German officer reminisces on Operation Toy Drop

By Sgt. Nicole PaeseDecember 8, 2015

German officer reminisces on Operation Toy Drop
German Army Maj. Daniel Labusch participates in an interview at Fort Bragg, N.C., Dec. 1, 2015. Labusch is at Fort Bragg in support of the 18th Annual Randy Oler Memorial Operation Toy Drop. Operation Toy Drop is the world's largest combined airborne... (Photo Credit: U.S. Army) VIEW ORIGINAL

FORT BRAGG, N.C. - "No fear, just respect."

After approximately 600 freefall jumps and 180 static line jumps, German Army Maj. Daniel Labusch doesn't get nervous anymore.

At the age of six, he set a goal to become a paratrooper. "Twelve years later I made my first jump."

When Labusch was little, there was a military post near his house. Every Tuesday he enjoyed watching the airborne soldiers jumping out of the aircraft.

"That was a reason as to why I joined the military," he said.

Labusch has served for nearly 17 years, the entirety of those years served in an airborne unit.

Here participating for the third time in Operation Toy Drop hosted by the U.S. Army Civil Affairs & Psychological Operations Command (Airborne). He is serving as a jumpmaster for U.S. paratroopers from the Army's Active and Reserve components.

This December jump made Labusch remember his first jump.

"It was the sixth of December '99. It was a very cold day, the night before we had snow," as he recalled.

Due to the weather Labusch thought he and his fellow soldiers would have their first jump later in the day yet the CH-53 aircraft arrived early in the morning and before he knew it he was in the air.

"When I checked the canopy and looked around me I saw the Alps in front of me, it was a blue sunny day, the peaks were covered with snow, it was wonderful," Labusch said.

With all of his experiences throughout the years he has passed knowledge on to younger soldiers.

"Every jump is different," he said. His advice to new soldiers is simply, "feet and knees together, that keeps you safe, slow down and enjoy it."

Labusch said he likes to be the last one to jump so that he can take his time and enjoy the descent.

"Up there you feel free," Labusch said about why he still enjoys being a paratrooper and plans to keep jumping for the rest of his military career.