PABRADE TRAINING AREA, Lithuania (Nov. 14, 2015) -- U.S. Army paratroopers, assigned to the 1st Battalion, 503rd Infantry Regiment, 173rd Airborne Brigade, along with Lithuanian Land Forces soldiers, from the King Mindaugas Hussar Battalion, executed airborne operations during Exercise Iron Sword here, Nov. 14.
Iron Sword kicked off Nov. 8, and continues through Nov. 20, involving more than 2,000 Soldiers, from Canada, the Czech Republic, Georgia, Germany, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, United Kingdom and the United States. The exercise marks the first time U.S. paratroopers have jumped from a Lithuanian Alenia C-27J Spartan fixed wing aircraft, which is also one of three of the Lithuanian president's aircrafts.
Platoon S, 1-503rd Infantry (A), alongside the Lithuanian Recce Platoon attachments, conducted static airborne training at Siaulaiu Airfield, before loading the C-27J. Both elements conducted a night airborne insertion to Pabrade drop zone. Once assembled on the drop zone, they initiated a movement to their battle positions, where they demonstrated their proficiency in reconnaissance.
The 173rd Airborne Brigade, based in Vicenza, Italy, is the U.S. Army Contingency Response Force in Europe, capable of projecting forces to conduct the full range of military operations across the U.S. European, Central and Africa Commands' areas of responsibility.