By Charlie Carmichael-
A parachute battalion has been banned from a summer operation after paratroopers were filmed having an ‘orgy with a woman who was smuggled into their barracks’.
Soldiers in the 3rd Battalion of the Parachute Regiement have been told they will no longer be going to Kosovo for a training exercise after a sordid video was found showing the encounter at Merville Barracks in Colchester, Essex.
The battalion of over 600 personnel and is known as 3 PARA, was told in a scathing letter by a senior officer that it had ‘temporarily lost the trust’ of the head of the army, Chief of General Staff, General Sir Patrick Sanders.
The battalion was scheduled to be sent to Kosovo this summer to take part in a NATO training operation for its Strategic Response Force, but it has now been removed from this by Sir Patrick.
In a letter (pictured) to the Parachute Regiment Lieutenant General Andrew Harrison confirmed the battalion will not be sent to Kosovo this summer.
The troops were due to deploy to Kosovo and Bosnia to train with Nato and EU allies.
Gen Sanders said the orgy was the latest in “a series of disciplinary incidents” including unspecified poor behaviour in Macedonia.
His letter to generals said: “Deploying overseas is a privilege and every unit deploying must be appropriately prepared.
“Recent incidents have indicated to me that 3 Para is not demonstrating the levels of discipline and respect for others expected of one of our battalions.
It comes after video was found showing soldiers of 3 PARA taking part in an orgy with a woman who was smuggled into Merville Barracks (pictured), in Colchester
The ‘orgy’ at Merville Barracks came to public light earlier this month, prompting the Royal Military Police to launch an investigation.
The footage appears to show a consensual orgy involving a red-headed woman on the barracks in Essex, with one soldier even seen saluting as his friend had sex with her, it is believed.
The Times reports that although military police determined no crime had been committed, Sir Patrick decided such behaviour was not in keeping with the values and standards of the army.
In his letter, Lietenant General Harrison wrote: ‘This afternoon the Chief of the General Staff (CGS), General Sir Patrick Sanders, took the decision to remove 3 PARA off the roster to deploy to Kosovo this summer.
‘3 PARA has an extraordinary operational reputation in the service of our nation and every member of it will be devastated by the lost opportunity to serve on operations once again in the Balkans.
‘CGS’s decision was based on recent disciplinary incidents on Exercise Swift Response and in Merville Barracks, the latter which has been in the public domain over the last few weeks.
In the letter Lieutenant General Harrison said the battalion had ‘lost the trust’ of the head of the army, General Sir Patrick Sanders
‘Those whose standards fell below what the Army and Regiment expect of its people will now realise the significant impact of their poor judgement.
‘The CGS’s action clearly demonstrates that a licence to operate on operations will only be provided to units where complete trust in all aspects of their readiness, in particular discipline, exists.
‘3 PARA accept they have temporarily lost the trust of CGS.
‘They will reflect on and where required adjust behaviours and culture that undermines the reputation and operational effectiveness of an exceptional Battalion.
In a statement Sir Patrick said the behaviour of some members of the battalion had ‘fallen short’ of what was expected.
‘3 PARA is a battalion with remarkable fighting spirit and a magnificent history,’ he said.
‘However, the recent conduct of some members of the battalion has fallen short of that which we all expect of our Army.
‘I know that the battalion will respond quickly and restore the reputation that they deserve.
‘My message to the Army is clear: our licence to operate is founded on trust and confidence and we must hold ourselves to the highest standards.’
An Army spokesperson said: ‘There will be no impact to Army operational outputs. Another Unit will deploy to the Balkans as part of NATO’s operational rehearsal for its Strategic Response Force.’
‘The Army expects the highest standards of behaviour from all their personnel.
‘Anyone not maintaining these standards will be investigated and appropriate action will be taken against them.
‘The Army is clear that all forms of unacceptable behaviour, including those of a sexual nature, have no place in an inclusive and respectful Armed Forces.’
The battalion is part of the Parachute Regiment, which is part of 16 Air Assault Brigade.
The Army describe 16 Air Assault Brigade as a ‘specially trained’ force that are ‘equipped to deploy by parachute, helicopter and air-landing’.
Their man role is to help the Air Assault Task Force, a group of soldiers always at the ready for ‘a full spectrum of missions, from non-combatant evacuation ops to war fighting’.