Military News

Monday, July 28, 2014

Air Guard drop 82nd Airborne, French Foreign Legion paratroopers in France

by Lt. Col. David Simons
165th Airlift Wing Public Affairs

7/24/2014 - CORSICA, France -- Air National Guard Airmen from the 165th Airlift Wing, Georgia ANG, and 152nd AW, Nevada ANG, linked up here recently to support American and French paratroopers who participated in historical reenactment jumps in memory of D-Day.

The Airmen supported a week of airborne operations including routes and drop zones used seventy years ago in Northern France in preparation for the 70th anniversary of D-Day ceremonies.

Crews from the 165th AW flew two Air Force C-130H Hercules aircraft along with more than thirty Air National Guard pilots, navigators, and maintainers to support the joint airborne operation. Prior to arriving in France, the team stopped at Fort Bragg, North Carolina, the "Home of the Airborne," to pick up parachutes, weapons, and other equipment needed by the U.S. Army's 82nd Airborne Division. Upon arriving here the Guardsmen stayed at a French version of one of the four Air National Guard Combat Readiness Training Centers while performing numerous airdrops with paratroopers from the 82nd Airborne and French Foreign Legion.

This was a great experience because "we" should not forget the sacrifices made by the "Greatest Generation" to free Europe, said Force Lt. Col. Don Pallone, 165th AW vice air commander. And during the D-Day memorial week it's important to remember our nation is one of defense and not a nation that conquers.

After completing the missions over Corsica, the 165th AW made several airborne drops working with a group of more than nine-hundred international military airborne troops for the big festivities that took place June 8.

More than seventy years ago, U.S., British, French and other allied soldiers prepared for the historic landings in Normandy, France. The carefully planned invasion signaled the beginning of the final battles of WWII and eventually led to the downfall of Nazi Germany and the rebuilding of Europe. Today, Germany, France, and Britain, are three of our closest allies.

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