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    Sky Soldiers lead multinational airborne operation with Ukrainian and Polish Land Forces

    Sky Soldiers Jump

    Photo By Staff Sgt. John Yountz | U.S. Army paratroopers assigned to 1st Battalion, 503rd Parachute Infantry Regiment...... read more read more

    Facing open jump doors at 1,200 feet in a C-130 aircraft, lines of foreign paratroopers listened for U.S. Army Sky Soldiers’ time warnings and jump commands while passing clouds over Ukraine.

    A communal and brisk airborne spirit carried through the aircraft from the faces of Ukrainian and Polish Land Forces soldiers to U.S. Soldiers of 1st Battalion, 503rd Parachute Infantry Regiment, 173rd Airborne Brigade Combat Team, 173rd Airborne Brigade (Sky Soldiers) until the foreign jumpers exited in a synchronized file at the U.S. jumpaster’s command, “Go, go, go.”

    This is the way of interoperability— integrated, multinational exercises designed to increase the readiness and lethality of combat-credible forces.

    About 160 paratroopers completed the multinational airborne operation as part of Rapid Trident 2021, an annual Ukrainian-American training exercise, at the International Peacekeeping and Security Center near Yavoriv, Ukraine Sept. 25, 2021.

    “You came together successfully in this multinational, joint airborne operational process and showed that we can support each other both in the sky and on the ground,” said Ukrainian Brig. Gen. Vladyslav Klochkov, co-director of Rapid Trident 21 from the Ukrainian Land Forces, to a formation of U.S., Polish and Ukrainian paratroopers.

    Rapid Trident 21 links allied and partner service members from 15 nations with about 300 U.S. Soldiers working tactically alongside 6,000 multinational troops for the exercise under the banner of Partnership for Peace (PfP), a cooperative program for NATO and Euro-Atlantic partner countries.

    “U.S. Soldiers put their heart into organizing training and instructing us on equipment new to us and procedures to handle that new equipment,” said Polish Land Forces 2nd Lt. Kempski, Reconnaissance Company commander with the 25th Air Recovery Brigade out of Tomaszów Mazowiecki, Poland. “Everything went really smoothly, and the joint jump conducted with a strong Europe and a strong United States makes me feel secure in our partnership.”

    The Ukrainian and Polish paratroopers used T-11 parachutes that the 173rd provided, and the 173rd put the foreign jumpers through the same certifications that U.S. troops go through to ensure maximum safety for the jumpers.

    “Organizing the jump proved that even though our countries speak different languages, we can learn from other countries, who are trained differently, one common way of performing the jump, which proved to be the safest way because there were no injuries,,” Kempski said.

    This jump was the first-ever international joint airborne operation for Reconnaissance Company, Kempski said.

    Polish and Ukrainian paratroopers earned foreign jump wings because the jumpmasters were U.S. Army, and 173rd personnel presented the wings to individuals at a ceremony Sept. 30 with a handshake and a salute.

    The 173rd Airborne Brigade (Sky Soldiers) is the U.S. Army's Contingency Response Force in Europe, providing rapid forces to the United States European, Africa and Central Commands areas of responsibilities. Forward-based in Italy and Germany, the Brigade routinely trains alongside NATO allies and partners to build interoperability and strengthen the alliance.

    The jump highlights NATO’s ability to leverage multinational cooperation and insert ground forces both rapidly and appropriately in response to a potential crisis anywhere in the world.



    Date Taken: 09.30.2021
    Date Posted: 09.30.2021 07:44
    Story ID: 406381
    Location: YAVORIV, UA

    Web Views: 848
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