patrol Course (STAPC) in order to qualify them for service as Special Observers.

Because of the demanding nature of the Special Observer role the HAC is permitted to run its own Phase 1 training. Historically the majority of candidates for the STAPC enter the HAC directly through this route.

The HAC is currently fully recruited. However, work in support of the increased integration between 1 (Special OP) Sqn in the HAC and the Regular STA Patrol element in 4/73 (Special OP) Bty has recently highlighted the fact that there is not generally a high awareness amongst Reserves in other units that service as a Special Observer is an option open to them. Hence this post.

The role of STA Patrols is to conduct high-risk static covert surveillance in order to deliver joint effects at range. STA Patrols deliver a unique mix of technical covert surveillance capability and the ability to direct joint fires at extended ranges. Selection and training are necessarily demanding in order to identify and prepare personnel who are suited to working in small isolated teams and difficult circumstances for extended periods with a minimum of supervision, and who have an aptitude for the particular disciplines of static covert surveillance.

The STAPC is now a completely integrated Regular/Reserve course, with identical training and performance standards applied to both Regular and Reserve candidates. For Reserve candidates - when pre-Aptitude fitness and navigation preparation is included – the course lasts approximately six months, though additional training is available for candidates who seek it. As is the case for Regular personnel, the course is open to serving Army, Navy or RAF Reserve candidates.

If you are interested in service as a Special Observer, please contact the HAC Recruiting office on 020 7448 0703, or email [email protected].

Follow this link: for the 4/73 Bty Army web-page, and a video that goes some way to explaining what STA Patrols do.

It's worth pointing out that you'll need to be within commutable distance of London for this to work. Of course it goes without saying that your phyz will have to be absolutely top notch. Currently the hills phase of selection involves 96km over a weekend while carrying a hell of a lot of weight.

The pass speed required to bang this out successfully is actually quicker than that required for SF(R).

No fatties.


War Hero
There is some of that shit going on, but 1 sqn have retained the STA job.

1 sqn HAC are now the full reserve element of 4/73 battery RA.


War Hero
It's a good thing in my opinion. Back in my day, we just had this tenuous link to 4/73 with a made up patrols course that was loosely based on theirs.

They didn't really take us that seriously and at the same time we were also being used for every random job you could think of. We had guys doing inf jobs with the Gren Guards, FST stuff for 42 commando, UAV piloting, ISTAR. the works.

It was a bit of a mess to say the least.

At least now they can just concentrate on doing what they need to do. Presumably they'll train alongside their regular counterparts and be fully integrated into the battery.

How a reserve unit should work.


War Hero
I still can't believe you gave up the RNR for a world of meaningful employment, clear operational role, hoofing deployments and a system which places value on what you do and bothers to pay you occasionally. What were you thinking?


War Hero
Book Reviewer
Was watching a bunch of HAC crows getting a good rifting at Longmooristan this weekend as it goes, along with some RMR lads tabbing* around the training area. Must be the time for it.

*I'm fully aware that the RM word for this is yomping. I, however, am not a bootie.
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