Yesterday a British Airborne Battle Group formed around 2nd Battalion of The Parachute Regiment, accompanied by French Foreign Legion Paratroopers, inserted near the Bavarian village of Hochensee.
The initial mission of the French and British Paras on the Combined Joint Task Force (CJTF) deployment is to secure an airstrip, occupied by paramilitaries from the Hanseatic Legion, to allow the main multinational force to land and undertake a Non-combatant Evacuation Operation (NEO).On their cross-country tab to the airstrip the Paras crossed the Nils River by way of a minor road bridge seized and held by advance elements of the US 173rd Airborne Brigade. Today the bulk of the Italian-based US Paras are scheduled to fly in along with their heavy equipment and Dutch elements of 11th Airmobile Manoeuvre Brigade will establish a Forward Arming and Refueling Point on a municipal airfield round 50 kilometres away from the main exercise area at JMRC Hohenfels.
C&S was on TORQUE Drop Zone yesterday to catch the initial wave of Paratroopers, then followed them down to the river crossing at Emhof where the bulk of 2 PARA conducted a Passage of Lines through US troops guarding the bridge. We will bring a full report of Exercise SWIFT RESPONSE 17-2 in a future issue of COMBAT & SURVIVAL Magazine.