Disaster on Green Ramp: The Army s Response is a powerful story of pain, terror, pride, courage, and compassion. It celebrates the magnificent spirit of the men and women who make up America's military community.
This work describes the Army's exceptionally effective response to the tragic events on 23 March 1994 at Pope Air Force Base, North Carolina. On that day a large number of Army paratroopers from nearby Fort Bragg had assembled in an area adjacent to the airstrip known as Green Ramp, preparing to board a transport that would carry them aloft for a training parachute jump. They never made that jump. Shortly after 1400 hours two aircraft attempted to land simultaneously at Pope. The resulting crash produced a massive fire that brought death or injury to more than a hundred paratroopersthe worst peacetime loss of life suffered by the 82d Airborne Division since World War II.
You will recognize the troopers, doctors, medics, chaplains, volunteers, and family members who triumphed over tragedy; some by name, but most by type. They are, in truth, much like you and meessentially ordinary people cast in extraordinary roles by fate. What they shared was a fierce loyalty to one another.
The Center of Military History is proud to present this study, which is largely based upon the first-person accounts of those involved. I urge you to read it, to reflect on the insights shared by those who made history, and to discuss it within your own unit and organization. It is a story worth telling again and again.
1 April 1996
JOHN W. MOUNTCASTLE
Brigadier General, USA
Chief of Military History