Commando Speed March 2017

The Commando Speed March is a military event that occurs every March and is based on the test that British Commando recruits faced.

During the Second World War, potential British Commandos would get off the train at Spean Bridge and be expected to speed march through the Scottish Highlands to the gates of Achnacarry House.  They also had to carry their fighting order weighing 36lbs.  Recruits were given just 1 hour to complete the 7 mile route, and those that failed to achieve this time would be returned to their parent unit.

In 1996, this speed march was reconstructed, based on this initial selection test, to raise funds for the Commando Benevolent Fund and the Airborne Forces Charities.  Not quite as far as the P Coy 10-miler, The Speed March has since become an established annual military event attracting over 300 entrants a year, each wearing either a maroon or green t shirt.

Who can enter?

This event is open only to Military Personnel.  Members of the Armed Forces, Foreign Military, TA Units and Regimental Associations are all eligible to apply for a place in the Speed March.  Army Cadets wanting to participate must be accompanied by adult staff and Health and Safety rules are applied.  Cadets also carry a reduced load and participate in the ‘fun run’.

In 2015 teams from both 2 PARA and 3 PARA took part.

This year the event will be held on 11 March 2017.  For more information, visit

This event is another great way to raise funds for SUPPORT OUR PARAS and you can even use it as training for the PARAS’ 10.

Veteran’s Grant – Rhine Crossing Commemorative Event 2017

The Airborne Forces Security Fund is again making a grant available to veterans of The Rhine Crossing to assist with the cost of their commemorative trip this March. The grant is £300 for a veteran, £300 for his wife or partner and £300 if a carer is needed. The maximum grant is therefore £900.

A completed 2017 Rhine Crossing application form and a copy of your travel documents e.g. ferry or hotel booking, should be returned to:

The Airborne Forces Security Fund
Merville Barracks

For all enquiries please contact:

Aconcagua Challenge

In January 2017, they will attempt Mt Aconcagua, Argentina, the highest peak in the Western and Southern Hemisphere.  The AGS team will need to acclimatise and climb with high quality protective kit as their injuries will be hypersensitive in such adverse conditions.


The team is made up of 13 individuals, three of whom are ex-PARAS wounded and disabled in Afghanistan.  The team has already walked to the North Pole and climbed Mt McKinley, Mt Elbrus and Mt Kilimanjaro.  Read more about them below.

martin-summit-5Martin Hewitt
Martin is a former PARA Captain who was injured whilst leading his men in combat in Afghanistan.  The injuries paralysed his right arm and ended his military career.  Since leaving the army, Martin has represented GB in Paralympic World Championships Downhill Ski racing and in 2011, he walked unsupported to the geographic North Pole with HRH Prince Harry as part of the Walking with the Wounded team.

Martin founded the Adaptive Grand Slam project and in 2012, his team climbed Mt Manaslu, Mt McKinley and Mt Everest.

jaco-summit-1Jaco van Gass
South African born Jaco was severely wounded during his second tour of Afghanistan when he was hit by an RPG during an intense fire fight.  He sustained numerous injuries including the loss of his left arm at the elbow, blast wounds to upper thigh, a fractured knee, shrapnel wounds and a collapsed lung.  After 11 operations and intense rehab, Jaco has been challenging himself by completing marathons all over the world and raising money for various charities.  In 2011, he trekked unsupported to the North Pole and broke a few world records in the process.  Later that year, Jaco became the first South African to conquer Mt Manaslu.

img_1488Terry Byrne
Terry completed two tours of Iraq before being injured in August 2008, when he sustained a below knee amputation of his right leg and a damaged right hand and amputated little finger.  He was the fastest ever amputee to be discharged, leaving hospital after just 4 months.  Since his injury, Terry joined the GB cycling team, obtaining two world records and winning the word championship for the team sprint.  Terry joined the Adaptive Grand Slam team in 2012 and is a core team member, providing essential experience and continuity to new members.

The team are hoping to raise some money for SUPPORT OUR PARAS.  Their target is £6,961 – one pound for every metre the mountain is high.  Show them your support by visiting their fundraising page.

Waitrose Green Token Scheme

We are delighted to announce that Waitrose Colchester has adopted us for their Community Green Token Scheme for August 2016.

At the end of your shop in branch, you’ll receive a token to place in a box of the good cause you’d most like to support (hopefully us!). The more tokens we get, the bigger the donation we receive.

Don’t forget to tell your friends and family and ask them to get involved.

For more information visit: Waitrose Green Token Scheme

Team Megavalanche

On  4 of July 2016, Team Megavalanche departed for Alpe D’Huez to once again compete in the world’s longest downhill mountain bike race. The team, consisting of serving Paratroopers, James Duncan, Robert Benson, Richard Dunne and Mark Turner spent the week practising and learning the 35km course along with thousands of competitors ranging from elite world champions to your average rider. The start line for the Megavalanche is the summit of Pic Blanc at an altitude of 3300m. It is a snow covered ski run for roughly the first 3km which turns into narrow rocky trails followed by twisty alpine forest single track eventually crossing the finish line in the town of Allemont.

Megavalanche 2016 - 4

Qualifying: The team lined up alongside 116 other riders for the mass start. With James having to pull out of a top 20 finish due to a puncture and Richard with a Mechanical issue it was left to Robert and Mark to cross the line and qualify for the Mega amateur race. Of the 189 riders Robert finished in a strong 57th place and Mark after suffering several mechanical problems in 170th place.

The team were overwhelmed with support from the crowds of people lining the course cheering on the Parachute Regiment with lots of positive comments and recognition for the cap badge. With mixed results from this years race, the Team is already looking forward to next year with the intention of growing bigger and better with experience,

As the saying goes…3rd time lucky !

Megavalanche 2016 - 3

The Parachute Regiment Charity