The US and Italy have completed a joint air assault training mission involving paratroopers from the 1st Air Cavalry Brigade and Italian Bregmata Parachutisti.

Air assault employs aerial assets to carry out a surprise offensive and is carried out in areas hard to reach by ordinary ground vehicles.

According to the US Cavalry Brigade, two CH-47 Chinooks and four UH-60 Blackhawk helicopters transported 400 Italian paratroopers from an isolated location near North Macedonia to a Skopje landing zone.

Paratroopers gathered in the hills of North Macedonia and collaborated with army pathfinders to find the precise pickup location.

Soldiers waiting in the landing area used tactical field communications equipment to coordinate with the pilots, relaying the condition of the landing site and giving the signal for an air assault.

When the aircraft landed at the site, paratroopers quickly established perimeter security.

Involving hundreds of paratroopers from both countries, a participant remarked that the exercise was the “largest air assault exercise” in the parachute brigade’s history.

‘A Wonderful Experience’

According to Italian Army Capt. Matteo Gentile, the event marked the first time that the Italian Bregmata Parachutisti conducted such a massive exercise in a foreign nation.

He commented that such training is important “so we can coordinate and interoperate with our allies” and “validate our capabilities.”

To carry out a successful air assault mission, paratroopers must receive proper training to develop timing, coordination, and rapid execution.

“This training event is an excellent opportunity to continue to increase interoperability, to understand each other’s systems and procedures, and to prepare us to fight side by side,” US Army Maj. Dan Huff explained.

Meanwhile, Lt. Col. Brad Deloach described the exercise and working with Italian paratroopers as a “wonderful experience” that he will never forget.

He further expressed that conducting an air assault training brings out the best in paratroopers despite being such a “complicated” task.

US and Italian paratroopers securing the perimeter of the battlefield. Photo: Sgt. Jason Greaves/US Army

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