Through the Eyes of a Paratrooper
Staff Sgt. Travis Surber, a native of Franklin County, VA and a paratrooper with the 173rd Brigade Combat Team’s Battle Company of the 2nd Battalion 503rd Infantry Regiment parachutes out of a C-130 Hercules Transport Aircraft and into the Ukraine sky. This marks the first time the “Sky Soldiers” of the 173rd have jumped in Ukraine.
Rapid Trident 2011 is a U.S. Army Europe led, multi-national exercise taking place at the International Peacekeeping and Security Center in Yavoriv, Ukraine. It is designed to promote regional stability and security, strengthen international military partnering and foster trust while improving interoperability between participating nations. Rapid Trident 2011 involves approximately 1,600 personnel. In addition to the U.S. Army Europe and Ukraine, participants include: Latvia, Belarus, Moldova, Slovenia, Canada, Poland, Serbia, the UK, Lithuania, Estonia, California and Utah National Guard and U.S. Air Force Europe.
Rapid Trident supports interoperability among Ukraine, the United States, NATO and Partnership for Peace member nations. This exercise helped prepare participants to operate successfully in a joint, multinational, integrated environment with host- nation support from civil and governmental agencies.