16 Air Assault Brigade, the British Army’s rapid response airborne formation, has remained at very high readiness to deploy on overseas operations and training.

APOSEC-2020-013-Ex Black flight-015.JPG

According to the British Army:

“With training getting back underway, units are maintaining social distancing where possible and taking sensible precautions to manage the risks where personnel cannot space from each other. Airborne logisticians and medics have been practicing how they would deliver an operating theatre onto the battlefield by parachute or helicopter on Exercise Black Flight.

13 Air Assault Support Regiment, Royal Logistic Corps (13 AASR) have been working with 16 Medical Regiment and the RAF. Their latest training exercise involved transporting lifesaving surgical capability which was parachuted from an RAF C130 Hercules aircraft onto Sculthorpe Airfield in Norfolk.”

APOSEC-2020-013-Ex Black flight-026.JPG

The British Army also say that the 3rd Battalion, The Parachute Regiment have also been getting back to training, having recently deployed on Exercise Green Shield. This involved conducting urban operations training on Stanford Training Area in Norfolk.

Together, all these units have been preparing to assume the duty of Air Manoeuvre Battlegroup One, which means they will be at very high readiness to deploy anywhere in the world.


0 0 vote
Article Rating
Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

Hi folks hope all are well.
The Brigade is around 6000 plus, this is a rather hefty number to deploy any time at high readines. Does this actually mean the total number? If so, this very impresive, any of you expert’s advice wellcome. Nonetheless, good to see some normality getting back to our boys and girls protecting our interests, good for them!

Daniele Mandelli

Hi George Has 3 battalions. 2 and 3 Para and a battalion of the RGR. Also unique in still having a brigade signal squadron – 216. The brigade is one that still has a full set of CS and CSS units. The problem is those units have suffered cuts, like to 7 RHA, meaning if the whole formation deployed its battalions would not all have an attendant engineer squadron, light gun battery, and so on. The same happened to 3 Commando and other formations in A2020R. As the Def Sec at the time said, that idiot Fallon, these changes are… Read more »


What do politicians orcivil servants know??

Greta Bed Wetter

Hi Daniele

Of those 6000 in the Brigade how many of those are fighting soldiers vs supporting?

Also does the capability exist at short notice to deploy the whole force via RAF transports? I’d have though it would take a couple weeks.

Total novice btw

Daniele Mandelli

Also, only 1 Battalion Group ( that is one of the Para Battalions plus supports ) is at higher readiness, with 1 lead company para droppable quickly. Pathfinder Platoon obviously high readiness too.


Many thanks Daniele, very comprehensive and helpful reply. Yes remember Fallon, great on spin not much else. From a glance at other advanced countries militaries ( France, US) there aren’t many that can deploy at the same level. What do you think?
Many thanks

Daniele Mandelli

Agree George. We have the airmobile assets and amphibious assets. Which is why I’m so vehemently against their reduction compared to other less useful assets.

Parachute Regiment and RM also provide plenty of people to SF in due course.

As Airborne said in another thread ( the real expert, not me ) the capability is there should it be necessary to go all in.


for me its sustainability – we can go all in but for how long? Its the ability to relieve and sustain ops over months – that is our challenge now. Not just manpower but ammunition and equipment

Daniele Mandelli

Agreed. We’ve lost much in that area. I doubt we can still maintain a brigade size on an enduring basis like Helmand. Or perhaps we can but only a brigade? Division is now a one off 6 month best effort only I think?


Oh I don’t know, I think the US Military Police battalion deployed very quickly to Lafayette Park

Scott Maynard

What are they preparing for, war in the South China Sea ?