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
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.