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2 Parachute Battalion
Active July 1971 – present
Country  South Africa
Type Infantry (Paratroopers)
Role Airborne Infantry
Size Battalion
Garrison/HQ Tempe, Bloemfontein
Nickname(s) Parabats

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.

Background[edit | edit source]

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.[1] 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.[1] The battalion was formed at Tempe in July 1971 of five rifle companies.[1] On 20 April 1978, the 2 Parachute Battalion and other parachute units became part of the newly formed 44 Parachute Brigade.[1]

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.[1] In May 1978, elements of this battalion took part in the parachute drop over Cassinga during Operation Reindeer.[1] 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.[1] 2 Parachute Battalion companies were also deployed internally in South African black townships to suppress unrest to the governments Apartheid policies.[1]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 1.7 Pitta, Robert (1993). South African Special Forces. Osprey Publishing. ISBN 1855322943. 

Further reading[edit | edit source]

  • Pitta, Robert (27 May 1993). South African Special Forces (eBook). Elite (Book 47). Osprey Publishing. ISBN 1855322943. 

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