The training of the multinational force culminated in a combat demonstration in front of a crowd of thousands at Narashino on the outskirts of Tokyo (Picture: British Army).
The training of the multinational force culminated in a combat demonstration in front of a crowd of thousands at Narashino on the outskirts of Tokyo (Picture: British Army).
Army

British paratroopers earn their wings in Japan on multinational exercise

The training of the multinational force culminated in a combat demonstration in front of a crowd of thousands at Narashino on the outskirts of Tokyo (Picture: British Army).
The training of the multinational force culminated in a combat demonstration in front of a crowd of thousands at Narashino on the outskirts of Tokyo (Picture: British Army).

British paratroopers have earned their new wings in Japan after completing Exercise New Year Jump alongside their allies in the Pacific.

Soldiers from 16 Air Assault Brigade Combat Team travelled to Japan to train alongside Japanese, American and Australian paratroopers.

New Year Jump is a multinational paratroopers' training exercise that gives soldiers the chance to use Japanese parachutes and practise air assault missions.

This year is the first time UK soldiers have taken part in the event in Japan and comes as Britain has signed a major defence agreement with the country to allow UK forces to be deployed there

The paratroopers' training included a combat demonstration in front of thousands of people at the Narashino training area near Tokyo.

Supported by tanks and attack helicopters, the multinational force was inserted by helicopter and parachute to attack a simulated enemy position. 

British paratroopers earn their Japanese parachute wings on Exercise New Year Jump (Picture: British Army).
British paratroopers earned their Japanese parachute wings on Exercise New Year Jump (Picture: British Army).

Bombardier Chris Kearney, of 7th Parachute Regiment Royal Horse Artillery, was one of 400 to take part.

He said: "I had a fantastic view of Tokyo, which is just vast, and it really felt like we were jumping into the middle of the city.

"Mount Fuji was on the horizon, and it was all quite distracting, so I had to make myself concentrate on my landing drills.

"It was really interesting to go to Japan, on the other side of the planet, to find that their paratroopers were doing the same role as us and had done the same training with similar equipment."

The training is organised by the Japanese 1st Airborne Brigade to celebrate both the New Year and the partnership between multinational paratroopers.

British airborne forces to work alongside our allies in the Pacific using Japanese parachutes (Picture: British Army).
British airborne forces worked alongside allies in the Pacific using Japanese parachutes (Picture: British Army).

Brigadier Nick Cowley, Commander of the Colchester-based 16 Air Assault Brigade Combat Team, said: "As the British Army's Global Response Force, it is critical that we train to be ready to operate alongside our allies, wherever and whatever the mission is.

"It has been a fantastic opportunity to come to Japan and build new relationships with our Japanese and Australian counterparts while deepening our existing links with US airborne forces.

"As paratroopers, we all share a similar mentality and experiences and I look forward to continuing to work together." 

The training is part of a growing military relationship with Japan as part of the Government's 'tilt' towards the Indo-Pacific region in defence and foreign policy.

British paratroopers earned their Japanese parachute wings, developing the ability of British airborne forces to work alongside our allies in the Pacific (Picture: British Army).
British paratroopers earned their Japanese parachute wings, developing the ability of British airborne forces to work alongside allies in the Pacific (Picture: British Army).

Watch Forces News explainers