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.

A British Paratrooper exits an American C-130J Hercules.

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.

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Cam

Shame this is another UK company’s (LLP maker) no longer UK owned, or rather it’s owned by an American conglomerate Since 2013… Atleast they do still make stuff in Wales but for how long before profits mean everything..

Andy

What’s more important.. jobs or profits?

JohnG

Wonder what the driver behind this was. Any real strategic capability driver behind it? Or simply a small scale one off done out of curiosity or to further some other political goal? To be frank, I cannot see much benefit to the US from this other than some small political win e.g demonstrating to the rest of the world that they do still have allies. I would imagine this was UK driven.

Airborne

On the contrary, it’s quite a regular thing, however the story here is the use of both types of parachutes, the T10 and the LLP on the same occasion. Done shed loads of US lobs from US aircraft, no different than RAF cross training, RN training in the Baltics with NATO forces etc. It’s all about interoperability and seeing each others SOPs. But always better whn we get to go to Bragg in NC.

Andy

Could be political. China related? Showing how easily a US-UK force can integrate for island airborne assault.

JohnG

Yes my thoughts too Andy.

JohnG

UK benefits by showing how close we are to US, US benefits by showing what a good world leader they are (or some such tripe) that they have allies so closely aligned with them. I suppose in a nutshell you could call it a show of combined strength to adversaries such as China, I guess if that’s the case the actual operational usefulness of it is irrelevant, it would be more the point of showing what we can do together. And posturing aside, I understand how from a general’s point of view there is no harm in having this interoperability,… Read more »

David

Why don’t they use the ramp door? is there a performance hit for the Hercules?

Helions

You can jump far fewer troops off the ramp (though it’s the Cadillac of jumps) then through the troop doors on a single pass.

Cheers

Daniele Mandelli

I think only Free Fall from SF and Pathfinders used the ramp.

Airborne

Rear damp is reserved for free fall parachute or static line squares into the sea. On a normal jump, with LLP, the rear ramp will have the “wedge” which is a palletized load of ammo or stores. These go on the red, and the lads go side doors on green. On static line dope ropes, the use of the side doors is to allow simulated sticks, both port and starboard sticks, to exit each side, at a supposed half second interval in an attempt to reduce collisions and Air steals (it doesn’t but it’s at least that’s the idea). Cheers.

Airborne

Rear damp…..shit thinking of my shed! Rear ramp, as you are all aware, is what I meant.

David

Thanks!

Rob

Anyone know why the US Hercules has 1944 invasion stripes? Maybe for the D Day anniversary?

David Barry

I would have thought this might increase interoperability and allow PARA to reduce their need for Herc… which could be retired earlier, however, maintaining the ability of PARA to project power.

Should Royal be taking a hit in numbers already, with COVID looming over the budget the RAF could lose their C130s but PARA could retort, ”Sure, we can jump from American 130s and develop our ability with A400, you still need us, and the Americans still want us.”