The 37th Airlift Squadron completed an airfield seizure during exercise Carpathian Spring May 18 in Romania.
The exercise allowed the 37th AS to fly Romanian airmen to be dropped over an enemy-controlled airfield.
According to Capt. Ryan Heary, 37th AS pilot, the exercise was successful for both participating parties.
“We successfully dropped over 150 Romanians during the airfield seizure,” Heary said. “The exercise went smoothly despite the uncooperative weather. Our pilots and loadmasters did very well, and the Romanian airmen were able to complete their jumps.”
The airfield seizure was a vital part of Carpathian Spring, an exercise that serves as an opportunity for the U.S. and Romania to share their commitment to promote peace and stability while seeking opportunities to develop their relationship.
According to Heary, valuable lessons were learned that will help shape future training events with the Romanians.
“Our pilots learned more about these sort of exercises while our loadmasters definitely gained experience in dropping so many foreign paratroopers,” Heary said. “I’m hoping that, with the ideas and knowledge we’ve gained throughout this exercise, we can take these lessons and apply them to our future operations.”
One of the pilots during the exercise, Capt. Justin Schmidt, 37th AS, valued the opportunity to work alongside other militaries.
“My co-pilot, 1st Lt. Christopher Comtois, and I took a lot in during the exercise,” Schmidt said. “Flying in a formation of three planes and watching all the Romanians we were carrying land on target was satisfying.”
The airfield seizure served as the biggest event during the exercise and exemplified the strengthening interoperability that the U.S. and its allies are developing to help maintain security while building partnership capacities.