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327 AS Airman connects with the past

U.S. Air Force Reserve Master Sgt. Scott Klobucher, a loadmaster assigned to the 327th Airlift Squadron, 913th Airlift Group, places the final wreath of the day at Ardennes American Military Cemetery in Neupre, Belgium, Sept. 12, 2017. Klobucher placed the wreath on the grave of Staff Sgt. Roger W. Fuller, 327th Bomb Squadron, 92 Bomb Group, Illinois, who died April 11, 1944. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Codie Collins)

U.S. Air Force Reserve Master Sgt. Scott Klobucher, a loadmaster assigned to the 327th Airlift Squadron, 913th Airlift Group, places the final wreath of the day at Ardennes American Military Cemetery in Neupre, Belgium, Sept. 12, 2017. Klobucher placed the wreath on the grave of Staff Sgt. Roger W. Fuller, 327th Bomb Squadron, 92 Bomb Group, Illinois, who died April 11, 1944. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Codie Collins)

U.S. Air Force Reserve Master Sgt. Scott Klobucher, a loadmaster assigned to the 327th Airlift Squadron, 913th Airlift Group, takes a moment to reflect on history during a wreath laying ceremony at Ardennes American Military Cemetery in Neupre, Belgium, Sept. 12, 2017. The ceremony honored several squadrons from WWII that have roots back to current units at Little Rock AFB. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Codie Collins)

U.S. Air Force Reserve Master Sgt. Scott Klobucher, a loadmaster assigned to the 327th Airlift Squadron, 913th Airlift Group, takes a moment to reflect on history during a wreath laying ceremony at Ardennes American Military Cemetery in Neupre, Belgium, Sept. 12, 2017. The ceremony honored several squadrons from WWII that have roots back to current units at Little Rock AFB. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Codie Collins)

U.S Air Force members form Little Rock Air Force Base, Ark., get to know the history of the grounds at Ardennes American Military Cemetery in Neupre, Belgium, before a wreath laying ceremony Sept. 12, 2017. The ceremony honored several squadrons from WWII that have roots back to current units at Little Rock AFB. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Codie Collins)

U.S Air Force members form Little Rock Air Force Base, Ark., get to know the history of the grounds at Ardennes American Military Cemetery in Neupre, Belgium, before a wreath laying ceremony Sept. 12, 2017. The ceremony honored several squadrons from WWII that have roots back to current units at Little Rock AFB. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Codie Collins)

Parachute canopies fill the sky as paratroopers from eight countries land at the Houtdorperveld Drop Zone during Falcon Leap Sept. 15, 2017, Ermelo, Netherlands. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Codie Collins)

Parachute canopies fill the sky as paratroopers from eight countries land at the Houtdorperveld Drop Zone during Falcon Leap Sept. 15, 2017, Ermelo, Netherlands. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Codie Collins)

A C-130J from Little Rock Air Force Base, Ark., is flown over the Houtdorperveld Drop Zone as paratroopers conduct a static line jump Sept. 15, 2017, during exercise Falcon Leap. Aircrew members from the 62nd Airlift Squadron worked alongside eight different nations to honor and remember the sacrifices made in 1944 during Operation Market Garden. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Codie Collins)

A C-130J from Little Rock Air Force Base, Ark., is flown over the Houtdorperveld Drop Zone as paratroopers conduct a static line jump Sept. 15, 2017, during exercise Falcon Leap. Aircrew members from the 62nd Airlift Squadron worked alongside eight different nations to honor and remember the sacrifices made in 1944 during Operation Market Garden. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Codie Collins)

Chief Master Sgt. Lewis Holston, 314th Operations Group superintendent, surveys the drop zone prior to paratroopers exiting Sept. 14, 2017, near Ede, Netherlands. Days prior to executing personnel drops during the Operation Market Garden event, aircrews conducted personnel drops during exercise Falcon Leap. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Codie Collins)

