SMARDAN, Romania – More than 200 paratroopers from Italy, Spain, and the U.S. have participated in a parachute assault at a shooting range in eastern Romania as part of a large exercise to demonstrate NATO's capacity for rapid deployment.
Some 4,800 troops from 11 NATO members are taking part in the Swift Response 15 air exercises from Aug. 17 to Sept. 13 in Romania, Bulgaria, Italy and Germany — the largest airborne training event in Europe since the end of the Cold War.
The 18th Airborne Corps Commander, Lt. Gen. Stephen J. Townsend, and his senior enlisted adviser, Command Sgt. Maj. Benjamin Jones jumped Wednesday with the paratroopers during the airborne assault.
There will also be parachute assaults in Germany's Hohenfels Training Area, and Bulgaria's Novo Selo Training Area.