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Paratroopers standby to support peacekeeping in Bosnia.

Paratroopers have been put through their paces to confirm their readiness to reinforce peacekeepers in Bosnia if needed.

2nd Battalion The Parachute Regiment is taking on a standby role in support of European Union Force (EUFOR) peacekeepers in Bosnia. Two decades on from the 1995 Dayton Peace Accords that brought conflict in Bosnia to an end, EUFOR’s role has shifted to developing the Bosnian armed forces rather than keeping the peace. However, 2 PARA will be ready to step in at short notice if the security situation deteriorates.

At Lydd Ranges in Kent, the Colchester-based paratroopers have been practising their public order and patrolling before taking on the role in December. These are key skills they could have to use if sent to Bosnia, a commitment known as Operation ELGIN.

Lieutenant Colonel Duncan Mann, Commanding Officer of Colchester-based 2 PARA, said: “As a high readiness unit that is experienced in working alongside multinational partners, Operation ELGIN is a natural fit for 2 PARA. We are trained and ready to deploy to Bosnia if called on, and I am confident that the skills, maturity and flexibility of our paratroopers will stand us in good stead.”