The U.S. military illustrated on Friday why America remains the instrumental global force for freedom.
It did so by delivering the 3rd Brigade Combat Team of the 82nd Airborne Division 4,600 miles from its Fort Bragg home base to Estonia. Without stopping to rest or refuel, approximately 750 paratroopers were dropped into northern Estonia in a simulated forcible entry operation. Once on the ground, they were just 70 miles from the Russian border and 150 miles from Vladimir Putin’s home city of St. Petersburg. The U.S. paratroopers jumped alongside B company, 2nd Battalion of the British Army’s Parachute Regiment.
In war, supported by an allied air campaign and as in 1944 in Normandy, the American and British paratroops would be outnumbered and surrounded by the enemy. They would be tasked with delaying Russian forces in their advances to Estonia’s capital, Tallinn, and buying time for NATO armored and mechanized forces to launch a counteroffensive. Theirs would be a high-risk, bloody operation. Put another way, an operation in the finest tradition of the Airborne Infantry.
In this case, the 3rd Brigade was acting as the Army’s Immediate Response Force. Under that contingency, one brigade of the 82nd Airborne is always deployable on 18 hours’ notice. No other nation can match this speed and scale of flexible response. It’s not just about the airborne troops. It’s about the logistics, mobility, intelligence, and field headquarters assets that go with them. (Read more from “A 4,600 Mile Army Airborne Message Drop to Russia” HERE)
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