23 Parachute Engineer Regiment

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23 Parachute Engineer Regiment
Active1948 - Present
Country United Kingdom
Branch British Army
RoleCombat engineering
Size4 squadrons
621 personnel[1]
Part of16 Air Assault Brigade
Garrison/HQRock Barracks/Woodbridge Airfield, Woodbridge, Suffolk[2]
EngagementsIraq War
War in Afghanistan
Lt Col Jack Crossley [3]
9 Sqn Support Troop and 23 PER on exercise in 2020

23 Parachute Engineer Regiment is a Royal Engineers regiment in the British Army that was formed in 2003. It provides engineer support to 16 Air Assault Brigade in both the parachute and air assault role. The regiment is currently based at Rock Barracks in Suffolk and consists of three regular squadrons and one Army Reserve squadron. As part of 16 Air Assault Brigade it can be called upon to deploy on operations across the globe at extremely short notice.


23 Engineer Regiment can trace its roots to the founding of the airborne forces of the Parachute Regiment and other related during World War II. In July 1948, 23rd Field Engineer Regiment was formed in Iserlohn from the former 2nd Division Divisional Engineer regiment. In December 1948, the regiment moved to Halen and two years later moved to Dortmund. In September 1957, 2 Field Squadron was allocated to 6th Infantry Brigade and 5 Field Squadron to the 5th Infantry Brigade. In May 1958, the regiment was split and its headquarters became the new "Headquarters Royal Engineers, 2nd Division".[citation needed]

Eleven years later in April 1969, it was re-organised into the new 23 Engineer Regiment at Osnabruck. The regiment served as infantry in Northern Ireland from March - July 1972. In September 1976 the 2nd Division was re-organized as the new 2nd Armoured Division, and the regiment was broken up for the second time. In January 1983 at Osnabruck the regiment reformed and later took part in the trial of Close Support Troops. In 1991 the regiment, participated in the Gulf War supporting 4th Armoured Brigade. 39 Field Squadron provided Close Support Troops for each of the Brigade's 3 Battlegroups, whilst 73 Field Squadron acted as General Support to the Brigade. The regiment was later disbanded in 1993 as a result of the Options for Change.[4]

In 2001, 23 Engineer Regiment was tasked to provide engineer support to the newly formed 16 Air Assault Brigade. The regiment was deployed for Operation Herrick and in September 2009 on their return from Afghanistan the regiment was granted the Freedom of the town of Woodbridge.[5][6] In 2015, the "Parachute" title was officially added to the name, although the unit had already been supporting 16 Air Assault Brigade since its re-establishment, and a new flag was presented to the regiment to mark the occasion.[7][8]



  1. ^ "Army – Question for Ministry of Defence". p. 1. Retrieved 14 December 2020.
  2. ^ "Royal Engineers commander working in Helmand praises unit's hometown for support". Ministry of Defence. 28 January 2011.
  3. ^ "Sutton Heath: Soldier, 20, died in non-operational incident says MOD". BBC News. 26 September 2022. Retrieved 26 September 2022.
  4. ^ The Corps of Royal Engineers: Organization and Units 1889—2018. pp. 222–223.
  5. ^ "Freedom of the Town of Woodbridge to the 23 Engineer Regiment (Air Assault)". One Suffolk. Retrieved 9 April 2010.[permanent dead link]
  6. ^ "23 Engineer Regiment exercises freedom of Woodbridge". BBC. 8 June 2013.
  7. ^ "23 Parachute Engineer Regiment Celebrate New Name". Forces TV. 16 June 2015. Archived from the original on 16 February 2016. Retrieved 9 February 2016.
  8. ^ The Corps of Royal Engineers: Organization and Units 1889—2018. p. 269.
  9. ^ "Royal Engineers Units". British Army. Retrieved 15 August 2019.
  10. ^ "Specialist Army Engineer Squadron Restored". Forces Network. 17 July 2018. Retrieved 2021-08-31.
  11. ^ "299 Parachute Squadron Royal Engineers". British Army. Archived from the original on 28 December 2017.

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