Category Archives: Physical Training

“Wearing Spurs Means a Cavalry Paratrooper Persevered”

Cavalry paratroopers from the 82nd Airborne Division recently proved themselves worthy to wear spurs.

Cavalry paratroopers assigned to the 82nd Airborne Division ruckmarch to their next lane during a Spur Ride, Tuesday, November 27 on Fort Bragg.

Paratroopers assigned to the 73rd Cavalry Regiment elements in the 1st, 2nd, 3rd and Combat Aviation Brigades of the 82nd Airborne Division conducted a Spur Ride on Fort Bragg in late November, ending in a Spur Ceremony on Wednesday, November 28th.

Two Spur Candidates from the 82nd Airborne Division drag a weighted litter during a lane evaluating their medical knowledge Tuesday, November 26 on Fort Bragg.

“Any day spent under the shade of red and white guidons is a great day,” said Maj. Shawn McNicol, the Executive Officer for 5th Squadron, 73rd Cavalry Regiment, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 82nd Airborne Division during his opening comments. “However, today is especially significant as we are able to bring together three Squadrons of the 73rd Cavalry Regiment in a single event of comradery and fellowship.”

The tradition of the Spur Ride draws from the heritage of U.S. Cavalry units. When new soldiers arrived to cavalry units, they required extensive training in horsemanship and mounted swordsmanship. These soldiers’ received a horse with a shaved tail, identifying them as a potential hazard and requiring extra space in which to train and operate.

While riding a “shave tail,” new Cavalry soldiers were not permitted to wear spurs, as their undisciplined use would only worsen a problem.

Two Spur Candidates from the 82nd Airborne Division carry a weighted rucksack while moving between evaluation lanes Tuesday, November 26 on Fort Bragg.

Only after extensive training and evaluation proving their skill at maneuvering a horse and wielding a sword would a Cavalry soldier be presented with spurs and his horse be permitted to grow out their shaved tail.

“The modern-day Spur Ride provides a Cavalry paratrooper a true gut-check; the means to do a personal assessment of their grit and determination,” said Lt. Col. Jonathan Hartsock, Commander of 5-73 CAV. “Wearing spurs means a cavalry paratrooper persevered. They were pushed to their physical and mental limits and they emerged victorious.”

Spur candidates, known as “Shave Tails,” underwent the thirty six hour long Spur Ride with minimal opportunity to rest and even less chances to sleep. As temperatures dipped below freezing in the November North Carolina winter, candidates continued to demonstrate their knowledge of Cavalry history, tactics, medical techniques and airborne proficiency.

Staff Sgt. Brittany Wildman, forefront, a paratrooper assigned to the 5th Squadron, 73rd Cavalry Regiment receives her spurs during a Spur Ceremony on Wednesday, November 28th on Fort Bragg.

“As a Cavalry paratrooper, the only thing more memorable than receiving your spurs is placing them on the heel of a candidate you sponsored through their Spur Ride,” continued Hartsock. “The Cavalry community here on Fort Bragg is strong and events like this continue our long and proud history.”

Panther Brigade Uses Crucible of Ground Combat to Test Technology

Fort Bragg-based paratroopers recently concluded an intensive training exercise requiring them to test what may be the U.S. Army’s next step in Mission-Command technology.

Paratroopers with the 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 82nd Airborne Division operate a tethered drone during the Network Integration Exercise 18.2 in El Paso, Texas, October 30th, 2018. Paratroopers from the brigade role-played as an opposing force during NIE, a large-scale evaluation of what may become the Army’s next generation of Mission Command technology.

 Paratroopers of the 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 82nd Airborne Division, in cooperation with the Joint Modernization Command, recently executed Network Integration Exercise 18.2 from late October to early November 2018.

Paratroopers assigned to the 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 82nd Airborne Division conduct a systems check on their VROD/VMAX electronic warfare equipment before conducting a tactical exercise at the recently concluded Network Integration Exercise. Paratroopers from the brigade conducted NIE as a large-scale evaluation of what may become the Army’s next generation of Mission Command technology.

 

“The best way to test a paratrooper and his or her equipment is to replicate the demanding crucible of ground combat,” said Col. Arthur Sellers, commander of the 3rd Brigade Combat Team. “NIE provided the brigade an excellent environment to evaluate the Army’s future Mission Command Systems and associated technologies, with the purpose of creating shared understanding and enabling the BCT to be more lethal”.

Paratroopers with the 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 82nd Airborne Division prepare to conduct an ambush attack November 2, 2018 during Network Integration Exercise 18.2. Paratroopers from the brigade conducted NIE as a large-scale evaluation of what may become the Army’s next generation of Mission Command technology.

Network Integration Exercise, spearheaded by JMC, examines concepts and capabilities addressing three of the six Army Modernization Priorities – Soldier Lethality, Long-Range Precision Fires and the Future Network.

Paratroopers from the 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 82nd Airborne Division conduct a security check November 2, 2018 during Network Integration Exercise 18.2. Paratroopers from the brigade conducted NIE as a large-scale evaluation of what may become the Army’s next generation of Mission Command technology.

“Our main objectives are to facilitate the execution of operationally realistic warfighting assessments for over two weeks and assess multi-domain operations while obtaining feedback from paratroopers on the ground,” said Rodger Lemons, Chief of Strategic Plans at the JMC.

Paratroopers from the 5th Squadron, 73rd Cavalry Regiment, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 82nd Airborne Division conduct air-assault training at the recently concluded Network Integration Exercise. Paratroopers from the brigade conducted NIE as a large-scale evaluation of what may become the Army’s next generation of Mission Command technology.

The exercise’s keystone concept focused on equipping 3rd Brigade paratroopers and units with emerging technology and equipment while setting them through a series of combat scenarios. Those using the equipment were then encouraged to provide candid criticism of the shortfalls and benefits of the technology.

A paratrooper assigned to the 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 82nd Airborne Division launches a PUMA Unmanned Aerial Surveillance Vehicle during the recently concluded Network Integration Exercise. Paratroopers from the brigade conducted NIE as a large-scale evaluation of what may become the Army’s next generation of Mission Command technology.

 

“Paratroopers on the ground are able to give developers immediate feedback,” said Lieutenant General Bruce T. Crawford, the Army’s chief information officer. “This allows the Army to move away from the monolithic programs of record and move into a more iterative approach that allows us to keep up with technological advancements.”

We are pushing towards a culture of innovation and the role these Paratroopers are playing is a game changer, continued Crawford.

Fury Paratroopers Conduct Live Fire Exercises

Paratroopers assigned to 1st Platoon, Company C, 1st Battalion, 508th Parachute Infantry Regiment conducted squad-level live-fire exercises on a Fort Bragg, N.C. range Wednesday, October 10, 2018.

The training immersed the 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 82nd Airborne Division paratroopers in realistic environments challenging their judgement, weapon skills and tactical knowledge.