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Rapid reaction force

16 Air Assault Brigade

The Army's airborne rapid reaction force

16 Air Assault Brigade are 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.

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Our role

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.

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.

Timeline

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.

  1. 1999

    Formed on 1 September 1999 from two pre-existing formations

  2. 2010

    Deployed on operations in Afghanistan as part of HERRICK 13

  3. 2012

    Provided a significant element of the security team for the London Olympics

  4. 2014

    Support to emergency services during UK floods.

The Airborne Gunners practice their air assault skills on Salisbury Plain

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Airborne medics decorated for South Sudan peacekeeping mission

Airborne medics have been presented with campaign medals to mark their successful contribution to the United Nations’ peacekeeping effort in South Sudan.

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Army chefs cook for homeless at Christmas

Chefs from 16 Air Assault Brigade have served up platefuls of festive cheer to homeless people at Colchester Emergency Night Shelter.

Recruitment

Careers

Our contact details

The Brigade Headquarters is based in Colchester, Essex.

Colchester

Merville Barracks