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Carolina skies turn grey during large formation exercise

About 1,600 paratroopers from the 82nd Airborne Division packed 18 C-17 Globemaster IIIs from Joint Base Charleston, S.C. en-route to a a Fort Bragg, N.C. airdrop May 25.
 (U.S. Air Force Photo / Master Sgt, Shane Ellis)

About 1,600 paratroopers from the 82nd Airborne Division packed 18 C-17 Globemaster IIIs from Joint Base Charleston, S.C. en-route to a a Fort Bragg, N.C. airdrop May 25. (U.S. Air Force Photo / Master Sgt, Shane Ellis)

Aircrews from the 315th and 437th Airlift Wings took off,  May 25, from Joint Base Charleston in 18 C-17 Globemaster IIIs within seconds of each other as part of a large formation exercise over Carolina skies. Exercise Bonny Jack was a joint service exercise with about 1,600 paratroopers from the 82nd Airborne Division at Fort Bragg.  (U.S. Air Force Photo / Master Sgt. Shane Ellis)

Aircrews from the 315th and 437th Airlift Wings took off, May 25, from Joint Base Charleston in 18 C-17 Globemaster IIIs within seconds of each other as part of a large formation exercise over Carolina skies. Exercise Bonny Jack was a joint service exercise with about 1,600 paratroopers from the 82nd Airborne Division at Fort Bragg. (U.S. Air Force Photo / Master Sgt. Shane Ellis)

701st Airlift Squadron Loadmaster, Master Sgt. Thomas McGee and Tech. Sgt. Melonie Johnson stand by for take off during an 82nd Airborne Division airdrop from a Charleston C-17 Globemaster III, May 25, at Fort Bragg, North Carolina. Aircrews from the 315th and 437th Airlift Wings  from Joint Base Charleston in 18 C-17 Globemaster IIIs provided the air transportation for the nearly 1,600 paratroopers. (U.S. Air Force Photo / Master Sgt. Shane Ellis)

701st Airlift Squadron Loadmaster, Master Sgt. Thomas McGee and Tech. Sgt. Melonie Johnson stand by for take off during an 82nd Airborne Division airdrop from a Charleston C-17 Globemaster III, May 25, at Fort Bragg, North Carolina. Aircrews from the 315th and 437th Airlift Wings from Joint Base Charleston in 18 C-17 Globemaster IIIs provided the air transportation for the nearly 1,600 paratroopers. (U.S. Air Force Photo / Master Sgt. Shane Ellis)

An 82nd Airbone Division jumpmaster checks outside a C-17 Globemaster III while en route to a Fort Bragg drop zone May 25.  Aircrews from the 315th and 437th Airlift Wings took off,  May 25, from Joint Base Charleston in 18 C-17 Globemaster IIIs within seconds of each other as part of a large formation exercise over Carolina skies. Exercise Bonny Jack was a joint service exercise with about 1,600 paratroopers from the 82nd Airborne Division at Fort Bragg.  (U.S. Air Force Photo / Master Sgt. Shane Ellis)

An 82nd Airbone Division jumpmaster checks outside a C-17 Globemaster III while en route to a Fort Bragg drop zone May 25. Aircrews from the 315th and 437th Airlift Wings took off, May 25, from Joint Base Charleston in 18 C-17 Globemaster IIIs within seconds of each other as part of a large formation exercise over Carolina skies. Exercise Bonny Jack was a joint service exercise with about 1,600 paratroopers from the 82nd Airborne Division at Fort Bragg. (U.S. Air Force Photo / Master Sgt. Shane Ellis)

About 1,600 paratroopers from the 82nd Airborne Division packed 18 C-17 Globemaster IIIs from Joint Base Charleston, S.C. en-route to a Fort Bragg, N.C. airdrop May 25. (U.S. Air Force Photo / Tech. Sgt. Bobby Pilch)

About 1,600 paratroopers from the 82nd Airborne Division packed 18 C-17 Globemaster IIIs from Joint Base Charleston, S.C. en-route to a Fort Bragg, N.C. airdrop May 25. (U.S. Air Force Photo / Tech. Sgt. Bobby Pilch)

315th Operations Group Commander, Lt. Col. John Robinson give Army jumpmasters a pre-jump briefing before they take off for their drop zone at Fort Bragg, N.C. About 1,600 paratroopers from the 82nd Airborne Division packed 18 C-17 Globemaster IIIs from Joint Base Charleston, S.C. en-route to a a Fort Bragg, N.C. airdrop May 25. (U.S. Air Force Photo / Master Sgt, Shane Ellis)

