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216 (Parachute) Signal Squadron
Royal Corps of Signals cap badge.svg
Active 1 September 1959 – Present
Country  United Kingdom
Branch  British Army
Type Airborne communications support
Role Telecommunications and information systems maintenance and support
Size 230 people
Part of 16 Air Assault Brigade[1]
Garrison/HQ Merville Barracks
Colchester, England
Nickname(s) "Airborne Signals"
Insignia
Abbreviation 216 (Para) Sig Sqn
Drop zone flash
216th Para Signal Sqn TRF.svg

216 (Parachute) Signal Squadron is a squadron of the British Army's Royal Corps of Signals that is responsible for installing, maintaining and operating all types of telecommunications equipment and information systems in support of the 16 Air Assault Brigade.[2][3][4] 216 (Parachute) Signal Squadron provide OpCIS and TacCIS to the Bde Comd and his staff.

History[]

The squadron traces it lineage to the 2nd Independent Parachute Brigade Group Signal Company formed in May 1947 from two Second World War airborne divisions: the 1st Airborne Division disbanded in 1945 and the 6th Airborne Division disbanded in 1948.[5][6][7] In June 1948, the company was re-designated as the 16th Independent Parachute Brigade Group Signal Squadron with the number 16 representing the "1" and "6" from the two wartime airborne divisions.[5][6] The 216 Signal Squadron (Parachute Brigade Group) was formed on 1 September 1959 from the 16th Independent Parachute Brigade Group Signal Squadron.[4][5][8][9] The squadron had been re-designated in line with a new Royal Signals policy that required it to be designated with a three figure number with the '2' denoting its independent status.[9] Elements of the squadron deployed on active service to Bahrain, Aden, Cyprus and Borneo.[9][10] In July 1965, the squadron was re-designated as 216 Parachute Signal Squadron following the 16th Parachute Brigade Group earlier removing the word "Group" from its title in January 1965.[5][8][10] Elements of the squadron deployed on active service to Bahrain, Aden, Borneo and British Guyana.[10] In 1971, the squadron did a four month tour of duty in Northern Ireland.[10] In March 1976, the squadron commenced implementing the Army Restructuring Plan 1975 to become a United Kingdom Mobile Force (UKMF) losing its airborne role.[4][10] In April 1977, HQ 16 Parachute Brigade and 216 Parachute Signal Squadron amalgamated to form 6th Field Force Headquarters & Signal Squadron.[5][11] In April 1978, the squadron assumed the UKMF role.[11]

In 1981, the squadron was re-rolled and re-designated as 1st Infantry Brigade Headquarters and Signal Squadron (216).[4][5] In 1982, an element of the squadron formed part of the task force deployed to the South Atlantic for the Falklands War.[4][5] In November 1983, 5 Airborne Brigade Headquarters and Signal Squadron (205) was formed and in December 1983 that squadron was re-rolled as airborne.[4][12] 1st Infantry Brigade Headquarters and Signal Squadron (216) was re-designated as 215 Signal Squadron.[4][5][13][8] In October 1991, 215 Signal Squadron was re-designated as 216 Parachute Signal Squadron.[4][5][13]

In June 1999, as part of 5 Airborne Brigade, the squadron was amongst the first NATO troops into Kosovo during the Kosovo War.[5] On 1 September 1999, elements of 216 Signal Squadron and 24 Airmobile Brigade Headquarters & Signal Squadron (210) of 24 Airmobile Brigade formed up on 1 September 1999 in both Colchester and Pristina, Kosovo as 216 Signal Squadron as part of 16 Air Assault Brigade.[4][5][13][14] In 2006, 216 Signal Squadron was re-designated as 216 (Parachute) Signal Squadron.[4]

Operations[]

Operation Country Year
Operation Palliser  Sierra Leone 2000
Operation Essential Harvest  Macedonia 2001
Operation Veritas  Afghanistan 2001–2002
Operation Telic  Iraq 2002–2003
Operation Herrick IV  Afghanistan 2006
Operation Herrick VIII  Afghanistan 2008
Operation Herrick XIII  Afghanistan 2010–2011

See also[]

References[]

  1. House of Commons. Defence Committee (2014). Future army 2020 : ninth report of session 2013-14. Vol. II, Written evidence.. London: The Stationery Office. OCLC 991531426. https://publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm201314/cmselect/cmdfence/576/576vw.pdf. Retrieved 4 August 2019. 
  2. "216 (Parachute) Signal Squadron". Archived from the original on 5 August 2010. https://web.archive.org/web/20100805052705/http://www.army.mod.uk/signals/organisation/9068.aspx. 
  3. "216 (Parachute) Signal Squadron". Portsmouth: Holbrook Printers Ltd. February 2012. ISSN 1462-9259. https://royalsignals.org/FileTransfer/E-Wire/PDF/11-12/The-Wire-Feb-12.pdf. Retrieved 5 August 2019. 
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 4.4 4.5 4.6 4.7 4.8 4.9 "216 Parachute Signal Squadron". Airborne Assault Museum. https://www.paradata.org.uk/unit/216-parachute-signal-squadron. Retrieved 4 August 2019. 
  5. 5.00 5.01 5.02 5.03 5.04 5.05 5.06 5.07 5.08 5.09 5.10 "Squadron History - 216 Parachute Signal Squadron". Archived from the original on 12 July 2010. https://web.archive.org/web/20100712072532/http://www.army.mod.uk/signals/organisation/9095.aspx. 
  6. 6.0 6.1 "2nd Independent Parachute Brigade Signal Squadron 1947-1948". 1980. https://www.216parasigs.org.uk/history/2ipbss.htm. Retrieved 7 August 2019. 
  7. "The Family Tree". 1980. https://www.216parasigs.org.uk/history/appen1.htm. Retrieved 7 August 2019. 
  8. 8.0 8.1 8.2 The Royal Corps of Signals : unit histories of the Corps (1920-2001) and its antecedents by Cliff Lord and Graham Watson 2003, p. 88, at Google Books
  9. 9.0 9.1 9.2 "216 Signal Squadron [Parachute Brigade Group 1959 -1965"]. 1980. https://www.216parasigs.org.uk/history/216ss.htm. Retrieved 7 August 2019. 
  10. 10.0 10.1 10.2 10.3 10.4 "216 Parachute Signal Squadron 1965 -1977". 1980. https://www.216parasigs.org.uk/history/216pss.htm. Retrieved 7 August 2019. 
  11. 11.0 11.1 "6th Field Force Headquarters & Signal Squadron 1977 - Present". 1980. https://www.216parasigs.org.uk/history/6ffhss.htm. Retrieved 11 March 2019. 
  12. The Royal Corps of Signals : unit histories of the Corps (1920-2001) and its antecedents by Cliff Lord and Graham Watson 2003, p. 82, at Google Books
  13. 13.0 13.1 13.2 >The Royal Corps of Signals : unit histories of the Corps (1920-2001) and its antecedents by Cliff Lord and Graham Watson 2003, p. 89, at Google Books
  14. The Royal Corps of Signals : unit histories of the Corps (1920-2001) and its antecedents by Cliff Lord and Graham Watson 2003, p. 86, at Google Books

External links[]


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