Weapon handling in training?


Weird question, but do RFA personnel do any weapons handling training during initial training? I know the ships are armed with gimpys and like for defence so obviously someone needs to be trained on them, but do the RFA ever use / get training on personal weapons systems?

Basically, if I make it through sift and AIB is it worth me reminding myself which end of an SA80 is the dangerous bit or do we leave all that to the RN?


War Hero
My understanding (happy to stand corrected), is the shooty stuff on RFAs is mostly undertaken by embarked Naval personnel (including Royal Marines).


Lantern Swinger
Ah the shooty stuff question

BRNC has occasionally gone through phases of putting RFA divisions through the very basic SA80 course. This has no bearing on what your job will be on a ship, its more for uniformity with our training alongside the RN cadets.

There is no guarantee that our ships will have military force protection personnel onboard, and so some of the ship's company are trained to use the ship's defensive weapons. Which, in the RFA's current fit, range from GPMGs & Miniguns up to 30mm canons.

We do use on occasion (by trained personel) the SA80, but not as a weapon, its the device we use to launch RAS line across to the receiving ships at the start of replenishment.

The only officers who touch weapons within the RFA are those engineers given the job of maintaining them, apart from them (and they dont normally fire them live) its the crew who are assigned to them and they are mainly chosen from the deck department.

As mentioned above we do occasionally get angry trees onboard wearing blue or green berets and carrying small arms. No surprises they only join if we are somewhere there is a likelyhood of them being needed (either for sentry or boarding/counter boarding ops).


Lantern Swinger
Its currently back in the teaching the RFA Dartmouth course to use rifles phase. *Edit* At least with blanks not sure about live rounds

Sometimes theres the chance to have a go off the back end if the FP teams on board are doing a small arms shoot.

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Like has been said above, they do put you through the basic SA80 handling training at Dartmouth with live rounds but I think it's only because they issue you with an SA80 for MARL and it might be required for that.


War Hero
At the back of the accommodation block of RFA Argus there is what could be called 'the balcony'.

When the same ship was used as a location and prop for World War Z, some of the ship's company were used as warry extras and were able to get in touch with their inner Andy MacNab. The officer appointed to liaise with the producer is a remote acquaintance (I met him once).


War Hero
When I first saw the title I thought Bromide was the answer then you started talking about bang sticks, every day is a school day.

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