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1st Session
S. RES. 254

Designating August 16, 2011, as ‘National Airborne Day’.

August 2, 2011

Mr. REED (for himself, Ms. MURKOWSKI, Mr. WHITEHOUSE, Mr. CORKER, Mr. CRAPO, Ms. SNOWE, Mr. BLUNT, Mr. BROWN of Massachusetts, Mr. ROBERTS, Mr. BEGICH, Mr. LIEBERMAN, Ms. LANDRIEU, Mr. AKAKA, Mr. RUBIO, Mrs. HAGAN, Mr. BAUCUS, Mr. BLUMENTHAL, Mrs. HUTCHISON, Mr. CASEY, Mr. BURR, and Mr. COCHRAN) submitted the following resolution; which was considered and agreed to


Designating August 16, 2011, as ‘National Airborne Day’.

Whereas the airborne forces of the Armed Forces have a long and honorable history as bold and fierce warriors who, for the national security of the United States and the defense of freedom and peace, project the ground combat power of the United States by air transport to the far reaches of the battle area and to the far corners of the world;

Whereas the United States’ experiment with airborne operations began on June 25, 1940, when the Army Parachute Test Platoon was first authorized by the Department of War, and 48 volunteers began training in July 1940;

Whereas August 16 marks the anniversary of the first official Army parachute jump on August 16, 1940, to test the innovative concept of inserting United States ground combat forces behind a battle line by means of a parachute;

Whereas the success of the Army Parachute Test Platoon in the days immediately before the entry of the United States into World War II validated the airborne operational concept and led to the creation of a formidable force of airborne formations, such as the 11th, 13th, 17th, 82nd, and 101st Airborne Divisions;

Whereas included in these divisions, and among other separate formations, were many airborne combat, combat support, and combat service support units that served with distinction and achieved repeated success in armed hostilities that provide the lineage and legacy of many airborne units throughout our Armed Forces;

Whereas the achievements of the airborne forces during World War II prompted the evolution of those forces into a diversified force of parachute and air-assault units that, over the years, have fought in Korea, Vietnam, Grenada, Panama, the Persian Gulf region, and Somalia, and have engaged in peacekeeping operations in Lebanon, the Sinai Peninsula, the Dominican Republic, Haiti, Bosnia, and Kosovo;

Whereas since the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001, United States airborne forces, which include members of the XVIII Airborne Corps, the 82nd Airborne Division, the 101st Airborne Division, the 173rd Airborne Brigade Combat Team, the 4th Brigade Combat Team (Airborne) of the 25th Infantry Division, the 75th Ranger Regiment, and special operations forces of the Army, Marine Corps, Navy, and Air Force, together with other units of the Armed Forces, have demonstrated bravery and honor in combat, stability, and training operations in Afghanistan and Iraq;

Whereas the modern-day airborne force also includes other elite forces composed of airborne trained and qualified special operations warriors, including Army Special Forces, Marine Corps Reconnaissance units, Navy SEALs, and Air Force combat control and para-rescue teams;

Whereas of the members and former members of the United States airborne forces, thousands have achieved the distinction of making combat jumps, dozens have earned the Medal of Honor, and hundreds have earned the Distinguished Service Cross, the Silver Star, or other decorations and awards for displays of heroism, gallantry, intrepidity, and valor;

Whereas the members and former members of the United States airborne forces are all members of a proud and honorable tradition that, together with their special skills and achievements, distinguishes such members as intrepid combat parachutists, air assault forces, special operation forces, and, in former days, glider troops;

Whereas the history and achievements of the members and former members of the United States airborne forces warrant special expressions of the gratitude of the people of the United States; and

Whereas since the airborne forces, past and present, celebrate August 16 as the anniversary of the first official jump by the Army Parachute Test Platoon, August 16 is an appropriate day to recognize as National Airborne Day: Now, therefore, be it

    Resolved, That the Senate--

      (1) designates August 16, 2011, as ‘National Airborne Day’; and

      (2) calls on the people of the United States to observe National Airborne Day with appropriate programs, ceremonies, and activities.

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