Paratroopers dropped near Thetford for training exercise
British and French paratroopers have been dropped near Thetford as part of a joint training exercise.
Troops could be seen parachuting from the back of aircraft yesterday onto the Stanta training area.
The two-week long exercise, which started on Sunday, aims to improve links between the Colchester-based 16 Air Assault Brigade and 11e Brigade Parachutiste.
They have been given the training mission of restoring stability to a 'troubled region'.
Starting on September 27, paratroopers converged at Wattisham Flying Station in Suffolk.
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From there, they mounted a mock night-time raid on Rock Barracks in Woodbridge on Tuesday.
The mission began with Pathfinders and Groupement de Commando Parachutiste soldiers dropped by HALO parachutes to mark a landing zone and scout the position. British and French helicopters then landed a company of soldiers each from 2nd Battalion The Parachute Regiment and 1er Regiment Chasseurs Parachutiste. The troops defeated 'insurgents' besieging the training camp before evacuating their colleagues by helicopter.
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Both military units provide their armies' rapid reaction forces and are at the forefront of Franco-British military co-operation. They form the Interim Combined Joint Expeditionary Force and are ready to deploy at short notice anywhere in the world.
After dropping from a RAF C130 Hercules and French Armee de l'Air C160 Transall transport aircraft yesterday, the paratroopers will be assaulting key 'enemy' positions across the following days as the culmination of their training.