Soldiers from the U.S. Army's 2nd Armored Division in Fort Hood, Texas (1963)
To demonstrate its ability to rapidly reinforce NATO troops in Europe in the event of a Cold War emergency, the United States launched "Operation Big Lift" on October 22, 1963. During the course of "Big Lift," approximately 15,000 soldiers from the 2nd Armored Division in Fort Hood, Texas, were deployed to West Germany within seventy-two hours. (At the time, it normally took six weeks to transport a full division overseas.) This photograph shows soldiers with their commanding officer at the Rhein-Main airport in Frankfurt am Main (end of October 1963). Photo by Will McBride.