Operation Market Garden 2010 was an non-commercial operation but an official exchange in between Airborne units.

During weekend September, 17th through 19th I joined my German Abn Unit for Operation Market Garden 2010 in Arnhem. There I had again the great honour to jump on the famous DZ Ginkel Heath with the official military delegations.

In total we were some 600 jumpers from UK (4 Para Bn), the Netherlands (mainly from Airmobile Bde, USA (mainly from 5QM), Germany (some 150 Fallschirmjager, mainly from the 2 German Abn Brigades) and Finland. Every participant jumped with a foreign nation jumpmasters and parachute to gain the Airborne wings of the respective nation.

On Friday we were manifested and briefed on the parachutes and safety procedures. We moved by bus to the Dutch Airbase Eindhoven where we got in harness and entered the jump-ships on Saturday early morning. 6 aircrafts were dropping the international jumpers: 1 DC-47 Dakota and 1 C-130 Hercules from the British Royal Air Force, 3 US AF C-130 Hercules and 1 German C-160 Transall provided by the German Air Force. In 3 waves all jumpers were dispatched safely on the famous DZ where we were welcomed by many thousand viewers and of course the most respectable veterans.

Operation Market Garden 2010 was accomplished with a great wing ceremony on late Saturday afternoon. On Saturday evening I visited Oosterbeek and met many old friends for some beers. It was a big “hello” from some friends from other groups who did not expect meeting me in Arnhem. I enjoyed this evening very much and returned home on Sunday morning.

While I had jumped with the US Abn Forces last year, this year I jumped with 4Para/ The Parachute Regiment. Jump-ship was a British C-130, parachute the British LLP. After my jump with the No1 Parachute Training School in December 2005 it was a pleasure again, seeing the professional British Parachute Jump Instructors acting during the briefing and in the aircraft.

Pictures of Operation Market Garden 2010 you please find on our photo-gallery "Conducted Operations".

It was a great honour to me participating in this great operation.Thanks to our friend Theo, who made this possible again! We will be back in 2011!


Stefan Eicker

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