Did you know? TRAINING

  1. The first training of SA parachutists started on 03 October 1960 at the Royal Air Force Parachute Training School at Abington, Oxfordshire.
  2. Soldiers were never called up to 1 Parachute Bn – they were selected at other units and joined out of free will
  3. When a soldier were unsuccessful during the selection phase they were deployed back to their old units (R.T.U)
  4. The obstacle course was opened at 1 Para Bn on 1 April 1977
  5. You were required to pass four of the six fitness test at the end of the two week PT course
  6. The two week PT course was changed to three days and you had to pass five of the six fitness tests
  7. The six tests you had to pass were: 1. 3600 meter run in full kit in 18 minutes, 2. Skaapdra – to carry your fellow soldier over your shoulder for 180 meters in 75 seconds. Both of you in full kit. 3. Sprint runs between two lines ten meters apart – 250 m in 90 second touching hand over the two lines. 4. 67 sit-ups in two minutes. 5. Climb/jump over a two meter wall in full kit. 6. Climb a six meter high rope and touch the high bar of the training hangar
  8. The term “skaapdra” means to carry a fellow soldier over your shoulders
  9. A marble is a block of cement, weighing approximately 30-32kg and was used in physical training in the Parachute Battalion
  10. Qualifying time for the old mile (1,6km) in full kit was 18 minutes
  11. “Die Mollers” was a traditional run on a Friday afternoon before troops went on weekend leave. It was named after Col Hans Moller
  12. Nobody was ever forced to jump
  13. Before you qualified as a paratrooper you had to complete one night jump
  14. Basic Parachute Wings were awarded after 8 jumps
  15. The basic wing colour is blue and white with a bronze wing.
  16. The “Pakhuis” was a building in the unit lines of 1 Para Bn where parachutes were packed. Troops were also chased around the building with a cut-off time of 90 seconds.
  17. Today in 44 Reg a PSM is a Parachute Regiment Sergeant Major
  18. On 5 December 1986 the first HALO course was presented – High Altitude Low Opening Freefall