16 Air Assault Brigade Memorial Garden Dedication Merville Barracks, Colchester ... Thursday 2nd April 2009


Welcome to 16 Air Assault Brigade Memorial Garden in Colchester ... over the next coming months the garden will start to take shape under the watchful eye of our Custodian ... (Also responsible for Palace Barracks & Felix Memorial Gardens)

These gardens will be a place of personal sadness, but also great pride that we (families & friends) have not forgotten those who gave their lives for their country and comrades.

 

[ Warrant Officer Class 1 (Regimental Sergeant Major) Tony Hobbins ]

[Picture: Sgt Ian Houlding]

Warrant Officer Class 1 (Regimental Sergeant Major) Tony Hobbins lays a wreath at the Cenotaph accompanied by Defence Secretary John Hutton (right) and MP for Colchester, Bob Russell and held a two-minute silence among the bustling traffic during the visit to Whitehall on Wednesday 7th January 2009. Fifty-five sergeants and warrant officers from 2nd Battalion The Parachute Regiment (2 PARA), based in Colchester.

Paratroopers recently returned from Afghanistan paid their respects to fallen comrades in London after having visited Number 10 Downing Street where they met the Prime Minister for tea.


Royal Air Force Regiment

Queen's Royal Lancers Regiment

Household Cavalry Regiment

16 AA Bde

 

Royal Marines

2 Para

The Royal Regiment of Scotland

156 RMP

 

 

216 Air Assault Signal Squadron is responsible for establishing and maintaining communications networks and systems to the fighting units and rearwards to its Forward Mounting Base (FMB). It also provides the infrastructure for all levels of Brigade Headquarters in the field ranging from a man-pack Tactical HQ, provided by C Troop, to a fully equipped Main HQ, of which the Squadron has the capability too deploy two such HQ's from A and B Troop.

13 Air Assault Support Regiment RLC was formed on 01 September 1999, as a result of the Strategic Defence Review, to provide logistic support to 16 Air Assault Brigade and in particular the Attack Helicopter.  The 2nd Battalion The Parachute Regiment (routinely shortened to 2 PARA) forms part of 16 Air Assault Brigade and is currently based in Colchester, Essex. They form part of the army’s airborne infantry who can be called upon at a moments notice to deploy anywhere in the world, whether by parachute, helicopter, sea or land. The 3rd Battalion The Parachute Regiment (routinely shortened to 3 PARA) is one of only two parachute battalions serving in 16 Air Assault Brigade. All British Army paratroopers have successfully completed the physically and mentally demanding pre-parachute selection course (known as ‘Pegasus Company’). Their subsequent parachute training ensures that they are able to deploy rapidly at strategic distances anywhere in the world at the moments notice. They are extremely proud of their Regimental motto “’Utrinque Paratus’ (‘Ready for Anything’). 16 Close Support Medical Regiment (16 CS Med Regt) Formed in 1999 from an amalgamation of 19 Airmobile Field Ambulance and 23 Parachute Field Ambulance, 16 CS Med Regt is already a critical part of the Brigade. Between them they have been involved in every major operation since World War II. The new regiment having seen operational service in Sierra Leone, Bosnia, Kosovo, Afghanistan and more recently Iraq. The Regiment supplies dedicated medical support to the Brigade and is called on to support the complete spectrum of Air Assault operations, including airmobile and parachute deployments. 156 Provost Company is located in Goojerat Barracks, Colchester, Essex. The Company has non-established police post at Wattisham, Chilwell and Bassingbourn. 156 Provost Company provides the full range of Provost support to 16 Air Assault Brigade/Colchester Garrison 7 Royal Horse Artillery as the Army’s only parachute light gun regiment, the Airborne Gunners primary role is to provide artillery support to 16 Air Assault Brigade. This demands a high level of training, agility and readiness to deploy on operations.

 


So who are the Men & Women who make-up 16 Air Assault Brigade? below is a Soldiers story ... 


