Adrenalin rush for James in exercise

editorial image

A reservist paratrooper from Bedlington has been in the thick of the action during a training exercise with the Army.

Private James Dytham, from 4th Battalion The Parachute Regiment (4 Para), operated alongside regulars in 16 Air Assault Brigade as part of exercise Joint Warrior.

This included an assault by helicopter and rapid air landing to capture the airfield at Kinloss Barracks.

The 27-year-old mental health nurse said: “Being a nurse and a paratrooper are poles apart, but I joined the Paras to challenge myself within one of the strongest infantry regiments in the world.

“This is my first exercise with the regulars and it’s been very different.

“At 4 Para we work at platoon level and cram a lot into a weekend training camp, whereas on a major exercise like this there’s more time and resources to work on bigger and more complex tasks.

“I really enjoyed and learnt a lot from the airfield assault.

“There’s a massive adrenalin kick running into action off the back of a Hercules transport aircraft.

“Time flies and before you know it you’re four hours into an attack, but it only feels like five minutes.”

Pte Dytham, who went to St Benet Biscop RC High School, has served with Hebburn-based C Company 4 Para for two and a half years and is a qualified military parachutist.

The 1,600-strong battle group deployed by 16 Air Assault Brigade on Joint Warrior was built around the airborne infantry of 3rd Battalion The Parachute Regiment bolstered by artillery, engineers, medics, signallers and logisticians.

The training is designed to prepare them to serve as the Air Assault Task Force (AATF), which is ready to deploy anywhere in the world at short notice to conduct the full range of military operations.