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Airborne Ops: Brits Plan Para Assault on Poppy Fields

Discussion in 'US Army Forum' started by GreenBeret1631, Apr 20, 2006.

  1. Brits Plan Para Assault on Poppy Fields

    Dramatic plan for parachute assault on poppy fields
    By Sean Rayment
    (Filed: 16/04/2006)

    British Commanders in Afghanistan are planning the first operational parachute assault into "enemy territory" since the Suez crisis, writes Sean Rayment.

    Senior officers hope that a "dramatic show of force" will deter attacks against British troops when they begin anti-drug operations later this year.
    By the end of this month, most of the 3,300 strong British force - including 650 members of the 3rd Battalion of The Parachute Regiment - will have arrived in the Helmand province of southern Afghanistan, a former stronghold of the Taliban.

    It is understood that Army commanders want to demonstrate to Afghan warlords and drugs barons that they have the capability to drop 650 heavily armed men, supported by Apache attack helicopters, virtually anywhere in the country.

    If the mission goes ahead, the troops will jump from Hercules C130 transport aircraft at a height of between 250 and 300 feet and will be ready to fight within seconds of hitting the ground.

    A Parachute Regiment officer confirmed that the troops would be taking their parachute equipment to Afghanistan and said that senior officers had a "very real desire" to carry out an airborne assault. One officer said: "Airborne assaults are very high-risk operations. There is a thin line between success and disaster.

    "An airborne assault on to a poppy field would send out a powerful message of intent. But if there is any intelligence that the enemy may have surface-to-air missiles, then it would not go ahead."

    The last time British troops took part in a airborne assault was during the Suez crisis of 1956 when soldiers from 3 Para jumped into the El Gamil airfield in Egypt as part of an Anglo-French operation to capture the Suez canal.

    The crisis grew out of the British decision to join France and Israel in a bid to prevent the Egyptian President, Gen Gamal Abdel Nasser, from nationalising the Suez canal in the autumn of 1956.

    Despite heavy opposition, 660 members of the 3 Para Group conducted a textbook airborne assault at 4.15am on November 6, 1956. Within four and a half minutes, they were ready to fight.

    However, the military action provoked a furious response from America. President Eisenhower's condemnation forced the government to withdraw from the venture. The episode resulted in the resignation of the prime minister, Anthony Eden.
  2. USDefender

    USDefender Lay Them Waste!

    Jul 8, 2005
    Quote: "Brits Plan Para Assault on Poppy Fields"

    Hope the poppies aren't firing back. Wouldn't THAT be embarassing? ;)

  3. I would guess that SAS/USSFs and the Brits Pathfinders would have taken care of that!

    I do have a problem with 250 altitude though! No need for a reserve at those altitudes! :upeyes:
  4. Now excuse my ignorance.......I was a cav trooper.....but don't you have to jump higher then 250ft?? lol, like i said, maybe i'm TOTALLY wrong!!

    SGT B
  5. You are right! It would be pretty riskey at best! It is possible, but IMHO not worth the risk.
  6. USDefender

    USDefender Lay Them Waste!

    Jul 8, 2005
    It's known as a LALO jump: Low Altitude, Low Opening

    One reason I never went 'airborne' while I was in... Actually, it was really about jumping out of an aircraft that was working perfectly at the time - I just have difficulty with that.;)

    And then? They have to WALK back?! :shocked: What's THAT all about?!

  7. Sapperstang

    Sapperstang Paratrooper

    Oct 19, 2004
    I wouldn't say they work perfectly. I have some stories of some jumps where I couldn't wait to get out of that air force aircraft. Most of the time you wanted to get out anyways because you were overloaded to death with gear sweating your ass off.
  8. Sapperstang:

    I have to agree with you!

    I have jumped from a lot of different types of Army and Air Farce aircraft, both helios and fixed wings. The strangest being an AF SA-16, used by Air Rescue.

    I've jumped from C-47s, C-48s, C-82s, C-119s, C-123s, C-130s and C-141s, Caribous, Beavers, Otters, Hueys, Chinooks ('Hooks)

    The one that worried me the most was the C-119s as they glide like a rock! I alsways liked the rear doors open and my reserve was always ready to go! Especially on overwater take offs.

    Walk back? No, we carried on with our mission!

    Remember the parachute is the way we get there!

    Airborne — All The Way!
  9. FDC


    Apr 9, 2006
    The Brits have what they called a Low Level Parachute(LLPT), which is advertised to be able to be jumped at 250'. We jumped them during an exchange in 96. For some reason I don't see them jumping at that altitude though:upeyes: .
  10. Sapperstang

    Sapperstang Paratrooper

    Oct 19, 2004
    Oh i've done my share of walking back after the mission :freak: I can remember emergency exit doors falling out, leaking fuel, etc on those perfect aircraft.