Chief Master Sgt. Lewis Holston, 314th Operations Group superintendent, surveys the drop zone prior to paratroopers exiting Sept. 14, 2017, near Ede, Netherlands. Days prior to executing personnel drops during the Operation Market Garden event, aircrews conducted personnel drops during exercise Falcon Leap. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Codie Collins)

German paratroopers jump from a C-130J assigned to Little Rock Air Force Base, Ark., Sept. 14, 2017, near Ede, Netherlands. Aircrew from the 62nd Airlift Squadron participated in Falcon Leap, an international airborne exercise.  (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Codie Collins)

German paratroopers jump from a C-130J assigned to Little Rock Air Force Base, Ark., Sept. 14, 2017, near Ede, Netherlands. Aircrew from the 62nd Airlift Squadron participated in Falcon Leap, an international airborne exercise. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Codie Collins)

A World War II and Operation Market Garden veteran stands for a moment of silence to remember those who sacrificed their lives 73 years ago on Sept. 16, 2017, at Ede, Netherlands. This event marks the 73rd anniversary of Operation Marked Garden, the largest airborne operation in history. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Codie Collins)

A World War II and Operation Market Garden veteran stands for a moment of silence to remember those who sacrificed their lives 73 years ago on Sept. 16, 2017, at Ede, Netherlands. This event marks the 73rd anniversary of Operation Marked Garden, the largest airborne operation in history. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Codie Collins)

French and British paratroopers congratulate each other after successfully landing on the drop zone during exercise Falcon Leap Sept. 15, 2017, at the Houtdorperveld Drop Zone, Netherlands. Approximately 750 paratroopers from eight different countries participated in exercise Falcon Leap and the commemoration of Operation Market Garden. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Codie Collins)

French and British paratroopers congratulate each other after successfully landing on the drop zone during exercise Falcon Leap Sept. 15, 2017, at the Houtdorperveld Drop Zone, Netherlands. Approximately 750 paratroopers from eight different countries participated in exercise Falcon Leap and the commemoration of Operation Market Garden. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Codie Collins)

Paratroopers from multiple countries jump from a C-130J assigned to Little Rock Air Force Base, Ark., Sept. 14, 2017, at Eindhoven Air Base, Netherlands. Aircrew from the 62nd Airlift Squadron conducted a personnel drop over Ginkelse Heide, the drop zone used during Operation Market Garden in 1944. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Codie Collins)
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Paratroopers from multiple countries jump from a C-130J assigned to Little Rock Air Force Base, Ark., Sept. 14, 2017, at Eindhoven Air Base, Netherlands. Aircrew from the 62nd Airlift Squadron conducted a personnel drop over Ginkelse Heide, the drop zone used during Operation Market Garden in 1944. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Codie Collins)

Paratroopers gather their belongings after successfully landing on the drop zone during exercise Falcon Leap Sept. 15, 2017, at the Houtdorperveld Drop Zone, Netherlands. Approximately 750 paratroopers from eight different countries participated in exercise Falcon Leap and the commemoration of Operation Market Garden. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Codie Collins)
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Paratroopers gather their belongings after successfully landing on the drop zone during exercise Falcon Leap Sept. 15, 2017, at the Houtdorperveld Drop Zone, Netherlands. Approximately 750 paratroopers from eight different countries participated in exercise Falcon Leap and the commemoration of Operation Market Garden. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Codie Collins)

Parachute canopies fill the sky as paratroopers from eight countries land at the Houtdorperveld Drop Zone during Falcon Leap Sept. 15, 2017, Ermelo, Netherlands. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Codie Collins)
PHOTO DETAILS  /   DOWNLOAD HI-RES 12 of 14

Parachute canopies fill the sky as paratroopers from eight countries land at the Houtdorperveld Drop Zone during Falcon Leap Sept. 15, 2017, Ermelo, Netherlands. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Codie Collins)

A C-130J from Little Rock Air Force Base, Ark., is flown over the Houtdorperveld Drop Zone as paratroopers conduct a static line jump Sept. 15, 2017, during exercise Falcon Leap. Aircrew members from the 62nd Airlift Squadron worked alongside eight different nations to honor and remember the sacrifices made in 1944 during Operation Market Garden. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Codie Collins)
PHOTO DETAILS  /   DOWNLOAD HI-RES 13 of 14

A C-130J from Little Rock Air Force Base, Ark., is flown over the Houtdorperveld Drop Zone as paratroopers conduct a static line jump Sept. 15, 2017, during exercise Falcon Leap. Aircrew members from the 62nd Airlift Squadron worked alongside eight different nations to honor and remember the sacrifices made in 1944 during Operation Market Garden. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Codie Collins)

Paratroopers from multiple countries load a C-130J assigned to Little Rock Air Force Base, Ark., Sept. 14, 2017, at Eindhoven Air Base, Netherlands. Aircrew from the 62nd Airlift Squadron conducted a personnel drop over Ginkelse Heide, the drop zone used during Operation Market Garden in 1944. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Codie Collins)
PHOTO DETAILS  /   DOWNLOAD HI-RES 14 of 14

Paratroopers from multiple countries load a C-130J assigned to Little Rock Air Force Base, Ark., Sept. 14, 2017, at Eindhoven Air Base, Netherlands. Aircrew from the 62nd Airlift Squadron conducted a personnel drop over Ginkelse Heide, the drop zone used during Operation Market Garden in 1944. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Codie Collins)

Little Rock Air Force Base, Ark. --
On Sept. 17, 1944, more than 30,000 American and British paratroopers jumped from over 2,000 aircraft into the Netherlands’ countryside, behind enemy lines, to capture bridges across the Maas and Rhine Rivers as well as several smaller canals and tributaries during Operation Market Garden.

Operation Market Garden was designed to secure the bridges in order to outmaneuver the more heavily armed German defenses of the northern end of the Siegfried Line and ensure a swift advance of Allied Forces straight to Berlin. Planners believed, if successful, the war would be over by Christmas. It was not. Operation Market Garden failed, and, the war in Europe did not end until May 8, 1945. However, 73 years later, “The Largest Airborne Operation in History,” is still commemorated by paratroopers around the world.

The Royal Netherlands Army, 11 Air Assault Brigade, hosted “Exercise Falcon Leap,” Sept. 16th, 2017, on the Ginkelse Heid Drop Zone, Netherlands, near the city of Ede, to honor those who fought for freedom in Operation Market Garden.

U.S. Air Force Reserve Master Sgt. Scott Klobucher, a loadmaster assigned to the 327th Airlift Squadron, 913th Airlift Group, was chosen to be a member of an aircrew from Little Rock Air Force Base, Ark., to participate in this year’s commemoration.

Klobucher joined Airmen and one aircraft from the 314th Airlift Wing at Little Rock AFB, in the memorial jump. The lineage of the 314 AW dates back to World War II and the 314th Troop Carrier Group, which took part in both Operation Market Garden and the Normandy Invasion.

“This was a great opportunity to inter-fly with another unit on base and strengthen our relationships with the flying squadrons,” Klobucher said.

Service members and aircraft from the United States, the Netherlands, United Kingdom, Poland, France and Germany took part in Exercise Falcon Leap.

“Being able to participate in such a historical event was a great honor and I was very grateful to be chosen to represent the 327th during this event,” Klobucher said. “I have gained even more respect for the brave men and women of WWII.”

Klobucher, also participated in a wreath laying ceremony at Ardennes American Military Cemetery in Neupre, Belgium, which honored members of several squadrons that current units at Little Rock AFB, can trace their roots back to WWII.

“This is a once in a lifetime experience working with the other countries in a peacetime capacity and the honor of actually performing personnel airdrops over the exact same drop zones used during WWII with 30,000 people watching has been the highlight of my career,” Klobucher said.