Air Force, Army Stage Massive Paratrooper Exercise

Mobility airmen and transport aircraft converged at Alexandria International Airport in central Louisiana to stage the largest movement of Army paratroopers in more than a decade. The Joint Readiness Training Center at nearby Fort Polk sponsored the exercise, which saw 29 C-130s and C-17s descend on Alexandria earlier this month, along with contingency response airmen, to move 1,700 paratroopers from the Army’s 82nd Airborne Division and more than 70 tons of equipment. The aircraft carried the paratroopers day and night to their drop zones during the week of activities. “The scale of this operation has not been seen in many years,” said Col. David Chandler, 570th Contingency Response Group commander at Travis AFB, Calif. He added, “[It] demonstrated true joint training and capability to respond when and where our nation needs.” (Alexandria report by Capt. Paradon Silpasornprasit)