16 Air Assault Brigade was deployed in command of a highly capable multinational force on the two-week long Exercise Joint Warrior on Salisbury Plain.

The force was made up of the 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.

Across the exercise, the British Army say that the force will practice using the air manoeuvre capabilities of 3 PARA and ATF-1 to support and enable 2 JDR operations on the ground.

Joint Warrior, an exercise that supports approximately 15,000 partner nation’s service members, is designed and led by the UK’s Joint Tactical Exercise Planning Staff, and is a multi-warfare exercise designed to improve interoperability between allied navies and prepares participating crews to conduct combined operations during deployments.

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Years ago when my waist size was smaller than my leg size I undertook my Cadre course at Osnabruck. There was a 9 Para idiot on the course with us. Any way on parade he was gobbing off about how great people who wore a crap hat were. I simply replied “ZSU 23-4” he naturally didn’t have a clue what I was on about, even after Paddy exclaimed : “2000 rounds a minute” (Actually its closer to 4000) I always remember when I went down south and I was detached from the squadron to work on the CSBs in Stanley… Read more »

Daniele Mandelli

Great read. Thank you.

Mr J Bell

Good story Farouk
You should right your memoirs.

David E Flandry

Someone who will jump out of a perfectly good aircraft at several thousand feet just cannot be right in the head.

David Steeper

The biggest problem with the Paras is that they are an above average infantry regiment that thinks it’s something it’s not. But when they start giving it large mention Aden and the confrontation with Indonesia to them and if they don’t shut up use the H-Bomb. Arnhem.

Daniele Mandelli

I thought the Paras fought heroically at Arnhem. Hardly their fault the planners dropped them miles from target and that there happened to be 2 SS Panzer Divisions refitting in the area.

Ben P

Pretty silly of you to mention Arnhem. The paras at Arnhem fought hard. They were at the tip of the spear, surrounded and were facing elements of two panzer divisions. It was not their fault that it took so long for reinforcements to arrive.


You Sad jellious bunch of losers! I think you all need a long hard look at yourselfs, The Paras are the best we have for a reason! And they had done and won most of the battles in the Falkland campaign.There Selecte Troopes! Or was Churchill so wrong? All the Military are the best at what they do! Now take pride in that….and get a grip you petty wingers afrer all ….Every Man an Emperor


farouk, who did you serve with?

David – Most of the UKSF are made up of Para’s, so I’d assume they as individuals are quite special. You only need to look at Pathfinders, 1 Para (SFSG) to see their value/flexibility.

I personally would love it if we had more Marines & Paras.

David Steeper

Agree to disagree Gary. Am a huge history buff and the thing that strikes me time without mention is the difference between how Paras and most media present them and how they actually perform in reality. Not saying they aren’t good but nothing like most folk think.


I’m sorry which unit did you serve in?

Oh you haven’t? Then pipe down mister history buff. ?


Gary wrote:
farouk, who did you serve with?

Royal Engineers


I agree to disagree David, but what most uneducated folk think has no consequence. You only have to read a tabloid to see how often military equipment is often described inaccurately. Means of insertion is befit to the task, but the SFSG has parachuted operationally into Afghanistan. The reality is this (and other work) is barely reported on. However the opinion I do admire is that of ex soldiers and foreign leaders. Every soldier in the British Army/Marines will tell you their unit is the best. Nothing wrong in that I guess… it fosters camaraderie. If we are honest the… Read more »

Daniele Mandelli

Bravo. Add the Ghurkhas to the RM and Paras and we have a serious Light Infantry Force.

David Steeper

Thanks everyone for your comments. What is an elite unit ? How do you quantify whether a unit is elite. The Paras have fought in many wars and many battles name one in which they were the best Div or Regt there ? I could go through all of them but it would be far to long. Look for yourselves. don’t believe me or anyone else when the evidence is in the public domain.


All depends what you want them to do doesnt it?
If you talk about faceing up to the Russians in Eastern Europe you need an armoured brigade. 16 AA would get smashed in no time at all. Its all horses for courses isnt it? You need a broad range of units specialising in different things.
And before any key board warriors pipe up im a combat vet myself.