1 / 7
Without leaving their hometown, paratroopers have trained to be ready to carry out air assault missions while deployed overseas as the British Army’s Global Response Force.
2 / 7
Exercise Blue Valkyrie saw two RAF Chinook helicopters swoop into Colchester’s Merville Barracks on 1 February to pick up troops from 2nd Battalion The Parachute Regiment (2 PARA).
3 / 7
Across several waves, the battalion’s A Company were delivered on to Fingringhoe Ranges and C (Bruneval) Company to Friday Woods, where they attacked simulated enemy positions.
4 / 7
Air assault – using the speed and reach of helicopters to outmanoeuvre the enemy – is one of the defining capabilities of 16 Air Assault Brigade Combat Team (BCT). As the Global Response Force, the BCT is trained, equipped, and held ready to deploy at short notice anywhere in the world by air in response to global crises. It is a key element of how the British Army will operate under the Future Soldier vision as an ever more agile, lethal, and expeditionary force.
5 / 7
Major Chris Duncalfe, Officer Commanding A Coy 2 PARA, said: “Air assault is not a simple task - there’s a lot of planning required and it’s important to build relationships with helicopter crews; we need to do the repetitions together to be able to do it right.
6 / 7
“Arriving on a target by helicopter surprises the enemy, and then it’s about using speed, aggression and a concentration of fire to maintain that initiative and the momentum to go on and win the fight.
7 / 7
“We’re training in Colchester today and we’ll be doing this on other exercises in the UK and overseas through the year, so that we’re ready to do it for real anywhere in the world.”