Training and selection

The Parachute Regiment, spearhead of the infantry, has three regular battalions. 1 PARA provides the core element of the Special Forces Support Group (SFSG), ready to operate in any part of the world. The other two battalions, 2 and 3 PARA provide the main ground fighting element for 16 Air assault Brigade and are inserted on operations by parachute or helicopter.  There is in addition a reserve battalion 4 PARA (V), which carries out airborne training at home and overseas and provides individual reinforcements to the regular battalions on active service.
A recruit for the regiment starts his career in a recruit company initially at the Army’s Individual Training Organization at the Army Training Regiment, Lichfield. The syllabus includes basic fieldcraft and tactics, fitness, drill, discipline and turnout and basic weapon handling and marksmanship training.

Recruits then move on to the Infantry Training Centre at Catterick for a 14 week course including ‘special to arm training’, the ‘arm’ being the infantry. After passing weeks 10 and 11 of this phase, recruits are introduced to P Company.

P Company

P Company 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 Pre-Parachute Selection with P Company. Its mission is to test the physical courage, fitness, determination and mental robustness under conditions of stress, and to determine whether an individual has the self-discipline and motivation required for service with Airborne Forces. In addition, P Coy is responsible for the delivery of the TA Combat Infantryman's Course (CIC) PARA to all personnel who wish to serve with 4 PARA(V).

Basic Parachute Course

This takes place at the RAF station in Brize Norton under RAF instructors. The course lasts four weeks, the first of which is devoted to ground training. After the recruit has learnt the correct way to leave the aircraft, steer his parachute, and land correctly, he is taken up in a Skyvan for the first descent. The next seven jumps are from a C-130 Hercules aircraft. The recruit has then earned his wings.

'Utrinque Paratus' – Ready for anything

Soldiers finish their training and are ready to take their place in an operational parachute battalion and at 72 hours notice be ready to emplane to any trouble spot anywhere in the world.

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