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.

Published by: bobshepherdauthor

Bestselling author Bob Shepherd has spent nearly forty years operating in conflict areas around the world. A twenty year veteran of Britain’s elite 22 SAS Regiment with nearly two decades of private security work to his credit, Bob has successfully negotiated some of the most dangerous places on earth as a special forces soldier and a private citizen. Bob comments regularly on security issues and has appeared on CNN International, BBC, SKY News, and BBC Radio. He has also authored numerous articles and books including the Sunday Times Top Ten bestseller The Circuit. In addition to writing and lecturing, Bob continues to advise individuals operating in hostile environments. For more of his insights on security and geopolitics visit

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  1. Hello
    My uncle was KIA in Dhofar Oman in 1974, his name was Kenneth small (geordie) did you serve with him?

    1. Hi Jayne, I got to hear of him. I joined 22 SAS just after he was killed. However I’d been to Dhofar as mentioned with the RAF Regt from 72. I caught one of the last BATT (22 SAS) trips after my selection before the war officially wrapped up. Sorry that Geordie was killed out there and that you’re a relative. All the very best Jayne.

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