Living up to their Motto, ‘First In’, the British Army’s highly specialised troops within the Pathfinders jumped from a Royal Air Force C-17 Globemaster over Estonia as part of Exercise Swift Response this week.
The Pathfinders are 16 Air Assault Brigade’s advanced reconnaissance force. They will jump ahead of everyone else to scout out enemy positions, mark dropzones and work with the main body of troops with tactical intelligence and offensive action support.
In this case, the paratroopers jumped over Rapla Air Base, Estonia. Jumping at 12,000 feet from the Globemaster which is part of the Air Mobility Force, operated by 99 Squadron.
The aircraft lifted out of RAF Brize Norton and flew the 1200 miles (as the crow flies) to Rapla. After locating the dropzone, the aircraft opened up, with the Pathfinders then despatched from the ‘Moose’ by a Royal Air Force Parachute Jump Instructor of the Airborne Delivery Wing.
Swift Response 23 is the first of three major US-led Military exercises for NATO Deterrence and Enhanced Readiness beginning on 7 May and spanning the Baltic Sea and Mediterranean regions.
Countries participating alongside the UK include the Czech Republic, Estonia, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Latvia, the Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Spain and the United States.