Tag Archives: future force

Brains and Brawn; Amazing Race Test Airborne Engineers’ Mental Agility and Physical Endurance

Airborne Engineers from the 82nd Airborne Division tested their mental agility and physical endurance Aug. 28, 2018 on Fort Bragg, North Carolina.

Paratroopers from the 307th Airborne Engineer Battalion, 3rd Brigade Combat Team participated in an “Amazing Race” style contest, testing their ability to solve problems while under physical stress.

The battalion divided into teams by birth month and set off to visit as many stations as possible throughout the brigade’s area on Fort Bragg. Stations required the paratroopers to solve a mentally and physically-demanding task to earn points.

At one location, paratroopers closed their eyes, randomly grasped the hands of two separate teammates and untangled themselves into a circle. Another event required a blindfolded paratrooper to navigate through a course while receiving verbal instructions from his partner.


Paratroopers Train to Jump Stinger Missiles, Defend Against Air Threats on Future Drop Zones

82nd Airborne Paratroopers are Training to Conduct Static-Line Airborne Operations with the Air-Defense Missile

Conducting static-line airborne operations with non-typical weapons systems requires specialized training and equipment due to their large size. Paratroopers accustomed to the size and weight of a weapons case carrying an M4 or M249 must learn how to pack, move with and exit an aircraft with the bulkier equipment.

Paratroopers of the 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 82nd Airborne Division have been training to perform airborne insertions with the Stinger Missile Jump Pack, a Man-Portable Air-Defense System capable of defending drop zones from hostile unmanned aerial vehicles and rotary wing aircraft.

“Operational environments the Army has operated in were mainly focused on countering insurgencies and Air Defense’s focus centered around protection from Inter-Continental Ballistic Missiles,” said Capt. Herman Wu, the 3rd BCT Air Defense Officer. “It wasn’t until near-peer threats to paratroopers became apparent that the Army recognized a capability gap exists in Short Range Air Defense on the drop zone.”

The weapon’s capability to defend against air threats on the drop zone makes it an essential component in future airborne operations.

“As an airborne unit, the Stinger Missile Jump Pack greatly increases our ability to defend against enemy UAS and rotary wing threats,” said Wu. “It is likely our next drop zone will be beyond the range of any friendly Air Defense assets and air superiority does not guarantee safety from enemy air threats.

“It could likely be our only defense against air threats in the initial stages of an airborne operation as the enemy tries to take advantage of our re-organization,” he added.

Training to jump with the Stinger Missile Jump Pack on Fort Bragg consisted of several events intended to familiarize the 3rd BCT paratroopers with the bulkiness of the equipment when exiting an aircraft. It also helped increase their knowledge about the system’s employment.

Paratroopers assigned to the 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 82nd Airborne Division and soldiers assigned to the 108th Air Defense Artillery Brigade conduct classroom training on conducting static-line airborne operations with the Stinger Missile Jump Pack Thursday, March 15.

Classroom instruction, practical exercise at the United States Army Advanced Airborne School’s 34-foot tower and virtual-reality training at the Fort Bragg Virtual Stinger Missile Dome conducted throughout March with the 108th Air Defense Artillery Brigade developed the paratroopers’ knowledge about jumping with the system and employing it on the ground.

“Through this training, paratroopers are gaining confidence in their ability to successfully conduct a static-line airborne operation with the Stinger Missile Jump pack,” said Wu. “Their presence on the drop zone provides an extremely effective countermeasure to enemy air threats.”

Panther Brigade Trains to Jump with Stinger Missiles

Paratroopers assigned to the 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 82nd Airborne Division trained at the United States Army Advanced Airborne School on Fort Bragg, N.C. with a Stinger Missile Jump Packs on March 13 and 14. The paratroopers trained with the specialized equipment in preparation to conduct static-line airborne operations with the surface-to-air missile.