GRAFENWÖHR, Germany (Aug. 6, 2015) -- Paratroopers from 11 NATO nations will conduct a massive airborne combined joint forcible entry operation across four European nations during the U.S. Army-led Exercise Swift Response 15, Aug. 17-Sept. 13.
Swift Response 15 is the largest combined airborne training on the continent since the end of the Cold War. It's designed to integrate multiple Allied nations' high-readiness forces to operate as a cohesive team and demonstrate the Alliance's capacity to rapidly deploy and operate in support of maintaining a strong and secure Europe.
The exercise will take place in Germany, Romania, Bulgaria and Italy; and will include more than 4,800 Soldiers from Bulgaria, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, the Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Spain, the United Kingdom and the United States.
Swift Response 15 will include simultaneous airborne joint forced entries in to Germany's Hohenfels Training Area and Bulgaria's Novo Selo Training Area with follow-on training at both locations. The exercise will conclude in early September with multinational platoon and company live fire at the Grafenwöhr Training Area.
The U.S. contingent will be led by headquarters elements from the Army's XVIII Airborne Corps and the 4th Infantry Division Mission Command Element, and will include the Europe-based 173rd Airborne Brigade, and the U.S.-based 1st Brigade, 82nd Airborne Division.
Swift Response 15 marks the first time the 82nd Airborne Division has operated in Europe since supporting NATO operations in Kosovo in 1999. The 1st Brigade, 82nd Airborne will assume responsibilities as the Army's Global Response Force (GRF) from the 2nd Brigade, 82nd Airborne at the end of the year, with the mission of being able to deploy anywhere in the world within 96 hours of notification.