New Army head cancels Balkans deployment after paratroopers orgy video

Merville Barracks in Colchester, home of 16 Air Assault Brigade and Colchester Garrison.

The orgy was allegedly recorded at the Merville Barracks in Colchester

The new head of the British Army has cancelled a battalion’s deployment after a video showing paratroopers participating in an alleged orgy at Colchester barracks emerged.

military police investigation was launched into an alleged orgy involving a woman and paratroopers that took place at the Merville Barracks earlier this month.

No criminal action will be taken against paratroopers involved, but Armed Forces minister James Heappey said he was "sorry and embarrassed" over the video.

Lieutenant General Andrew Harrison, the colonel commandant of the Paras, wrote in a letter that General Sir Patrick Sanders had "temporarily lost trust" in the unit’s 3rd battalion in north Essex.

The Parachute Regiment battalion was set to be deployed to Bosnia and Kosovo later this year, but will be removed.

Lt Gen Harrison said: "This afternoon the Chief of the General Staff (CGS), General Sir Patrick Sanders, took the decision to remove 3 Para off the roster to deploy to Kosovo this summer.

"3 Para has an extraordinary operational reputation in the service of our nation, and every member of it will be devastated by the lost opportunity to serve on operations once again in the Balkans.

"CGS’s decision was based on recent disciplinary incidents on Exercise Swift Response, and in Merville Barracks, the latter which has been in the public domain over the last few weeks.

“3 Para accept they have temporarily lost the trust of CGS."

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"They will reflect on and where required adjust behaviours and culture that undermines the reputation and operational effectiveness of an exceptional Battalion.

"3 Para of course remain ready to defend our nation’s interests at home and abroad at a moment’s notice."

The deployment, which was to begin in September, would have seen some 300 service members sent to the Balkans.