FORT LIBERTY, N.C. – Readiness remains at the forefront in the 82nd Airborne Division. The division deliberately plans collective-level training exercises that are designed to evaluate and improve the division’s ability to deploy Paratroopers and equipment worldwide within 18 hours.
On August 13, 2023, the division kicked off a culminating training exercise (CTE), code-named GIANT, for its headquarters and subordinate units.
The exercise focuses on the division unit of action transitioning to and training on Large-Scale Combat Operations. Participating units include the division’s 1st Brigade Combat Team, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 82nd Combat Aviation Brigade, Division Artillery, and 82nd Airborne Division Sustainment Brigade with support from Air Force and Special Operations Forces units.
As the nation’s strategic asset, called the Immediate Response Force, the 82nd Airborne Division is the Army’s only division capable of executing the Airborne joint forcible entry (JFE) anywhere in the world within 18 hours, with the ability to mass forces at scale within 96 hours.
Maj. Gen. Christopher LaNeve, the division’s Commanding General, emphasized the importance of these exercises for the division. “These exercises help us as a headquarters element to improve our processes and procedures to be ready for whatever our nation asks of us,” said LaNeve.
The headquarters’ preparatory actions prior to the exercise included collaborating with brigade and battalion staffs in conducting the Military Decision-Making Process to determine the best courses of action for the mission and concluded with a Combined Arms Rehearsal to synchronize all Warfighting Functions across the division for actions executed over the course of the exercise.
Over the next ten days, paratroopers will be immersed in multiple scenarios to evaluate their capabilities in combat-simulated conditions on Fort Liberty’s training areas.
Major events in the exercise include air-land operations from U.S. Air Force aircraft, continuous airlift and close air support from the 82nd Combat Aviation Brigade, and operations to clear enemy forces from multiple objectives by 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 82nd Airborne Division.
“We aren’t just preparing for JRTC,” said LaNeve. “We’re preparing to be on a drop zone, surrounded on all sides, and to win!”