U.S. Paratroopers assigned to the 82nd Airborne Division and British paratroopers assigned to the 2nd Parachute Regiment are pictured above being loaded into U.S. Air Force C-17 Globemaster aircraft.
In the early hours of Saturday the 8th of May, the joint force of British and American paratroopers jumped into Estonia from an American C-17 flying from the United States.
British soldiers made two jumps stateside with the 82nd before loading on C-17’s from Fort Bragg to participate in the Joint Forcible Entry earlier this week in Estonia, making three jumps total and earning their U.S. jump wings.
Also involved in the exercise were paratroopers with the Polish 6th Airborne Brigade, Dutch 11th Air Assault Brigade and Romanian 495th Parachute Battalion.
The U.S. Army say that the activity is being conducted in preparation for Swift Response, a Defender Europe linked exercise involving Paratroopers from 10 NATO nations.
Swift Response 21 is designed to enhance the ability of NATO to “leverage multinational cooperation to insert ground forces rapidly, and appropriately respond to a potential crisis anywhere in the world”.
Maj. Gen. Joe Jarrard, Deputy Commanding General, U.S. Army Europe and Africa, was quoted as saying:
“Conducting military movements across European borders is key to the readiness of our NATO allies and partners. Swift Response is a multinational exercise that stresses systems and proceedings between partners and allies to test multi-domain capabilities.
The objectives of this exercise integrate Army airborne and land operations with joint air support and special operations against an opposing enemy force.”
Swift Response 21 took place in Romania, Estonia and Bulgaria encompassing over 7,000 paratroopers from ten different nations.
The near-simultaneous joint forcible entry operation ended in Romania on a “sunny cloudless day”, add the U.S. Army.
“The clear blue sky was decorated with parachutes and aircraft from five different partner and allied countries. The synchronized effort was an apparent display of NATO’s interoperable capabilities.”
Swift Response is the first of a series of exercises associated with ‘DEFENDER Europe 21’, itself a large-scale US Army-led exercise designed to build readiness and interoperability between the US, NATO allies and partner militaries.