Sixty-five soldiers from the 3rd Battalion, The Royal 22e Régiment based in Valcartier, Que., and 9 other Canadian Armed Forces personnel will participate in activities commemorating the 72nd anniversary of the Second World War’s Operation MARKET GARDEN in Arnhem, the Netherlands, from September 13 to 17, 2016.
Organized by the 11th Airmobile Brigade of the Royal Netherlands Army, the commemorative activities for this historic offensive will occur in two parts. First, international airborne operations units will conduct parachute jumps from September 13 to 16 on Exercise Falcon Leap and exchange “wings”, the uniform insignia and award which designate parachute jumpers. Then, on September 17, the Canadian paratroopers will jump simultaneously with counterparts from Belgium, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Poland, and the United Kingdom in a re-enactment of the "mass jump" that was the hallmark of Operation MARKET GARDEN.
A ceremony honouring the memory of the soldiers who participated in the operation in 1944 will conclude the commemoration.
"The presence of our soldiers in the commemorative activities in Arnhem demonstrates the commitment of the Canadian Armed Forces to remember the heroic actions of Canada and allied countries that helped liberate the Netherlands during the Second World War and to pay tribute to the soldiers who made the ultimate sacrifice. Exercise FALCON LEAP and the jump commemorating Operation MARKET GARDEN also provide an ideal opportunity to share knowledge with participating nations and further enhance our skills in airborne operations.” - Lieutenant-Colonel Frédéric Pruneau, Commanding Officer of the 3rd Battalion, The Royal 22e Régiment
More than 800 paratroopers from different countries will participate in Exercise FALCON LEAP and the commemoration of the 72nd anniversary of Operation MARKET GARDEN. Troops from Belgium, Canada, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Poland and the United Kingdom will be among those participating.
During Exercise FALCON LEAP, the Canadian paratroopers will jump from aircraft from various countries taking part. Participating nations will have the opportunity to mutually earn parachute “wings”— an award which acknowledges specific jump achievements.
Operation MARKET GARDEN is an important moment in the history of the Netherlands and of the Second World War. The relationship that exists today between Canada and the Netherlands dates back to the Second World War, in which Canada played a key role in liberating the Dutch people.