Operation REASSURANCE Land Task Force trains in airborne insertions with allies in Bulgaria

A line of soldiers parachute out of a plane. The sky is covered in grey clouds.
Bezmer Air Base, Bulgaria. July 18, 2017 – Members of Charlie Company Group, deployed on Operation REASSURANCE, participate in a simulated combined airborne assault with soldiers from the US Army, Greece, Italy, and Romania during Exercise SABER GUARDIAN. (Image by Sgt D.G. Janes, Directorate of Army Public Affairs)

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By Maj Nicole Meszaros, LTF Poland Public Affairs

Plumes of sage-coloured silk filled the sky‎ over the airfield of Besmer Air Base, Bulgaria as hundreds of NATO troops began an airborne insertion training scenario as part of Exercise SABER GUARDIAN 17 on July 18, 2017.

Thirty-nine Canadian soldiers jumped out of United States Air Force aircraft along with hundreds of other airborne soldiers from ‎various NATO nations including Italy, Portugal, and the United States. The Canadians came from Charlie Company Group, 3rd Battalion Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry.

“Canadians are a small but visible and significant part of the exercise and important to NATO,” said Flotilla-Admiral Dimiter Yordanov, Chief of Staff, Joint Task Force Bulgaria.

After successfully parachuting safely into the airfield, the Canadian soldiers worked with their NATO airborne counterparts on a simulated assault. The training included enemy forces and dry firing to be as realistic as possible.

Airborne operations are an important strategic option for Allies to exercise. This capability is vital to NATO assurance and deterrence measures. Airborne forces can move quickly into a region to demonstrate a presence. Airborne units have a high quality of training, especially the senior non-commissioned members. This contributes to the overall quality of their nation’s army.

‎As part of Canada’s contributions to NATO assurance and deterrence measures, the Land Task Force (LTF) in Poland has demonstrated Canada’s commitment to security and stability in Central and Eastern Europe. The members of the LTF have participated in military exercises throughout the region to increase interoperability with allies.

See also: Operation REASSURANCE

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  • nadian and American soldiers hold weapons and talk
  • A line of soldiers parachute out of a plane. The sky is covered in grey clouds.
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