Sgt. Maj. Steven Noonan, the 3rd Brigade Combat Team’s Operations Sergeant Major, became the 82nd Airborne Division’s newest Centurion after completing his 100th static-line parachute operation early Sept. 21, 2018 jumping onto Fort Bragg’s Sicily Drop Zone.
Noonan has served in the 504th, 505th and 508th Parachute Infantry Regiments during his career and completed the nighttime combat jump with other members of the brigade to rehearse Assault Command Post operations.
Paratroopers from the 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 82nd Airborne Division recently trained to clear minefields in a flash and with a boom.
Engineers from Alpha and Bravo Companies, 307th Airborne Engineer Battalion trained to breach complex obstacles and provide assured mobility of the 3rd Brigade Combat Team on Fort Bragg, North Carolina Aug. 18, 2018.
They accomplished this by firing the first live Mine-Clearing Line Charge on Fort Bragg in more than 20 years.
“The MICLIC provides the capability to clear an eight by one hundred meter path through a mine obstacle in minutes,” said. Maj. Christopher Pierce, the 307th AEB Executive Officer.
The MICLIC is a rocket-propelled line charge containing over 1750 lbs. of explosives capable of breaching minefields emplaced by enemy forces.
Once launched, the charges explode, detonating or pushing away any buried mines nearby and clearing a path for vehicles and personnel to travel through.
“This capability allows the brigade’s maneuver forces to maintain momentum through the obstacle to reach their objectives,” said Pierce.
Though many inert MICLICs are fired on Fort Bragg, this was the first live one fired in over 20 years. Coordination for the ranges began in March and required the occupation of four ranges and numerous road guards controlling fire-breaks leading into the area said Pierce.
“Conducting an explosive clearance of an obstacle with a MICLIC is a lost talent that is not often trained on due to the difficulty obtaining the required land and live demolitions,” said Pierce. “This opportunity provides the training and repetitions needed to ensure the Sapper Companies are trained and prepared to execute this task.”
Two paratroopers from the 82nd Airborne Division distinguished themselves above their peers during a grueling competition on Fort Bragg held July 25-26.
Staff Sgt. Miguel Matias, a Medic assigned to Headquarters, Headquarters Troop, 5th Squadron, 73rd Cavalry Regiment and Sgt. Tyler Fisher, a Medic assigned to Headquarters, Headquarters Company, 2nd Battalion, 504th Parachute Infantry Regiment proved their exceptional medical knowledge while demonstrating steadfast endurance during the two day competition.
“Best Medic is important because it tests out the Medics’ competency and their physical and mental toughness,” said Sgt. 1st Class Evelyn Pollard, the 3rd Brigade Combat Team’s senior medic, about the competition.
Participants began the competition in the early morning with a Ranger Physical Fitness Test before moving onto a written evaluation and marksmanship ranges. Designed to determine the division’s top two medics, events continued to stress the paratroopers’ technical knowledge and mental and physical endurance with an obstacle course, night land-navigation, a 12-mile ruck and a rope-rigging evaluation.
With little rest and nutrition, paratroopers’ completed a final evaluation consisting of lanes testing their ability to respond to a wide range of simulated medical emergencies.
Spc. Edgar Cortes, a member of Headquarters, Headquarters Company, 1st Battalion, 508th Parachute Infantry Regiment, was the youngest medic competing, having earned his Expert Field Medical Badge earlier this year.
“I didn’t really know what to expect,” said Cortes before beginning the competition. “I came here for the experience and realistic training.”
Matias and Tyler will continue to train to compete in the Army-wide Command Sgt. Maj. Jack L. Clark Jr. competition, scheduled to begin September 15 on Camp Bullis, Texas.