Mission: To Prepare for Operations

Specific Task Provides Close and General Support to 16 Air Assault Brigade  Provide Combat Service Support (../css) elements in support of JRRF commitments  Prepare to deploy rapidly worldwide Implied Task Continue to develop ../css CONOPS in support of Air Assault  Continue to form and develop the Regt Stories from Soldiers PRE PARA AND P COY - A SOLDIERS PERSPECTIVE Although being above average fitness, I started to doubt my own ability on volunteering for P Coy when the initial shock of the lightning pace kicked in during our Regimental screening process. This apparently was simply to filter out the 'want to be's from the men. We then had a period of "constructive training" prior to actually starting Pre-Para under the careful supervision of the Regimental QMSI 'the Beastmaster'. Day one, week one was the infamous screening day. On paper this appears to be quite easily achievable. However, once the nerves set in it all becomes quite daunting. The day consists of a Basic Fitness Test (BFT) immediately followed by a Combat Fitness Test (CFT). If you achieve standard on both of these, you then move from Colchester to ATR Pirbright 'to find the hills' in order to continue with the next three weeks of intensive training. This is where you really had to cut the mustard. The day starts at 0615hrs (yes there is more than one 6 O'clock in the day), with bright eyes and bushy tails ... NOT. You had to be on parade in sports kit for 0630hrs for a muscle loosening jog, which was a two mile route at mach ten, then under cover for the million press ups you are about to try and accomplish. Breakfast is then called and already your need it. Once your meal has settled by 0900hrs, there would be another activity, usually being a tab around the area until lunch. After lunch you then enter the world of pain with a gym session, which in itself is quite testing. Once you have sweated all you think you can sweat, you then go for a gentle swim. So all in all, you complete four quality Physical Training sessions in a day, Monday to Friday. Week two consisted of more of the same from week one, with a little more concentration on tabbing and increasing the weight, all quite achievable. However, constantly trying to avoid injury. Week three dramatically slows down as it is now nearing the time to travel up to Catterick to begin week one of P-Coy. On arrival at Catterick, the mood was sombre; you could cut the atmosphere with a knife. Standing outside the Chief Instructors office with all documentation, hoping you had remembered everything. The few personnel who had forgotten paperwork were immediately RTU'd. Not the way anyone would expect to fail the course. Bed spaces were then allocated and kit was issued and there was then the chance for a little chill out time until the morning. The next day it was the nerve racking-screening day, exactly the same as on the Pre Para. There were around 100 personnel from a variety of backgrounds and cap badges. The DS showed us the BFT route on the warm up, and once again we were off. It was a very challenging route. In the afternoon was a CFT; this was not quit so difficult. We lost around fifty personal on the screening day. Day two, and now P-Coy officially began. The week consisted of monstrous tabs with famous names such as 'The Bus Stop' and the 'Land of Rod'. Again, we lost many personnel at this early stage of the course. The week ended as quickly as it had started, I couldn't wait for the weekend to arrive. Week two, consisted of much of the same as week one, although there was a memorable gym session, which lasted for over two hours; this day is the hardest physical training I have been on. During week two the DS increased the speed on the marches as well as lots of runways. Runways are where the PTI goes as fast as he can and the students fill their lungs with air and try their hardest to hold on. During this week around another twenty personnel were lost due to injury and lack of fitness. Week three - Test Week. This consists of a ten-mile speed march, a two mile Individual Combat Fitness Test (ICFT), the Steeplechase, an obstacle course around Catterick for five miles and then the assault course to finish. Milling is the next test, which is designed to build aggression as well as character. A two mile log race and a six mile stretcher race. Next is the infamous Tranasium. This is where you really find out if parachuting is for you. Last but by no means least is the twenty mile speed march. All of the events on P Coy are marked on a points system, with the DS deciding on your points by the way in which you perform throughout. The speed marches are a basic test against the clock. Anyone who has made it this far into the course should have no problem completing these events. The Log and Stretcher races are the most dreaded of all events due to the fact that they are mentally as well as physically demanding. You can expect your lungs to be doing overtime. The ICFT is again a best effort event in order to maintain maximum points. The Steeplechase for me was the most enjoyable event. Then there was the Milling. You are weighed in with your opponent, myself having to fight a Lt from my Regiment. After displaying my competency with the Milling the DS made me mill again. I believe this event helped me well on my way to receiving the best student award for the course. Looking back at Pre-Para the four arduous sessions we completed per day were a blessing in disguise. It limited the initial shock to the system on arrival at ITC Catterick, which I am sure other cap badges must experience.  To summarise the course is enjoyable throughout from Pre-Para to P Coy itself. Anyone with a little bit of enthusiasm, self-motivation and professionalism should apply for the course. Those interested in taking up the challenge should contact the AO, 63 Air Assault Bde Sp Sqn on Colchester  Military (94651) 3575 or Civil (01206) 783575

 

