Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 11°C

min temp: 1°C

ESTD 1874 Search

Gallery: Paratroopers from Colchester train with their counterparts from the French Foreign Legion in Corsica

12:00 22 January 2014

Corporal Chris Hooper (centre) explains tthe safety drills for the UK SA80 A2 Rifle to Legionnaire Oskar Trompakajski (left) and Legionnaire 1st Class Jung Jih (right)

Corporal Chris Hooper (centre) explains tthe safety drills for the UK SA80 A2 Rifle to Legionnaire Oskar Trompakajski (left) and Legionnaire 1st Class Jung Jih (right)

Crown Copyright 2014: This image may be used for current news purposes only.

Paratroopers from north Essex have been training with their counterparts from the French Foreign Legion to build a closer working relationship.

shares

Colchester-based B Company, 2nd Battalion The Parachute Regiment (2 PARA) has been working alongside 2e Regiment Etranger de Parachutistes (2e REP) at their base on the rugged island of Corsica.

As part of Exercise Blue Legionnaire, the two units have fired each other’s weaponry and practised fighting together in urban areas. The 2 PARA soldiers earned French parachute wings by jumping from a French C-160 Transall aircraft, while jumps from an RAF C-130 Hercules earned 2e REP soldiers their British wings.

The French unit has also passed on survival and climbing techniques on Corsica’s snow-capped mountains while in the Mediterranean Sea its soldiers worked with the Colchester unit on handling assault boats and attacking and defending beaches.

The two-week long training exercise is designed to strengthen the operational partnership between the units, which have to be ready to deploy at short notice on operations ranging from war fighting to disaster relief.

The officer commanding 2 PARA, Major Adam Wilson, said the units maintain strong links as sister battalions.

He said: “Exercise Blue Legionnaire has been about us seeing 2e REP on their home turf and learning more about how they operate and live. It has been a huge success in developing the understanding, respect and trust between our two units, which could prove critical in future operations.

“Corsica itself has been an excellent location that has allowed us to train in the air, on the land and in the sea. As airborne troops, the sea and high mountains are not familiar environments to us, but it has been rewarding to challenge ourselves and learn new skills.”

shares

0 comments

Nearly 14,000 people flocked to the Felixstowe Spa Pavilion during the first three months of its re-opening. Photo: Su Anderson

The new owners of Felixstowe’s Spa Pavilion are celebrating after it was revealed thousands have flocked to see shows at the recently re-opened venue.

Suffolk County Council's chief executive Deborah Cadman

The union representing the largest number of staff at Suffolk County Council has called for all employees at the authority to be given the same pay rise as chief executive Deborah Cadman.

Joe and Ruth Lubbock celebrate their 75th wedding anniversary this week.

Suffolk couple Joseph and Ruth Lubbock are today celebrating their 75th wedding anniversary. LYNNE MORTIMER meets them as they mark three-quarters of a century as Mr and Mrs Lubbock.

crazy-weather-in-suffolk-today_2016-4-26_31626_68671

Changeable is the best way to describe the weather this week, with bright sunshine one moment and hail storms the next - but expect warmer days this bank holiday weekend.

Penny Warland with her husband choosing books at Braintree Library

An Essex gran has found a novel way of keeping in touch with her grandson in Australia – by reading him bedtime stories over the internet.

Keith Sadler at his home in Stowmarket.

A singer-songwriter from Suffolk whose life turned in a different direction due to health problems has released an album.

Candidates Tim Passmore, Cath Pickles, Helen Korfanty, Terence Carter and Simon Tobin all signed the pledge.

All five candidates running for Suffolk’s police and crime commissioner role have signed a pledge to end sexual violence against women and girls in the county.

Most read

Great Days Out

cover

Click here to view
the Great Days Out
supplement

View

Most commented

HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists

Streetlife

Newsletter Sign Up

Great British Life

Great British Life
MyDate24 MyPhotos24