Story and photo by: Senior Airman Charissa Menken
EINDHOVEN, Netherlands – Airmen from the 136th Airlift Wing attend the Falcon Leap Exercise held on Eindhoven Military Air Base commemorating the Allies' joint military effort of WWII - Operation Market Garden September 12-17, 2022, in Eindhoven, Netherlands.
The countries participating in the exercise included Polish, Romanian, Dutch, British, and Italian Air force aircraft. Representing the United States, the 136th Texas Air National Guard sported the new C-130 J Super Hercules to support this mission.
Falcon Leap is a time for remembrance of Operation Market Garden but is also a joint NATO exercise designed to train interoperability of global air power. The 136th flight crews helped drop Army Airborne Soldiers from Rhode Island, North Carolina, and Georgia throughout the week. Weather permitting, the Rigger Teams and Airborne Regiments participated in drops throughout the week, with the last official jumps on Saturday, the 17th. These personnel drops included static line and free fall jumps throughout the week of training.
The exercise afforded training opportunities throughout the week for the 136th Airmen to practice these personnel drops with other nations. Capt. Sean Noyes shares the value of being here and representing Texas,
"This week, we get to work with other Nations on our tactics to inter-fly airdrops of heavy equipment, containers, delivery systems, and personnel.”
Regarding the historical significance of this week,
“It was one of the largest airdrops of WWII, and the U.S. was a big player. So, for the U.S. to be here with our Airborne members and aircraft is quite momentous; it would be something less if the U.S. weren't here for this commemoration.”
The Texas Air National Guard is committed to supporting the mission of U.S. Airpower globally. Capt. Noyes closes with his remarks on the opportunity to participate in this mission.
“I’m glad we’re here; it’s an honor that Texas gets to do it and support this mission, our aircraft fly's all over the world, and we always get good remarks wherever we go; this is just another feather in our cap, and I'm glad we're able to come to do this."