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Ky. Air Guard completes airdrops in France for D-Day 75th anniversary

Paratroopers jump from a Kentucky Air National Guard C-130 Hercules over the Iron Mike drop zone in Sainte-Mère-Église, France, June 9, 2019, as part of the 75th-anniversary commemoration of D-Day. The Commemorative Airborne Operations event included nearly 1,000 paratroopers from Belgium, France, Germany, The Netherlands, Poland, Romania and the United Kingdom; and members of U.S. Special Operations Command Europe, United States Army Civil Affairs and Psychological Operations Command, 18th Airborne Corps, 75th Ranger Regiment, 82nd Airborne Division, 173rd Airborne Brigade, 503rd Military Police Battalion, 509th Infantry Regiment, 4th Brigade Combat Team (Airborne), 25th Infantry Division, and U.S. Air Forces Europe. D-Day remains a historic reminder of how the dedicated resolve of allies with a common purpose and shared vision builds proven partnerships that endure. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Phil Speck)

Paratroopers jump from a Kentucky Air National Guard C-130 Hercules over the Iron Mike drop zone in Sainte-Mère-Église, France, June 9, 2019, as part of the 75th-anniversary commemoration of D-Day. The Commemorative Airborne Operations event included nearly 1,000 paratroopers from Belgium, France, Germany, The Netherlands, Poland, Romania and the United Kingdom; and members of U.S. Special Operations Command Europe, United States Army Civil Affairs and Psychological Operations Command, 18th Airborne Corps, 75th Ranger Regiment, 82nd Airborne Division, 173rd Airborne Brigade, 503rd Military Police Battalion, 509th Infantry Regiment, 4th Brigade Combat Team (Airborne), 25th Infantry Division, and U.S. Air Forces Europe. D-Day remains a historic reminder of how the dedicated resolve of allies with a common purpose and shared vision builds proven partnerships that endure. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Phil Speck)

A Kentucky Air National Guard C-130 Hercules flies over the Iron Mike drop zone in Sainte-Mère-Église, France, June 9, 2019, prior to airdropping paratroopers as part of the 75th-anniversary commemoration of D-Day. The Commemorative Airborne Operations event included nearly 1,000 paratroopers from Belgium, France, Germany, The Netherlands, Poland, Romania and the United Kingdom; and members of U.S. Special Operations Command Europe, United States Army Civil Affairs and Psychological Operations Command, 18th Airborne Corps, 75th Ranger Regiment, 82nd Airborne Division, 173rd Airborne Brigade, 503rd Military Police Battalion, 509th Infantry Regiment, 4th Brigade Combat Team (Airborne), 25th Infantry Division, and U.S. Air Forces Europe. D-Day remains a historic reminder of how the dedicated resolve of allies with a common purpose and shared vision builds proven partnerships that endure. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Phil Speck)

A Kentucky Air National Guard C-130 Hercules flies over the Iron Mike drop zone in Sainte-Mère-Église, France, June 9, 2019, prior to airdropping paratroopers as part of the 75th-anniversary commemoration of D-Day. The Commemorative Airborne Operations event included nearly 1,000 paratroopers from Belgium, France, Germany, The Netherlands, Poland, Romania and the United Kingdom; and members of U.S. Special Operations Command Europe, United States Army Civil Affairs and Psychological Operations Command, 18th Airborne Corps, 75th Ranger Regiment, 82nd Airborne Division, 173rd Airborne Brigade, 503rd Military Police Battalion, 509th Infantry Regiment, 4th Brigade Combat Team (Airborne), 25th Infantry Division, and U.S. Air Forces Europe. D-Day remains a historic reminder of how the dedicated resolve of allies with a common purpose and shared vision builds proven partnerships that endure. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Phil Speck)

Paratroopers jump from a Kentucky Air National Guard C-130 Hercules over the Iron Mike drop zone in Sainte-Mère-Église, France, June 9, 2019, as part of the 75th-anniversary commemoration of D-Day. The Commemorative Airborne Operations event included nearly 1,000 paratroopers from Belgium, France, Germany, The Netherlands, Poland, Romania and the United Kingdom; and members of U.S. Special Operations Command Europe, United States Army Civil Affairs and Psychological Operations Command, 18th Airborne Corps, 75th Ranger Regiment, 82nd Airborne Division, 173rd Airborne Brigade, 503rd Military Police Battalion, 509th Infantry Regiment, 4th Brigade Combat Team (Airborne), 25th Infantry Division, and U.S. Air Forces Europe. D-Day remains a historic reminder of how the dedicated resolve of allies with a common purpose and shared vision builds proven partnerships that endure. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Phil Speck)

