Note: This is part three of a multi-part series exploring elite components within the conventional British forces.

During WWII, the British military required an elite airborne unit trained to fight behind enemy lines, and so the Parachute Regiment was born. The elite airborne unit, also known as the Paras, jumped into occupied Germany. Their mission was to capture crucial enemy positions and remain until the rest of the invasion force arrived.

The present day Parachute Regiment provides elite infantrymen to Britain’s rapid response airborne formation, the 16 Air Assault Brigade. The regiment also provides infantry support to United Kingdom Special Forces (UKSF). The Parachute Regiment consist of 1 Para (SFSG); 2 Para; 3 Para; and a reserve unit, 4 Para.

The regiment’s demanding training and culture instill a powerful sense of confidence and aggression in these airborne warriors. The Paras’ regimental motto is “Utrinque Paratus” (Ready for Anything). Their ethos and discipline make Paras optimal candidates for joining the Special Air Service.


Operational History

The Parachute Regiment was involved in many operations during World War II. Their last combat jump dates back to November 5, 1956, when the unit took part in Operation Musketeer. Members of 3 Para jumped into Egypt and secured the El Gamil airfield during the Suez crisis. The Parachute Regiment would further distinguish itself during the 1982 Falkland campaign, where they won several key battles to secure Britain’s victory over Argentina.

The Parachute Regiment should be locked up and only be let out in time of war.” – Margaret Thatcher (The Iron Lady)