Preparation underway for Jump Week 2011

by Senior Airman Katherine Holt
86th Airlift Wing Public Affairs

Preparation is underway for Jump Week 2011 as the 435th Air Ground Operations Wing prepares for the arrival of more than 250 static line parachutists plus some high altitude, low opening parachutists Sunday.

Jump Week, scheduled to take place Monday to Wednesday, involves eight countries and more than six mission partners, including the 4th Angelico Marine Corp. Unit, West Palm Beach, Fla. It encompasses three days of parachuting out of the back of military aircraft and guiding their chutes toward a small bunker drop zone in Southwestern Germany.

“A lot of moving pieces go into planning Jump Week,” said Staff Sgt. Myron Austin, 435th Security Forces Squadron airborne coordinator. “The result will be so much greater than the work that was put into planning it.”

Invitations to Jump Week are sent out to all ally countries and any jump qualified units in the U.S. This year, for the first time, all Air Force contingency response groups with jump-qualified members will be here.

“Bringing together all of the Air Force CRGs and sister services is so important,” Austin said. “It gives these units an opportunity to train with our international partners.”

During Jump Week, service members will get a chance to jump under the command of foreign jumpmasters and foreign nations will get the opportunity to jump from U.S. aircraft, such as two C-130J Super Hercules aircraft stationed with the 37th Airlift Squadron, a C-130 Hercules stationed at Peterson Air Force Base, Colo., and a C-17 Globemaster III from Papa, Hungary.

“Working with our international partners is always beneficial,” said Capt. Edward Montgomery, 37th AS C-130J current operations. “Jump Week gives us an opportunity to work with countries that we usually don’t work with on a day-to-day basis.”

Without the AS and the 5th Quarter Masters Kaiserslautern Detachment, Jump Week would not be.

“We can’t function without them,” Austin said. “Without the aircraft and the parachutes there is nothing.”

Coordination for Jump Week 2011 began months ago, and the final planning phase was completed this week.

“It is not about earning wings from other countries,” Austin said, “it is about building partnerships and coming together as one team.”