Portuguese and German Pathfinders: Exercise DEEPINFIL 21 in Portugal

Bryan Ferreira

Exercise DEEPINFIL 21 occurred from November 9th to 19th at the Tancos Military Aerodrome, where the Portuguese Army Rapid Reaction Brigade Command headquarters is settled.

The exercise DEEPINFIL 21 had the participation of the Airborne Operational Battalion (BOAT-Batalhão Operacional Aeroterrestre) of the Parachute Regiment, personnel from the Special Operations Troops Center (CTOE-Centro de Tropas de Operações Especiais), the German Air Force and the 1st German Airborne Brigade (witch is based in Fritzlar, Germany). For this exercise, the German Armed Forces sent 172 Military personnel, 3 Aircraft, and several vehicles to Portugal.

This exercise DEEPINFIL 21, which is part of the BOAT operational training cycle, served to train the planning of airborne operations and the execution of infiltrations of the Combat Pathfinders Detachment, integrating elements of the Special Operations Forces, through manual opening jumps at physiological and not physiological.

Some Portuguese Military also completed the Operational Freefall and Operational Tandem Pilot Courses in this exercise. The Operational Freefall Course is intended to enable military personnel with the necessary skills to infiltrate the Theater of Operations through freefall jumps, with combat equipment and oxygen system at high altitudes, in daytime or nighttime environments.

The Operational Tandem Pilot Course is intended to prepare the military to perform the role of Tandem Pilot in the Company of Precursors, to carry out high altitude infiltrations through “wing” parachute jumps, using two-seat equipment for this purpose, carrying a passenger and loads up to 200 kg. This valence makes it possible to include one or more non-qualified specialists in operational free fall in the constitution of the force.

These highly specialized soldiers are part of NATO’s rapid reaction forces. The interaction between the Portuguese Combat Pathfinders and German Forces allowed the exchange of techniques, tactics, and procedures, enhancing the creation of synergies in airborne training methodologies technical procedures between all participants.

Parachutists of both Nations took advantage of the excellent weather conditions that Portugal provides, thus training tactical parachute jumps with combat equipment, both day and night operations, using the German aircraft A400M and Skytrucks M28, which this country sent to Portugal for this exercise.

We want to give a Thank you to the Portuguese Military as well as the German Military for their cooperation in this article.

You can also watch a video of the exercise DEEPINFIL 21:

YouTube video

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