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.
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.
16 Air Assault Brigade was formed on 1 September 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 Royal Air Force personnel enabling it to integrate Air and Land operations.
Formed on 1 September 1999 from two pre-existing formations
Deployed on operations in Afghanistan as part of Op Herrick 13
Provided a significant element of the security team for the London Olympics
Support to emergency services during UK floods.
The Airborne Gunners practice their air assault skills on Salisbury Plain
Gurkhas have demonstrated the firepower they can bring to bear as part of the British Army’s rapid reaction force.
Colchester-based 2nd Battalion The Parachute Regiment (2 PARA) is deploying to the Afghan capital Kabul from late September as part of the UK’s enduring support to the Afghan Government. Their mission is to protect NATO military and civilian advisors working in government ministries, as well as UK mentors based at the Afghan National Army Officers’ Academy.