Global Defense - In Photos: British Army Pathfinders!

February 9, 2019



US Military - Tanks and Artillery in Action (Extended Version)



The Pathfinders is a unit of the British Army that is trained in specialist airborne insertion techniques and capable of conducting offensive action tasks at very short notice. The unit also acts as the 16 Air Assault Brigade’s advance force.

These elite soldiers belonging to Pathfinders Army are trained to operate behind enemy lines in small, self-sufficient units that can find and relay vital information back to Brigade HQ, enabling it to plan and execute missions.

Photographer: Corporal Tom Evans (RLC) / MoD Crown



British Army Pathfinders participate in Tactical Air Insertion Training at Yuma, Arizona with the Belgian SOC Pathfinders. 


The advanced Pathfinders Army practice their fire and maneuver skills. 



The soldiers from the Pathfinders platoon from 16 Air Assault Brigade during training jump from a US Army Special Operations Aviation Command C-27 over Camp Mackall, North Carolina.








Members of a Pathfinders army patrol being extracted after their vehicle was disabled during a live firing exercise in Jordan. 
























Soldiers aspiring to join Pathfinders army carry out live fire battle run, including the extraction of simulated casualties, as part of a selection cadre.


One of the functions of the Pathfinders army is to facilitate the Theatre Entry of 16 Air Assault Brigade by means of marking and securing drop zones (DZ) or Temporary Landing Zone (TLZ). 


The soldiers of the Pathfinders army are also skilled in covert insertion, concealment and intelligence gathering.


A soldier from the Pathfinders army kits up for a Very High Altitude (VHA) HALO decent in the US. VHA is from 12,000ft -25,000ft.

The Pathfinders are military free fall qualified on a number of different nation"s equipment.





Soldiers from Pathfinders army are highly trained parachutists that are capable to insert covertly under the cover of darkness from 25,000ft.





Pathfinders are highly skilled in insertion by parachute, including HALO and HAHO techniques. They use a range of parachute systems, including the BT80 multi-mission parachute combined with the High Altitude Parachutist Life Support System, which provides oxygen when jumping at high altitude.


The Pathfinders army acts as the brigade's advance force and reconnaissance force.




British Army Pathfinders are experts in camouflage and concealment, they can remain undetected for prolonged periods of time and relay information back to the Brigade to formulate the ongoing mission planning.












British Army Pathfinders testing the capabilities of the vehicles during mobility training with the Operational Detachment Alpha (ODA) in America.

Pathfinders instagram photo


Soldiers of Pathfinders army and Groupement des Commandos Parachutiste (GCP) train together during Exercise Falcon Amarante in France. 

Pathfinders facebook photo


Pathfinders army's role includes locating and marking drop zones and helicopter landing zones for air landing operations. 


Pathfinders army and Groupement des Commandos Parachutiste practice

helicopter fast-roping on Exercise Falcon Amarante.




Pathfinders conducting a long range reconnaissance patrol (LRRP) in Jordan.

The fire power consisting of the L1A1 50-caliber heavy machine gun (.50 HMG) or the 40mm grenade machine gun (GMG) and the general-purpose machine gun (GPMG)


The present day Pathfinders army has taken part in operations in Yugoslavia, Sierra Leone, Macedonia, Afghanistan and Iraq.


A soldier from the Pathfinders army prepares 40mm grenade machine gun (GMG) before a mobility patrol.

Pathfinders instagram photo


Soldiers from the British Army's Pathfinders Platoon and the French GCP train together in France.


British Army Pathfinders about to conduct a long range reconnaissance patrol (LRRP).

Fire power consisting of the L1A1 50-caliber heavy machine gun (.50 HMG), the 40mm grenade machine gun (GMG) and the general-purpose machine gun (GPMG).


A soldier looking to join Pathfinders army has to be robust, very physically fit and highly motivated. It’s one of the most arduous courses in the world.


The Pathfinder Platoon here is pictured during a British And French Airborne Forces joint exercise that took place in Stranraer, Scotland.

MOD Released Photo


British Army Pathfinders Platoon vehicles just before the invasion of Iraq.

Wikimedia commons




Disclaimer: The appearance of US Department of Defense (DoD) visual information on this website does not imply or constitute DoD endorsement. 

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