ADAZI MILITARY BASE, Latvia -- Paratroopers from the 173rd Airborne Brigade, headquartered out of Vicenza, Italy, conducted airborne operations in Adazi, Latvia, July 1-2.
Utilizing UH-60 Black Hawks from the 3rd Combat Aviation Brigade, 3rd Infantry Division out of Hunter Army Airfield, Ga., 'Sky Soldiers' were given the chance to train and keep their airborne statuses up-to-date.
"The opportunity to work with Army aviation assets helps build our operational capacity, expands our knowledge and experience, and strengthens relationships across the board," said Capt. Will Ryan, plans officer for the 1st Battalion, 503rd Infantry Regiment, 173rd Airborne Brigade.
Sgt. 1st Class Corey Thomas, a jumpmaster with the 'First Rock' Battalion said that while airborne operations are typically conducted using fixed-wing aircraft, using rotary wing allows the unit to become more proficient; helping reinforce their partnerships."
"Being 'airborne' is a culture and a lifestyle," said Thomas, a Tatum, S.C., native. "To be proficient in that lifestyle means being very meticulous at everything we do. But here, we are doing more than just hitting training objectives and showing our capabilities."
The 173rd Airborne Brigade, who was the first unit to deploy to Poland and the Baltic States in support of Operation Atlantic Resolve back in 2014, used the event as a way to show better resolve and support for their Baltic allies.
"Being a Europe-based unit gives the Sky Soldiers better opportunities to work alongside our Baltic allies," said Ryan, a Bloomfield Village, Mich., native. "Coming back here and building upon something that was established during our last rotation shows continued support and enables us to achieve more in a shorter amount to time."
Soldiers from the 173rd Airborne Brigade and 3rd CAB are currently deployed throughout Europe as part of Operation Atlantic Resolve, an ongoing, multinational partnership focused on joint training and security cooperation between the U.S. and other NATO allies.
Visit the Operation Atlantic Resolve website for up-to-date photos and information.