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16 Air Assault Brigade

16 Air Assault Brigade was formed on 1 Sept 1999 from two pre-existing formations, 5 Airborne Brigade and 24 Airmobile Brigade. Based in Colchester, Essex, the Brigade Headquarters is formed from both Army and RAF personnel enabling it to integrate Air and Land operations.

Rapid Reaction Force

16 Air Assault Brigade is the British Army's airborne rapid reaction force, specially trained and equipped to deploy by parachute, helicopter and air-landing. Its core role is to maintain the Air Assault Task Force, a battlegroup held at high readiness to deploy worldwide for a full spectrum of missions, from non-combatant evacuation ops to war fighting. It is at the forefront of developing interoperability with the US Army’s 82nd Airborne Division and the French Army’s 11e Brigade Parachutiste.

A paratrooper waits for the signal to jump from a Hercules aircraft
Recent years have seen the Brigade’s soldiers deploy multiple times on operations in Afghanistan and Iraq as well as supporting civilian authorities in UK. Most recently, soldiers from 16 Brigade deployed out to support the emergency services during the flooding at the start of 2014 and provided a significant element of the security team for the London 2012 Olympics..

The brigade has also provided troops to assist in training indigenous forces in a number of different countries across Africa.

Units and elements of the Brigade

7th Parachute Regiment Royal Horse Artillery
23 Parachute Engineer Regiment
2nd Battalion The Parachute Regiment
3rd Battalion The Parachute Regiment
2nd Battalion The Royal Gurkha Rifles
13 Air Assault Regiment Royal Logistics Corps
16 Medical Regiment
216 (Parachute) Signals Squadron
Pathfinder Platoon
4th Battalion The Parachute Regiment

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