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Foreign Legion & US Airborne Heavy Drop

French Pathfinders precision landing at JMRC on Day X2 of SWIFT RESPONSE 17-2 [US Army: Sgt. Charles M. Bailey]

On Day 2 (i.e. X2) of the multinational Joint Forcible Entry airborne operation, in and around the Joint Multinational Readiness Center at Hohenfels in Bavaria, American and French vehicles were delivered by heavy drop.

Prior to the US Air Force and French Armée de l’air delivering a mix of Hum-vees and VBL scout cars plus resupply ammunition, by C-17 Globemaster III and C-160 Transall respectively, French Pathfinders from 11e Brigade Parachutiste inserted from high altitude.

Clockwise sequence showing two heavy loads being dropped by a C-17 over JMRC [© Bob Morrison]

Clockwise sequence showing two heavy loads being dropped by a C-17 over JMRC [© Bob Morrison]

Unfortunately worsening weather conditions at low level and peacetime safety restrictions curtailed the follow-on mass parachute drop by several hundred US, Italian, Polish and Spanish airborne troops who were airlanded at the nearest US military airport instead; no doubt much to the displeasure of those who had flown in jump rig all the way from the 173rd Airborne Brigade base in Italy. C&S was on Hohenberg DZ to witness and photographically document the heavy drop, but frustratingly we had to watch the first wave of troop-carrying aircraft overfly through occasional gaps as the rain clouds closed in.

Your reporter could not remain any longer in the Bavarian exercise area, as the next issue of the magazine needs to be ready for the printers before our upcoming trip to join one of the NATO eFP battlegroups in the field, but US Army photographers from the JMRC are already  filling in the gaps for us. If all goes to plan you should be able to read much more about SWIFT RESPONSE 17-2 in Combat & Survival Magazine in a couple of months.

French airborne logistics personnel de-rig a VBL scout car just delivered by C-160 Transall [U.S. Army: Gertrud Zach]

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