4th Battalion, Parachute Regiment

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Parachute Regiment
Parachute Regiment cap badge.jpg
Cap badge of the Parachute Regiment
Active 1942–Present
Country  United Kingdom
Branch  British Army
Type Infantry
Role Airborne forces
Size Battalion
Part of 16 Air Assault Brigade
Garrison/HQ Leeds
Nickname(s) The Red Devils
The Paras
Motto(s) Utrinque Paratus
(Latin for "Ready for Anything")
March Quick—Ride of the Valkyries
Slow—Pomp and Circumstance No 4
Mascot(s) Shetland Pony (Pegasus)
Commanders
Colonel-in-Chief HRH The Prince of Wales, KG, KT, GCB, OM, AK, QSO, PC, ADC
Colonel Commandant General Sir John Reith, KCB, CBE
Notable
commanders
General Anthony Farrar-Hockley GBE, KCB, DSO & Bar, MC
Insignia
Identification
symbol
Paras DZ Flash updated.GIF

The 4th Battalion, Parachute Regiment (4 PARA), is an Army Reserve unit of the British Army and is based across the United Kingdom. Originally the Battalion covered the North of England, with its headquarters located in Pudsey, West Yorkshire. Following the Options for Change review in 1993, 4 PARA amalgamated with the 15th (Scottish) Battalion of the Parachute Regiment (XV PARA), which was downsized and became 15 (Scottish) Company of 4 PARA. As part of further changes in 1999 (Strategic Defence Review), the Battalion also merged with the 10th (Volunteer) Battalion which then became 10 (London) Company.

Under the Army 2020 plan, it will form as a reserve air assault infantry battalion of 16th Air Assault Brigade.[1]

History[edit]

The original 4th Parachute Battalion was formed in 1942 and saw service in;

In 1943 Operation Avalanche (Invasion of Italy) was launched and the Battalion was in action at Taranto and Cassino. In August 1944, the battalion was part of Operation Rugby in Southern France. In October 1944 the Battalion seized by airborne assault (Operation Manna) the airfield at Megara near Athens in Greece as part of the 2nd Independent Parachute Brigade. The battalion spent the rest of the war supporting the 2nd New Zealand Division. Then from 1945 served with the 6th Airborne Division in Palestine.

The present day Battalion is the successor to several T.A. Parachute Battalions which were all raised in 1947, although these units were raised during the Second World War either as parachute troops or infantry. These are:-

10 Para Battalion (V) DZ Flash

All of the TA Parachute Battalions formed part of the 44th Parachute Brigade (V) which was disbanded on 31 March 1978. While in this brigade 4 PARA was re-formed on 1 April 1967 from a merger of the 12th/13th (Yorkshire and Lancashire) Battalion and the 17th (9 DLI) Battalions of the Parachute Regiment. After this 4 PARA came under the administrative command of North-East District with an operational role to reinforce an armoured division in the British Army of the Rhine (BAOR).

In 1982, 4 PARA became part of 15 Infantry Brigade.

in 1993 15 PARA disbanded and merged with 4 PARA.

In 1999, 10 PARA disbanded and merged with 4 PARA, 4 PARA (Merseyside) was disbanded therefore moving to Pudsey in Leeds, however it moved back to Merseyside (Jubilee Barracks, St Helens) in 2006.

In 2014 D Company 4 PARA was created to cover the Midlands area. The Coy HQ is based at Edward Street, Rugby, with a Platoon located at Triumph Road Barracks in Nottingham.

Training[edit]

The level of fitness required for joining 4 Para is far higher than the level mandated for other Army Reserve Infantry units.

4 Para conduct their own recruit training programme independent of Regional Training Centres.

The 2 week Army Reserve Combat Infantry Course (CIC) for 4 Para is run by the P Coy staff at ITC Catterick. These high standards are carried on once in Battalion, and are maintained by the regular staff posted there for that purpose.

Training evenings (Tuesday night) will usually include a combination of fitness, military skills and admin. One or two weekend exercises per months of ranges, tactics, military skills etc. (9 weekends maximum) before TSC Alpha. Advanced skills in TSC Bravo takes place before P Company and Parachute training. Annual camps (one per year, 2 weeks duration) are for longer exercises, parachuting and more advanced range work.

Companies[edit]

A Company (Scotland)[edit]

B Company (Greater London)[edit]

C Company (North of England)[edit]

D Company (Midlands)[edit]

Current operations and exercises[edit]

Recent overseas annual camps have been held in the Czech Republic 1999 (Ex Czech Mate); France 2001 (Ex Gaulish 1); Germany 2002 (Ex Paperchase); Ukraine 2003 (Ex Cossack Steppe); Wyoming, USA 2005 (Ex Stoney Run) and Albania 2006. In addition the Battalion has a number of regular exercises and unit exchanges which it takes part in, these include Ex Paperchase (exchange with German 272 Fallschirmjager Battalion); Ex Anthropoid (Patrol competition with Slovak Special Forces); Ex Pathfinder (Exchange with Czech airborne forces) and Ex Market Garden (annual commemoration and jump into Arnhem). The Battalion also regularly sends teams to the annual Exercise Cambrian Patrol competition held at the Sennybridge Training Area.

A total of 104 soldiers from the Battalion were mobilised to reinforce the 1st and 3rd Battalions during the invasion of Iraq in 2003 Operation Telic. The Battalion provided a Platoon for Force Protection duties on Op Telic 3 in 2004 and a Company for Op Telic 7 in 2005-2006. Most recently the Battalion mobilised soldiers in support of the 2nd and 3rd Battalions in Afghanistan on Operation Herrick 4 in 2006, Op Herrick 8 in 2008 and Op Herrick 13 in 2010-2011, as well as in support of the Yorkshire Regiment on Op Herrick 15, and The Royal Tank Regiment on Op Herrick 18. The Battalion has also provided soldiers for operations in Northern Ireland and the Balkans.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Transforming the british Army, an update - July 2013" (PDF). Army.mod.uk. Ministry of Defence. July 2013. p. 7. Retrieved 4 October 2016. 

External links[edit]