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1st Bn Duke of Edinburgh's Royal Regiment

(Berkshire and Wiltshire)


Exercise Certain Shield

'Farmersboys' go Airmobile

24 Air Mobile arm badge

The Background history to the exercise

In 1988 the Northern Army Group Commander identified the possibility of using airmobile forces as an operational reserve for the Northern Army Group (NORTHAG), and tied in well with a concurrent study by Supreme Headquarters Allied powers (SHAPE), the Multi National Airmobile division (MNAD) was formed and fielding for the first time during 1991 REFORGER exercises (CERTAIN SHIELD) In N.A.T.O.s future structure, Multinational forces demonstrated the alliances cohesion and risk sharing to other nations. The MNAD therefore represented the first step in the development of these forces.

Requirements for the Multi National Airmobile Division call for capability of rapid reaction, to deploy over distances of up to 120 Km regardless of any ground obstacle or ground damage. Furthermore it is to be able to sustain itself in battle for 48 Hours, Task for the MNAD is :-

A To block, contain or delay an enemy penetration

B Secure a line of departure for friendly formations

C Provide flank protection.

As a result of improvements in surveillance equipment, it has been found that reserve forces are identified and engaged by enemy before brought to battle. There is therefore a requirement to keep reserves much further back to help evade detection and increase their protection. The only possible solutions are airmobile reserves flown in by helicopter from a position well behind the front line, to a point where they hold the enemy.

However, with support helicopters provided by the British and German to lift the troops, the MNAD is capable of moving fast, unhindered by ground obstacles, over distances of over 120 Kilometres. To wherever it is required on the battlefield. The MNAD with its own integral anti-tank helicopters and a Varity of ground mounted weapon systems would prove a considerable adversary. The division has the speed to out manoeuvre a potential enemy and then the firepower to hold it until the arrival of more heavily armoured, but slower friendly forces.

The Exercise ‘CERTAIN SHIELD’ was conducted from 10th till 18th September 1991 in the area between Munster, Paderborn and Kassel in the Western part of Germany, and was commanded and controlled by Sir Peter INGE, Commander Northern Army Group.


It must be said at this point that the wider strategic picture in relation to Air Mobile tactics would have been somewhat lost on the average 'Farmersboy' as his role within this system would be to ensure he was fit, his kit functioned and he moved his 'Backside' when ordered, which in the main they did well.

24 Air mobile Brigade

At the time of Exercise Certain Shield


1st Battalion Duke of Edinburgh’s Royal Regiment (Berkshire and Wiltshire)

As anti tank units equipped with the ‘ Milan ’ ATGW

DERR Cap Badge


1st Battalion Green Howard’s

Green Howards Cap Badge



1st Battalion The Gloucestershire Regiment 

As an airmobile Infantry unit.

Gloucestershire Regiment Cap Badge

Brigade Supported by :-

9th Regiment Army Air Corps (657,672 and 673 Squadrons)


R.A.F. Odiham with No 7 (Chinooks) and No 33 (Puma) Squadrons


18 and 230 Squadrons (Chinooks and Pumas)



Belgium Regiment Para Commando consisting of

1 Para Battalion

2d Commando Battalion

3rd Para Battalion

4th Commando Battalion (Reserve)


The German Luftlandebrigade 27 (Formed in 1969)

Fallschirmjagerbataillon (Parachute Battalion) 271

With three parachute companies and one commando company


Fallschirmjagerbataillon (Parachute Battalion) 272

Equipped with weapon carriers ‘Wiesel’


Fallschirmjagerbataillon (Parachute Battalion) 273
Fallschirmjagerbataillon (Parachute Battalion) 274
Support provided by Heeresfliegerkommando


Exercise Certain Shield 'Scrapbook'

(Click to enlarge)

Many of these images are unidentified DERR Soldiers, if you can help please get in contact

A DERR Soldier with a light load

A Section of unidentified DERR soldiers, loaded like 'Donkeys' await the airlift An unidentified DERR Soldier 'Lumbers' towards a Chinook

Believed B Coy 1 DERR

Believed a section of B Coy 1 DERR approach a chinook for the airlift Cpl R ???? a Battalion Boxer

Unidentified DERR Dispatch rider An officer of 1st Bn DERR trying to look the part.

DERR Group

A DERR Section Load up

An unidentified group of DERR Soldiers wishing they were elsewhere 

A DERR Section load up into a German chopper prior to moving forward

DERR Troops load up DERR Dispatch rider

A DERR Section load up prior to the move forward

An unidentified DERR Dispatch rider

DERR Troops wait to load up Loading up.

Troops from 1 DERR await transport

Transport arrives, '1st class at the front'

                             Copyright © 2000 All rights reserved.
                            Revised: 19 July 2006.