Sky Soldiers, French Paratroopers conduct combined airborne operation into Frida Drop Zone
1 / 3 Show Caption + Hide Caption – U.S. Army paratrooper Pfc. Justin Albert, assigned to the 173rd Airborne Brigade, pins the American Parachutist Badge on a French paratrooper, March 15, 2016, as part of the wing exchange following the successful completion of a combined airborne ope... (Photo Credit: U.S. Army) VIEW ORIGINAL
Sky Soldiers, French Paratroopers conduct combined airborne operation into Frida Drop Zone
2 / 3 Show Caption + Hide Caption – U.S. Army paratroopers from the 173rd Airborne Brigade alongside NATO allies from the French 11th Parachutist Brigade's 35th Parachutist Artillery Regiment, conduct a joint airborne operation, March 15, 2016, on Frida Drop Zone in Aviano, Italy. 173r... (Photo Credit: U.S. Army) VIEW ORIGINAL
Sky Soldiers, French Paratroopers conduct combined airborne operation into Frida Drop Zone
3 / 3 Show Caption + Hide Caption – U.S. Army paratrooper Sgt. 1st Class Cesar Ruiz, assigned to the 173rd Airborne Brigade, pins the American Parachutist Badge on a French paratrooper, Mar. 15, 2016, as part of the wing exchange following the successful completion of a combined airbor... (Photo Credit: U.S. Army) VIEW ORIGINAL

PORDENONE, Italy - Paratroopers from the 54th Brigade Engineer Battalion (Airborne), 173rd Airborne Brigade and the French 35th Parachute Artillery Regiment (RAP), 11th Parachutist Brigade conducted a combined airborne operation into Frida Drop Zone, here, March 15, 2016.

Paratroopers from the French 35th RAP arrived in Vicenza, Italy, on March 13, 2016 and conducted sustained airborne training, which allowed them to learn U.S. airborne procedures and commands. Both U.S. and French paratroopers were integrated on a U.S. Air Force C-130 Juliet aircraft.

"It is always a great pleasure to train our allies on the capabilities of our equipment, but it gives me even greater pleasure to know that they trust in our instruction, methods, and equipment," said U.S. Army Sgt. 1st Class Cesar Ruiz, a jumpmaster in the 54th BEB. "There is a trust that is only built amongst paratroopers because of the risk we take during the execution of every airborne operation."

"We were very intrigued to learn about the parachute and all procedural stages," said French Sgt. 1st Class Jean-Philipe Mouillieras. "We were surprised and appreciated the parachutes flexibility during the opening and landing phases of the operation."

After a successful airborne operation, Sky Soldiers presented U.S. jump wings to the paratroopers of the 35th RAP. The presentation symbolizes the mutual trust and bond between the paratroopers of the 173rd Airborne Brigade and the 35th RAP.

"We are thankful for the quality instruction from the 173rd Airborne Brigade, and we are thankful to the 54th BEB for the experience," said French 1st Lieutenant Damien Oliver.

The partnership between the 173rd Airborne Brigade and the French 35th RAP have an ongoing partnership dating back many years, with both units conducting combined airborne operations across Europe. In the fall, Sky Soldiers plan to visit France to learn French airborne procedures and use their equipment.

The 173rd Airborne Brigade, based in Vicenza, Italy, is the U.S. Army's Contingency Response Force in Europe, providing rapid forces to the United States, Europe, Africa and Germany. The Brigade routinely trains alongside NATO allies and partners to build stronger relationships and strengthen the alliance.