Paratroopers jump from a Kentucky Air National Guard C-130 Hercules over the Iron Mike drop zone in Sainte-Mère-Église, France, June 9, 2019, as part of the 75th-anniversary commemoration of D-Day. The Commemorative Airborne Operations event included nearly 1,000 paratroopers from Belgium, France, Germany, The Netherlands, Poland, Romania and the United Kingdom; and members of U.S. Special Operations Command Europe, United States Army Civil Affairs and Psychological Operations Command, 18th Airborne Corps, 75th Ranger Regiment, 82nd Airborne Division, 173rd Airborne Brigade, 503rd Military Police Battalion, 509th Infantry Regiment, 4th Brigade Combat Team (Airborne), 25th Infantry Division, and U.S. Air Forces Europe. D-Day remains a historic reminder of how the dedicated resolve of allies with a common purpose and shared vision builds proven partnerships that endure. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Phil Speck)

Paratroopers jump from a Kentucky Air National Guard C-130 Hercules over the Iron Mike drop zone in Sainte-Mère-Église, France, June 9, 2019, as part of the 75th-anniversary commemoration of D-Day. The Commemorative Airborne Operations event included nearly 1,000 paratroopers from Belgium, France, Germany, The Netherlands, Poland, Romania and the United Kingdom; and members of U.S. Special Operations Command Europe, United States Army Civil Affairs and Psychological Operations Command, 18th Airborne Corps, 75th Ranger Regiment, 82nd Airborne Division, 173rd Airborne Brigade, 503rd Military Police Battalion, 509th Infantry Regiment, 4th Brigade Combat Team (Airborne), 25th Infantry Division, and U.S. Air Forces Europe. D-Day remains a historic reminder of how the dedicated resolve of allies with a common purpose and shared vision builds proven partnerships that endure. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Phil Speck)

Paratroopers jump from a Kentucky Air National Guard C-130 Hercules over the Iron Mike drop zone in Sainte-Mère-Église, France, June 9, 2019, as part of the 75th-anniversary commemoration of D-Day. The Commemorative Airborne Operations event included nearly 1,000 paratroopers from Belgium, France, Germany, The Netherlands, Poland, Romania and the United Kingdom; and members of U.S. Special Operations Command Europe, United States Army Civil Affairs and Psychological Operations Command, 18th Airborne Corps, 75th Ranger Regiment, 82nd Airborne Division, 173rd Airborne Brigade, 503rd Military Police Battalion, 509th Infantry Regiment, 4th Brigade Combat Team (Airborne), 25th Infantry Division, and U.S. Air Forces Europe. D-Day remains a historic reminder of how the dedicated resolve of allies with a common purpose and shared vision builds proven partnerships that endure. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Phil Speck)

Aircrew from the Kentucky Air National Guard prepare to fly in a historic reenactment of D-Day at Évreux-Fauville Air Base in Évreux, France, June 9, 2019. Two C-130s and more than 30 Airmen from Kentucky’s 123rd Airlift Wing supported the 75th anniversary event, which included the airdrop of nearly 1,000 paratroopers over Normandy, France. The D-Day invasion, formally known as Operation Overlord, turned the tide of World War II in the European theater. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Lt. Col. Clint Banning)

Aircrew from the Kentucky Air National Guard prepare to fly in a historic reenactment of D-Day at Évreux-Fauville Air Base in Évreux, France, June 9, 2019. Two C-130s and more than 30 Airmen from Kentucky’s 123rd Airlift Wing supported the 75th anniversary event, which included the airdrop of nearly 1,000 paratroopers over Normandy, France. The D-Day invasion, formally known as Operation Overlord, turned the tide of World War II in the European theater. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Lt. Col. Clint Banning)

