Middle East, Royal Air Force, Russia, Defence, British Army

Middle East, Royal Air Force

Paratroopers drop into the desert at dawn as UK sends warning to Russia

In an exclusive dispatch, Danielle Sheridan reports from alongside Army's latest operation in Jordan as UK bolsters its Middle East presence

6/24/2021 8:00:00 AM

In an exclusive dispatch, Danielle Sheridan reports from alongside Army's latest operation in Jordan as UK bolsters its Middle East presence

In an exclusive dispatch, Danielle Sheridan reports from alongside Army's latest operation in Jordan as UK bolsters its Middle East presence

Some 150 soldiers from the 16 Air Assault Brigade boarded two C-130 Hercules at the RAF Akrotiri base in Cyprus before jumping 800ft down into the barren terrain outside Amman, where they simulated an attack on a town, intended to “demonstrate to adversaries, such as Russia with its interests in Syria, our capabilities and commitment to Jordan”.

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The Ministry of Defence (MoD) said Jordan remained a key partner in the Middle East as it looks to ensure regional stability.However, despite the paratroopers’ experience with drops, many of which have been into hostile environments, soldiers waiting on board the aircraft confessed to The Telegraph that, no matter how many jumps they made, the nerves never disappeared.

Joined by soldiers from the Jordanian armed forces, 16 Air Assault Brigade, which is deemed the most deployable and ready formation in the Army, was carrying out the operation as part of the UK’s Global Response Force (GRF).As announced in the Integrated Defence Review, the GRF now features “air manoeuvre and combat aviation” to reduce its global response time to days, even hours. headtopics.com

The Royal Navy Carrier Strike Group has also set sail on its maiden operational voyage, with F-35Bs flown from HMS Queen Elizabeth as part of Operation Shader.The MoD said the Combat Support Group allowed the military to be more agile against changing global threats and complimented the Army’s “future soldier” concept, whereby Britain’s forces would be more integrated, more expeditionary and ready for future challenges.

Brigadier James Martin, the commander of 16 Air Assault Brigade, said: “We are trained specifically in the techniques of air manoeuvre. It is a demanding role and the brigade places a premium on being expeditionary and integrated with the other domains.”

He said Britain has strong, historic bilateral ties in the Middle East and North Africa “which are vital to UK prosperity and security”.James Heappey, the Armed Forces minister, said the “joint exercise is a showcase of the Global Response Force’s impressive ability to operate across multiple domains and in harsh environments”.

Read more: The Telegraph »

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