By Staff Sgt. Kenneth D. Reed, 7th Army Training CommandOctober 20, 2016
GRAFENWOEHR, Germany -- One hundred paratroopers assigned to Alpha Battery (Assassins) and Bravo Battery (Bull), 4th Battalion, 319th Airborne Field Artillery Regiment, completed a heavy airborne drop Tuesday into Bunker Drop Zone, Grafenwoehr Training Area.
Four Howitzers and four Humvees were dropped into the training area from C17 Globemaster III aircraft from the Heavy Airlift Wing, Papa Air Base, Hungary. The paratroopers jumped into the training area after the equipment, then immediately transitioned into a fire support mission.
The follow-on live-fire mission allowed the airborne field artillery unit to tie together airborne operations with field artillery tasks.
"Fifteen minutes during the day and 25 minutes during the night," said Lt. Col. Dave Pasquale, commander of the 4-319th AFAR. "To meet those time standards, getting as many repetitions to train our young paratroopers is critical."
Command Sgt. Maj. Robert Edward Jr., 4-319th AFAR battalion command sergeant major, expressed that, "these types of exercises are critical to our readiness."
As the only U.S. forward-deployed airborne artillery unit in Europe, the 4-319th AFAR frequently exercises its ability to effectively carry out missions such as these.
"This type of operation is a critical capability that the 4-319th Airborne Field Artillery Regiment can deliver to a potential crisis area quickly, providing integrated fires with NATO maneuver forces," Pasquale said. "By demonstrating and practicing this capability to move and deliver lethal forces, we integrate ourselves into a larger deterrence strategy."
This jump was a small component of the exercise Peacemaster Unity, a joint multinational readiness exercise involving the participation of seven nations in missions across three countries.
The airborne drops are delivering more than 2,000 troops and 20 heavy drops from Oct. 17 to 22.