C-130 Hercules aircraft from the Kentucky Air National Guard, U.S. Air Force Reserve and U.S. Air Force fly over Sainte-Mère-Église, France, before airdropping nearly 1,000 paratroopers June 9, 2019, as part of the 75th-anniversary commemoration of D-Day. The Commemorative Airborne Operations event included nearly 1,000 paratroopers from Belgium, France, Germany, The Netherlands, Poland, Romania and the United Kingdom; and members of the Kentucky Air National Guard, U.S. Special Operations Command Europe, United States Army Civil Affairs and Psychological Operations Command, 18th Airborne Corps, 75th Ranger Regiment, 82nd Airborne Division, 173rd Airborne Brigade, 503rd Military Police Battalion, 509th Infantry Regiment, 4th Brigade Combat Team (Airborne), 25th Infantry Division, and U.S. Air Forces Europe. D-Day remains a historic reminder of how the dedicated resolve of allies with a common purpose and shared vision builds proven partnerships that endure. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Phil Speck)

C-130 Hercules aircraft from the Kentucky Air National Guard, U.S. Air Force Reserve and U.S. Air Force fly over Sainte-Mère-Église, France, before airdropping nearly 1,000 paratroopers June 9, 2019, as part of the 75th-anniversary commemoration of D-Day. The Commemorative Airborne Operations event included nearly 1,000 paratroopers from Belgium, France, Germany, The Netherlands, Poland, Romania and the United Kingdom; and members of the Kentucky Air National Guard, U.S. Special Operations Command Europe, United States Army Civil Affairs and Psychological Operations Command, 18th Airborne Corps, 75th Ranger Regiment, 82nd Airborne Division, 173rd Airborne Brigade, 503rd Military Police Battalion, 509th Infantry Regiment, 4th Brigade Combat Team (Airborne), 25th Infantry Division, and U.S. Air Forces Europe. D-Day remains a historic reminder of how the dedicated resolve of allies with a common purpose and shared vision builds proven partnerships that endure. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Phil Speck)

A C-130 Hercules aircraft flies over Sainte-Mère-Église, France, June 9, 2019, as part of the 75th-anniversary commemoration of D-Day. The Commemorative Airborne Operations event included nearly 1,000 paratroopers from Belgium, France, Germany, The Netherlands, Poland, Romania and the United Kingdom; and members of the Kentucky Air National Guard, U.S. Special Operations Command Europe, United States Army Civil Affairs and Psychological Operations Command, 18th Airborne Corps, 75th Ranger Regiment, 82nd Airborne Division, 173rd Airborne Brigade, 503rd Military Police Battalion, 509th Infantry Regiment, 4th Brigade Combat Team (Airborne), 25th Infantry Division, and U.S. Air Forces Europe. D-Day remains a historic reminder of how the dedicated resolve of allies with a common purpose and shared vision builds proven partnerships that endure. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Phil Speck)

A C-130 Hercules aircraft flies over Sainte-Mère-Église, France, June 9, 2019, as part of the 75th-anniversary commemoration of D-Day. The Commemorative Airborne Operations event included nearly 1,000 paratroopers from Belgium, France, Germany, The Netherlands, Poland, Romania and the United Kingdom; and members of the Kentucky Air National Guard, U.S. Special Operations Command Europe, United States Army Civil Affairs and Psychological Operations Command, 18th Airborne Corps, 75th Ranger Regiment, 82nd Airborne Division, 173rd Airborne Brigade, 503rd Military Police Battalion, 509th Infantry Regiment, 4th Brigade Combat Team (Airborne), 25th Infantry Division, and U.S. Air Forces Europe. D-Day remains a historic reminder of how the dedicated resolve of allies with a common purpose and shared vision builds proven partnerships that endure. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Phil Speck)

Nearly 1,000 paratroopers from multiple countries descend over the Iron Mike drop zone in Sainte-Mère-Église, France, June 9, 2019, as part of the 75th-anniversary commemoration of D-Day. The Commemorative Airborne Operations event included nearly 1,000 paratroopers from Belgium, France, Germany, The Netherlands, Poland, Romania and the United Kingdom; and members of the Kentucky Air National Guard, U.S. Special Operations Command Europe, United States Army Civil Affairs and Psychological Operations Command, 18th Airborne Corps, 75th Ranger Regiment, 82nd Airborne Division, 173rd Airborne Brigade, 503rd Military Police Battalion, 509th Infantry Regiment, 4th Brigade Combat Team (Airborne), 25th Infantry Division, and U.S. Air Forces Europe. D-Day remains a historic reminder of how the dedicated resolve of allies with a common purpose and shared vision builds proven partnerships that endure. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Phil Speck)

