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  • Writer's pictureLudo Mennes

2018 Operation Falcon Leap/Market Garden

Updated: Feb 23, 2020

Dutch C-130H leading the pack, returning from a para drop

From 19 until 22 September 2018 the large scale airborne exercise Falcon Leap was organized at Eindhoven airbase in the Netherlands under the supervision of the 336 Squadron. Over 750 para jumpers from seven countries participated in this exercise, which ended on Saturday with the 74th commemoration of Operation Market Garden.

For this years’ exercise 336 Squadron delivered two of its C-130 Hercules aircraft. Other participating countries were Poland with a Casa 295, Germany with two M28 Skytrucks and the USA with two C-130H Hercules aircraft. For the commemoration flights on Saturday a Belgian and UK C-130 Hercules also participated to drop the around 1000 para jumpers in three flights over the Ginkelse heath. This is traditionally the scene of all remembrance activities and the original dropping zone during Operation Market Garden, which started on 17 September 1944.

Dutch C-130H taking off with a full load of parajumpers

M-28 Skytruck used by the Division Schnelle Kräfte

The C-130H 92-3284 from the 934 Airlift Wing ‘Flying Vikings’ of the Air Force Reserve in Minnesota, was adorned with invasion stripes and code 6Z. This code originally belonged to the 96th Troop Carrier Squadron, which participated during the operation.

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