UK Paras With Jordan's Special Forces: The Exercise Designed To Make The Enemy Notice

More than 150 British Army paratroopers have been conducting joint parachuting exercises with Jordanian Special Forces, with the aim of making allies and adversaries take notice.

Second Battalion the Parachute Regiment (2 PARA), part of 16 Air Assault Brigade, flew from RAF Akrotiri in Cyprus and parachuted out of two C130 Hercules over Jordan.

They were escorted by two Royal Air Force Typhoons and, once the jump was completed, the paratroopers joined up with Jordanian Armed Forces.

The purpose of the exercise was to demonstrate the UK's ability to conduct particular operations.

Brigadier James Martin, Commander 16 Air Assault Brigade, told Forces News the exercise is "talking to anyone who would seek to destabilise the region".

He added that north of where the troops are operating, in North Jordan, is the border with Syria where there are "third party interests".

"Russian, Iranian, there are violent extremist organisations," he said.

"But, ultimately, anyone who would seek to undermine the rules-based international system is who we are messaging."

Personnel from 16 Air Assualt Brigade boarding a C130 Hercules aircraft before parachuting into Jordan
Personnel flew from RAF Akrotiri in Cyprus and parachuted out of two C130 Hercules aircraft over Jordan.

The Joint Theatre Entry exercises supported the UK's Carrier Strike Group, and Brig Martin told Forces News it was "no coincidence that the Carrier Strike Group is in the region at the same time".

Speaking to Forces News before parachuting into Jordan, Private Jacob Garforth, 2 PARA, said it was a "massive moment".

"Blokes have done jumps like this before, but never in this capacity and to this scale," he said.

The jump was successful, with all personnel landing in the drop zone secured by the Pathfinders – the advanced party who had already completed a tactical high-altitude drop from 12,000ft days before.

The Pathfinders, the advance force for 16 Air Assault Brigade, are trained in specialist airborne insertion techniques and are capable of conducting offensive action tasks at very short notice.

Their key role is identifying drop zones and landing zones where the main body of troops can be parachuted in at lower altitudes.

The exercise comes after F-35B fighter jets completed their first combat operations from HMS Queen Elizabeth – joining the fight against the so-called Islamic State (IS) group in Iraq and Syria.

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