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Pathfinder

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armyrules

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Hey Sully saw the Pathfinder episode and just would like to extend my congratulations to you great job :salute:
 
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Sully

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Nice to meet you guys, and thanks for the high fives.......... hopefully ill be freefalling at the anniversary next weekend is anyone jumping?
 

RedRaze

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I read that the unit is under review or what have you, but i wanted to know which division Army, Navy , Air Force can aspire to do the course, if not all 3.  Like can any soldier take the parachutist course?

Thanks for any information in advance.
 

x_para76

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Not sure what you're asking here? The Canadian forces no longer has a PF platoon ever since the disbandment of the AB Regt. The PPF course is still run by the CF but I wouldn't like to hazard a guess as to what the pre-requisites are to apply for it. The U.S military just eliminated some of their PF units so perhaps that's what you're referring to.
 
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MikeL

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The course is not open to all trades/elements.  AFAIK*, only a few trades can attend such as Infantry, Artillery(FOO/FOO Tech), Sig Op(probably ACISS Core now?), I think Combat Engineers and possibly Med Techs. I believe, the majority of the candidates being course loaded lately are from the Infantry Battalions Recce Platoon. There are also a few prerequisites members must meet, in order to be course loaded on Patrol Pathfinder.

*Going off memory, I was curious and read the PPF course QS(?) a year or two ago, so I may be mistaken, it could have been changed since also.

I'm not sure what you read about the unit being under review, as there is no Pathfinder unit in the Canadian Army. Perhaps you read that the PPF course had been updated a couple years ago.

Like can any soldier take the parachutist course?

The Basic Para course is open to all trades/elements; how ever if you are a BOSN on HMCS Winnipeg for example, chances are probably low that you would be course loaded.  Priority goes to units with a jump tasking(and I assume, Supply Techs wanting to be Parachute Riggers). Those units can't always fill all of the positions, so other units will get spots on the course plus there are walk ons - walk ons are people who are not course loaded, but when they arrive on day 1 there may be spots available, or if someone fails the PT test they can get their spot(providing the walk on passed the test).

X_para76 said:
The U.S military just eliminated some of their PF units so perhaps that's what you're referring to.

From what I've read, it doesn't appear that they are disbanding the Pathfinder companies, they are just removing them from jump status.
 

Journeyman

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-Skeletor- said:
..... plus there are walk ons....
And this is VERY much frowned upon.  :tsktsk:

Does it happen? Of course; the 'old boys net' is very much alive and well.  Does it piss off someone at Army Acronym-2-3-7?  Yep, generally because he wanted to sneak his person onto the course. [There's probably an official reason as well]

So yes, it doesn't happen.....but don't plan on it as a method of getting your basic para.
 

Underway

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So with CSOR now with a number of years of experience behind them, isn't there a large amount of overlap with them and the Pathfinders? 

How do Pathfinders fit in the current army organization?  It seems from the outside looking in that they are just a small group of Tier 2-3 SOF, who are not run by CANSOFCOM.  Why use pathfinders when you have CSOR as an airmobile deployable asset?  Or is this just like stating why have snipers when CSOR has snipers...  I'm assuming CSOR has their own version of pathfinders.
 

mariomike

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Underway said:
So with CSOR now with a number of years of experience behind them, isn't there a large amount of overlap with them and the Pathfinders? 

Some discussion here,

How does the CSOR selection/training differ from the Patrol Pathfinder course?
http://army.ca/forums/threads/113349.0;nowap

 

Infanteer

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Pathfinder is a course qualification.  CSOR is a unit.  You are comparing apples and anchors.
 

Underway

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So Patrol Pathfinders are not grouped as a unit/subunit?  What's the point of the course then if they are just dispersed back into their units?  Or do they go to recce platoon and apply their skills there?  UK uses a Pathfinder Platoon organization as part of their Air Assualt Brigade.  Would not this type of organization be useful for all sorts of Ops?

My point is, if you have a unit like CSOR that can do all of the functions of pathfinders, why even run the course unless your are qualifying CSOR?  CSOR can do airstrip assesment, recce paratroop landing sites, all the same sort of roles that pathfinders can do, probably at a higher level with more support.  Or does CSOR have more important things to do than support the army.  Does the army need integral rapid air/sea deployable recce forces?

 

Infanteer

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No, they are not grouped as a unit/subunit.  Pathfinder qualified personnel tend to be grouped in Battalion recce platoons, but not everyone is in Recce Pl all the time.  As well, Patrol Pathfinder is, in essence, a leadership course as the requirements include PLQ.

As for the point of the course, that's a question that has been asked of the school, especially when compared with the Advanced Reconnaissance Patrolman course.

Finally, strategic reconnaissance is a role of CANSOF units, including CSOR, but "pathfinder patrols", which is essentially insertion for LZ/DZ/beachlandings, don't necessarily constitute strategic reconnaissance. 
 

daftandbarmy

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Underway said:
So Patrol Pathfinders are not grouped as a unit/subunit?  What's the point of the course then if they are just dispersed back into their units?  Or do they go to recce platoon and apply their skills there?  UK uses a Pathfinder Platoon organization as part of their Air Assualt Brigade.  Would not this type of organization be useful for all sorts of Ops?

My point is, if you have a unit like CSOR that can do all of the functions of pathfinders, why even run the course unless your are qualifying CSOR?  CSOR can do airstrip assesment, recce paratroop landing sites, all the same sort of roles that pathfinders can do, probably at a higher level with more support.  Or does CSOR have more important things to do than support the army.  Does the army need integral rapid air/sea deployable recce forces?

Ahem...

having been a member of 5AB Bde in the UK, and worked closely with the Pathfinder platoon (commanded by a few of me old muckers) allow me to explain what I think is the difference:

Pathfinder is a specialist role to facilitate the successful air assault/ airborne assault into an area defended by the bad guys. They mark drop zones, guide the aircraft stream in to the right position based on wind etc, and locate/ fix enemy positions near the DZ. They can enter and exit the AOR through a variety of means including HALO/HAHO, small boat/sub etc.

They may do some 'direct action' type stuff but it's not their main role and they seek to avoid contact as they need to get the bigger bullies on the ground so they can sick 'em on the naughties. Without them, you have paratroopers scattered all over hell's half acre, without knowing the enemy locations, and can risk total failure of an airborne assault. If CSOR were doing an airborne assault, they would need pathfinders (either their own team of qualified people or someone else's) to support them.

SOF troops do a lot of things, they but don't have to be Pathfinder qualified to do them.

IMHO, if you wanted to group Pathfinders into CSOR you might find that they get tasked on other stuff that will cause their specialist skills to fade.
 

Loachman

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I've just merged a bunch of Pathfinder threads. It's taken a while due to the Site problems today, and I may not have found all of them.
 

Old Sweat

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I just have been reading some airborne doctrine stuff from the Edmonton/early Petawawa days. The pathfinders were used, as D&B said, to do the DZ stuff. In principle they were inserted the day before the main assault along with a FOO/FAC party from the Airborne Battery a fair distance from the main DZ and made their way to it hopefully undetected. They them did all the DZ controller stuff in time for the main assault.

It begs the question to note that CSOR does a lot of other stuff.
 

daftandbarmy

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Loachman said:
I've just merged a bunch of Pathfinder threads. It's taken a while due to the Site problems today, and I may not have found all of them.

Maybe you need to call a Pathfinder then?  ;D
 

PuckChaser

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Just ask this guy, he'll tell you everything he learned on his Patrol Pathfinder course...

franck_gervais.jpg
 
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