Rain

Rain

max temp: 16°C

min temp: 13°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

Heavy winds and rain hit Felixstowes seafront.

The Environment Agency has issued a series of flood alerts for the Suffolk and Essex coastline ahead of tonight’s high tide.

Will Pooley. Photo PA

Suffolk Ebola survivor Will Pooley is repaying his debt of gratitude by working for the London hospital that saved his life.

Police are dealing with instances of flooding on the county's roads today

Flooding is causing misery on the county’s roads today, with the A143 blocked and the A14 at Bury St Edmunds having to be temporarily closed.

Police are investigating

Further instances of vehicle crime were felt in Kesgrave on Sunday night after a car window was smashed, prompting a social media appeal for those with information to come forward.

B-17 Sally B at the Clacton Air Show. Picture: Simon Parker

Organisers of the Clacton Airshow have hit back at claims a plane’s smoke display was in “bad taste” after the Shoreham crash.

Bury Magistrates' Court

If the Ministry of Justice has its way, Suffolk will end up with only one magistrates’ court, based in Ipswich.

Felixstowe seafront.

Changes are being made to rubbish collection services in Felixstowe after seafront bins were left unemptied and overflowing.

South East Suffolk Magistrates Court

A woman attempted to steal goods worth £18 from an Ipswich store because staff allegedly mocked her when she got stuck in the lift, a court heard.

Homes have been refused on land at the Haven Exchange site in Felixstowe.

Proposals for 61 homes near the Port of Felixstowe have been refused by an independent inspector because it would mean the “unjustified loss” of employment land.

Police were at the scene

A classic car has hit the central reservation on the A14, causing delays on the westbound carriageway.

Most read

Most commented

Topic pages