U.S. service members united with their allied counterparts from 14 different countries as they participated in International Jump Week 2018 from May 21 to 25 over the skies of Germany.
The purpose of the exercise is to strengthen international relations by working together to standardize techniques, tactics, and procedures for service members when jumping out of aircraft.
In total, U.S. Air Force pilots accumulated 29 hours of flying time between five separate aircraft throughout this iteration of International Jump Week. Divided among the five aircraft, 240 U.S. and allied paratroopers gained jump experience in the weeklong event.
Service members experienced unfavorable weather throughout the week, but it never prevented the military personnel from dropping.
Polish army Cpl. Bartek Zanik, paratrooper, jumped three times over the course of the week and said the week-long event was a positive experience.
“We have six paratroopers from Poland participating in International Jump Week,” said Zanik. “It was very good. It helped with (international) relationships because every country that participated like U.S.A., Poland, Germany, Netherlands, and Estonia can all come together to make things better.”
U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Triberious Calhoun, paratrooper, shared similar sentiments as Zanik.
“International Jump Week? It was awesome,” said Calhoun. “You know, you get to change wings and see how other foreign countries operate, how their jumpmasters do things, and then we can compare our procedures to theirs. We learn something from them, and they can learn something from us. (International Jump Week) builds a strong bond with foreign countries and allows us to make sure we’re all doing the right job and abiding by the required standards for airborne operation.”
The success of this iteration of International Jump Week wouldn’t have been possible without the instrumental event coordinators: the 37th Airlift Squadron and the 435th Contingency Response Group.
The 37th AS is part of the 86th Airlift Wing on Ramstein. It operates the C-130J Super Hercules aircraft providing theater airlift. The 37th AS C-130Js were used during this week-long event.
The 435th CRG deploys expeditionary airfields on demand, integrates airpower into the joint fight, provides joint, multi-theater operational support and sustainment, and in the case of International Jump Week, builds partnership capacity and delivers premier expeditionary training.
The efforts made by U.S. and allied military personnel resulted in learning opportunities for all countries involved in International Jump Week and allowed each respective airborne operation to become more efficient in their mission accomplishment.