British paratroopers dropped into the desert at dawn on Wednesday as the UK joined forces with Jordan in a military warning to Russia.

Some 150 soldiers from the 16 Air Assault Brigade boarded two C-130 Hercules at the RAF Akrotiri base in Cyprus before jumping 800ft down into the barren terrain outside Amman, where they simulated an attack on a town, intended to “demonstrate to adversaries, such as Russia with its interests in Syria, our capabilities and commitment to Jordan”. 

The Ministry of Defence (MoD) said Jordan remained a key partner in the Middle East as it looks to ensure regional stability.

However, despite the paratroopers’ experience with drops, many of which have been into hostile environments, soldiers waiting on board the aircraft confessed to The Telegraph that, no matter how many jumps they made, the nerves never disappeared.

Soldiers from 16 Air Assault Brigade prepare for their drop mission at RAF Akrotiri airbase in Cyprus

Credit: Peter Jordan

Lying on the runway, the 150 soldiers wait to board the two Hercules aircraft

Credit: Peter Jordan

The Paratroopers, on board a Hercules en route to Jordan, said their nerves never disappeared no matter how many drops they conducted

Credit: Peter Jordan

Joined by soldiers from the Jordanian armed forces, 16 Air Assault Brigade, which is deemed the most deployable and ready formation in the Army, was carrying out the operation as part of the UK’s Global Response Force (GRF).

As announced in the Integrated Defence Review, the GRF now features “air manoeuvre and combat aviation” to reduce its global response time to days, even hours.

The Royal Navy Carrier Strike Group has also set sail on its maiden operational voyage, with F-35Bs flown from HMS Queen Elizabeth as part of Operation Shader.

The MoD said the Combat Support Group allowed the military to be more agile against changing global threats and complimented the Army’s “future soldier” concept, whereby Britain’s forces would be more integrated, more expeditionary and ready for future challenges.

An RAF Typhoon jet escorting one of the Hercules aircraft to Jordan in preparation for the Paratroopers' descent into the desert

Credit: Peter Jordan

Paratroopers ready themselves to jump 800ft down into the barren terrain outside of Amman

Credit: Peter Jordan

Once on land, the soldiers conducted a simulated attack on an urban environment

Credit: Peter Jordan

Brigadier James Martin, the commander of 16 Air Assault Brigade, said: “We are trained specifically in the techniques of air manoeuvre. It is a demanding role and the brigade places a premium on being expeditionary and integrated with the other domains.”

He said Britain has strong, historic bilateral ties in the Middle East and North Africa “which are vital to UK prosperity and security”.

James Heappey, the Armed Forces minister, said the “joint exercise is a showcase of the Global Response Force’s impressive ability to operate across multiple domains and in harsh environments”.

He added: “They are the soldiers of the future, ready to tackle changing threats around the world.”