Paratroopers Prepare for Airborne Task Force Role at Scottish Airfield


Members of 16 Air Assault Brigade took to the skies again as part of a large multinational land, sea and air exercise – one of largest in recent years.

Sleepy West Freugh airfield woke up to the sound of mighty Hercules transport aircraft. Scores of soldiers spilled from the rear loading ramps, quickly adopting defensive positions before progressing to meet the challenges thrown at them.

The soldiers and officers of the B Company, 3rd Battalion The Parachute Regiment were participating in Exercise Joint Warrior in southern Scotland. The two-week long exercise began in earnest with a series of Rapid Air Landings, as they spearheaded the advance into the unknown.

The Rapid Air Landing, where a plane is on the ground for as little time as possible, is the fastest way to deploy troops onto the ground in what could be hostile territory. The technique is one of the hallmarks of the Airborne Task Force (ABTF).

The exercise was designed to be as realistic as possible, with actors playing the local population, and an enemy involved too. It is essential that the training continues to enable 16 Bde’s conversion to the ABTF role.

The exercise ensured that the ABTF was fully tested in its role as the UK’s quick reaction force, able to deploy anywhere in the world at short notice to deal with a wide range of missions.

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