16 Air Assault Brigade
Personnel from 16 (Air Asslt) Bde have been active in their local communities over the summer, participating in two major events.
Soldiers build bridges to Suffolk Community
Suffolk-based soldiers have built bridges to the civilian community at the Suffolk Show.
Soldiers based in Suffolk put on a show for civilians at the annual agricultural showpiece, held at Trinity Park, Ipswich.
Military displays included 23 Engr Regt (Air Asslt) staging a bridge building competition in the main ring. Two teams, representing the regiment’s 9 and 51 Para Sqns, raced each other to construct a medium girder bridge, capable of spanning a ten metre gap and taking the weight of a Challenger main battle tank.
Elsewhere on the showground, a Wattisham-based Apache attack helicopter was on static display. Reservist ground crew from Bury St Edmunds-based 6 Regt AAC demonstrated arming the Apache.
With the Armed Forces placing a greater emphasis on reserves, with the aim of them being a fully integrated component of the ‘Whole Force’ that will routinely deploy on military operations, a presentation about Reserve Forces was given to local businesses exhibiting at the show.
Lt Col Banks, CO of 6 Regt AAC said: “As a reserve unit based and recruiting in the county, the Suffolk Show is a key opportunity to engage with, and thank, our local community for the splendid support we receive. It allows us to put on a show for the public to demonstrate the skills of our people and the impressive equipment and capabilities they provide.”
The Suffolk Agricultural Association, which organizes the event, donated 400 family tickets to military families based in Essex and Suffolk.
Army Show Thrills Colchester
Military displays, international sport and sheer physical fitness and determination thrilled the crowds at a free Army show in Colchester. A crowd of more than 10,000 people came to the 16 (Air Assault) Bde and Colchester Garrison Show, which showcased the equipment and skills of the Brigade.
The event culminated in an explosive combat demonstration that saw 2 PARA assault a mock terrorist compound. The airborne infantry were supported by 105mm Light Guns from 7 Para RHA, sappers from 23 Engr Regt (Air Asslt), a military search dog and a Lynx helicopter.
Military equipment on display included an Apache helicopter, bridging equipment and a field hospital that can be deployed by parachute. The Red Devils – The Parachute Regiment’s freefall display team – dropped in from the sky and a Sea King search and rescue helicopter did a flypast.
The show, featured two matches from the Armed Forces Rugby League World Cup. New Zealand beat Serbia 62-6 in the early kick off, while reigning champions Great Britain lost 20-16 to Australia. The event also featured the PARAS’ 10 challenge, an annual ten mile run open to all that can be completed as a cross-country race in trainers or as the P Company Challenge, wearing boots and carrying a 35lb rucksack. Some 600 runners and tabbers braved the day’s searing heat to complete the challenge and raise money for The Parachute Regiment Charity.
Col Mike Newman, Comd of Colchester Garrison, said: “Our aim was for the Army to showcase itself to the local community to say thank you for the fantastic support we receive, which we have achieved with an exciting and eventful day attended by thousands of people. I hope the public have enjoyed the opportunity to meet our troops and see their kit and capabilities so that they better understand what they do when they deploy on operations.”