All American jumpers earn German wings
FORT BRAGG, N.C. – “You want to fight a German?” asked a jumpmaster to 82nd Airborne Division Paratroopers trying to earn German parachute wings here, Oct. 5-7.
Sgt. 1st Class Raymond Lewandowski of the 82nd’s 1st Brigade Combat Team was explaining the differences between how German jumpmasters and American jumpmasters operate, one difference being that a German jumpmaster will physically block an overly-eager jumper from exiting the aircraft if the safe jumping light goes off.
“In my opinion, hands-on learning of how each other operates is very necessary for two forces to work together,” said Lt. Col. Christoph Böcker, a German Army liaison officer assigned to the XVIII Airborne Corps, who made his 101st jump on day two of the event.
The chance for Fort Bragg Paratroopers to earn German jump wings by jumping from a German C-160 aircraft under the direction of German jumpmasters returned again this fall with part two of Operation Federal Eagle, a program founded by the German liaison staff several years ago. Part one is a free fall event that takes place in the spring with German Special Forces jumpmasters.