In remembrance of the 74th anniversary of D-Day, U.S. and French Armed Forces parachuted together, June 6, 2018, symbolizing the bond and partnership between the two nations and their shared history.
After the French-hosted joint jump, six French parachutist badges were awarded to the American jumpers.
“The French invited us to participate in an airborne operation with them in order to continue relations and help and increase our ability to plan and execute missions together,” said Staff Sgt. Robert Hames, a supplier with the 404th Army Civil Affairs Battalion.
French jump masters and parachutists assisted eight American static line parachutists and 13 free-fall parachutists from French C-160 aircraft. The US jumpers were from the Army, Navy and Air Force.
In order to obtain the French Parachutist badge, the service members went through training from French Airborne school instructors and completed one jump with the French to obtain their wings.
Hames, having previously jumped with the French in 2014 and 2015 in Djibouti, helped to coordinate the jump, including vetting the jumpers to make sure they met the requirements, and coordinating the drop zone party and medical support.
In the afternoon, French jumpers came to Camp Lemonnier to participate in the presentation of the French parachute badges to the six Americans who jumped.
“Today this jump illustrates our partnership and our ability to work together with a common vision of training and cooperation,” said the Plans and Operations Director of French Forces in Djibouti, Lt. Col. Jean-Hugues. “We thank you for making this jump possible; long live the United States!”