British, German & American Soldiers Take to the Skies Together

Airborne soldiers from three countries jumped together to earn each others’ parachute wings.

Ex PEGASUS REPLY, hosted by Woodbridge-based 9 Parachute Squadron Royal Engineers, saw British, German and American soldiers join forces for two parachute jumps and to share experiences and working practices.

This was the third in a series of similar multi-national exercises, with Luftlandepionerkompanie 270 (Lpk 270) hosting the previous two at their base in Northern Germany. American soldiers from 321 Special Tactics Squadron USAF (321 STS), based at RAF Mildenhall, Suffolk, also took part.

The soldiers dropped onto the STANTA training area in Norfolk, with soldiers jumping from a British C-130J Hercules aircraft and from an American MC-130H Combat Talon II.

British and German soldiers thereby earned their American parachute wings, and the German and American soldiers earned their British parachute wings.

Major John Clark MBE, Officer Commanding 9 Para Sqn RE, said: “The multinational aspect is very important to military operations nowadays and we have strong links to our US, German and French counterparts. For my squadron, just back from Afghanistan, this is about refreshing our parachute skills as 16 Air Assault Brigade moves back to the contingency role. Our junior sappers will go away with a renewed sense of confidence and will feel better trained and prepared.’’

Oberleutnant Jan Gulden, of Lpk 270, said: “We are here to strengthen the partnership that has grown between our units. This exercise is a great chance to share information and earn each others’ parachute wings. My company’s role is exactly the same as 9 Para Sqn RE, but we all have different ways of doing the same job and it is worthwhile to learn each other’s methods.”

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