Story by Spc. John Simpson, 40th Public Affairs Detachment
FORT CAMPBELL, Ky. – Soldiers of Charlie Company, 1st Battalion, 327th Infantry Regiment, and Alpha Company, 2nd Battalion, 327th Infantry Regiment, 1st Brigade Combat Team “Bastogne,” 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault), completed Noble Bastogne an air assault operation August 23-27, 2021, at Fort Campbell, Ky.
The goal of Noble Bastogne was to accomplish objectives through vertical envelopment, a tactical maneuver allowing Soldiers to be transported behind enemy lines in such a way that prevents enemy forces from retreating and enables a more effective attack.
Air Assault missions measure the capabilities of a unit based on the “Screaming Eagle Big 6”, which is the fundamental skills that all Soldiers from the 101st are to maintain and continue to improve upon. The “Big 6” include physical training, weapon proficiency, battle tasks, and warrior drills, medical skill and equipment maintenance.
The Screaming Eagle Big 6 ensures Soldiers of the 101st are tactically proficient and lethal, capable of accomplishing any mission set given.
Exercises like these unit proficiencies and ensure they are up to the Screaming Eagle standard.
“The purpose is to get after the large scale combat operations, there's a whole brigade's worth of effort that's gone into this training and this is a great opportunity for the brigade to exercise a battalion-level air assault,” said Capt. Wessley Sickman, Alpha Company Commander of 2-327 1st BCT, 101st. Testing Soldiers as individuals is just as important as testing a whole brigade on their functionality, one Soldier's mistake could change everything.“Alpha company is preparing to air assault into Craig village, we are going out today to set up and prepare so when our sister battalion is air assaulting tomorrow they are ready to attack”.
Using the support from other battalions has made this training possible. It also helps improve the functionality between units who may not perform in joint training frequently.
Sgt. Richard Mcowzki, a squad leader in 2nd platoon alpha company 2-327 1st BCT 101st, said, “Getting to see how the Soldiers adapt and how they work with others shows the caliber of the Soldiers that I'm working with and the caliber of Soldiers who are in the brigade.”
Noble Bastogne has Soldiers coordinating and conducting ground tactical movements during the late hours of the night to test the Soldiers' ability to function under low visibility and high-stress situations.
Training under such conditions provides real-world scenarios to identify areas of opportunity for Soldier improvement which helps focus unit training in areas needed.
“You get to see the flaws within your peers whether it's a different squad, different company, whatever, it helps you identify areas of weakness that can be improved on,” said Mchkowzki, “Even the lowest private can look back and see where they need to improve to affect the outcome of a mission”.
The leaders of no slack ensure that the Soldiers are trained and prepared for anything by helping Soldiers at every level understand the errors made and how to correct them so the next exercise is better than the last.
As a Soldier from the 101st, readiness should always be at the forefront of one's mind. Bastogne Soldiers have proven they are ready for whatever is thrown their way. Not only will they succeed in accomplishing the objective of the mission but exceed the expectations that were set.