For 70 Years, a Parachute Bouquet

Eight C-130Js of the 37th Airlift Squadron celebrated the unit’s 70th birthday with a massive parachute drop not far from the unit’s home at Ramstein Air Base, Germany. “As a modern-day squadron, we stand on the shoulders of giants,” said 1st Lt. Brett Polage, 37th AS historian. Squadron C-47s dropped paratroopers into France and the Netherlands during World War II, airlifted jumpers in Korea, and returned POWs from Vietnam. “They have paved the way for us to be successful, so we now show our respect for them,” added Polage. Airlifted from Aviano AB, Italy, more than 300 soldiers and airmen of the 173rd Airborne Brigade and 435th Contingency Response Group parachuted into Alzey, Germany, for the anniversary festivities on Feb. 10. Base visitors were later allowed to tour a C-130J Super Hercules, German air force C-160 Transall airlifter, and the unit’s World War II mount—the C-47 Dakota. (Ramstein report by A1C Trevor Rhynes)