Gallery: Colchester paratroopers receive flying visit from defence chief while on exercise in Poland

Paratroopers from Colchester-based 16 Air Assault Brigade have built bridges to their Polish counter

Paratroopers from Colchester-based 16 Air Assault Brigade have built bridges to their Polish counterparts as they train together on a NATO exercise in Poland to practise capturing bridges as part of Exercise Anakonda. - Credit: Corporal Andy Reddy RLC

Colchester-based paratroopers were visited by the Chief of Defence Staff while on NATO training in Poland.

Soldiers from 16 Air Assault Brigade’s 3rd Battalion the Parachute Regiment practised taking bridges while on Exercise Anakonda.

General Sir Nicholas Houghton and the Polish Chief of Defence joined the troops on the exercise, one of a number of immediate assurance measures from NATO designed to reassure allies in the region during the current crisis in Ukraine.

Sir Nicholas said: “Ex Anakonda is a first-rate opportunity for the soldiers of 3 PARA to exercise core soldiering skills in a complex scenario alongside our Polish allies.

“For many, this was their first experience of working within an international coalition at a tactical level, and the lessons that teaches are invaluable.”


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Major Ben Harrop, Commanding Officer of A Company of 3 Para, said: “This type of mission is what airborne forces were designed for – to parachute in and capture key strategic objectives by surprise within a wider operation.

“The links between British and Polish airborne forces are nothing new and is important that, as NATO allies, we continue to develop our mutual understanding and ability to work together.

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“Exercise Anakonda has been very productive in building our relationship and wider NATO interoperability and has tested the deployment of my Company Group which is held at extreme high readiness.”

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