The Infantry Training Centre Catterick (ITC Catterick) trains all Infantrymen joining the British Army. Recruits joining any of the Infantry Regiments, including The Footguards, The Parachute Regiment and The Brigade of Gurkhas undertake all their initial training at ITC Catterick.
They complete the relevant Combat Infantryman's Course, which represents their combined Phase 1 and 2 training. The 2nd Infantry Training Battalion (2 ITB) at ITC Catterick is responsible for soldiers under training (SUTs) joining any of the five Regiments of Footguards, The Parachute Regiment or The Brigade of Gurkhas.
Additionally, 2 ITB also delivers Phase 2 training for the Junior Entry Infantry recruits from the Army Foundation College at Harrogate and the Army Training Regiment Winchester, and Phase 2 training for the Infantry element of the Territorial Army.
The Parachute Regiment Training Company, has since 2002, been the only unit that trains individuals that want to be Paratroopers. It is made up of 7 training platoons:
All platoons are named after significant battles that The Parachute Regiment took part in during the Second World War. The Company is commanded by a Parachute Regiment Major that has served in 1, 2 or 3 PARA (possibly all three). The rest of the instructors are also from one of the three Parachute Battalions and all have operational experience.
Pegasus Company (P Coy) is also located at the Infantry Training Centre in Catterick, North Yorkshire and is staffed by serving members of The Parachute Regiment and 16 Air Assault Brigade. P Coy run Pre-Parachute Selection (PPS) courses for both regular and TA personnel. All Officers and soldiers who wish to serve with Airborne Forces must attend PPS with P Coy.
The P Coy mission is to test the physical fitness, determination and mental robustness, under conditions of stress, to determine whether an individual has the self discipline and motivation required for service with Airborne Forces. PPS is both physically and mentally demanding. Candidates can expect to be pushed to their limits and beyond. The prize, for those who are successful, is the award of the coveted maroon beret and the opportunity to go on to conduct the Basic Parachute Course at RAF Brize Norton.
All P Coy courses are attended by volunteers from across the British Army who wish to serve with airborne forces. The common standards, both in the training and selection of prospective airborne soldiers, form a key part of The Parachute Regiment and 16 Air Assault Brigade's ethos and culture. The P Coy programme takes students beyond their own appetite for challenge, testing their physical and mental robustness, and in doing so assess their commitment and suitability to serve with Airborne Forces.
All serving Officers and soldiers who wish to join an Airborne unit must attend the All Arms Pre-Parachute Selection (AAPPS). The course lasts three and a half weeks and is split into the following phases:
Phase 1 Screening - held on the first Monday of the course, comprising the Combat Fitness Test (CFT), an 8 mile squadded march carrying a 35lb bergen (plus water) and weapon, conducted in standard British Army time of 1 hour 50 minutes. Trainasium - aerial confidence course Basic Fitness Assessment (BFA) - 1.5 Mile run, which must be completed in under 9 minutes 30 seconds.
Phase 2 Build Up - this phase lasts two and a half weeks and is a progressive physical build up to Test Week. It also includes a military skills package, which delivers the most recent operational tactics, techniques and procedures in order to prepare students for service with their airborne unit.
Phase 3 Test Week - P Coy Test Week is common to all three Pre-Parachute Selection (PPS) courses. Regular Parachute Regiment Recruits and All-Arms officers/soldiers undertake the same basic tests. Parachute Regiment recruits attempt Test Week at week 21 of their Combined Infantry Course (CIC). All-Arms candidates attempt Test Week after a two and a half week 'build up' phase. Reserve soldiers from 4th Parachute Regiment (4 PARA) and other Reserve Airborne Units attend a condensed 4 day Pre-Parachute Selection course tailored to their requirements.
During Test Week, candidates will be expected to run, march and carry dead weights over 1 - 20 miles on undulating terrain. Test Week comprises of 8 separate events over a four and a half day period. Seven events are scored, one (the Trainasium) is a straight pass or fail. Each event is designed to assess a candidates physical fitness, mental robustness and determination. A candidate who fails to display the appropriate level of self discipline and motivation throughout Test Week will fail the course. Test week starts on a Wednesday morning and will finish the following Tuesday.
Further courses, by P Coy, include the TA Pre-Parachute Selection P Coy which delivers a condensed 4 day Pre-Parachute Selection course tailored to the requirements of the 4th Battalion The Parachute Regiment (4 PARA) and other Reserve Airborne Units. It differs only slightly from the regular test week; the main differences being one less event (endurance march) extra time allocated to the 10 miler (10 minutes), the steeplechase (1 minutes 30 seconds) and the 2 miler (1 minute).
Finally the TA Combat Infantryman Course delivers a 12 day Combat Infantryman Course (CIC) to recruits from the 4th Battalion The Parachute Regiment (4 PARA). The CIC includes instruction on fieldcraft, shooting, platoon level tactics and a five day exercise.
The CIC is immediately followed by TA Pre-Parachute Selection test week. Exercise Airborne Student, his is 9 day intensive course for Officer Cadets from the 19 University Officer Training Corps (UOTC). The exercise includes tuition on fieldcraft, section level tactics, patrolling and a two day confirmatory battle exercise. The exercise culminates with TA Pre-Parachute Selection test week.
Courtesy of MoD