FORT BRAGG, N.C. - The Fort Bragg and Fayetteville community celebrated National Airborne Day at the Airborne and Special Operations Museum Saturday, honoring the 71st anniversary of the first successful parachute jump and the accomplishments of the American paratrooper.

Festivities at the museum kicked off around 10 a.m. with a free-fall parachute demonstration conducted by members of the 82nd Airborne Division's All American Freefall Team, the U.S. Army Parachute Team, the Golden Knights and the Black Daggers of the U.S. Army Special Operations Command.

After comments by the deputy commanding general of XVIII Airborne Corps and Fort Bragg, Maj. Gen. Rodney Anderson and the mayor of Fayetteville, Anthony G. Chavonne, a wreath was laid in honor of all airborne and special operations Soldiers.

Paratroopers from airborne units stationed at Fort Bragg manned displays throughout the ASOM showcasing equipment and weapons for visitors to see and even touch.

Special operations Soldiers helped the curious learn about the specialty equipment they use to enhance their capabilities while in the field.

Pfc. Moses Villanova of 2nd Platoon, Company B, 2nd Battalion, 505th Parachute Infantry Regiment, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 82nd Abn. Div., felt it was a good morale booster to be taking part of the National Airborne Day celebration.

Villanova was part of a fully-equipped, infantry squad present outside the museum that helped visitors understand some of the technology today's paratrooper uses on the battlefield.
Staff Sgt. Sean Kosiba and his fellow artillerymen of Battery A, 1st Battalion, 321st Airborne Field Artillery Regiment, 18th Fires Brigade, were busy all morning helping young visitors work some of the features on an M777 howitzer.

Kosiba greeted visitors to the station with a smile and helped everyone understand why the massive artillery piece, which shakes nearby homes when fired on a Fort Bragg range, is important in today's military operations.

Second Lt. Robert Gallimore of the 274th Forward Surgical Team, 44th Medical Brigade, spent his morning surrounded by medics, a litter, surgical supplies and curious visitors.

Gallimore took the time with each visitor to explain how medical assets like the tent and medical station he was in could be parachuted onto the battlefield to help them understand how care can be provided to the wounded on the battlefield quickly.

National Airborne Day is celebrated throughout airborne communities in the United States Army.
None of them has a facility like the Airborne and Special Operations Museum, an ideal location to celebrate the heritage of the American paratrooper and special operations community.

"The ASOM was founded for the sole purpose of honoring our airborne and special operations Soldiers " airborne and special operations pioneers such as General Bill Yarborough, who designed our jump wings and played major roles in the design and development of the museum," said retired Gen. James J. Lindsay, a former commander of both the XVIII Abn. Corps and 82nd Abn. Div., in an email about the celebration.

Lindsay now serves as the current chairman of the board of the Airborne and Special Operations Museum Foundation.

"If you look at the first unit monument in front of the museum, you will note that it honors the test platoon that made that first jump. Incidentally, the museum opened on National Airborne Day 11 years ago," he wrote.

Page last updated Fri August 19th, 2011 at 00:00