Paratroopers and family members of the 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 82nd Airborne Division celebrated the Thanksgiving holiday Tuesday, November 22 at the brigade’s Dining Facility on Fort Bragg, North Carolina.
“Today, paratroopers and family members of the brigade are thankful for the opportunity to celebrate as we enter the holiday season,” said Col. Arthur Sellers, the 3rd Brigade Combat Team’s Commander. “This meal gives everyone an opportunity to fellowship while enjoying the delicious food prepared by our expert culinary team,” he continued.
To prepare the meal, Culinary Specialists from the 82nd Brigade Support Battalion, part of the 3rd BCT, began preparing the night before and worked into the early morning on the finishing touches. The paratroopers prepared over 640 lbs. of turkey, 558 lbs. of steamship round, 72 lbs. of shrimp, more than 100 pies, approximately 700 servings of sweet potatoes and approximately 800 servings of green bean casserole to serve during the brigade’s Thanksgiving meal.
The Panther Brigade’s Thanksgiving meal was held Tuesday, November 20th in the brigade’s Dining Facility on Fort Bragg. Honoring tradition, leaders from across the brigade served the meal to paratroopers and their families while dressed in their Army Service Uniform.
Special decorations adorned the dining facility to celebrate the holiday and honor the 50th anniversary of the brigade’s short-notice deployment in 1968 to Vietnam to conduct combat operations. Sent in response to the Tet Offensive, the 3rd Brigade gained the nickname “The Golden Brigade” while fighting the Viet Cong in numerous pitched battles over the course of a year-long deployment.
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 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.
“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”.
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.
“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.
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.
“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.