Because of the secrecy involved in the operation, and the commitment of most of the permanent force conscripts of 1 Parachute Battalion in other operations, it was decided to use 2 and 3 Parachute Battalions, both Citizen Force, in the operation. However, the need for secrecy meant not enough Citizen Force soldiers could be called up to fill both Parachute Battalions. As a result, the three Battalions were temporarily merged into a single composite Parachute Battalion, which was commanded by Colonel Jan Breytenbach. The final composition of ground forces for the attack on Cassinga was therefore the following:
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