315th Operations Group Commander, Lt. Col. John Robinson give Army jumpmasters a pre-jump briefing before they take off for their drop zone at Fort Bragg, N.C. About 1,600 paratroopers from the 82nd Airborne Division packed 18 C-17 Globemaster IIIs from Joint Base Charleston, S.C. en-route to a a Fort Bragg, N.C. airdrop May 25. (U.S. Air Force Photo / Master Sgt, Shane Ellis)

Syndey Ryan, a reporter from WCSC Live 5 News interviews Col. Jeanine McAnaney, 315th Airlift Wing vice commander, prior to a large formation training exercise over Carolina skies May 25. About 1,600 paratroopers from the 82nd Airborne Division packed 18 C-17 Globemaster IIIs from Joint Base Charleston, S.C. en-route to a Fort Bragg, N.C. airdrop. (U.S. Air Force Photo / Tech. Sgt. Bobby Pilch)

Syndey Ryan, a reporter from WCSC Live 5 News interviews Col. Jeanine McAnaney, 315th Airlift Wing vice commander, prior to a large formation training exercise over Carolina skies May 25. About 1,600 paratroopers from the 82nd Airborne Division packed 18 C-17 Globemaster IIIs from Joint Base Charleston, S.C. en-route to a Fort Bragg, N.C. airdrop. (U.S. Air Force Photo / Tech. Sgt. Bobby Pilch)

315th Operations Group Commander, Lt. Col. John Robinson give Army jumpmasters a pre-jump briefing before they take off for their drop zone at Fort Bragg, N.C. About 1,600 paratroopers from the 82nd Airborne Division packed 18 C-17 Globemaster IIIs from Joint Base Charleston, S.C. en-route to a a Fort Bragg, N.C. airdrop May 25. (U.S. Air Force Photo / Master Sgt, Shane Ellis)

315th Operations Group Commander, Lt. Col. John Robinson give Army jumpmasters a pre-jump briefing before they take off for their drop zone at Fort Bragg, N.C. About 1,600 paratroopers from the 82nd Airborne Division packed 18 C-17 Globemaster IIIs from Joint Base Charleston, S.C. en-route to a a Fort Bragg, N.C. airdrop May 25. (U.S. Air Force Photo / Master Sgt, Shane Ellis)

A 701st Airlift Squadron aircrew prepares to take off from Pope Army Airfield after parartroopers boarded their Charleston-based C-17 enroute to a drop zone at Fort Bragg, N.C. About 1,600 paratroopers from the 82nd Airborne Division packed 18 C-17 Globemaster IIIs from Joint Base Charleston, S.C. en-route to a a Fort Bragg, N.C. airdrop May 25. (U.S. Air Force Photo / Master Sgt, Shane Ellis)

A 701st Airlift Squadron aircrew prepares to take off from Pope Army Airfield after parartroopers boarded their Charleston-based C-17 enroute to a drop zone at Fort Bragg, N.C. About 1,600 paratroopers from the 82nd Airborne Division packed 18 C-17 Globemaster IIIs from Joint Base Charleston, S.C. en-route to a a Fort Bragg, N.C. airdrop May 25. (U.S. Air Force Photo / Master Sgt, Shane Ellis)

About 1,600 paratroopers from the 82nd Airborne Division packed 18 C-17 Globemaster IIIs from Joint Base Charleston, S.C. en-route to a a Fort Bragg, N.C. airdrop May 25.
 (U.S. Air Force Photo / Maj. Wayne Capps)
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About 1,600 paratroopers from the 82nd Airborne Division packed 18 C-17 Globemaster IIIs from Joint Base Charleston, S.C. en-route to a a Fort Bragg, N.C. airdrop May 25. (U.S. Air Force Photo / Maj. Wayne Capps)

About 1,600 paratroopers from the 82nd Airborne Division packed 18 C-17 Globemaster IIIs from Joint Base Charleston, S.C. en-route to a a Fort Bragg, N.C. airdrop May 25.
 (U.S. Air Force Photo / Maj. Wayne Capps)
PHOTO DETAILS  /   DOWNLOAD HI-RES 11 of 14

About 1,600 paratroopers from the 82nd Airborne Division packed 18 C-17 Globemaster IIIs from Joint Base Charleston, S.C. en-route to a a Fort Bragg, N.C. airdrop May 25. (U.S. Air Force Photo / Maj. Wayne Capps)

