Follow up to The news Collumn  44 Para Reg

Follow Up To The News Collumn 44 Para Reg
25 Aug 2015

In 1983 the Battalion was split to create an independant Parachute training Centre and thereby allow the Battalion as such to become a purely operational unit. By 1967, however,this experiment had been discarded and both training and operational elements werte back under one roof with 1Para, The next development came when the units CF element outgrew the reasonable administrative capacity of the Battalion.One particular problem arose from the fact that its CF members were scaterred through the country and thus difficult to get together apart from anual camps. Esprit and fresh training in all aspects of their task being vital to the Paras, this situation could not continue 

Accordingly, a CF Para Bn was formed at Tempe and five rifle companies based in different South African cities.

This Batttalion received its baptism fire during Ops Savannah and performed creditably indeeed. With the military situation becoming less favourable, the size of the available airborne force was increased again, and a second unit 3 Bn was therefore formed. Finally, the three battalions were grouped with supporting elements including heavy mortars to form 44 Parachute Brigade, with HQ at Bloemfontein, in 1978. Ironically, this took place as much the same time the British Army lost its 44 Para Brigade Volunteers of the Teretorial Army to budget cuts. The new 44 Brigade saw its first action at cassinga during Ops Rheindeer, with elements of all three batallions jumping.

Since then the Bats have figured in their primary role in the cource of several external operations, including Sceptic,Smokeshell, wich saw six companies of 1 Para deployed in Southern Angola similtaneously. Protea and Daisy.

Elements of all three batallions are also employed on internal operations, usually providing the airmobile reaction forces in differant parts of the operational area. In this role, as in much of their external activity, they are generally flown to the scene of a contact or fresh spoor by helicopter. Once there, they relieve the troops in contact, who have often been out there for long periods and are no longer fresh.

Newly arrived, with the added advantage of fresh trackers, the reaction force elements leave the insurgents little chance of escape. another aspect related to their success is the fact that their average age ranges in the mid twenties, granting an edge in maturity over the very young National-Service troops without sacrificing fitness experise

Acknowledgement Helmet Romer Heitman SA War Machine


 


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