Fact file: 2 and 3 Parachute Battalions


By 1971 the number of parachute-trained white conscripts with further national service obligations as reservists had grown to the point where 1 Parachute Bn could no longer cope with their administration.

2 Para Bn was thus formed in July of that year to carry that burden. The unit had its baptism of fire during Operation Savannah in 1975. 3 Para Bn was formed in 1977. Both units took part in Operation Reindeer in 1978. Since the end of national service in the early 1990s, unit strengths have fallen dramatically and by 2005 neither unit was operational. Part of the rationale for the Military Skills Development System introduced that year was to feed qualified young paratroopers into the battalions. Remaining Reserve Force parachute personnel were then migrated to 3 Para Bn. Efforts have been made to revive the unit and it has since deployed individual members and small units to the annual Young Eagle force preparation exercise.

Current role: Parachute infantry.

Current base: Centurion, Tshwane (Pretoria)

Battle honours:

Mottos: ?

Pic: 3 Para Bn