White Rectangle

Nevada Air National Guard C-130 drop at "Iron Mike"

  • Published
  • By Capt. Jason Yuhasz
  • 152nd Airlift Wing Public Affairs
Allied Forge 2014 wrapped-up today, June 8th, with over 700 paratroopers jumping from 14 different aircraft outside of Sainte-Mère-Église, France. French, British, American, German and paratroopers of other nationalities jumped from various nations' airplanes. Two of the aircraft dropping airborne soldiers were from the Nevada Air National Guard's 152nd Airlift Wing.

The jumpers landed in and around the "Iron Mike" Drop Zone near Sainte-Mère-Église. "Iron Mike" is the site of the original drops for the U.S. Army's 508th Parachute Infantry Regiment during D-Day, June 6th, 1944. The statue of "Iron Mike" depicts a U.S. Paratrooper and is the French memorial to those airborne troopers killed in the liberation of France. Sainte-Mère-Église conducted a ceremony at the statue after the airborne troopers jumped.

Thousands of visitors crowded into the area around the drop zone. Within the crowd, multiple languages were to be heard from spectators of all ages. The crowd applauded and cheered as the 14 aircraft made multiple passes to drop all of their paratroopers.

After the drops and ceremony at the "Iron Mike" statue, airborne troops marched into the village of Sainte-Mère-Église. Sainte-Mère-Église has the distinction of being the first French town to be liberated as part of the Operation Overlord invasion of Europe.

Other drops on Sunday included original C-47 transport dropping civilian paratroopers and C-130 airplanes executing High Altitude Low Opening (HALO) paratroop drops.

The various forces attended and executed the D-Day memorial at the request of the nation of France. The 152nd Airlift Wing, along with a fellow Air National Guard unit from Savannah, had the distinction of being the only two Air National Guard units involved in Allied Forge operations.