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Joint Airborne Operation Takes to the Skies

  • Published
  • By Tech. Sgt. Sydney Knizekewich
  • Pope Army Airfield Public Affairs

The rotors of a UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter caused dry grass to swirl in the air as a joint airdrop operation commenced on Sicily Drop Zone at Fort Bragg (now Fort Liberty) on Sept. 27, 2022.

A wide variety of participants were involved in the operation - Joint Terminal Attack Controllers from the 93d Air Ground Operations Wing (a U.S. Air Force unit) and the 7th Parachute Regiment Royal Horse Artillery (a U.K. Royal Air Force unit), were joined by U.S. Army personnel from the 44th Medical Brigade and the 647th Quartermaster Company.

Beginning with three High Altitude, Low Open (HALO) parachute jumpers dropping from an altitude of 12,000 feet, the Black Hawk then proceeded to execute a series of air lifts to drop 50 static line jumpers from a low altitude directly over the drop zone.

The 14th Air Support Operations Squadron, located at Pope Army Airfield under the 18th Air Support Operations Group, was the lead organization in coordinating the event. The parachutes were provided by the 647th Quartermaster Company, and the helicopter was flown by pilots from the 2-135th General Support Aviation Battalion from neighboring Simmons Army Airfield.