The 37th Airlift Squadron at Ramstein AB, Germany, completed a first for any C-130J unit: launching 10 of its airplanes at the same time. “This is the first time a single squadron has put 10 C-130J Super Hercules aircraft into the air at once,” said Lt. Col. Driscoll, 37th AS chief pilot and mission commander. The feat took place on Oct. 5 when the C-130Js, plus one C-17, took off from Ramstein for Italy, as part of Exercise Bayonet Resolve. At Aviano Air Base, they picked up 800 Army paratroopers from Vicenza Army Base, along with 12 Air Force joint terminal attack controllers and 130 Polish air force jumpers, for an airdrop over Hohenfels Army Airfield in southern Germany. “This is by far, the most realistic exercise we could complete compared to a real-world situation,” said Driscoll. “The planning that made this exercise possible was extensive.” (Ramstein report by A1C Ciara M. Travis)
The U.S. supports “a stronger and more capable” European defense, Defense Secretary Lloyd J. Austin III said during an Oct. 22 press conference in Brussels—but that defense should not duplicate the functions and capabilities of the NATO alliance.