Airborne Soldiers from around the world gathered in Normandy, France last month for the Anniversary of the Allied airborne drops that spearheaded the invasion on that “longest day” 70 years ago. Rangers travelled to Normandy and jumped from a Dakota onto the sacred ground of Normandy’s drop zones…
In this video we see some of the 68 Swedish Army Para Rangers, age 23 to 64, doing refresher training in Sweden and then jumping in Normandy to honor the airborne soldiers who fought for freedom all those years ago. For many of these guys, this was their first jump in more than 30-40 years. The Dispatcher (‘Jumpmaster’ in American jargon) seen in the video is the legendary Ian Marshal – of the Pathfinder Parachute Group.
Click on the picture below to jump to the video.
(hat tip to Alex Moodie)
An Airman from the 22nd Special Tactics Squadron’s Red Team jumps out of an MH-47 Chinook helicopter July 14, 2014, during helocast alternate insertion and extraction training with Soldiers from the 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment at American Lake on Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Washington. Helocasting is an airborne technique used by special operations forces units for amphibious insertion into a military area of operation.
(U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt.Russ Jackson)
“Bastille Day” is the name given in English-speaking countries to the French National Day, which is celebrated on 14 July each year. In France, it is formally called Fête nationale (The National Celebration) and commonly Le quatorze juillet (the fourteenth of July).
The French National Day commemorates the beginning of the French Revolution with the Storming of the Bastille on 14 July 1789, as well as the Fête de la Fédération which celebrated the unity of the French people on 14 July 1790.
The Bastille Day Military Parade is the French military parade that has been held on the morning of 14 July each year in Paris since 1880. Previously held elsewhere within or near the capital city, since 1918 it has been held on the Champs-Élysées, with the exception of the period of German occupation from 1940 to 1944 (when the ceremony took place in London under the command of General de Gaulle).
The parade passes down the Champs-Élysées from the Arc de Triomphe to the Place de la Concorde, where the President of the French Republic, his government and foreign ambassadors to France stand.
This year some troops marched in WWI uniforms (to commemorate the 100th anniversary of WWI – seen here flanking airborne soldiers of the Troupe de Marine fresh back from operations in central Africa.
President Hollande also invited detachments of troops from 72 other countries to take part in the parade and attend as guests this year.
Exercise “Tears of the Sun”, took place a couple of weeks ago in Toulouse, France, as a key interoperability exercise between 16 Air Assault Brigade and 11e Brigade Parachutiste (11e BP), which is at the forefront of closer military co-operation between Britain and France.
Both brigades are rapid reaction forces, held at high readiness to deploy on operations anywhere in the world. They form the Intermediate Combined Joint Expeditionary Force (I-CJEF) for contingency operations, ranging from disaster relief to war fighting.