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Special Announcement

CACI Commemorates the 73rd Anniversary of D-Day – the Allied Invasion of Normandy

In the predawn hours of June 6, 1944, 160,000 brave young members of the greatest generation jumped off heaving landing craft, waded through the choppy and dangerous waters of the English Channel, faced curtains of bullets from the cliffs above, stepped over deadly booby traps hidden in the sands of the Normandy beaches, and began the final campaign for Allied Victory in Europe.

As CACI Executive Chairman and Chairman of the Board Dr. J.P. (Jack) London notes, "D-Day was the beginning of the end for Nazism, and 73 years later, we remember the heroism, sacrifices, and dedication to freedom of all the courageous troops who sacrificed to make this possible."

The invasion of Normandy was the culmination of months of planning, deception, and technological feats on behalf of the multinational forces involved in the invasion. In the wake of the Allied invasion of Italy in 1943 that halted Hitler’s expansionist plans into Europe, the Allies were determined to end the war on the continent, and force a German surrender. The United States, together with our Allies, hatched a multipronged strategic plan to  invade the north of France, and from there march on Paris, pushing the Nazis back across the German border.

D-Day 72nd Anniversary
Photo courtesy of National Archives and Records Administration

Taxis to Hell – and Back – Into the Jaws of Death, a historic photograph taken by chief photographer's mate Robert F. Sargent, depicts troops wading onto "Omaha Beach," Normandy, on the morning of June 6, 1944.

Operation Overlord, the codename for the invasion of Hitler’s Fortress Europe, began with Operation Bodyguard in 1943, the elaborate deception tactics designed to mislead the enemy as to the date, time, and location of the invasion, the number of troops involved, and the weaponry and armament being deployed. Operation Neptune, after the mythical Roman God of the Seas, was the codename for the beach landing at Normandy. Operations Fortitude-North and Fortitude-South, under the umbrella of Operation Bodyguard, were targeted to create the belief that the initial attack would be at Pas de Calais, rather than at Normandy.

For Allied plans to succeed, the British and American armies used a variety of tactics, including the creation of a fictitious Army Group, complete with unit patches, located in southern England; radio communications routed though England for broadcast; and strategic and well-known military leaders stationed in England until the very last possible minute to maintain that illusion. The night before the invasion, the British Army deployed dummy paratroopers over strategic locations in France, and dropped metal foil strips over Calais that mimicked naval maneuvers on radar. In addition, brilliant British codebreakers had broken the German cypher machine, Enigma, and were able to read encrypted communications that indicated the enemy was buying into the Allies’ plans and what steps they were planning in response. Intelligence matters. And the strategic minds behind the invasion knew that planning and information were the keys to success.

D-Day 72nd Anniversary
Photo courtesy Getty Images

The German High Command surrenders at allied headquarters in Reims, France, on May 7, 1945.

However, at the end of the day, the boots on the ground and the wings in the air ultimately execute the plans, and fulfill the mission. Countless acts of selfless heroism are recounted in personal accounts of the battle – men risking their lives to save their brothers in arms and defeat the enemy who had threatened the freedoms and existence of sovereign nations and peoples across the European continent.

As Dr. London explains, "D-Day was the largest seaborne invasion in history. It included 160,000 troops on June 6th alone, with a total of 875,000 landing by the end of June. The Allies fought through the fields of France and Belgium until the final German surrender on May 7, 1945. We owe a tremendous debt of gratitude to those young men, and we remember them with honor and appreciation each year." Dr. London also has a personal connection to the landmark event, as his uncle, 2nd Lt. Gordon L. Phillips, USA, participated in the Normandy invasion with the 83rd Infantry Division. He was later killed in action.

Dr. London also notes that the Friends of the National World War II Memorial is commemorating the anniversary with a wreath-laying ceremony at 11 a.m. on Tuesday, June 7, 2016 at the World War II Memorial in Washington, D.C. Dr. London serves on the Friends’ Board of Directors.

Of the heroes of D-Day, he says, "They are stirring reminders that freedom is not free, and that our struggle to remain free continues even today, though in different locales and against a new and ruthless enemy. The legacy of the heroes of D-Day lives on in all the brave men and women of our Armed Forces who continue to fight for freedom."

CACI offers veterans an opportunity to continue their national service on CACI teams supporting national security and government modernization. Veterans should visit CACI's Careers page and Military Hiring Center to learn more.


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