PARATROOPER WINGS

The RLI wore the same Para Wings as the other ‘fireforce’ unit, the Rhodesian African Rifles (RAR). They were however the first regiment outside of Special Forces that was Para trained as a whole battalion. That unit was a troop from 1 Commando that had been Para trained in November 1976. They were followed by 11 and 14 Troops from 3 Commando who were trained in February 1977. The rest of the battalion followed.

To be awarded Wings the recipient had to make eight static jumps, which included a night jump.

Static line drop heights were reduced from 1,000 feet (304.8 meters) to 500 feet (152.4 meters), and on some occasions as low as 450 feet (137 meters).

Some troops of the RLI and RAR recorded three operational jumps in one day, however it wasn’t common practice. No other countries military in history have made as many operational parachute jumps as the Rhodesian Security Forces.


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