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The Parachute Regiment ~ Afghanistan 2001-2021

Low Level Parachute trials from A400M Atlas [Crown Copyright via DRA]

The Parachute Regiment ~ Afghanistan 2001-2021 is published as the Paras prepare to mark the 80th anniversaries of Normandy and Arnhem.

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News Release, 04 April 2024: UK military chiefs have secured the future of the Paras and put them back in the air again – as the crack regiment, is cleared to mount operational drops from the RAF’s new Atlas A400 aircraft. The revelation comes in a new book which documents the Paras’ new role as the UK’s high readiness global response force – after 20 years of frontline operational service in Afghanistan.

A soldier from D COY 2 PARA looks out towards the KABUL mountains as he stands guard outside the KMNB HQ at the start of UK operations in Afghanistan [Crown Copyright]

It was the Parachute Regiment who were the first into Afghanistan in 2001 and the last to leave in 2021 when they oversaw the evacuation of 15, 000 UK civilians in a multi-national airlift which ferried more than 100,000 people out of Kabul Now after an intense period of parachute trials on the new RAF transport aircraft in the United States the Paras have been cleared to mount full-scale battlegroup jumps from the A400 which forms the backbone of the military’s strategic airlift.

The book is published as the Parachute Regiment prepares to mark the 80th anniversary of the airborne assaults at Normandy and Arnhem in 1944. It includes unseen pictures of the Paras jumping from the new Airbus A400M and reveals that during operations in Helmand the Paras planned several parachute assaults along side the American which were mothballed due to operational concerns.

The Parachute Regiment, Afghanistan 2001 – 2021 [DRA press release image]

As well as detailing the tours undertaken by the Parachute Regiment and 16 Air Assault Brigade the book pays special tribute to those who made the ultimate sacrifice – including three US Marines working with 2 PARA in Sangin. It also reveals that senior officers tried to prevent 16 Air Assault Brigade being forced into the ‘so called’ platoon house strategy which saw Paratroopers based in dilapidated Afghan government buildings after President Karzai called for them to be protected.

A spokesperson for the publishers said, like so many units who served in Helmand, the Paras had some amazing stores to tell and this is their regimental history. He added: “The book is a tribute to those who served and those who did not come home.”

British Army personnel, predominantly from 2 PARA, helping evacuate eligible people from Kabul on 21st August 2021 [Crown Copyright: LPhot Ben Shread]
  • The book ‘The Parachute Regiment, Afghanistan 2001 – 2021’ (ISBN 978 0955781346) is is published by DRA Publishing and available from most good bookshops with proceeds from the title going towards the Parachute Regiment charity https://supportourparas.org/

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