Airborne Gunners Revive French Connection


7 Para RHA was joined on exercise by senior officers from its French sister unit – 35e Régiment d’Artillerie Parachutiste (35e RAP).

The exercise at Otterburn saw 7 Para RHA carry out live firing of 105mm L118 Light Guns, directed by Fire Support Teams (FSTs), who work with infantry on the ground to co-ordinate artillery and aviation support. The French officers observed British drills and shared their own operational experience. The aim of Ex EAGLES RESOLVE was to prepare elements of 7 Para RHA for the Airborne Task Force (ABTF) role, which will see 16 Air Assault Brigade ready to deploy anywhere at short notice.

Lt Col Gary Wilkinson OBE, CO 7 Para RHA, said: “We’re looking at strengthening our link with 35e RAP, which had reduced in recent years simply due to the tempo of operations. It’s key that we can operate together. This exercise has been about going back to the basics of field soldiering and gunnery. I’m delighted at how my soldiers have performed. Everyone has proved their skills so they can be ready for a different challenge, anywhere in the world.

Col Romain Charles, Commanding Officer of 35e RAP, said: “Our two units have always been twinned and attending this exercise has been a great way to reinvigorate our relationship.”

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