Nearly 1,000 paratroopers from multiple countries descend over the Iron Mike drop zone in Sainte-Mère-Église, France, June 9, 2019, as part of the 75th-anniversary commemoration of D-Day. The Commemorative Airborne Operations event included nearly 1,000 paratroopers from Belgium, France, Germany, The Netherlands, Poland, Romania and the United Kingdom; and members of the Kentucky Air National Guard, U.S. Special Operations Command Europe, United States Army Civil Affairs and Psychological Operations Command, 18th Airborne Corps, 75th Ranger Regiment, 82nd Airborne Division, 173rd Airborne Brigade, 503rd Military Police Battalion, 509th Infantry Regiment, 4th Brigade Combat Team (Airborne), 25th Infantry Division, and U.S. Air Forces Europe. D-Day remains a historic reminder of how the dedicated resolve of allies with a common purpose and shared vision builds proven partnerships that endure. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Phil Speck)

A C-130 Hercules aircraft flies over the Iron Mike drop zone in Sainte-Mère-Église, France, June 9, 2019, as part of the 75th-anniversary commemoration of D-Day. The Commemorative Airborne Operations event included nearly 1,000 paratroopers from Belgium, France, Germany, The Netherlands, Poland, Romania and the United Kingdom; and members of the Kentucky Air National Guard, U.S. Special Operations Command Europe, United States Army Civil Affairs and Psychological Operations Command, 18th Airborne Corps, 75th Ranger Regiment, 82nd Airborne Division, 173rd Airborne Brigade, 503rd Military Police Battalion, 509th Infantry Regiment, 4th Brigade Combat Team (Airborne), 25th Infantry Division, and U.S. Air Forces Europe. D-Day remains a historic reminder of how the dedicated resolve of allies with a common purpose and shared vision builds proven partnerships that endure. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Phil Speck)

A C-130 Hercules aircraft flies over the Iron Mike drop zone in Sainte-Mère-Église, France, June 9, 2019, as part of the 75th-anniversary commemoration of D-Day. The Commemorative Airborne Operations event included nearly 1,000 paratroopers from Belgium, France, Germany, The Netherlands, Poland, Romania and the United Kingdom; and members of the Kentucky Air National Guard, U.S. Special Operations Command Europe, United States Army Civil Affairs and Psychological Operations Command, 18th Airborne Corps, 75th Ranger Regiment, 82nd Airborne Division, 173rd Airborne Brigade, 503rd Military Police Battalion, 509th Infantry Regiment, 4th Brigade Combat Team (Airborne), 25th Infantry Division, and U.S. Air Forces Europe. D-Day remains a historic reminder of how the dedicated resolve of allies with a common purpose and shared vision builds proven partnerships that endure. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Phil Speck)

An aircrew from the 165th Airlift Squadron flies over the skies of Normandy, France, aboard a Kentucky Air National Guard C-130, June 4, 2019. Two C-130s and more than 30 Airmen from the Kentucky Air Guard’s 123rd Airlift Wing deployed from their base in Louisville, Ky., to participate in aerial events for the 75th anniversary of D-Day. The D-Day invasion, formally known as Operation Overlord, turned the tide of World War II in the European theater. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Phil Speck)
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An aircrew from the 165th Airlift Squadron flies over the skies of Normandy, France, aboard a Kentucky Air National Guard C-130, June 4, 2019. Two C-130s and more than 30 Airmen from the Kentucky Air Guard’s 123rd Airlift Wing deployed from their base in Louisville, Ky., to participate in aerial events for the 75th anniversary of D-Day. The D-Day invasion, formally known as Operation Overlord, turned the tide of World War II in the European theater. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Phil Speck)

Capt. Nick Reinke, a pilot for the 165th Airlift Wing, flies a Kentucky Air National Guard C-130 over the skies of Normandy, France, June 4, 2019. Two C-130s and more than 30 Airmen from the Kentucky Air Guard’s 123rd Airlift Wing deployed from their base in Louisville, Ky., to participate in aerial events for the 75th anniversary of D-Day. The D-Day invasion, formally known as Operation Overlord, turned the tide of World War II in the European theater. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Phil Speck)
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Capt. Nick Reinke, a pilot for the 165th Airlift Wing, flies a Kentucky Air National Guard C-130 over the skies of Normandy, France, June 4, 2019. Two C-130s and more than 30 Airmen from the Kentucky Air Guard’s 123rd Airlift Wing deployed from their base in Louisville, Ky., to participate in aerial events for the 75th anniversary of D-Day. The D-Day invasion, formally known as Operation Overlord, turned the tide of World War II in the European theater. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Phil Speck)

