131 Independent Parachute Squadron RE (V)

131 Independent Parachute Squadron RE (V)

In 1967, in the second major reduction and post-war reorganisation of the TA, 44 Independent Parachute Brigade Group (TA) was reduced in size to three Parachute Regiment Battalions, a Royal Artillery Battery and a Royal Engineer Squadron.

131 Parachute Engineer Regiment (TA) was reduced in size to become 131 Independent Parachute Squadron RE (V) and the squadrons which made up the regiment were correspondingly reduced to become the Troops of the new squadron. Headquarters and Support Troops were based at Kingsbury, with the three Parachute Field Troops inheriting the numbers and locations of the squadrons that had been their predecessors.

In 1977 reductions in Regular and Territorial Airborne Forces were announced and on 31 March 1978, 44 Independent Parachute Brigade Group (TA) was disbanded after a parade at Altcar Ranges.

131 Independent Parachute Squadron's uncertain future was assured when on the 1st April 1978 it was accepted onto the order of battle of 3 Commando Brigade, Royal Marines, as 131 Independent Commando Squadron RE (V). 131 became the only TA unit on the order of battle of a regular brigade. In order to wear the green beret of commando forces every soldier who wished to remain with The Squadron in it's new role had to pass the Commando Tests and in July 1978 a specially run Airborne Engineers Commando Conversion Course was undertaken as annual camp for that year. The Squadron retained an official parachute capability with the support of 3 Commando Brigade.

In 2006, however, 299 Parachute Squadron Royal Engineers (V) was reformed, from 1 Troop of 131 Independent Commando Squadron RE (V), as part of 72 Engineer Regiment (V) and converted again to a Parachute role. Members then had to complete P Company to again wear the coveted Maroon beret.

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  • 131 Independent Parachute Squadron RE (V) DZ Flash (2nd Pattern)

    131 Independent Parachute Squadron RE (V) DZ Flash (2nd Pattern)

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  • Members of 16 Lincoln Coy and 131 Para Sqn RE prior to emplaning at RAF Waddington, 5 April 1974

    Members of 16 Lincoln Coy and 131 Para Sqn RE prior to emplaning at RAF Waddington, 5 April 1974

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