Nearly 50 US paratroopers hurt in Bavarian training exercise

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7 Oct, 2011 Updated Fri 7 Oct 2011 12:18 CEST
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Nearly 50 American army paratroopers were injured – some seriously – during a mass parachute training exercise in southern Germany this week.

Of the 47 who were hurt, 16 were still in hospital on Friday, two of whom are in intensive care, a US military spokeswoman told The Local.

Nearly 1,000 American soldiers jumped from planes at the Hohenfels Training Area near Regensburg, Bavaria in a joint exercise with Polish forces – none of whom were hurt.

The idea was to simulate jumps into places like Afghanistan, said Denver Makle, a civilian spokeswoman for the Joint Multinational Training Command, which is under US Army command.

She said a major investigation into why so many soldiers were hurt was unlikely since the number of injuries was within expected margins.

“Airborne operations are always dangerous,” she said, explaining that a serious injury rate of up to 3 percent after such jumps was considered normal. “There’s very little margin for error.”

She said officials would be analysing whether everyone responded correctly after it became clear that soldiers were hurt.

The units involved will continue their training, which is one part of a multi-week exercise involving thousands of soldiers from at least 10 countries. It is said to be the largest training of its kind in Europe in decades.

Moises Mendoza

[email protected]



2011/10/07 12:18

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