HOHENFELS, Germany -- U.S. Army paratroopers from the 173rd Airborne Brigade embarked on the second day of comprehensive air landing operations during exercise Saber Junction 16 at the Hohenfels Training Area.
The brigade uses air landing operations as a delivery method to bring in the necessary combat forces, logistical, communication, and engineer capabilities among others needed to sustain and conduct combat operations.
The brigade demonstrated its ability to successfully dispatch reconnaissance elements and mission control assets to a piece of terrain, which will serve as a headquarters Tactical Operation Center (TOC) once secured and repaired by a Light Airfield Repair Package (LARP). The LARP is responsible for making any basic repairs to an airfield runway to aide in the continued dissemination of combat forces.
"The LARP is specifically important to repairing the airstrip due to the fact that is has a water distributor that helps the roller compact the soft ground to repair the surface area", said, Cpt. Jesse Carter, an Engineer officer assigned to 54th Brigade Engineer Battalion.
"If the enemy causes damages and places obstacles, the LARP gives us the ability to mitigate these issues and take the fight to the enemy. "said Carter.
The ability to transport supplies, personnel and equipment anywhere in the world is a mission essential task for the 173rd Airborne Brigade, as the brigade's serves as the qualified airborne force to execute contingency operation throughout Europe.
As the air landing sequence continues, the brigade's combat capacity will evolve into a full fighting force, ready and able to conduct follow on operations.
"It is absolutely essential that all systems air land and that we get them ready for operations." said 1st Lt. Robertson, Shawn, a Platoon leader with 54th BEB. "The air strip is one of the best assets we have as far as moving in and out of the theater of operations enabling ease of access".
Once the equipment reaches the brigade's Tactical Operations Center, analog systems are upgraded to allow more effective planning to execute more complex operations.
Air landing operations require close planning with many agencies including the U.S. Air force as well as local military and civil air authorities.
Saber Junction 16 will evaluate and assess the readiness of the 173rd Airborne Brigade to conduct land operations in a joint, combined environment and to promote interoperability with participating Allied and partner nations.
The 173rd Airborne Brigade based in Vicenza, Italy, is the Army Contingency Response Force in Europe, and is capable of projecting forces to conduct the full of range of military operations across the United State European, Central and Africa Commands areas of responsibility