Fostering the brotherhood


running up that hill
Jan 3, 2007
in Wonderland, with my Alice

WATKINS, Colo. (USASOC News Service, March 22, 2011) – Soldiers of the Colorado Army National Guard’s 5th Battalion, 19th Special Forces Group (Airborne) teamed up with Canadian forces, March 3, to participate in what the Colorado contingent's primary jumpmaster, Capt. Matt Yates, calls a “friendship jump.”

“We do it to keep the brotherhood alive,” said the jumpmaster. “We can learn a lot from one another. It’s not always about us.”

Another benefit according to Maj. Martin Bortolutti, 5th Bn, 19th SFG Special Warfare Training Detachment commander is to promote joint operations. “It’s good to learn each other’s procedures. It’s beneficial for our jumpmasters to learn one another’s skills and commands and their respective actions in the aircraft,” Major Bortolutti said.

The link between 5th Bn, 19th SFG (A) and the Canadian unit – 6th Platoon, Company B, 3rd Battalion, Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry (PPCLI ) – goes back to 2002, when the troops were co-located in southeast Afghanistan.

As is customary with airborne operations between nations, members of each nation exchanged their country’s honorary jump wings – or parachutist’s badges – at the completion of the jump.

“The spirit of the Airborne Soldier, no matter what nation, is similar,” said Maj. Bortolutti. “We wanted to reignite that mutual camaraderie.”

Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry is one of three main infantry regiments of the Canadian Forces and one of the most decorated regiments in Canada.