Canadian Airborne Regiment

Canadian Airborne Regiment

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Canadian Airborne Regiment

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The Canadian Airborne Regiment (french: Régiment aéroporté canadien) was a Canadian Forces formation created on April 8, 1968. It was not an administrative regiment in the commonly accepted British Commonwealth sense, but rather a tactical formation manned from other regiments and branches. It was disbanded in 1995 after the Somalia Affair.

Origin and organizational aspects

The concept of the Airborne

The main proponent of the Airborne was General Jean Victor Allard who, as commander of the Army (i.e. Mobile Command) and then Chief of Defence Staff, created it between 1965 and 1968 as a large rapid-reaction, light mobile force, suitable for overseas brigade-size missions. It was designed as a flexible short-term immediate response available to the government when it accepted an overseas reinforcement or intervention mission within NATO, or elsewhere. It would be replaced in a brigade's proposed mission area, after no more than a few weeks, once the main body of a heavier brigade was mobilized and transported with its fighting vehicles and support to the area. (See Gen. Allard's memoirs, Chap. 12.)

Over time, and a succession of chiefs of defence, the Airborne remained an object of conflicting concepts of operations, military structure and linguistic identity. Originally designed as a quick-reaction immediate-response force that could, if absolutely necessary, use parachutes, it was quickly transformed into a highly specialized parachute force, to be used for special...
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