23 Parachute Engineer Regiment's New Arrivals Put To The Test

The newly-posted soldiers are being put through their paces on the Airborne Fundamentals Course in Woodbridge, Suffolk.

Troops from 23 Parachute Engineer Regiment have been teaching newly-posted soldiers about the skills and knowledge needed to serve as both airborne engineers and soldiers.

The new personnel are undergoing the Airborne Fundamentals Course at Rock Barracks in Woodbridge, Suffolk.

The five-week course teaches the soldiers about the history of airborne forces and how operational experiences have shaped how the unit operates.

It also includes practical engineering tasks, including bridging and demolitions, mixed with airborne skills.

Warrant Officer Class 1 David Hird, 23 Parachute Engineer Regiment's Regimental Sergeant Major, said the course is about introducing the soldiers to the "particular skills and demands of working as airborne engineers".

"Our role demands soldiers with the self-reliance, robustness and initiative to be able to parachute in on an operation and do whatever is asked of them using the equipment they have brought with them," he said.

The troops on the course have been posted to 23 Parachute Engineer Regiment after completing their basic training as soldiers and their initial trade training as combat engineers.

Soldiers new to 23 Parachute Engineer Regiment are expected to demonstrate the physical and mental robustness needed to train as a military parachutist (Picture: MOD).

Fitness is also a key element to prepare the soldiers for P Company, with troops expected to demonstrate the physical and mental robustness needed to train as a military parachutist. 

Sapper Frankie Fitzmaurice, 20, from Nottinghamshire, said: "I wanted to come to 23 Parachute Engineer Regiment because of the specialist role and the extra challenge of parachuting

"I’ve been learning non-stop since I joined the Army, and this course has been a good chance to go back over some of our basic engineering skills, but in more depth and more specific to what I could find myself doing on operations."

Sapper Vilisoni Tabuatamata, 26, from Fiji, said: "I joined the Army to set myself a challenge.

"Understanding and developing the skills needed to work at this unit and do my bit to maintain its standards and proud history, is certainly providing that."

23 Parachute Engineer Regiment provides close combat engineering support to 16 Air Assault Brigade, the British Army’s global response force.

The Airborne Sappers are trained and equipped to deploy by parachute, helicopter or fixed-wing aircraft.

Cover image: The newly-posted soldiers practise assembling a medium girder bridge (Picture: MOD).