A line of 82nd Airborne Brigade paratroopers line up in front of their jumpmaster in preparation for a jump from a Charleston C-17 Globemaster III, May 25, at Fort Bragg, North Carolina. Aircrews from the 315th and 437th Airlift Wings  from Joint Base Charleston in 18 C-17 Globemaster IIIs provided the air transportation for the nearly 1,600 paratroopers. (U.S. Air Force Photo / Maj. Wayne Capps)
PHOTO DETAILS  /   DOWNLOAD HI-RES 12 of 14

A line of 82nd Airborne Brigade paratroopers line up in front of their jumpmaster in preparation for a jump from a Charleston C-17 Globemaster III, May 25, at Fort Bragg, North Carolina. Aircrews from the 315th and 437th Airlift Wings from Joint Base Charleston in 18 C-17 Globemaster IIIs provided the air transportation for the nearly 1,600 paratroopers. (U.S. Air Force Photo / Maj. Wayne Capps)

Sometime paratroopers have to take cat naps when they can, like during a flight to their drop zone.  Aircrews from the 315th and 437th Airlift Wings took off,  May 25, from Joint Base Charleston in 18 C-17 Globemaster IIIs within seconds of each other as part of a large formation exercise over Carolina skies.
Exercise Bonny Jack was a joint service exercise with about 1,600 paratroopers from the 82nd Airborne Division at Fort Bragg.  (U.S. Air Force Photo / Tech. Sgt. Bobby Pilch)
PHOTO DETAILS  /   DOWNLOAD HI-RES 13 of 14

Sometime paratroopers have to take cat naps when they can, like during a flight to their drop zone. Aircrews from the 315th and 437th Airlift Wings took off, May 25, from Joint Base Charleston in 18 C-17 Globemaster IIIs within seconds of each other as part of a large formation exercise over Carolina skies. Exercise Bonny Jack was a joint service exercise with about 1,600 paratroopers from the 82nd Airborne Division at Fort Bragg. (U.S. Air Force Photo / Tech. Sgt. Bobby Pilch)

About 1,600 paratroopers from the 82nd Airborne Division packed 18 C-17 Globemaster IIIs from Joint Base Charleston, S.C. en-route to a a Fort Bragg, N.C. airdrop May 25.
 (U.S. Air Force Photo / Master Sgt. Shane Ellis)
PHOTO DETAILS  /   DOWNLOAD HI-RES 14 of 14

About 1,600 paratroopers from the 82nd Airborne Division packed 18 C-17 Globemaster IIIs from Joint Base Charleston, S.C. en-route to a a Fort Bragg, N.C. airdrop May 25. (U.S. Air Force Photo / Master Sgt. Shane Ellis)

JOINT BASE CHARLESTON, S.C. -- Aircrews from the 315th and 437th Airlift Wings took off the morning of May 25, from Joint Base Charleston, South Carolina, in 18 C-17 Globemaster IIIs as part of a large formation exercise over Carolina skies.

Exercise Bonny Jack was combined with an Army joint forcible entry exercise that included about 1,600 paratroopers from the 82nd Airborne Division at Fort Bragg, North Carolina.

“Exercises like this build teamwork and help our aircrews to stay sharp. No doubt, the best in the world at what they do,” said Col. Jeanine McAnaney, 315th AW vice commander.

McAnaney, who was flying in one of the participating jets said, “It’s a win-win-win opportunity anytime we get a chance to work with our active duty partners at the 437th as well as the Army’s mighty 82nd Airborne Division! We all get better at what we do, so when the call to action comes, there’s nobody better prepared.”

After taking off from Joint Base Charleston, the 18 aircraft gave a rare spectacle for Charlestonians as they flew in close formation along the Cooper River and over the Arthur Ravenel, Jr. bridge. A short time later the jets landed at Pope Army Airfield, North Carolina, where they picked up 82nd Airborne Division paratroopers.

In coordination with the C-17’s packed with paratroopers, three prepositioned Charleston jets carrying the Army’s heavy support equipment to be dropped on the same landing zone.

As the jets flew over the LZ, jumpmasters and loadmasters continued to peer out the paratrooper doors to check conditions. But despite fair skies, the DZ safety officer called off the jump due to high winds. The paratroopers seemed disappointed by the news, especially since they were hoping to commemorate the division’s 100 years of service and sacrifice.

The C-17’s returned the paratroopers to Pope Field before returning home after a long day.

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