British Soldiers Take To The Skies

Army personnel have been trained to become Parachute Jump Instructors, a job that had been limited to the RAF for 70 years.

Army personnel have graduated as Parachute Jump Instructors (PJIs) for the first time since the Second World War.

The eight, from 16 Air Assault Brigade, will be the first Army members to access the qualification in 70 years.

Previously, the job had been the preserve of the Royal Air Force and even the Army's Parachute Regiment had been trained by RAF experts.

Brig. Colin Weir, CO 16 Air Assault Brigade, said that it's an important day for the relationship between the Forces:

"The purpose of having Army Parachute Instructors is really to assist the Royal Air Force in training through a greater number of Army parachutists."

Thanks to these eight new PJIs, 160 extra parachutists will be able to be trained each year.

The need for extra instructors comes as emphasis is now placed on airborne capabilities.

The 6-month-long training focuses heavily on how to fall correctly, as 90% or parachuting injuries are caused by poor landings.

Families joined the students to celebrate their achievement and to watch them being awarded their Brevet badges, signifying their status as trained PJIs.