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Canadian and Lithuanian paratroopers swap 'chutes



Canadian and Lithuanian military paratroopers exchanged parachutes and conducted a jump as part of Exercise Maple Arch 2006 in Rukla, Lithuania on October 23, 2006.

Twenty members of The Royal Canadian Regiment, 3rd Battalion, swapped equipment with their Lithuanian counterparts and jumped from an An-2 aircraft and MI-8 helicopter into clear skies over the military training area. After numerous jumps into the sandy dunes of Drop Zone ”Marshmallow", parachute specialists from the two nations exchanged jump wings in a ceremony at the end of the day. 

”This joint parachute jump and wings exchange is symbolic of trust amongst allies," said Canadian Contingent Commander Major Paul Lockhart. ”It is in this spirit of trust and learning that Exercise Maple Arch has brought all the participating nations together with common purpose."

Canadian, Lithuanian, Polish and Ukrainian troops are participating in Exercise Maple Arch 2006 from October 13-27 to share their respective experiences and expertise gained through international operations. The exercise will train light infantry skills across a variety of Peace Support Operations settings to improve military interoperability at the individual and multinational small unit level. Maple Arch is sponsored by Canada's Military Training Assistance Program, which funds several such activities advancing Canada's contribution to international peace and security.

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