Approximately 1000 paratroopers from the 173rd Airborne Brigade, in cooperation with NATO Allies and partnered nations, blanketed the sky as they descended onto German soil. The massive personnel drop was a part of exercise Saber Junction 16 near the Hohenfels Training Area, April 12, 2016.

The international cohesion behind the airborne operation was as seamless as the landing. The British, Italian, and Polish also participated in the airborne operation. As soon as they landed, the paratroopers made their way toward the Short Takeoff Landing (STOL) strip with their brigade commander leading the charge.

“We do it with a combined force,” said Col. Gregory Anderson, commander of the 173rd Airborne Brigade. “We have to bring all this combat power, all this capability to bear in time and space together.”

The paratroopers fully displayed their speed of recognition, decision, and assembly as they tactically advanced toward the STOL strip. The effective coordination behind the mission was transmitted solely through radio communications.

In addition to the 173rd, Saber Junction 16 will feature units from Albania, Armenia, Bosnia, Bulgaria, Hungary, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Macedonia, Moldova, Romania, Serbia, Slovenia, Sweden and the United Kingdom, as well as a variety of enabling units from the U.S. Army and U.S. Air Force in Europe.