British paratroopers have jumped with British parachutes from a US Air Force aircraft for the first time, developing the ability of British and American airborne forces to operate together.
Exercise Pegasus Eagle has seen a C-130J Hercules from USAF’s 37th Airlift Squadron fly into RAF Brize Norton from its base at Ramstein in Germany for a week of joint training. US jumpmasters and RAF Parachute Jump Instructors have agreed common procedures and then soldiers from 16 Air Assault Brigade have parachuted from the aircraft under British LLP canopies.
The work is about developing the ability of British and American airborne forces, which are trained and ready to deploy on operations together, to mix and share resources, say the Ministry of Defence.
British paratroopers have earned their US parachute wings by jumping under US T-11 canopies from US aircraft, and US soldiers have earned British parachute wings jumping LLP from RAF aircraft, but this is the first time that the nationality of parachutes and aircraft have been mixed.
Being able to use each other’s equipment and mix and share resources makes the partnership more capable and flexible, added the Ministry of Defence.