Dozens of friends, families, and loved ones lined Pike Field on Fort Bragg to welcome home 82nd Airborne Division Paratroopers Friday.
Nearly 300 Paratroopers from the Division’s 1st Brigade Combat Team, Combat Aviation Brigade, and other members of the Immediate Response Force Brigade (IRF) began their redeployment from the Middle East back to Fort Bragg. A total of nearly 2,900 Paratroopers will return in the coming weeks.
On December 31, the 82nd Airborne Division executed a true no-notice deployment, rapidly projecting combat power into the CENTCOM area of responsibility. This included mission command elements of the Division Tactical Command Post (DTAC), the Immediate Response Force Brigade (1st Brigade Combat Team), a Multifunctional Aviation Task Force (Task Force Saber), and other enablers from across the division.
Since being deployed in January, the Brigade supported CENTCOM security missions and conducted significant partnered training events throughout the region.
“The Brigade’s deployment has been historic,” said Col. Andrew Saslav, 1st Brigade Combat Team Commander. “Our Paratroopers deployed on no-notice to deter foreign aggression and were prepared to defeat the enemies of our Nation, and for almost five months we remained postured and ready to respond wherever needed.”
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They also completed individual and unit-level training, including airborne operations, the first-ever expeditionary Jumpmaster qualification (in CENTCOM) and non-commissioned officer leader courses, all while maintaining an immediate response capability.
“We trained, we increased our lethality and our readiness, and we are returning home to Fort Bragg more ready than when we departed,” said Saslav. “These Paratroopers embody the 82nd’s commitment as America’s Guard of Honor.”
Task Force Saber provided critical mission support in theater to include airborne operations and air integration exercises at sea with the U.S. Navy.
As directed by the Department of Defense, the Paratroopers will undergo a 14‐day quarantine period to include health monitoring and appropriate medical treatment upon returning to the United States.