4th Battalion, Parachute Regiment

The 4th Battalion, Parachute Regiment (4 PARA), is an Army Reserve unit of the British Army and is based across the United Kingdom. Originally the Battalion covered the North of England, with its headquarters located in Pudsey, West Yorkshire. Following the Options for Change review in 1993, 4 PARA amalgamated with the 15th (Scottish) Battalion of the Parachute Regiment (XV PARA), which was downsized and became 15 (Scottish) Company of 4 PARA. As part of further changes in 1999 (Strategic Defence Review), the Battalion also merged with the 10th (Volunteer) Battalion which then became 10 (London) Company.

4th Battalion, Parachute Regiment
Parachute Regiment cap badge.jpg
Cap badge of the Parachute Regiment
Active1942 – present
Country United Kingdom
Branch British Army
TypeAir assault infantry
RoleAirborne forces
Part ofParachute Regiment 16 Air Assault Brigade
Nickname(s)The Red Devils
The Paras
Motto(s)Utrinque Paratus
(Latin for "Ready for Anything")
MarchQuick—Ride of the Valkyries
Slow—Pomp and Circumstance No 4
Mascot(s)Shetland Pony (Pegasus)
Colonel-in-ChiefThe Prince of Wales, KG, KT, GCB, OM, AK, QSO, PC, ADC
Colonel CommandantGeneral Sir John Reith, KCB, CBE
General Anthony Farrar-Hockley GBE, KCB, DSO & Bar, MC
Drop zone flash4th Para DZF.svg

Under the Army 2020 plan, it will form as a reserve air assault infantry battalion of 16 Air Assault Brigade.[1]


The original 4th Parachute Battalion was formed in 1942 and saw service in;

In 1943 Operation Avalanche (Invasion of Italy) was launched and the Battalion was in action at Taranto and Cassino. In August 1944, the battalion was part of Operation Rugby in Southern France. In October 1944 the Battalion seized by airborne assault (Operation Manna) the airfield at Megara near Athens in Greece as part of the 2nd Independent Parachute Brigade. The battalion spent the rest of the war supporting the 2nd New Zealand Division. Then from 1945 served with the 6th Airborne Division in Palestine.

The present day Battalion is the successor to several T.A. Parachute Battalions which were all raised in 1947, although these units were raised during the Second World War either as parachute troops or infantry. These are:-

10 Para Battalion (V) DZ Flash

All of the TA Parachute Battalions formed part of the 44th Parachute Brigade (V) which was disbanded on 31 March 1978. While in this brigade 4 PARA was re-formed on 1 April 1967 from a merger of the 12th/13th (Yorkshire and Lancashire) Battalion and the 17th (9 DLI) Battalions of the Parachute Regiment. After this 4 PARA came under the administrative command of North-East District with an operational role to reinforce an armoured division in the British Army of the Rhine (BAOR).

In 1982, 4 PARA became part of 15 Infantry Brigade.

in 1993 15 PARA disbanded and merged with 4 PARA.

In 1999, 10 PARA disbanded and merged with 4 PARA, 4 PARA (Merseyside) was disbanded therefore moving to Pudsey in Leeds, however it moved back to Merseyside (Jubilee Barracks, St Helens) in 2006.

In 2005, 4 PARA deployed a full Company (Cassino Coy, 4 PARA) to southern Iraq in support of 1 SCOTS and 1 R IRISH ROBG (Rear Ops Battle Group) on Op Telic 7. Based at Shaiba Log Base (SLB HQ Multi National Division South East) they performed all the company taskings of the Regular Army companies within the ROBG. This was a precursor for the employment of TA Individual Replacements (IRs) and formed TA companies on Op Herrick in Afghanistan. Soldiers of all ranks went on to serve with 16 Air Assault Brigade on Op Herrick, some straight after the Telic tour ended. Of note was the fact that this was the first subunit (company) deployment of 4 PARA soldiers since WW2 on operations and set a precedent for what could be achieved by Army Reserve (AR) soldiers in support of the Regular Army. The OPTAG (Operational Training and Advisory Group) remarked on a visit to SLB on Op Telic 7 that the only difference between the 4 PARA troops and their regular counterparts was 'the colour of their DZ flash'. The Tyne-Tees Regiment and other units also provided soldiers to Cassino Coy, all of whom provided an invaluable contribution to its success. The employment model of integrated AR units within Regular Army Brigades, that 4 PARA led, is now the established model for the Army 2020 Model. The experience and contribution of 4 PARA soldiers to Op Telic and Op Herrick led the way for Regular/Reserve integration and now sees 4 PARA, 299 Independent Para Squadron Royal Engineers and 144 Parachute Medical Squadron as fully integrated units within 16 Air Assault Brigade. This has led to the establishment of High Readiness Reserve (HRR) soldiers ready to deploy at short notice in support of the Brigade. 4 PARA and the other AR airborne Units are the highest recruited and trained AR units.

In 2014 D Company 4 PARA was created to cover the Midlands area. The Coy HQ is based at Edward Street, Rugby, with a platoon located at Triumph Road Barracks in Nottingham and a third platoon based in Newport.


The level of fitness required for joining 4 PARA is far higher than the level mandated for other Army Reserve Infantry units and 4 PARA conduct their own recruit training programme independent of Regional Training Centres.

The 2 week Army Reserve Combat Infantry Course (CIC) for 4 PARA is run by the P Coy staff at ITC Catterick. These high standards are carried on into the battalion, and are maintained by the regular staff posted there for that purpose.

Training evenings (Tuesday night, Wednesday for Nottingham) will usually include a combination of fitness, military skills and admin. One or two weekend exercises per months of ranges, tactics, military skills etc. (9 weekends maximum) before TSC Alpha. Advanced skills in TSC Bravo takes place before P Company and parachute training. Annual camps (one per year, 2 weeks duration) are for longer exercises, parachuting and more advanced range work.


A Company (Scotland)Edit

B Company (Greater London)Edit

C Company (North of England)Edit

D Company (Midlands)Edit

Operations and exercisesEdit

Recent overseas annual camps have been held in the Czech Republic 1999 (Ex Czech Mate); France 2001 (Ex Gaulish 1); Germany 2002 (Ex Paperchase); Ukraine 2003 (Ex Cossack Steppe); Wyoming, USA 2005 (Ex Stoney Run) and Albania 2006. In addition the battalion has a number of regular exercises and unit exchanges in which it takes part, including Ex Paperchase (exchange with German 272 Fallschirmjager Battalion); Ex Anthropoid (patrol competition with Slovak Special Forces); Ex Pathfinder (exchange with Czech airborne forces) and Ex Market-Garden (annual commemoration and jump into Arnhem). The battalion also regularly sends teams to the annual Exercise Cambrian Patrol competition held at the Sennybridge Training Area.

A total of 104 soldiers from the battalion were mobilised to reinforce the 1st and 3rd battalions during the invasion of Iraq in 2003 Operation Telic. The battalion provided a platoon for force protection duties on Op Telic 3 in 2004 and a company for Op Telic 7 in 2005-2006. The battalion mobilised soldiers in support of the 2nd and 3rd battalions in Afghanistan on Operation Herrick 4 in 2006, Op Herrick 8 in 2008 and Op Herrick 13 in 2010-2011, as well as in support of the Yorkshire Regiment on Op Herrick 15, and the Royal Tank Regiment on Op Herrick 18. The battalion has also provided soldiers for operations in Northern Ireland and the Balkans.

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ "Transforming the british Army, an update - July 2013" (PDF). Army.mod.uk. Ministry of Defence. July 2013. p. 7. Retrieved 4 October 2016.

External linksEdit