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2 Parachute Battalion

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Covid-19
Active  July 1971 – present
Role  Airborne Infantry
Country  South Africa
2 Parachute Battalion
Allegiance  Republic of South Africa  Republic of South Africa
Branch  South African Army  South African Army
Type  Infantry (Paratroopers)

2 Parachute Battalion is Citizen Force paratroop unit of the South African Army. It was established in July 1971 with the formation of the Parachute Battalion. Later it was a battalion within 44 Parachute Brigade. As a reserve unit, it has a status roughly equivalent to that of a British Army Reserve or United States Army National Guard unit.

Background

With the implementation of one year National Service in South Africa in 1968, 1 Parachute Battalion struggled to administer the Permanent Force and the Citizen Force parabats. To prevent the loss of these trained national servicemen at the end of their one-year service to other units of the South African Defence Force, it was decided to form a new citizen force parachute unit to take these men. The battalion was formed at Tempe in July 1971 of five rifle companies. On 20 April 1978, the 2 Parachute Battalion and other parachute units became part of the newly formed 44 Parachute Brigade.

2 Parachute Battalion would take part in Operation Savannah in Angola during 1975 and covered the withdrawal of the SADF forces from that country in early 1976. In May 1978, elements of this battalion took part in the parachute drop over Cassinga during Operation Reindeer. Companies from this battalion were based on the border with Angola in South-West Africa/Namibia and used as a rapid reaction force to counter incursions by SWAPO's PLAN forces into that country. 2 Parachute Battalion companies were also deployed internally in South African black townships to suppress unrest to the governments Apartheid policies.

References

2 Parachute Battalion Wikipedia


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