Thanks for your message, tremmers.
After researching this for a while, I realised that the parliamentary
record of answers to MPs' questions would be the only useful source.
So we are relying on what the Secretary of State for Defence has been
asked - and what he or his juniors have answered.
Luckily, MPs ask about the strength of regiments quite often. This is
the latest information:
Strength and establishment of the Three Battalions of the Parachute
Regiment as at 1 January 2005
Battalion Strength Establishments
1st Battalion 570 580
2nd Battalion 540 580
3rd Battalion 530 580
"The Establishment figures include only the infantry posts and exclude
attached personnel of other Arms and Services such as chefs, clerks
The strength figures do not include officers and soldiers in the
Parachute Regiment serving outside the battalion, or personnel from
other cap badges attached to the battalion."
More notes on these figures in:
Written Answers to Questions
Parachutists - 9 Mar 2005:
In September 2004, figures for new entrants to the Parachute Regiment
were included in an answer about infantry recruitment past and future.
2000?01 2001?02 2002?03 2003?04
Officers 12 16 19 14
Soldiers 379 240 246 190
2004?05 2005?06 2006?07 2007?08 2008?09
Soldiers 230 225 221 234 234
Army Recruitment - 7 Sept 2004
You may also be interested in a more detailed breakdown of Parachute
Regiment personnel in December 2000:
In January 2001, there was some information about training costs.
The number of armed forces personnel given parachute training and the
cost, in each of the past five years, is set out in the table:
Year Number Cost (£)
1996 683 1,832,900
1997 796 2,160,600
1998 817 2,221,500
1999 818 2,224,400
2000 822 2,236,000
Parachuting - 29 January 2001
It's not unusual for MPs' questions to be answered by, "This
information is not held centrally and could be provided only at
disproportionate cost. "
That was the response to these questions:
"Ann Winterton: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what the (a)
personnel and (b) equipment and maintenance costs of (i) an armoured
infantry (warrior) battalion, (ii) an air-portable infantry battalion,
(iii) a parachute regiment battalion and (iv) a Gurkha regiment
battalion were in the last period for which figures are available."
"Mr. Russell Brown: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what
the cost of (a) an in role parachute battalion and (b) a parachute
battalion not in role was in the last year for which figures are
21 Feb 2005
Some further information which came up while searching:
Regimental Strength 1996-2004
Unit establishment of each infantry battalion 2004
Establishment and Strength figures Nov 2004
1995 estimated annual cost of the Parachute Regiment compared to the
annual cost of an infantry battalion of the line
Qualifying as a military parachutist 2002
Parachute training and the virtual reality simulator
Number of training jumps 1995-1999
Operational deployments of each Battalion of the Parachute Regiment 2000-2004
"it costs £40,000 to train each soldier"
Sunday Times, 05.09.1999
To find these figures, I used google to search records of
parliamentary questions and answers, limiting the search to the
parliamentary publications website only. For instance, my searches
site:www.publications.parliament.uk parachute regiment 2004 OR 2005
site:www.publications.parliament.uk parachute training costs OR expenditure
I had no luck with the Ministry of Defence statistics site at:
Nor did I find anything useful on any other MOD sites, or in searches
of UK national newspapers.
I hope you find this information helpful.
Please feel free to ask if you'd like me to clarify anything.
Best wishes - Leli