Spartan paratroopers jump back into training
July 25, 2014
JOINT BASE ELMENDORF-RICHARDSON, Alaska- Paratroopers here with U.S. Army Alaska's 4th Infantry Brigade Combat Team (Airborne), 25th Infantry Division got back to work this week by jumping into action after returning from summer leave.
More than 1,500 paratroopers and equipment filled the skies over Malamute Drop Zone this past Monday through Wednesday as part of a partnership training event with members of the U.S. Air Force from Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Wash. and Joint Base Pear Harbor-Hickam, Hawaii.
The partnership training focuses on increased proficiency during an airborne assault and airfield seizure.
"They prove our proficiencies to deal with any threat in any environment," said Col. Matthew McFarlane, the Spartan Brigade commander said of the training. "Along with the Air Force units here and across from Air Mobility Command, we've been able to prove we can do that."
Earlier this year and in the span of one month, the Spartan Brigade conducted three airborne operations that extended over the Pacific Ocean and two continents.
Spartan paratroopers flew 17 hours from the below freezing temperatures of JBER and jumped into the tropical jungles of Thailand to participate in Cobra Gold 2014, one of the largest multinational and multiservice exercises in Southeast Asia, which takes places annually throughout the Kingdom of Thailand.
Two days later after parachuting there they packed up and jumped right back into The Last Frontier and then conducted a separate airborne operation 400 miles north of the Arctic Circle to simulate a search-and-rescue mission near Deadhorse, Alaska.
"I think it's a pretty unique experience," said McFarlane. "[By executing] both out load and delivery of our combat forces through joint forcible entry with every one of our missions we do like this today, we prove our proficiency."
The Spartan Brigade will conduct a similar event again in September with different U.S. Air Force units from across the Pacific.
"With every repetition, we become better at what we do," said McFarlane.