The 82nd Airborne Division is sending the 3rd Brigade Combat Team, “Panther Brigade,” to a military training exercise rotation at the Joint Readiness Training Center (JRTC) at Fort Polk, La., the army’s premier combat training center.
More than 4,000 paratroopers and 500 pieces of equipment from Panther Brigade will participate in this 10-day exercise with soldiers from the Brazilian army, said Lt. Col. Mike Burns, public affairs officer with the 82nd Airborne Division.
“There are several unique things that set this rotation apart from previous rotations,” said Burns. “First, a deployment readiness exercise is built into this training exercise. Meaning, the unit will have to alert, assemble and conduct a simulated combat movement over a significant distance before loading U.S. Air Force aircraft and executing a “Direct Delivery” to Geronimo Drop Zone on Fort Polk, La. Typically, units conduct an administrative move by bus to JRTC. This tests our ability to quickly alert, assemble and deploy Paratroopers and equipment with little or short notice mission.
“Once there, the unit will spend 10 days conducting simulated combat operations to hone our ability to deploy, fight, and win anywhere within 18 hours of notification then dominate any drop zone or battlefield. This includes Airborne Assaults (C-17, C-130, UH-60, & CH-47) and live-fire exercises. This exercise will also test our ability to train along with partner nation Brazil, who deployed more than 100 Brazilian Army paratroopers to Fort Polk, La. to take part in the exercise.”
The 82nd Airborne Division, based at Fort Bragg, specializes in joint forcible entry operations. The mission of the 82nd Airborne Division is to, within 18 hours of notification, strategically deploy, conduct forcible entry parachute assault and secure key objectives for follow-on military operations in support of U.S. national interests.