Senior Airman Austin Lewis, a radio frequency transmissions technician for the Kentucky Air National Guard’s 123rd Global Mobility Squadron, installs telephone communications at Évreux-Fauville Air Base in Évreux, France, June 4, 2019. Two C-130s and more than 30 Airmen from the Kentucky Air Guard’s 123rd Airlift Wing deployed from their base in Louisville, Ky., to participate in aerial events over Normandy, France, for the 75th anniversary of D-Day. The D-Day invasion, formally known as Operation Overlord, turned the tide of World War II in the European theater. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Phil Speck)
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Senior Airman Austin Lewis, a radio frequency transmissions technician for the Kentucky Air National Guard’s 123rd Global Mobility Squadron, installs telephone communications at Évreux-Fauville Air Base in Évreux, France, June 4, 2019. Two C-130s and more than 30 Airmen from the Kentucky Air Guard’s 123rd Airlift Wing deployed from their base in Louisville, Ky., to participate in aerial events over Normandy, France, for the 75th anniversary of D-Day. The D-Day invasion, formally known as Operation Overlord, turned the tide of World War II in the European theater. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Phil Speck)

Staff Sgt. Courtnay Hester, an aircraft generation equipment mechanic for the Kentucky Air National Guard’s 123rd Global Mobility Squadron, buries a ground rod for a generator at Évreux-Fauville Air Base in Évreux, France, June 4, 2019. Two C-130s and more than 30 Airmen from the Kentucky Air Guard’s 123rd Airlift Wing deployed from their base in Louisville, Ky., to participate in aerial events over Normandy, France, for the 75th anniversary of D-Day. The D-Day invasion, formally known as Operation Overlord, turned the tide of World War II in the European theater. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Phil Speck)
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Staff Sgt. Courtnay Hester, an aircraft generation equipment mechanic for the Kentucky Air National Guard’s 123rd Global Mobility Squadron, buries a ground rod for a generator at Évreux-Fauville Air Base in Évreux, France, June 4, 2019. Two C-130s and more than 30 Airmen from the Kentucky Air Guard’s 123rd Airlift Wing deployed from their base in Louisville, Ky., to participate in aerial events over Normandy, France, for the 75th anniversary of D-Day. The D-Day invasion, formally known as Operation Overlord, turned the tide of World War II in the European theater. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Phil Speck)

Senior Airman John Hart, a crew chief for the 123rd Aircraft Maintenance Squadron, performs maintenance release operations prior to a Kentucky Air National Guard C-130 flight at Évreux-Fauville Air Base in Évreux, France, June 4, 2019. Two C-130s and more than 30 Airmen from the Kentucky Air Guard’s 123rd Airlift Wing deployed from their base in Louisville, Ky., to participate in aerial events over Normandy, France, for the 75th anniversary of D-Day. The D-Day invasion, formally known as Operation Overlord, turned the tide of World War II in the European theater. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Phil Speck)
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Senior Airman John Hart, a crew chief for the 123rd Aircraft Maintenance Squadron, performs maintenance release operations prior to a Kentucky Air National Guard C-130 flight at Évreux-Fauville Air Base in Évreux, France, June 4, 2019. Two C-130s and more than 30 Airmen from the Kentucky Air Guard’s 123rd Airlift Wing deployed from their base in Louisville, Ky., to participate in aerial events over Normandy, France, for the 75th anniversary of D-Day. The D-Day invasion, formally known as Operation Overlord, turned the tide of World War II in the European theater. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Phil Speck)

