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NEWS | Dec. 6, 2017

Air support for Operation Toy Drop 2017

By Sgt. Brigitte Morgan 354th Mobile Public Affairs Detachment

 U.S. Army Reserve Soldiers from the 350th Human Resources Company (HRC) from Grand Prairie, Texas, supported airborne Soldiers and foreign jumpmasters participating in the Randy Oler Memorial Operation Toy Drop, which runs from Nov. 30 to Dec. 8, 2017.

Operation Toy Drop is an annual joint service and multi-national training event where airborne Soldiers exercise their jump skills and maintain their focused readiness under the direction of jumpmasters from partner nations and potentially earn their foreign jump wings. With almost 4,200 Soldiers jumping, each flight and Soldier must be carefully slotted and inserted into each manifest.

The Reserve human resource specialists worked with Soldiers from the U.S. Army Civil Affairs and Psychological Operations Command (Airborne) to create flight manifests, print certificates and organize the foreign jump wings by country for each Soldier.

“This is actually our second year supporting Operation Toy Drop,” said 2nd Lt. Curtis Crenshaw, officer in charge from the 350th HRC. “We have a solid group of Soldiers. We spent long days training and have long days ahead of us as we set up and support these jumpers.”

More than 300 Active and Reserve Soldiers were part of the supporting staff that worked alongside of the foreign jumpmasters from Colombia, Canada, Latvia, The Netherlands, Sweden, Italy, Germany and Poland.

“We have 60 Soldiers from the 350th working on the manifest and award teams,” said Army Sgt. Breanna Lafayette, a non-commissioned officer from the 350th HRC. “We get to stand alongside the foreign jumpmasters when they give out the awards. It’s a great opportunity and really interesting to work with the other countries.”

For two new Soldiers from the 350th HRC, Operation Toy Drop was an exciting first opportunity to use their skills.

“It’s a little different than what I learned in AIT [Advanced Individual Training]. You learn as you go on this mission,” said Army Pvt. Joey Sleight, a human resource specialist from the 350th HRC. “I’m actually really excited to see all the jumpers.”

This year is the 20th anniversary of Operation Toy Drop. In addition to the USACAPOC(A), the 82nd Airborne Division mission was supported by U.S. Army Reserve Soldiers to include human resources, transportation, medical, military police, combat camera, public affairs and riggers who worked together to support Operation Toy Drop as it continues to be the world’s largest joint and combined airborne and collective training operation.