The U.S. Army 82nd and 101st Airborne Divisions are two of the most mystical units in the service. U.S. Army Aviation developed rapidly during World War I with significant advancements in aircraft types, weapons, ordnance, instruments and flight gear. Among the advancements were parachutes which were developed primarily for balloon observers who were forced to jump from their observation baskets when attacked. As aircraft developed during the interwar period, military planners also experimented with parachutes both to save lives and to insert troops into combat. Recognizing the potential of airborne forces, the Army moved to create airborne units shortly before America’s entry into World War II.
A test platoon was formed in June 1940 to help develop airborne tactics and equipment. On August 15, 1942, a redesigned 82nd Infantry Division and the 101st Infantry Division were activated as the U.S. Army’s first two airborne divisions. Today, airborne units remain a potent force in the U.S. Army’s land power capabilities. Here, paratroopers from the 82nd and 101st Airborne Division perform something called a static line jumps from a C-17 Globemaster III aircraft over the Sicily Drop Zone at Fort Bragg, North Carolina. The deans of America’s airborne divisions are still working side-to-side to this day.
Check them out below: