Exercise Olive Grove has seen Colchester-based B Company, 2nd Battalion The Parachute Regiment working with 3rd Company, 81st Battalion of the Mohammed Bin Zayed Quick Reaction Force Brigade.
According to a release:
“The four-week-long training is about building the British and Jordanian troops’ readiness for operations in the demanding conditions of the desert, and sharing each other’s hard-earned skills.
2 PARA – as part of 16 Air Assault Brigade – and the Mohammed Bin Zayed Quick Reaction Force Brigade serve as their respective army’s rapid reaction forces, a shared role which makes for a natural relationship between the soldiers.”
Major Robin Rowell, Officer Commanding B Coy, 2 PARA, said:
“Exercise Olive Grove is all about partnership, and both the British and Jordanian units will come away with improved capabilities. Starting from individual soldiers and building towards both companies working side-by-side, we’ve understood more about the kit and tactics we each use and learnt from each other.
The desert is very austere and inhospitable terrain that has really tested our paratroopers, and the Jordanians have taught us how to use what cover there is and the need to bring more firepower into the fight on such open ground.
We’re both high readiness units and could be called into action quickly, which creates a real bond between our soldiers. We’ve made friends on the football pitch and the Jordanians organised an evening of traditional food and dancing for us, which was very enjoyable – that cultural understanding means we’re better able to operate with troops from the Middle East in the future.”