The forces deploying include: 16 Air Assault Brigade Headquarters and 216 Signal Squadron  Elements of 845 Naval Air Squadron  Elements of 846 Naval Air Squadron  Elements of 847 Naval Air Squadron  7th Parachute Regiment, Royal Horse Artillery  23 Engineer Regiment (Air Assault)  The Royal Highland Fusiliers, 2nd Battalion The Royal Regiment of Scotland  The Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders, 5th Battalion The Royal Regiment of Scotland  1st Battalion The Royal Irish Regiment (27th [Inniskilling], 83rd, 87th and The Ulster Defence Regiment)  2nd Battalion, The Parachute Regiment  3rd Battalion, The Parachute Regiment  The Pathfinder Platoon  6 Supply Regiment, The Royal Logistic Corps  13 Air Assault Support Regiment, The Royal Logistic Corps  16 Close Support Medical Regiment  7 Air Assault Battalion, Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers  156 Independent Provost Company, Royal Military Police  Elements of The Household Cavalry Regiment  Elements of 3rd Regiment, Royal Horse Artillery  Elements of The Royal Scots Dragoon Guards (Carabiniers and Greys)  Elements of The Queen's Royal Lancers  Elements of 5th Regiment, Royal Artillery  Elements of 32nd Regiment, Royal Artillery  Elements of 39th Regiment, Royal Artillery  Elements of 47th Regiment, Royal Artillery  Elements of 33 Engineer Regiment (Explosive Ordnance Disposal)  Elements of 63 Works Group Royal Engineers  Elements of 42 Engineer Regiment (Geographic)  Elements of 170 (Infrastructure Support) Engineer Group  Elements of 10th Signal Regiment, The Royal Corps of Signals  Elements of 14th Signal Regiment (Electronic Warfare), The Royal Corps of Signals  Elements of 16th Signal Regiment, The Royal Corps of Signals  Elements of 21st Signal Regiment (Air Support), The Royal Corps of Signals  Elements of The Highlanders, 4th Battalion The Royal Regiment of Scotland  Elements of 3 Regiment, Army Air Corps  Elements of 4 Regiment, Army Air Corps  Elements of 5 Regiment, Army Air Corps  Elements of 9 Regiment, Army Air Corps  Headquarters 104 Logistic Brigade  Elements of 11 Explosive Ordnance Disposal Regiment, The Royal Logistic Corps  Elements of 2 Logistic Support Regiment, The Royal Logistic Corps  Elements of 7 Transport Regiment, The Royal Logistic Corps  Elements of 24 Postal Courier and Movement Regiment, The Royal Logistic Corps  Elements of 27 Transport Regiment, The Royal Logistic Corps  Elements of 29 Postal Courier and Movement Regiment, The Royal Logistic Corps  Elements of 2 Close Support Battalion, Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers  Elements of 104 Military Working Dog Support Unit, Royal Army Veterinary Corps  Elements of 1 Military Intelligence Brigade  Elements of Joint Civil Military Co-operation (CIMIC) Group  Elements of 15 (UK) Psychological Operations Group  Elements of 4th Battalion, The Duke of Lancaster’s Regiment (King’s, Lancashire and Border)  Elements of 4th Battalion The Yorkshire Regiment (14th/15th, 19th and 33rd/75th Foot)  Elements of 2nd Battalion The Royal Irish Regiment (27th [Inniskilling], 83rd, 87th and The Ulster Defence Regiment)  Elements of 4th Battalion, The Parachute Regiment  Elements of 148 Expeditionary Forces Squadron, The Royal Logistic Corps (Volunteer)  Hospital Squadron formed from 203 (Welsh) Field Hospital (Volunteers) and 204 (North Irish) Field Hospital (Volunteers)  904 Expeditionary Air Wing Royal Air Force  1 Force Protection Wing Headquarters Royal Air Force  3 Regiment Field Squadron Royal Air Force  Elements of 1 Squadron Royal Air Force  Elements of 4 Squadron Royal Air Force  Elements of 18 Squadron Royal Air Force  Elements of 27 Squadron Royal Air Force  Elements of 30 Squadron Royal Air Force  Elements of 39 Squadron Royal Air Force  Elements of 47 Squadron Royal Air Force  Elements of 70 Squadron Royal Air Force  Elements of 1 Air Movements Wing Royal Air Force  Elements of 85 (Expeditionary Logistic) Wing Headquarters, Royal Air Force  Tactical Supply Wing Royal Air Force  Joint Helicopter Support Unit  Elements of 1 Air Control Centre Royal Air Force  Elements of 90 Signals Unit Royal Air Force  Elements of 2 Motor Transport Squadron, Royal Air Force  Elements of 5001 Squadron, Royal Air Force  Elements of Mobile Catering Support Unit  Elements of Tactical Medical Wing  Elements of Tactical Armament Squadron  Elements of Tactical Imagery Intelligence Wing


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