Dutch International Airborne Exercise "Falcon Leap 2021"


The Dutch 11 Airmobile Brigade of the Royal netherlands Army started the international exercise Falcon Leap in week 36 of 2021. The unit specializes in the rapid deployment of troops by air and for this task it practiced the so-called cargo droppings. With tactical transport aircraft from the no 336 Squadron of the Royal Netherlands Air Force and international partners from the United States, Italy and Poland, loads were dropped over the Marnewaard and the Schaffen training area (Belgium) and at Deelen Air Base. In total, about 80 container delivery systems and one heavy load were dropped. This was done in collaboration with American, Polish and Italian colleagues. Falcon Leap provided the opportunity to train together and become familiar with each other's equipment and procedures. A possible airborne operation nowadays always takes place in collaboration with coalition troops. Interoperability, using the same procedures and working methods, is then essential. The hermetically sealed 'delivery container' is very suitable for providing poorly accessible troops with vulnerable items such as food or ammunition. This also applies to relief supplies to people in a disaster area. During Falcon Leap a so-called cross-loading was done for the first time. Dutch payloads were ejected from a Polish C-295M transport aircraft. A heavy load (more than 1,000 kilograms) has also been dropped for the first time, led by American soldiers. Being able to drop such loads broadens the deployability of the units. In the future, the airmobile brigade wants to add this form of deployment to the operational tasks.