A CV-22 Osprey assigned to the 7th Special Operations Squadron at Royal Air Force Mildenhall, England, landed June 6 at Ramstein.
The aircraft and its crew stopped on the way back to Mildenhall after participating in the D-Day remembrance airdrops in Normandy, France.
“It was a solemn experience, and all (who) were involved clearly understood the significance of the events that took place on June 6, 1944,” said Capt. Ryan Andreasen, 7th SOS CV-22 instructor pilot. “We dropped a mixture of U.S. Army, Navy, Air Force and French special operations personnel who were performing military free-fall jumps over Normandy in remembrance of D-Day.”
Andreasen said their time in Normandy was a chance to sharpen their operational skills and enhance their ability to cooperate with other units during missions.
“Military free fall is one of the methods we use in order to employ special operations forces,” Andreasen said. “The remembrance airdrops gave us the opportunity to exercise our ability to perform with the same special operations forces that we work with on a regular basis.”
In addition to taking part in the airdrops, the crew picked up several 7th SOS members coming home from deployment.
“On our return flight from France, we had the opportunity to stop by Ramstein Air Base to pick up some of our squadron mates who were returning from a contingency deployment,” Andreasen said. “It was great to see our brothers in arms return safely to their homes and family members.”
Maj. Seth Cannon, 352nd Special Operations Wing deputy of wing plans and deployed team member, said he was looking forward to coming home after their mission.
“We were supporting (security operations of the United States and its allies),” Cannon said. “We had a very successful deployment, everybody really performed well.
“After a few months of being (deployed), it’ll be nice getting back with friends and family. It’s nice of our unit to send an aircraft to come get us,” Cannon continued.
Cannon said the knowledge he and his teammates acquired during the deployment will benefit the 7th SOS in the future.
“We’re taking our experiences downrange back to our squadron,” Cannon said. “They’ll certainly be utilized to enhance our local training.”
Even though Andreasen, Cannon and their respective teams performed different missions in separate locations, they both return to Mildenhall with knowledge and experiences they believe will help make the 7th SOS a stronger and more effective warfighting unit.