Last week, 50 paratroopers of 11 Airmobile Brigade made a parachute jump over the Ginkelse Heide together with 50 Americans from the 173rd Airborne Brigade.
The American paratroops, who are stationed in Vicenza in Italy, are taking part in the Market Garden battlefield tour and making jumps over historic locations. By making the jump shoulder to shoulder with the airmobile brigade over the Ginkelse Heide, they followed in the footsteps of allied paratroops who parachuted over the same heath in September 1944 to fight in the Battle of Arnhem.
Prior to the jump, scouts from the headquarters and headquarters company of 11 Airmobile Brigade, so-called pathfinders, reconnoitred the drop zone with their American counterparts. They then prepared the drop zone for the jump. The pathfinders have a specialist reconnaissance task in the preparation and support of airmobile operations.
Small teams form advance parties, search for suitable landing zones and prepare the drop zone for the main force’s landing, in this case 12 Infantry Battalion Regiment van Heutz. This kind of solid preparation minimises risks.