This five days exercise consisted of a fitness test of 49 push-ups and 59 sit-ups, each done in two minutes, and a four-mile run in 32 minutes, followed by 30 lanes of testing on skills such as land navigation, knowledge and operation of various weapon systems, explosive devices identification, medical and patrol lanes, and a final 12-mile road march.
"The EIB exercise is designed to be mentally and physical challenging," said Sgt. Maj. Shawn Rost, Non-Commissioned Officer-in-charge of operations for 1st Brigade Combat Team, 82nd Airborne Division, Fort Bragg N.C.
SGM Rost said the Paratroopers began their hands-on training with the EIB cadres two weeks earlier, where they received step-by-step classes on all 30 testing lanes.
"This exercise proves that a Paratrooper can learn a set of tasks quickly over a short amount of time and perform under extreme conditions," said First Lt. Jeffrey Bart, the Executive Officer for 2-504th Parachute Infantry Regiment, 1st Brigade Combat Team.
Bart said, earning an EIB is extremely important to him because it proves that he can be an expert in various weapon systems, to include patrolling lanes and able provide immediate medical care on the battlefield.
SGM Rost said the exercise offered Paratroopers the opportunity to enhance their fundamental Warrior Skills necessary to be successful in their profession, and it is a satisfying experience, seeing how all of the hard work from all members of the 1BCT team culminated in a world-class training event which got the attention of distinguished guests, such as the Secretary of the Army, Dr. Mark T. Esper. Out of the 650 Paratroopers who started 159 were successful.
"This exercise is significantly important to all Paratroopers, but imperative moreso to non-commissioned officers," said Cpt. George Fletcher, Alpha Company Commander of 1-504th Parachute Infantry Regiment, 1st Brigade Combat Team. "What EIB really means is for a Paratrooper to master the basics and fundamentals, at the lowest level, in order to be able accomplish the Army's mission."