The British Army’s airborne forces are testing their ability to fight alongside mechanised infantry from key European and NATO allies, say the MoD.

16 Air Assault Brigade is heading up the ground element of the two-week long Exercise Joint Warrior, which sees more than 11,600 military personnel from 17 nations training in the UK. According to a press release:

“The training challenges ground, maritime and air forces to work together to tackle complex scenarios involving multiple sovereign nations disputing resources and territories, counter-terrorism and anti-smuggling activity, information warfare and evacuation operations.”

16 Air Asslt Bde is in command of a multinational force training on Salisbury Plain, in Wiltshire say the British Army. The force is made up of:

  • 3 PARA Battlegroup, built around the airborne infantry of 3rd Battalion The Parachute Regiment bolstered by artillery, engineers, medics, signallers and logisticians;
  • the Danish Army’s II Panserinfanteribataljon Jydske Dragonregiment (2 JDR), a mechanised infantry battlegroup including Latvian, Lithuanian, Estonian and Swedish troops;
  • and Aviation Task Force 1, commanded by 4 Regiment Army Air Corps with Apache attack helicopters, Wildcat utility helicopters and RAF Chinook and Puma 2 transport helicopters.

ARMYHQ-2018-071-108  .jpg

Across the exercise, the force will practise using the air manoeuvre capabilities of 3 PARA and ATF-1 to support and enable 2 JDR operations on the ground say the British Army. The training began with some 200 soldiers of 3 PARA Battlegroup carrying out a parachute jump onto Imber from RAF C-130 Hercules.

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Sceptical Richard

Important to be able to do this with our European allies. Important to be able to intervene in parts of Africa and northern/Baltic Europe without necessarily relying on US support, which would not always be available.

Daniele Mandelli

Agree but no longer at Brigade level.

The British Army has the capability but the aircraft or supporting elements no longer exist for anything more than battlegroup size as part of the Air Assault Task Force.

Still as you say handy for rapid out of area deployments.

Andy G

Practice for invasion of Norway maybe.

Daniele Mandelli

I’m case of Russian attack? Unlikely as NATO northern flank covered by USMC and 3 Commando Brigade, parts of which are arctic specialists.

Andy G

I hope, and think, you are right.

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