GRAFENWOEHR, Germany -- Paratroopers from 4th Battalion, 319th Field Artillery Regiment (Airborne), 173rd Airborne Brigade, conducted over 200 airborne proficiency jumps from two UH-60L Black Hawk helicopters from 3rd Battalion 227th Aviation Regiment, Task Force Spearhead, here, Feb. 18, 2016, at Bunker drop-zone Grafenwoehr, Germany.
Army Paratroopers maintain airborne proficiency through routine static line parachute operations. Army regulations require airborne soldiers to jump at least once a quarter to remain on jump status and qualify for jump pay.
The UH-60L Black Hawks from 3rd Battalion 227th Aviation Regiment, jump also provided an opportunity for 4th Battalion, 319th Field Artillery Regiment, jumpmasters to certify their jumpmasters on the UH-60L. They met their primary training objective and over 200 paratroopers are now trained and proficient in airborne operations for the first quarter of 2016.
"It's a rare opportunity to jump from a UH-60 Black Hawk and something I've looked forward to," said Capt. Luke Hudspeth, the company commander for Bravo Company 4th Battalion, 319th Field Artillery Regiment. "You can really enjoy the view before you exit the aircraft."
The UH-60L Black Hawk was also used as the reenlistment platform and the last jump for Sgt. Donald Greathouse, a 13B Howitzer Section Chief, with Bravo Company 4th Battalion, 319th Field Artillery Regiment. Sgt. Greathouse had yet to jump from a Black Hawk during his eight years as a paratrooper. His reenlistment helped to arrange the request for training.
Two Bundeswehr Soldiers from 2nd Panzergrenadierbatallion 122 also earned their Army Parachutest badge during the jumps.
The Soldiers from 34th Battalion, 319th Field Artillery Regiment, and some 25 Black Hawk helicopters are here on a rotational basis and are part of the U.S. Army's commitment to the European theater to ensure Army Europe has the right capability to meet training and operational requirements.
This rotation is consistent with the Army's Regionally Allocated Forces concept, aligning units to support theater requirements. Regional alignment is also synchronized with the Army's new operational concept of winning in a complex world.
Since April, 2015, U.S. Army Europe has conducted continuous, enhanced multinational training and security cooperation activities with allies and partners in Europe. Currently, Operation Atlantic Resolve's enhanced land force training and security cooperation activities are taking place in Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Romania and Bulgaria.