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Wednesday, 14 November, 2001, 13:05 GMT
Spotlight on 2 Para
The 2nd Battalion is on 48-hour standby to go to Afghanistan
Soldiers from the 2nd Battalion Parachute Regiment
The unit that won fame in the battle to recapture the Falkland Islands 19 years ago is on 48-hour stand by to move to Kabul and Mazar-e-Sharif.

The 2nd Battalion of the Parachute Regiment's experience in the Falklands alone makes it well prepared for armed combat.


Ready for anything

Parachute Regiment motto

The paratroopers are among the toughest and most highly trained soldiers in the world.

The battalion, part of 16 Air Assault Brigade, has been heavily involved in operations in Northern Ireland during the last 30 years and has spent more time in the Province than any other infantry battalion in the Army.

It has also been involved in Sierra Leone and Kosovo.

But perhaps the most famous recent campaign involving the battalion was in 1982, when it was heavily committed to the task of wresting the Falkland Islands from their Argentine occupiers.

Goose Green

On 26 May, 1982, the battalion was ordered to seize Argentinean positions in the area of Goose Green.

During the early hours of 28 May, they attacked with artillery and naval gunfire support.

In the resulting intense battle, across an area with very little natural cover, they succeeded in defeating a well dug in and equipped enemy much superior in numbers.

Many members of the battalion were killed and wounded, including the Commanding Officer, Lt Col H Jones, who was subsequently awarded a posthumous Victoria Cross.

Maroon berets

British paratroopers, whose distinctive maroon berets make them easily recognisable, have had a strong presence in the world's military history since 1942.

Recently, the battalion led Nato's international force in Macedonia to gather arms surrendered by the rebel Albanian National Liberation Army.

Lieutenant Colonel Clive "Chip" Chapman, who served as a platoon commander in the Falklands campaign, took command of 2 Para in August 1999.

Paratroopers are among the toughest and most highly trained soldiers in the world
16 Air Assault Brigade

His mission statement to the battalion is "to succeed in war".

Captain Peter Flynn, adjutant to the commanding officer of 2 Para, says the battalion upholds the Parachute Regiment's motto: "Ready for Anything".

It also remembers the words of Maj Gen Jonny Frost, who commanded the battalion at Arnhem in 1944, of "in war there is no better place to be than in the Second Battalion, the Parachute Regiment".


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