Just Dropping By

The 94th Airlift Wing, the 815th Airlift Squadron, and several Aviano AB, Italy-based units have wrapped up their participation in a US Army exercise incorporating 19 different countries. Saber Junction is an annual exercise to certify the readiness of one of US Army Europe’s two combat brigades, according to a press release. The 94th AW and the 815th AS sent C-130s and their crews to Germany to support the airdrop of Army paratroopers for the training. Aircraft commanders Lt. Col. Stephanie Brown and Maj. Jeff Smith of the 815th AS said the event is great training, according to a press release. Brown said the tactical insertion involved landing on a “dirt strip in the middle of nowhere.” Smith said it was a challenge, but the loadmasters offloaded very quickly. “We were wheels down, wheels up … in about 12 minutes,” he said. Col. Stephen Hodge, commander of the 317th Airlift Group from Dyess AFB, Texas, said training exercises like Saber Junction are “great opportunities” for the mobility team to demonstrate their capabilities. Still, not everything went according to plan: The Army has launched an investigation into how three Humvees detached from parachutes during an airdrop and crashed to the ground, Stars and Stripes reported. No one was hurt in the accident.