The morning of May 12, Spc. Clint Kindlesparker woke up about 5,000 miles away from where he grew up in Garretsville, Ohio. His job demanded it.
Kindlesparker, a U.S. Army Parachute Rigger with the 5th Quartermaster Theater Aerial Deliver Company, 16th Special Troops Battalion, 16th Sustainment Brigade, was participating in Swift Response 21 — a DEFENDER-Europe 21-linked exercise. It is one of the premier military crisis response training events for multinational airborne forces in the world.
During the May 12 exercise, the 143rd Airlift Wing airdropped supply pallets and equipment from C130 and C17 aircraft at Kenyeri Airfield, Hungary. The exercise demonstrated U.S. and Allied capability to set the theater and enable the rapid build of combat power.
“As an aerial delivery specialist I help rig up the loads and make sure they are good to go and everything is done correctly,” said Kindlesparker. “I make sure the parachutes are good to go,” he added. Service members also jumped during the exercise.
Swift Response 21 is designed to validate U.S. European Command’s ability to send high readiness forces into a designated area while advancing airborne interoperability among NATO allies. This year, multinational participation in Swift Response 21 involves more than 7,000 troops from 11 countries.
Kindlesparker, who enlisted in the Army with his family’s full support in 2019, is pleased to be among them.
“I love being able to travel,” he said. “Getting to see different places. Being able to do things I never thought I would. For instance, I’m over here in Europe right now and two years ago I never would have guessed I would be here. I’m glad I made the choice to join.”
Kindlesparker looks forward to working with service members from other countries, building understanding and relationships with Allies and Partners.
“I think it’s going to be a great experience and I can’t wait,” he said.
He and other Service Members will have opportunities during DEFENDER-Europe 21, taking place through June. The large-scale U.S. Army-led exercise is designed to build readiness and interoperability between the U.S., NATO allies and partner militaries. This year, more than 28,000 multinational forces from 26 nations will conduct nearly simultaneous operations across more than 30 training areas in more than a dozen countries.