U.S. Army paratroopers exit a Strategic Airlift Capability Boeing C-17 Globemaster III over Smârdan training range, Romania during the 24 March 2015 deployment readiness exercise. The event was a part of the Saber Junction -15 exercise taking place across Germany, Italy, Lithuania and Romania. Photo: U.S. Army Europe.
Saber Junction 15 includes over 5,000 troops from 18 nations with exercise activities taking place across Germany, Italy, Lithuania and Romania. Its target is to prepare the participating armies for offensive, defensive and stability operations and to promote interoperability among them.
On 24 March the first phase of Saber Junction 15 began with a readiness exercise that included an airborne operation. During the operation several military transport aircraft from the participating nations, including a Boeing C-17 Globemaster III long-range cargo jet of the multinational Strategic Airlift Capability, transported paratroopers and heavy equipment from Aviano Air Base, Italy to the drop zone established at the Smârdan training range in Romania.
In total approximately 100 paratroopers of the United States Army boarded the SAC C-17 jet in Aviano Air Base, Italy for a successful jump over Romania.
U.S. Army Soldiers from the 173rd Airborne Brigade board transport aircraft at Aviano Air Base, Italy, during the March 24, 2015 Saber Junction 15 deployment readiness exercise. Photo: Staff Sgt. Evelyn Chavez / U.S. Army Europe.
Since the spring of 2014, the Strategic Airlift Capability has supported various exercises consisting of quick deployment of personnel and material at requests of its 12 member nations' to support their training and exercise activities in several locations in Europe.
Examples of events recently supported with SAC C-17 aircraft include the US Army Europe's Freedom Shock training program that aims at enabling short notice movement of troops and the Exercise Warlord Rock in February 2015 during which US and Hungarian troops carried out an airfield seizure exercise after an airdrop conducted by a SAC C-17 and US Air Force C-130 Aircraft the Hungarian Defence Forces (HDF) Pápa Air Base.
U.S. Army News Release on the 24 March deployment readiness exercise
U.S. Army 173rd Airborne photos of the Smârdan exercise on Flickr
Saber Junction -15 website