216 Parachute Signal Squadron
|216 Parachute Signal Squadron|
|Active||1959 – Present|
|Type||Brigade level Command Support|
216 Parachute Signal Squadron (216 Para Sig or simply, 216) is a Squadron of the British Army's Royal Corps of Signals. It is responsible for installing, maintaining and operating all types of telecommunications equipment and information systems in support of 16 Air Assault Brigade. The 216 Parachute Signal Squadron are capable of delivering Aerial Support (AS) to the 16 Air Assault Brigade. They are not trained as extensively as their parent organisation but can still use parachute training and parachute capability (also they are trained in altitude negotiation- how to react to a situation at a certain height) as tactical measures to get to where they are needed if the 16 Air Assault Brigade need them in hills, rocky and/ or dangerous terrain that cannot be negotiated on foot or by vehicle.
216 Parachute Signal (Parachute Brigade Group) was formed in 1959 before becoming 216 Parachute Signal Squadron in 1965 and deployed into operations in Cyprus, Bahrain, Aden, Borneo, British Guyana and Northern Ireland. In 1977 HQ 16 Parachute Brigade and 216 Parachute Signal Squadron amalgamated to form 6th Field Force Headquarters and Signal Squadron.
1981 saw the Signal Squadron re-role, retitling to become 1st Infantry Brigade Headquarters and Signal Squadron (216), losing much of its airborne status. In 1982 members of the Squadron formed part of the Operation Corporate task force to the South Atlantic. The success of the Parachute Regiment during the conflict led to the decision to reinstate the parachute role and 5th Airborne Brigade Headquarters and Signal Squadron (205) came into existence in November 1983. In December 1983 1st Infantry Brigade Headquarters and Signal Squadron (216) relinquished its airborne associations to 205 Signal Squadron and assumed the number 215. In recognition of the historical significance of the number '216' and to mark the 50th Anniversary Year of Airborne Signalling, 205 Signal Squadron was re-titled in October 1991 as 216 Parachute Signal Squadron.
When NATO troops moved into Kosovo in June 1999 the Squadron, as part of 5 Airborne Brigade, were amongst the first troops into the country. Subsequently, part of 24 Airmobile Brigade Headquarters and Signal Squadron (210) deployed into theatre in support of 101 Logistic Brigade. As this was happening, as part of the Strategic Defence Review 16 Air Assault Brigade was about to form from various elements of 5 Airborne Brigade and 24 Airmobile Brigade. Correspondingly, elements of the two brigade signal squadrons formed up on 1 September 1999 in both Colchester and Pristina, Kosovo as 216 Signal Squadron.
In 2006 following an arduous tour of Afghanistan the squadron was handed its Parachute Title by HRH Princess Anne. It is known as 216 (Parachute) Signal Squadron.
|Operation Palliser||Sierra Leone||2000|
|Operation Essential Harvest||Macedonia||2001|
|Operation Herrick IV||Afghanistan||2006|
|Operation Herrick VIII||Afghanistan||2008|
|Operation Herrick XIII||Afghanistan||2010–2011|