Colchester paratroopers contend with missiles, petrol bombs and verbal abuse
- Credit: Sergeant Andy Reddy RLC
Essex paratroopers faced the fire and fury of a hostile crowd hurling petrol bombs during an exercise preparing for global operations.
The soldiers of Colchester’s Third Battalion Parachute Regiment contended with simulated riots at Lydd Ranges in Kent, to test their teamwork, discipline and courage contending with unruly and abusive crowds.
Crowd control is said to be a key skill, which British troops have had to use during recent operations in Sierra Leone, Kosovo and Iraq.
The Colchester regiment are currently the lead infantry unit in the Air Assault Task Force (AATF), which is held ready to deploy anywhere in the world at short notice.
Trooper Alexander Grinstead said: “A riot is a really noisy and stressful environment, and it’s a valuable experience to have been exposed to it - after having missiles, petrol bombs and a lot of verbal abuse thrown at us we’re ready for anything.”
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“To establish control, we all have to work together and make sure you’re looking after the guy next to you.
“It’s important – but a real challenge – to keep your calm and match the aggression that’s presented to you, so as not to worsen the situation.”
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