The Only Unit In The World That Can Do This
The legendary US 101st Airborne Division returns to its strength in the brigade-scale air strike, what it does best. If you need to get a large number of troops and weapons on the battlefield or even into enemy territory, give the 101st guys a call.
The 101st Airborne Division recently conducted this very type of brigade-sized air assault operation. Within four days, soldiers from the 3rd Brigade Combat Team of the 101st Airborne Division and the 101st Combat Air Brigade, Wings of Destiny, moved over 1,000 soldiers and hurled over 30 large pieces of equipment such as vehicles and earthmoving machines to the designated location.
The exercise is designed to practice establishing a position that a larger following can move freely into combat. Along with placing troops in combat positions, the maneuver positioned artillery, armed vehicles, and earth-moving machinery so that engineers could repair the runways damaged by the fighting. The goal is to repair runaway planes so cargo planes can land for supplies and troop movements.
The elite air strike force has replaced the parachute as a means of airborne delivery of ground forces onto the battlefield.
Although the paratroopers of the Pathfinder Companies of the 101st Combat Aviation Brigade and 159th Combat Aviation Brigade are allowed to keep their maroon berets, the soldiers in the unit are no longer in paid parachute positions. Of three Pathfinder companies in the army, the two in Fort Campbell, Kentucky, were the last units in the division in jump status.
“You could say it’s the end of an era,” said Daniel Peterson, director of the Don F. Pratt Museum, 101st Airborne Division. “The very last parachute troops are no longer in the division.”
However, he said the change has more traditional meanings than the actual real-time operational impact. Although the division began with a majority of the troops who were parachutists, the 101st Airborne Division was officially named Airmobile in 1968 and then classified as Air raid 1974. The movements decimated parachute positions in the division. The 101st carried out air strikes for a long time, and the jumps for the last two parachute units were largely made to allow the units to remain in jump status.
The 101st Airborne Division remains one of the most famous air raid units in the world.