Parachuting has been required as a military skill for some soldiers and has been both a sport and an adventure training activity. Many soldiers from the Regular battalions had the opportunity to parachute because of their experience of being with 5 Airborne Brigade and earned their ‘wings’. Others have jumped during adventure training in Canada, whilst the Regimental Free-Fall Team, ‘The Tigers’, has given some soldiers the opportunity to help recruit and become semiprofessional at the sport, during their busy display programme each year.
The parachute display team was formed in 1986 under the watchful eye of Colonel Paddy Panton, QUEENS, and was primarily co-located at Basingbourne Army Barracks and the Queen’s Divisional Headquarters.
The first team leader, Sergeant Bill "KIWI" Sharpe was drafted in from the Army Parachute Regiment, instead of a member of the Queen's Division for his vast knowledge and expertise. Without his guidance throughout its formative years the team would not have been as successful as it has been and still remains today.
The team was originally provided with the name "The Flying Dragons", a name taken from the center of the Regimental badge, but following the disbandment of the Queen’s Regiment and the formation of The Princess of Wales’s Royal Regiment members of the new Regiment choose to refer to the team as "The Flying Tigers”. Click to see the current Team Members
Throughout its existence the team has always had great support from the regiment, sponsors and the many event organizers, of which without whom the team would not survive. Commercial sponsorship provide the team with most of their funding; current sponsors can be seen via their website
The Tigers have performed at a large array of events throughout the years as far afield as Berlin, Kosovo, Cyprus, and more recently at the opening of the birthday celebrations for Her Majesty Queen Margrethe ll of Denmark. To view their calendar for 2017
The team now provides additional support to the Army with an active role in recruitment and image promotion, which may include open days, "Look at Life" visits, leaflet drops and visits to events on the Army's behalf.
See more details on their website