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SWIFT RESPONSE 2024 in the Baltics ~ Update

British and American Paratroopers exiting a USAF C-17 over Nurmsi Drop Zone, 11 May 2024 [© Bob Morrison]

The opening airborne assault phase of the SWIFT RESPONSE 2024 JFE (Joint Forcible Entry) was delayed by 22 hours by bad weather on the DZ, reports Bob Morrison.

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However, just like the UK 16 Air Assault Brigade and US 82nd Airborne Division ‘head sheds’ we quickly reorganised our plans and stayed close to Nurmsi Drop Zone on Friday night to be on hand in case the high winds dropped early on Saturday morning; they did, but only just within the safety parameters. The US C-17s had to make several circuits while waiting for wind gusts to ease off, but in the end all of the intended 250 Paratroopers jumped and although there were a few casualties, as is to be expected, none were reported as being serious by the medics on the ground.

3 Para Signaller communicating with the crew of an RAF C-17 over Kiltsi temporary airfield [© Bob Morrison]

Once the last C-17 jump door had been closed, I then travelled 175km to the west where USAF and RAF C-17 and RAF A400M transport aircraft were conducting the Rapid Air Landing phase of infantry and vehicles on the disused former Soviet airfield at Kiltsi.

RAF A400M landing on Kiltsi temporary airfield [© Bob Morrison]

After a couple of frenetic days on the ground in Estonia, I’m now heading back to the UK for a six week course of radiotherapy meaning I am unable to attend KEVADTORM / SPRING STORM 2024. Normally Carl covers major land forces exercises Estonia in even years, but as he is deployed as a Reservist Warrant Officer on the Balkans phase of SWIFT RESPONSE he could not be in two places at once. Once I get settled back into a routine in the UK and have dusted off my camera gear I will pen a longer article on SWIFT RESPONSE 2024 in the Baltics.

Airlanded 16 Air Assault Brigade WMIK Land Rovers mount a security patrol on the Kiltsi perimeter track
[© Bob Morrison]

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