2RAR Fire Force

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This is an extract from Chris Vincent, A Company  2 RAR. Serving in Fire Force during the period 1977-1979. With more MAGs coming available more were distributed among the sticks. Chris had x3 MAGs in his stick, and x2 in his other sticks, and considered A Coy had extremely good kill rates because of the heavy fire power.

“A” Company 2RAR ~ Fire Force Orbat Variations:
Overall Fire Force Commander: Company Commander (Major) c/s 19

Stop 1:
Commander: Lt or 2nd Lt
MAG Gunners x 3

Stop 2:
Commander: Snr NCO (PWO, C/Sgt or Sgt)
MAG Gunners x 2
Rifleman x1

Stop 3:
Commander: Lt, 2nd Lt or Snr NCO
MAG Gunners x 2
Rifleman x1

*Note: Some of the gunners may have been junior NCO’s (Cpl or L/Cpl)

Para Sticks:
4×4 men sticks + 2 spare NCO’s with radio’s who could be used to replace anyone that may have been injured in jump from 500′ ~ the 2 extra NCO’s [call-signs “Wanker 1 & Wanker2”] jumped with the 2 port side sticks because on some [rare] occassions not all paras were dropped .. if nobody was injured, the two “Wankers” packed up all the
parachutes on the DZ for recovery later.

Port side of C47:
C/S Vulture 1:
Commander: Lt or 2nd Lt
MAG Gunners x 2
Rifleman x1

C/S Vulture 2:
Commander: NCO (PWO, C/Sgt, Sgt, Cpl or L/Cpl)
MAG Gunners x 2
Rifleman x1
C/S Wanker 1 NCO & Wanker 2 NCO

Starboard side of C47:
C/S Vulture 3:
Commander: Lt, 2nd Lt or Snr NCO
MAG Gunners x 2
Rifleman x1

C/S Vulture 4:
Commander: NCO (PWO, C/Sgt, Sgt, Cpl or L/Cpl)
MAG Gunners x 2
Rifleman x1
*Note: Some of the gunners may have been junior NCO’s (Cpl or L/Cpl)
cont page 2 …

Page 2
The Company 2ic (Capt) would remain at Fire Force base to help co-ordinate any CASEVAC’s they may be required and to dispatch the “Land Tail” wth up to 16 x 4 man

Sticks (C/S’s Stop 4 to Stop19) and additional fuel (AVTUR) for the helicopters and extra Ammo and 60mm Mortar crew to road location near the contact area ~ Note: and tail was only dispatched when there was a road within 15-20mins flying of contact area and that the land tail could reach within a couple of hours … Other factors considered before
dispatching the land tail were recent land mine activity in the area of the contact.

During RAR Fire Force Operations, the Callsign personnel were rotated every couple of days, but the Company Commander & Platoon Commanders went on every call out!!

FIRE FORCE Air Force Compliment:
Although it varied from time to time, the standard Air Force compliment and Air Force personnel in a Fire Force make up was:

K-Car (Allouette III with 20mm Cannon)
K-Car Pilot was in overall command of all aircraft within the Fire Force
Aircraft Technician (20mm Gunner)

(Ground forces commander Major, or  could be Capt or Lt would fly in the K-car)

3 x-G-Car (Allouette III’s with 2 x .303 Browings)
G-Car Pilots
Aircraft Technicians (Twin .303 Gunners)

Cessna 337 (Lynx) Call sign prefix “Hornet #”
1 x Pilot
Aircraft armed with 2 x .303 Browings (above cockpit)
2 x 15 gallon FRANTAN (Napalm) bombs
2 x (15x37m) SNEB Rocket pods
Note: Later part of war, small +/- 100lb Golf-Bombs were sometimes used in place of
FRANTAN

Douglas C-47Call sign prefix “I can’t recall!”
2 x Pilots
Aircraft Technician x1
PJI x2

Other aircraft that could be called to support Fire Force Operations depending on the number of gooks sighted etc were:

Hawker Hunter FGA-9
Normally dispatched in Pairs to support FF Ops
Call sign prefix “Red #”
Armed with 30mm Cannon & mix of 1,000lb bombs &/or 1,000lb “Golf” Bombs, &/or
68mm Matra Rockets, &/or 67mm SNEB rockets

English Electric Canberra’s
Call sign prefix “Green #”
For Fire Fire Ops, Generally armed with “Alfa Bombs” (Bouncing bombs)

……………………………………………………………………………………………..

Note the 1st Wave RAR sticks waiting for the call! The numbers of MAGs can be seen.

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