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Category: Airborne operations (page 1 of 16)

European Paratroopers Association: OPERATION WINTER STORM 2017



Friday Foto


4th Brigade Combat Team (Airborne), 25th Infantry Division Paratroopers walk to a rally point after an airborne training jump onto Malemute Drop Zone at Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, Alaska, Nov. 3, 2016.

United States Air Force photo by Justin Connaher.

Exercise ‘Colibri 2016’

Since 1962 French and German paratroopers have been meeting up and conducting the multi-national ‘COLIBRI’ (hummingbird) airborne forces exercise.  This year’s exercise also featured participation from Spain, the US and UK.

General Eric Bellot Mineral, Commander of the 11e brigade parachutiste, pins French jump wings on an American soldier from HHB 4-319th Airborne Field Artillery Regiment.

General Eric Bellot Mineral, Commander of the 11e brigade parachutiste, awards French jump wings to an American paratrooper from 4-319th Airborne Field Artillery Regiment.

The exercise began with the troops cross-training on the different nations’ equipment – and getting the chance as well to earn each other’s national jump wings.  Led by the soldiers of the French Army’s 11th Parachute Brigade, the force of approximately 1,000 airborne troops from France, Germany, the US, Spain and the UK moved into the tactical operation phase of the exercise.

French paras of 8e RPIMa dropped into Camp de Caylus using a new type of parachute.

French paras of 8e RPIMa dropped into Camp de Caylus using a new type of parachute.

Troops were dropped from French and US aircraft at the military camp of Caylus (Tarn-et-Garonne).  They then proceeded to secure and enlarge the air head, and move out into attacking and securing key objectives to enlarge the area under their control – thus enabling follow-on forces to land and build up a forward operating base for further combat and stabilization operations.

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Leapfest 2016 – International Airborne Competition

As its National Airborne Day, it seems fitting to post our wrap-up of this year’s Leapfest today – hard to believe it was already a week ago that the skies over southern Rhode Island were full of parachutes…

National Airborne Day on Aug. 16 honors the occassion of the first official parachute jump of the US Army, conducted on this date in 1940, by the volunteer Soldiers of the Parachute Test Platoon.  Other nations had already established Airborne Forces even before the US of course, including Italy, Germany, the Soviet Union, the United Kingdom and even France.  The Canadian Army established its first airborne unit in July 1942.

tumblr_mtvd5tILoU1s57vgxo4_r2_1280Red Army paratroops ‘jump’ from the wing of a Tupolev bomber in an exercise during the 1930’s.

Military parachuting has come a long way since those early experimental drops, and many lessons were also learned the hard way from the combat parachute drops during the Second World War.  Today’s Paratroops jump from turbo-prop and jet-powered aircraft as well as helicopters using either a static-line to automatically deploy their parachute, or by freefalling and then manually pulling a so-called ‘rip cord’ to deploy their ‘chute – and modern parachutes also come with non-steerable and steerable round canopies for normal operations, or highly-manueverable ‘ram-air’ square canopies for special operations.

t-11-parachute-001Current-day US Army Paratroopers jump from a C-130 using the new, cruciform-shape canopied T-11 non-steerable parachute.  The T-11 system has replaced the T-10 parachute that was in use for over 50 years.

Leapfest is the largest, longest standing, international static-line parachute competition. It is hosted each year by the 56th Troop Command of the Rhode Island Army National Guard to promote training and esprit de corps within the international airborne community.

DSCN2499The team from the Czech Republic walk off the Drop Zone after a jump.

Leapfest is both an individual and team event – each jumper must complete 2 jumps to be qualified for the individual award, and each team must complete 8 jumps in total to be qualified for the team award.  Each team consists of 5 participants: 4 jumpers and 1 alternate jumper.

DSCN2562The combined teams from the Italian Army, Navy, Air Force and Carabinieri pose for a group photo.

Jumpers exit from a CH-47 Chinook helicopter at an altitude of 1500 feet (457 meters) using an MC-6 static line deployed, steerable, parabolic parachute and aim to land as close as possible to a marked, designated ‘X-marks-the-spot’ on the Drop Zone.

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Leapfest 2016 is coming!

The Leapfest International Static Line Parachute Competition 2016 is now less than a week away!  Watch out of our event coverage to start this coming Saturday.

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