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Combined para jump in Eagle Base

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Maj. Angel Brufau

First published in SFOR Informer #46, October 7, 1998

Tuzla - "The Americans have jumped with Russians paratroopers before, but this was the first time that Polish, Russian and Americans participated together in a combined airborne exercise," said Multinational Division North (MND-N) Commander, U.S. Maj. Gen. Thomas Ellis. He was addressing paratroopers who had just participated in a combined jump from a U.S. C-130 over Eagle Base Airport, in Tuzla Main, in the north of BiH.

s981030a.jpg (12185 bytes)Five Polish paratroopers of the Polish Battalion attached to the NORDPOL Bde, 31 Russians, assigned to the Liaison Co-ordination Element (LCE) of the Russian Airborne Brigade, and 28 U.S. paratroopers of the 1 Battalion,10 Special Forces Group, all of whom are attached to the MND-N, participated in the special event on a day that began slightly overcast but turned sunny by the time the paratroopers were ready to jump.

"This kind of event gets one nation closer to the others. We hope to repeat it during the next six months. Although, we do have the problem of closing the airfield to all other activities because of the event, and we can not afford to ask for it just any time we want, " said CW2 Glenn Koski before an event which was completed without incident

After three passes at 1,250 feet, all the participants were on the airfield ready for the parade. The American paratroopers gave Russian and Polish soldiers American "jump wings" and the Russians gave the other participants a certificate for Russian jump wings.

"I want to thank all of you for the efforts you have made in planning such a detailed exercise as an airborne operation requires, this time in three different languages. Due to your professionalism, we have been able to enjoy a safe airborne operation today," concluded Ellis.

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