August 16, 2019 – National Airborne Day
With the Sioux Falls Airshow taking place on August 17 and 18, it's seems appropriate that today, August 16, is National Airborne Day.
The idea of parachuting troops into combat was conceived after World War I. In 1940 at Fort Benning, the Parachute Test Platoon perfected methods of combat jumping. August 16, 1940 was the day of the first official Army parachute jump. I couldn't imagine how nervous that brave solider must have been!
The first jump made in combat was during World War II in 1942 by members of the 2nd Battalion, 509th Parachute Infantry Regiment over North Africa. Combat jumping became a key strategic component of our military ever since.
In 2002, President George W. Bush declared August 16 as National Airborne Day and in 2009, the US Senate recognized the day.
On August 17 and 18 at the Sioux Falls Airshow, we will be treated with a demonstration by the SOCOM Para-Commandos. They are made up of volunteers from the US Army, Navy, Air Force and Marines and US government civilians assigned Special Operations Command.
As these talented folks jump out of perfectly good aircraft for our entertainment this weekend, let's not forget the brave soldiers who have done this in hostile conditions to protect our freedoms.