Paratroopers train at home for missions abroad

Paratroopers have been testing their combat readiness in a simulated exercise at Merville Barracks.

Exercise Blue Valkyrie saw the Global Response Force train in their own backyard, carrying out mock-up air assault missions to mimic real-life overseas deployments.

In several waves, two RAF Chinook helicopters picked up 2nd Battalion, the Parachute Regiment troops from the Colchester barracks, delivering A Company onto Fingringhoe Ranges and C (Bruneval) Company to Friday Woods, where they attacked make-shift enemy positions.

Major Chris Duncalfe, Officer Commanding A Company 2 PARA, said they "need to do the repetitions together to be able to do it right".

He added: "Air assault is not a simple task – there's a lot of planning required and it's important to build relationships with helicopter crews."

Air assault is one of the defining capabilities of 16 Air Assault Brigade Combat Team (BCT) – a key element the Army says "will shape its Future Soldier vision as an ever more agile, lethal, and expeditionary force".

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.

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