Reserve paratroopers from the British and US forces shared their parachuting skills, building relationships and working together as NATO allies.
In Exercise Airdrop Warrior, approximately 50 paratroopers from the US 352nd Civil Affairs Command (352nd CACOM) traveled across the Atlantic to exchange parachute skills with the 4th Parachute Regiment Battalion (4 PARA). .
American paratroopers conducted ground training in British low-level parachutes (LLP), while British troops received their American wings by jumping under T-11 parachutes. The exercise culminated in a joint jump from the 71st Rescue Squadron to Salisbury Plain from Moody Air Force Base, Georgia, for training, followed by a parade of wings into the drop zone.
Building relationships between the British and US air forces and developing the ability to share resources provides a more flexible and efficient force by better understanding each other’s capabilities while working together as NATO allies. The link between the two units dates back to 2013, when 4 PARA trained with the 352nd CACOM at Fort Bragg, North Carolina, home of the U.S. Air Force.
Joe Busby, captain of 4 PARA, said: “Unfortunately the weather in Oxfordshire refused to play ball in the early days and the wind was too strong for our American counterparts to jump under the UK parachutes.
“However, over the weekend, 133 US T-11 parachute jumps were performed from six lifts at the Everleigh DZ (Drop Zone), and our soldiers enjoyed the new experience of jumping off the back ramp!
Plans are already in place for another exchange next year, where US paratroopers hope to try out the RAF A400M, and British troops to Miami to try out the US MC-6 parachute airship.
Captain Joe Busby
“Plans are already in place for another exchange next year, where US paratroopers can try out the RAF A400M, and British troops can go to Miami to try out the US MC-6 parachute airship.”
4 PARA is the Army’s reserve battalion of the Parachute Regiment, based at Thornbury Barracks in Leeds, which is deployed across the country. It provides those in high readiness to support their conventional counterparts in 2 and 3 PARA when engaged in operations as part of the British Army’s global response force, the 16th Air Assault Brigade Combat Team.
Headquartered at Fort Meade, Maryland, the 352nd CACOM’s role is to interface between civilian and military authorities in an operational theater. As a reserve unit, your soldiers have acquired skills and knowledge from their civilian jobs that help them in their military missions.
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