Parachute Regiment Training


On 5 September, a written question was requested regarding parachute training. We include the question and response below. We thought this information might be of interest.

If there are any particular subjects you would like to be informed of when they are discussed do let us know and we'll keep an eye out for them.

Dr Julian Lewis: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will make a statement on changes in parachute training for members of the Parachute Regiment and (a) the discontinuation of annual refresher jumps for qualified parachutists and the potential effect this will have on combat-readiness, (b) the promotion of new annual intakes of recruits who (i) will and (ii) will not receive parachute training and the potential effect this will have on combat-readiness and (c) the military rationale for these changes. [167833]

Mr Robathan: The Ministry of Defence remains committed to ensuring that all personnel are fully trained for the roles they are required to undertake.

While there is no requirement for annual refresher jumps all personnel in the Parachute Regiment are required to undertake one jump every two years to maintain their qualification. This policy has been in place for the past 10 years with no detrimental effect to combat readiness. There have been no changes to this.

All new recruits to the Parachute Regiment are required to undertake the basic parachute course. There have been some delays in individuals completing the basic parachute course since April 2011 but there are now initiatives in place to increase the allocation of places in order that all personnel will receive the required training. This has had no effect on the combat-readiness of the Parachute Battalions.

While current planning prioritises assets in support of operations in Afghanistan, the Strategic Defence and Security Review of October 2010 confirmed the requirement for a parachute capability in the future.
So a Para Reg bloke completing 22-years could end up doing fewer jumps, post training, than I did in a week at Bad Lippspringe? Surely biennial jumps are not frequent enough to be regarded as 'refreshers'?


Maybe we should bin the APWT. No point in testing everyone each year for a specialist skill, so why test someone for a "second nature" skill set.

Having said that, revalidation of qualifications/training in the oil and gas sector is every 2 or 3 years depending on the circumstances, so perhaps they are just coming into line with civvy street?

I don't really understand why people are trained to jump anyway, just let them watch an e-learning course and test them with 10 questions like they do offshore, and thats them sorted!

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Next it will be: 'well they have a 50/50 chance of landing OK so we'll cut it back to training only and no need to re-qualify'.

Then it will be 'well they have a 50/50 chance of landing OK so we'll bin the training altogether and just chuck them out of a plane if we have to'.

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