First post - be gentle! Read in todays Sunday Times (page 2) that due to cut backs in the Herc fleet and costs, only 120 Paras will be trained to jump in future. I would presume that what it actually means is that only one company will be "in role" at any given time with the remainder having no jumps at all until their "in role" turn comes around or more likely a single permanent jump trained company that the jocks in the rest of the battalions fight to get transferred in to. Can't see the unit title being kept for much longer either, not much point having a Parachute Regiment if there are only 120 of you! Didn't mention the TA though, they tend to cost less to train so possible to retain their jump status? Dunno. As an ex-para its heartbreaking to hear this news (which as far as I can see is not yet cast in stone but not far off it) especially as parachuting is fundamental to the whole essence of being a Para, its our heart and soul of what makes us different. Everything that makes a para a para revolves around that windy step out into the sky. You had to work hard to get there, you had to work harder to keep getting there. There have been few (if any?) operational Para Reg drops since 1956 and those that may have been done were presumably very small scale. I recall being told in the mid 70's that any operational drop would be company-sized, possibly battalion sized at best but certainly no bigger (due to RAF lift capability and the deadly reality of modern anti-aircraft defences even against low-level aircraft). Looks like that warning has finally become reality. You guys will be aware that the US 101st Airborne went through a similar process becoming Air-Mobile/Air-Assault but now has only a few jump trained soldiers (I forget but I think its only a battalion?). Despite this change, the 101st is still seen as one of the US's premier fighting units although I'm sure I remember hearing that it took some time to rebuild the morale of the Division. I'm personally gutted about this even though I can see the reasoning behind it. Its a difficult challange to get through - lets hope the Paras (or whatever designation they end up with in the future) retain the same fighting spirit tomorrow as they do today. Theres a special breed of man that becomes a Para, will the Regt still be able to retain and recruitsuch men in future? I really don't know but the regiment will never be the same thats for sure. I hope, I really do hope that the tough, professional and yes elite Parachute Regiment has an equally tough, professional and equally elite heir but somehow I think that once the bulk of the current para-trained troops churn-over that something will be lost forever. As an added kick in the teeth to our senior service, it looks as if the Royal Marines will come under the command of the Army in future (again, mentioned in same article). The army inherits an amphibious force but loses its airborne teeth. Gutted and annoyed that I can see why they are doing all this. I can see this going through as well, the Air Assualt Brigade which contains non-para trained troops has been too successful and looks to have sounded the death-bell of the Parachute Regiment. Ready for Anything.......... apart from defence cuts!