Aircrew members from multiple nations pose for a group photo at Évreux-Fauville Air Base in Évreux, France, June 6, 2019, as part of the 75th-anniversary observance of D-Day. Multiple units will participate in aerial events though June 9, including members of the Kentucky Air National Guard’s 123rd Airlift Wing; Air Force Reserve units from Minnesota, Alabama, and Colorado; and active duty U.S. Air Force units from Ramstein Air Base, Germany, Dyess Air Force Base, Texas, and Little Rock Air Force Base, Ark. They will partner with military personnel from Belgium, France, The Netherlands and Romania. D-Day remains a historic reminder of how the dedicated resolve of allies with a common purpose and shared vision builds proven partnerships that endure. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Phil Speck)
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Aircrew members from multiple nations pose for a group photo at Évreux-Fauville Air Base in Évreux, France, June 6, 2019, as part of the 75th-anniversary observance of D-Day. Multiple units will participate in aerial events though June 9, including members of the Kentucky Air National Guard’s 123rd Airlift Wing; Air Force Reserve units from Minnesota, Alabama, and Colorado; and active duty U.S. Air Force units from Ramstein Air Base, Germany, Dyess Air Force Base, Texas, and Little Rock Air Force Base, Ark. They will partner with military personnel from Belgium, France, The Netherlands and Romania. D-Day remains a historic reminder of how the dedicated resolve of allies with a common purpose and shared vision builds proven partnerships that endure. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Phil Speck)

Maj. Bryan Keating, a navigator from the Kentucky Air National Guard's 165th Airlift Squadron, flies over the skies of Normandy, France, aboard a Kentucky Air Guard C-130 on June 4, 2019. Two C-130s and more than 30 Airmen from the Kentucky Air Guard’s 123rd Airlift Wing deployed from their base in Louisville, Ky., to participate in aerial events for the 75th anniversary of D-Day. The D-Day invasion, formally known as Operation Overlord, turned the tide of World War II in the European theater. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Phil Speck)
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Maj. Bryan Keating, a navigator from the Kentucky Air National Guard's 165th Airlift Squadron, flies over the skies of Normandy, France, aboard a Kentucky Air Guard C-130 on June 4, 2019. Two C-130s and more than 30 Airmen from the Kentucky Air Guard’s 123rd Airlift Wing deployed from their base in Louisville, Ky., to participate in aerial events for the 75th anniversary of D-Day. The D-Day invasion, formally known as Operation Overlord, turned the tide of World War II in the European theater. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Phil Speck)

Master Sgt. Kyle Goins (left), a radio frequency transmissions technician for the Kentucky Air National Guard’s 123rd Global Mobility Squadron, and Tech. Sgt. Brian Milburn, a 123rd GMS loadmaster, check radio frequencies at Évreux-Fauville Air Base in Évreux, France, June 4, 2019. Two C-130s and more than 30 Airmen from the Kentucky Air Guard’s 123rd Airlift Wing deployed from their base in Louisville, Ky., to participate in aerial events over Normandy, France, for the 75th anniversary of D-Day. The D-Day invasion, formally known as Operation Overlord, turned the tide of World War II in the European theater. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Phil Speck)
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Master Sgt. Kyle Goins (left), a radio frequency transmissions technician for the Kentucky Air National Guard’s 123rd Global Mobility Squadron, and Tech. Sgt. Brian Milburn, a 123rd GMS loadmaster, check radio frequencies at Évreux-Fauville Air Base in Évreux, France, June 4, 2019. Two C-130s and more than 30 Airmen from the Kentucky Air Guard’s 123rd Airlift Wing deployed from their base in Louisville, Ky., to participate in aerial events over Normandy, France, for the 75th anniversary of D-Day. The D-Day invasion, formally known as Operation Overlord, turned the tide of World War II in the European theater. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Phil Speck)

Aircrew members from multiple nations board a 96th Airlift Squadron C-130 at Évreux-Fauville Air Base in Évreux, France, June 6, 2019, as part of the 75th-anniversary observance of D-Day. Multiple units will participate in aerial events though June 9, including members of the Kentucky Air National Guard’s 123rd Airlift Wing; Air Force Reserve units from Minnesota, Alabama, and Colorado; and active duty U.S. Air Force units from Ramstein Air Base, Germany, Dyess Air Force Base, Texas, and Little Rock Air Force Base, Ark. They will partner with military personnel from Belgium, France, The Netherlands and Romania. D-Day remains a historic reminder of how the dedicated resolve of allies with a common purpose and shared vision builds proven partnerships that endure. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Phil Speck)
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Aircrew members from multiple nations board a 96th Airlift Squadron C-130 at Évreux-Fauville Air Base in Évreux, France, June 6, 2019, as part of the 75th-anniversary observance of D-Day. Multiple units will participate in aerial events though June 9, including members of the Kentucky Air National Guard’s 123rd Airlift Wing; Air Force Reserve units from Minnesota, Alabama, and Colorado; and active duty U.S. Air Force units from Ramstein Air Base, Germany, Dyess Air Force Base, Texas, and Little Rock Air Force Base, Ark. They will partner with military personnel from Belgium, France, The Netherlands and Romania. D-Day remains a historic reminder of how the dedicated resolve of allies with a common purpose and shared vision builds proven partnerships that endure. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Phil Speck)

