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Colchester paratroopers contend with missiles, petrol bombs and verbal abuse

PUBLISHED: 12:24 17 May 2018 | UPDATED: 12:24 17 May 2018

The Parachute Regiment (3 PARA) were confronted with a barrage of petrol bombs, missiles and abuse during public order training at Lydd Ranges in Kent. Picture: SGT ANDY REDDY RLC

The Parachute Regiment (3 PARA) were confronted with a barrage of petrol bombs, missiles and abuse during public order training at Lydd Ranges in Kent. Picture: SGT ANDY REDDY RLC

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.

Exercise Green Fray tested the discipline and courage of the Colchester-based paratroopers as they practised how to work together to defend each other and drive back unruly crowds. Picture SGT ANDY REDDY RLCExercise Green Fray tested the discipline and courage of the Colchester-based paratroopers as they practised how to work together to defend each other and drive back unruly crowds. Picture SGT ANDY REDDY RLC

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.”

Paratroopers have faced the fire and fury of a hostile crowd as they prepare for global operations. Picture: SGT ANDY REDDY RLCParatroopers have faced the fire and fury of a hostile crowd as they prepare for global operations. Picture: SGT ANDY REDDY RLC

“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.”

Troopers perform a Troopers perform a "Rapid Advance"using fast movement and controlled anger, to rapid gain ground. Picture: CPL STEPHEN HARVEY

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