FORT CAMPBELL, Ky. -- Soldiers of Bravo Company, 326th Brigade Engineer Battalion, 1st Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault), recently completed an Emergency Deployment Readiness Exercise, or EDRE, July 22, 2021, at Fort Campbell, Ky.
This is the fourth such exercise that the division has completed this year. Previous units to complete EDREs include Cougar Company, 2nd Battalion, 327th Infantry Regiment, 1st BCT; and Chaos Troop, 1st Squadron, 75th Cavalry Regiment, 2nd BCT.
EDRE’s test a unit’s ability to receive orders for a time-sensitive mission and rapidly deploy troops who are ready to fight and win to a predetermined location. Deployable readiness is a vital component in the 101st; Soldiers must be prepared at any moment to join the fight and defeat the enemy, regardless of their MOS or rank.
For this iteration of the EDRE, 326 BEB tested a few different functions. One function tested was cold load operations which involves loading and unloading stationary helicopters. Soldiers also gained hands-on experience alongside the 621st Air Mobility Support Operation Squadron out of Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, New Jersey.
“The cold load operations or the static load operations help both units when it comes to the cargo upload process,” said Staff Sergeant John Burroughs, 621st AMSOS. “The load masters assigned to the C-5 get the exposure to the cargo that's being uploaded, and then the Army units or the units that are training with their cargo get exposure for their load teams on how to tie down everything, what is required for their cargo during upload, and preparations prior to getting on the airplane.”
During the cold load operation, Soldiers and Airmen worked together to load the C-5 with wooden boxes used to simulate cargo, a dozer used for route clearance, and a Buffalo Mine-Protected Clearance Vehicle.
In addition to cold load training, 1st Platoon, joined by their battalion commander Lt. Col. Walter “Tom” Allard, flew out to a training area with the help of a CH-47 Chinook and two UH-60 Blackhawks and conducted training on demolitions before moving to a nearby range to qualify on the M4.
2nd Platoon, also known as the route clearance platoon, put their skills to the test as well. Throughout the day and into the evening, Soldiers conducted reconnaissance, convoyed back to their objective and constructed brazier charges, before setting them off in the early daylight hours.
“The brazier charges are used to blow up obstacles in the way of the footpath when on patrol,” said Staff Sgt. Brandon Carter, platoon leader for 2nd Platoon. “It’s critical to the success of the EDRE that our Soldiers are able to construct and ignite the charges, as they are a necessary asset in combat.”
Each unit serves a unique purpose in the warfighting function and each subsequent exercise like this tests the 101st’s various capabilities and strategic proponents. Testing each system like this improves performance and efficiency and increases the division’s lethality and overall readiness. As the division continues to test individual units from across post and the tactical expertise they train on every day, the 101st stays prepared to defend its next “Rendezvous with Destiny.”