Military members and civilians from multiple countries view a C-47 Douglas Sky Train at Cherbourg-Marpertus Airport in Cherbourg-Octeville, France, June 6, 2019, as part of the 75th-anniversary observance of D-Day. The C-47 was one of the primary aircraft used for air assault on D-Day on June 6, 1944. This year, multiple aircrews from around the world will participate in aerial events over Normandy, France, for the 75th anniversary, including members of the Kentucky Air National Guard’s 123rd Airlift Wing; Air Force Reserve units from Minnesota, Alabama, and Colorado; and active duty U.S. Air Force units from Ramstein Air Base, Germany, Dyess Air Force Base, Texas, and Little Rock Air Force Base, Ark. They will partner with military personnel from Belgium, France, The Netherlands and Romania. D-Day remains a historic reminder of how the dedicated resolve of allies with a common purpose and shared vision builds proven partnerships that endure. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Phil Speck)
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Military members and civilians from multiple countries view a C-47 Douglas Sky Train at Cherbourg-Marpertus Airport in Cherbourg-Octeville, France, June 6, 2019, as part of the 75th-anniversary observance of D-Day. The C-47 was one of the primary aircraft used for air assault on D-Day on June 6, 1944. This year, multiple aircrews from around the world will participate in aerial events over Normandy, France, for the 75th anniversary, including members of the Kentucky Air National Guard’s 123rd Airlift Wing; Air Force Reserve units from Minnesota, Alabama, and Colorado; and active duty U.S. Air Force units from Ramstein Air Base, Germany, Dyess Air Force Base, Texas, and Little Rock Air Force Base, Ark. They will partner with military personnel from Belgium, France, The Netherlands and Romania. D-Day remains a historic reminder of how the dedicated resolve of allies with a common purpose and shared vision builds proven partnerships that endure. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Phil Speck)

A C-47 Douglas Sky Train sits on display at Cherbourg-Marpertus Airport in Cherbourg-Octeville, France, June 6, 2019, as part of the 75th-anniversary observance of D-Day. The C-47 was one of the primary aircraft used for air assault on D-Day on June 6, 1944. This year, multiple aircrews from around the world will participate in aerial events over Normandy, France, for the 75th anniversary, including members of the Kentucky Air National Guard’s 123rd Airlift Wing; Air Force Reserve units from Minnesota, Alabama, and Colorado; and active duty U.S. Air Force units from Ramstein Air Base, Germany, Dyess Air Force Base, Texas, and Little Rock Air Force Base, Ark. They will partner with military personnel from Belgium, France, The Netherlands and Romania. D-Day remains a historic reminder of how the dedicated resolve of allies with a common purpose and shared vision builds proven partnerships that endure. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Phil Speck)
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A C-47 Douglas Sky Train sits on display at Cherbourg-Marpertus Airport in Cherbourg-Octeville, France, June 6, 2019, as part of the 75th-anniversary observance of D-Day. The C-47 was one of the primary aircraft used for air assault on D-Day on June 6, 1944. This year, multiple aircrews from around the world will participate in aerial events over Normandy, France, for the 75th anniversary, including members of the Kentucky Air National Guard’s 123rd Airlift Wing; Air Force Reserve units from Minnesota, Alabama, and Colorado; and active duty U.S. Air Force units from Ramstein Air Base, Germany, Dyess Air Force Base, Texas, and Little Rock Air Force Base, Ark. They will partner with military personnel from Belgium, France, The Netherlands and Romania. D-Day remains a historic reminder of how the dedicated resolve of allies with a common purpose and shared vision builds proven partnerships that endure. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Phil Speck)

