No 2 Field (Para) Squadron, RAF Regiment. Kota Tingi Jungle Warfare School, Malaya. 1972.
1972 was a very interesting and testing year for me.
In the January I joined the military and became a recruit less than two months into my 17th birthday. I went on to become an RAF Regiment Gunner after my training at Catterick, Yorkshire. Chosen to go onto 2 Squadron’s Pre Parachute course at Colerne, Wiltshire I managed to scrape through and go onto my jumps course at Abingdon, Oxfordshire.
As soon as the training was over I was sent to Dhofar, Oman into the “Secret War,” known as such because the UK electorate weren’t told about it until some time later. I went with at least one other laddie who was also under 18 years old as the unit was under manned, and we had special dispensation (having signed the forms) to go there as a 17yr old.
Later the same year we went as a complete squadron to Malaya to undertake jungle training. We even got to parachute from a C130 in small single sticks of around 8 men at a time into a small jungle cleared drop zone.
Fun times for my very first year in the military…only 22 more to go!
For those members/ex members of the Parachute Regiment reading this…a key man from your unit during the Falklands War is sitting fifth from right in the front row…Phil Neame.