US, Serbia take part in joint airborne training during c
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US and Serbia take part in joint airborne training during Skybridge 21

30 Sep 2021 (Last Updated September 30th, 2021 16:11)

Skybridge 21 is a bi-lateral training exercise held in Serbia.

US and Serbia take part in joint airborne training during Skybridge 21
US Army paratroopers assigned to the 54th Brigade Engineer Battalion (Airborne) secure a drop zone for an aerial humanitarian aid package delivery from a C-130 Hercules aircraft. Credit: Credit: Staff Sgt John Yountz / US Army.

The US Army and Serbian forces have participated in airborne operations and rapid response missions as part of Skybridge 21.

Skybridge 21 is a bilateral training exercise that was conducted in Serbia from 13-17 September.

The exercise is aimed at improving interoperability of allied and partner nations by showcasing the unit’s ability to readily respond to any kind of scenario.

Paratroopers from 54th Brigade Engineer Battalion, 173rd Airborne Brigade and the 63rd Parachute Brigade (BDE), and Serbian Armed Forces worked alongside supporting components in the exercise.

The troops conducted a joint force airborne operation with an aerial humanitarian aid package delivery.

US Serbia Ambassador Anthony Godfrey said: “The overall goal of this exercise is to build the relationship, to build confidence in each other, to establish better interoperability, and to develop Serbia [Armed Forces] as a partner that we’re going to be able to work with when the going gets tough.”

According to the US Army, the mission execution began with a high-altitude low opening jump conducted by some 30 special operations paratroopers from the 63rd BDE.

This set of paratroopers set up initial security on the drop zone for the primary force of US and Serbian static line jumpers.

Once all these paratroopers were on the ground, they quickly assembled and moved to another drop zone to take delivery of humanitarian aid packages of both the US and Serbia.

The mission was completed upon the recovery and distribution of the packages.

During the exercise, both the US and Serbian planners jointly worked to design a plan to quickly deploy around 180 paratroopers and ten humanitarian aid packages by air within a three-hour time.

An unnamed US Army 63rd BDE Special Operations deputy parachute training officer said: “This training is a great experience.

“Our parachute riggers from the Serbian Armed Forces can learn what equipment is used by American parachute riggers. They can exchange experiences and see what specific methods can be used for cargo delivery.”