Sept. 14, 2020, Soldiers from 7th Infantry Division and Paratroopers from the 4th Brigade Combat Team (Airborne), 25th Infantry Division, “Spartan Brigade,” executed a joint forcible entry operation into Donnelly Training Area, Alaska as part of exercise Defender Pacific 20.
Defender Pacific ‘20 is a series of U.S. military activities which demonstrate strategic readiness and commitment to a free and open Indo-Pacific in support of the U.S National Defense Strategy. It involves the employment and command and control of robust U.S. military forces conducting joint operations to enhance our ability to support our allies and partners across the full spectrum of potential security concerns.
Spartan Paratroopers flew in U.S. Air Force C-17 and C-130J aircraft across the entire length of the Aleutian Islands before returning to central Alaska where they jumped in the early morning hours and conducted an airfield seizure exercise. Soldiers and personnel assigned to America’s First Corps and 7th Infantry Division, both at Joint Base, provided command and control for the paratroopers from their location at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, in Washington State.
“This exercise proves both the capability and readiness of our Spartan Paratroopers to provide a flexible option to the combatant commander,” said Col. Christopher Landers, the Spartan Brigade commander. “On short notice, our Paratroopers showed that they could coordinate with our sister service partners to seize terrain hundreds of miles away.”
Around 300 Paratroopers from the Anchorage-based unit participated in the airborne operation as part of a U.S. Army Pacific joint exercise. During this operation, 4-25 IBCT (A) executed an in-flight rig while 7ID utilized joint fires capabilities to simulate degrading enemy anti-access, area denial capabilities. Additionally, an M142 High Mobility Artillery Rocket System from the 17th Fires Brigade based at Joint Base Lewis-McChord was flown and emplaced at Eareckson Air Station on Shemya Island in the Aleutian Islands. F-22 fighter jets from Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson provided air support to both units.