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Pre-Parachute Selection (P Company)

Officers and soldiers alike wishing to serve with 299 Parachute Squadron have to pass the grueling Army Reserve P Company at the Infantry Training Centre Catterick in North Yorkshire.

Prior to attending the five day selection course candidates from the Squadron have to complete a Preparation Course run by Aden Troop, 299 Parachute Squadron.

Aden Troop

Once recruits pass out as qualified Reserve soldiers they enter Aden Troop to prepare for the next Pre Parachute selection course.

The Aden Troop mission is:

"To prepare an individuals physical fitness and mental robustness and instill determination, self discipline and motivation in order to pass Pre-Parachute Selection and serve with Airborne Forces.

Whilst in Aden Troop soldiers may attend trade training courses alongside fully trained members of The Squadron. Tuesday evenings during this period concentrate on physical conditioning.

P Company Preparation Course

The Squadron P Company Preparation Course lasts for six weekends over a twelve week period. It is run by instructors from Aden Troop and is designed to improve the candidates physical fitness, stamina and robustness.

Pre Parachute selection is run by Regular Army instructors of Pegasus Company. The Army Reserve P Company tests are the same as for the Regular Army. Candidates are expected to run, march and carry weighted rucksacks over undulating terrain.

There are seven test events over a four and a half day period. Six are scored whilst one (the Trainasium) is a straight pass/fail.

Each event is designed to assess a candidates physical fitness, mental robustness and determination. A candidate who fails to display the appropriate level of self discipline and motivation throughout will fail the course. The tests are described below:

Ten Mile March: A ten mile march is conducted as a squad, over undulating terrain with each candidate carrying a bergan (rucksack). The event is a straight pass / fail.

Log Race: A team event with 8 candidates carrying a 60 kg log a distance of 1.9 miles over undulating terrain.

Two Mile March: The two mile march is conducted over undulating terrain with each individual carrying a bergan weighing 35 pounds (plus water) and a weapon. A helmet and combat jacket are also worn and the time required is under 19 minutes.

Steeplechase: An individual test with candidates running against the clock over a 1.9 mile cross country course. The course features a number of water obstacles and having completed the cross country element, candidates must negotiate an assault course to complete the test and get within 19 minutes.

Milling: 60 seconds of controlled physical aggression against an opponent of similar height and weight.

Stretcher Race: The final event of P Company. Teams of 16 men carry a 175 pound stretcher over a distance of 5 miles. No more than 4 men carry the stretcher at any time. Individuals wear webbing and carry a weapon