Dean leaping in with crack unit

Paratrooper Dean Brown
Paratrooper Dean Brown

A Chorley paratrooper has made the French connection.

Private Dean Brown trained with the French Foreign Legion on his first overseas exercise since joining the British Army.

Pte Brown, 20, of Colchester-based 2nd Battalion The Parachute Regiment (2 PARA), was on Exercise BLUE LEGIONNAIRE in Corsica, alongside troops from 2e Regiment Etranger de Parachutistes

(2e REP).

The exercise was designed to improve the ability of

2 PARA and 2e REP to work


The two units are part of a partnership between the British 16 Air Assault Brigade and the French 11e Brigade Parachutiste, which stands at high readiness to deploy together on contingency operations ranging from war fighting to disaster relief.

Pte Brown, who joined 2 PARA in November after completing his basic training, said: “The exercise has been everything that I expected and the Foreign Legion have been really good guys.

“They’re the same quality of soldiers as we are and, because of that, we understand each other.”

During the two-week exercise, he has:

n used the Giat Famas assault rifle, the standard weapon of the French Army

n learnt French tactics and techniques for beach assaults and fighting in built-up areas

n and climbed the island’s snow-capped mountains; and tackled 2e REP’s assault course.

A keen kickboxer, the former Parklands High School pupil said: “Getting out into the mountains and learning how to use ice axes and crampons was an absolutely fantastic experience.

“I’ve never done anything like it and the views from the summit were amazing.”