Aircrew from the U.S. Air Force Reserve’s 96th Airlift Squadron fly over Normandy, France, June 6, 2019, as part of the 75th-anniversary obserance of D-Day. Multiple units will participate in aerial events though June 9, including members of the Kentucky Air National Guard’s 123rd Airlift Wing; Air Force Reserve units from Minnesota, Alabama, and Colorado; and active duty U.S. Air Force units from Ramstein Air Base, Germany, Dyess Air Force Base, Texas, and Little Rock Air Force Base, Ark. They will partner with military personnel from Belgium, France, The Netherlands and Romania. D-Day remains a historic reminder of how the dedicated resolve of allies with a common purpose and shared vision builds proven partnerships that endure. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Phil Speck)
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Aircrew from the U.S. Air Force Reserve’s 96th Airlift Squadron fly over Normandy, France, June 6, 2019, as part of the 75th-anniversary obserance of D-Day. Multiple units will participate in aerial events though June 9, including members of the Kentucky Air National Guard’s 123rd Airlift Wing; Air Force Reserve units from Minnesota, Alabama, and Colorado; and active duty U.S. Air Force units from Ramstein Air Base, Germany, Dyess Air Force Base, Texas, and Little Rock Air Force Base, Ark. They will partner with military personnel from Belgium, France, The Netherlands and Romania. D-Day remains a historic reminder of how the dedicated resolve of allies with a common purpose and shared vision builds proven partnerships that endure. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Phil Speck)

NORMANDY, France -- The Kentucky Air National Guard performed seven flyovers and helped airdrop nearly 1,000 U.S. and Allied paratroopers over hallowed ground here this week as part of the 75th anniversary of D-Day.

The historic invasion of Normandy in 1944 took the lives of 53,000 Allied service members but tuned the tide of war in the European Theater.

As part of this year’s observance, the Kentucky Air Guard’s 123rd Airlift Wing deployed two C-130 Hercules aircraft and more than 30 Airmen to participate in the fly-bys and reenactments from June 2 to 9. Those Airmen are expected to return home today.

The biggest event was held June 9, when two Kentucky Air Guard C-130s flew in a 17-aircraft formation from which almost 1,000 paratroopers were dropped at the Iron Mike drop zone in Sainte-Mère-Église, France. The Kentucky C-130s led a nine-ship formation joined by aircraft from the U.S. Air Force Reserve, and C130s from Belgium, France, the Netherlands and Romania. They met up with eight U.S. Air Force C130s to fly in the large Commemorative Airborne Operations event.

Sainte-Mère-Église was one of the first towns to be liberated from Nazi Germany in the early morning hours of D-Day, June 6, 1944.

During one of the earlier flyovers this year, a Kentucky C-130 incurred a bird strike on one of its wings, said Capt. Nick Reinke, a 123rd Airlift Wing pilot and mission commander. The deployed group was able to contact U.S. Air Force maintainers at Ramstein Air Base, Germany, who delivered parts to repair the aircraft so it could fly again in commemoration events.

“This was the smoothest 17-aircraft formation we’ve ever flown in,” Reinke said, calling it an honor to reenact the heroism of Allied forces 75 years ago.

Chief Master Sgt. Jeff Brown echoed those sentiments.

“This was an incredible opportunity,” said Brown, loadmaster superintendent for Kentucky’s 165th Airlift Squadron. “To be involved with something so significant — I never thought that in my career I would get to do something like this, especially as my career is coming to an end. We have some young guys with us, too, and it has been great for them to see what it takes to go into a large exercise like this.”

In addition to air operations, many ground support elements participated in the observance, including the Kentucky Air Guard’s 123rd Global Mobility Squadron.

“I was very pleased that we could take a small team of 12 members, making up a contingency response team led by a senior noncommissioned officer, and for the first time in an overseas named exercise, provide superb support to U.S. and international aircraft. We hit a few snags, which they were able to overcome, and everything worked as planned.”

Col. Robert Hamm, commander of the Kentucky Air Guard’s 123rd Operations Group, agreed that the experience provided excellent training for large-scale interoperability.

“In additional to being able to take part of this momentous occasion, this was a great opportunity to train with the active duty Air Force, the Air Force Reserve and all the other countries that took park in the 75th anniversary of D-Day,” he said.