News: Corsair deploys to Laurinburg-Maxton Airport for FTX
Story by Sgt. April de Armas
MAXTON, N.C. – Many units can pack their equipment in military vehicles and set up a tactical operation center at a variety of locations throughout the Fort Bragg training areas. When it comes to mobilizing a unit whose primary mission is to fly helicopters, however, the logistics of mobility takes a bit more planning.
The 82nd Combat Aviation Brigade requires airfield infrastructure such as flight lines and hangars to provide ground troops with air support. While the brigade’s troopers can provide training support and practice flying techniques from Simmons Army Airfield, like any other military unit, it is important for them to rehearse the deployment process of unit movement and establishing an operations center.
To incorporate such training, the Corsair troopers of 2nd Aviation Assault Battalion, 82nd CAB, deployed to Laurinburg-Maxton Airport in Maxton, N.C., to fly missions supporting the 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 82nd Airborne Division, and other division units during a division-wide field training exercise, Jan. 10-16.
The remote field training gives 2-82nd ASLT Commander Lt. Col. Bryan Chivers and his troopers an opportunity to rehearse operations in a more realistic scenario.
“When you are in this type of environment, you find out what you really need to complete the mission,” Chivers said. “When we are on base, it is not as realistic. We have to be able to move from one location to another, set up and ensure continuity to support any mission.”
Capt. Author Sandlin, Headquarters and Headquarters Company commander, 2-82nd ASLT, led the battalion in the logistics and primary set up of the training site.
“It starts with finding the right place that will allow us to operate our helicopters while being able to establish full security and communications with the brigade headquarters and units we are here to support,” Sandlin said. “There is much more that goes into this type of set up versus being on the main base.”
During the division-wide training event, Task Force Corsair assisted with troop movement, medical evacuations, troop insertions and extractions, and air assault missions.
“This is where we put all of our training to support various missions to the test,” said 1st Sgt. Robben Kadish, Troop A, 1st Squadron, 17th Cavalry Regiment, 82nd CAB.
Once the operations center and communications are established, troopers can also train for obstacles they may face in a deployed environment.
“One of the ways we train while out in the field is to conduct side training such as learning to decontaminate a vehicle and equipment in the event of a chemical attack or when entering a chemical environment,” said 1st Lt. Duane Nixon, chemical officer in charge, 2-82nd ASLT. “It is one of the ways we maintain readiness in case this type of situation occurs.”
From the motor pool to the kitchen, Task Force Corsair support troopers worked around the clock to sustain the aviators’ ongoing missions during the exercise.
Staff Sgt. Tyron Plessner and his crew from the 2-82nd ASLT motor pool worked to guarantee that the vehicles Corsair troopers used to travel to the airfield and set up the task force headquarters remained mission capable.
“Part of what we do is ensuring that our troopers and equipment are not stranded and can complete their missions with success,” Plessner said. “We perform all the scheduled and unscheduled maintenance and we practice recovery of stranded vehicles.”
The deployment rehearsal offered the Corsair troopers valuable insight they can use to help maintain readiness for future training events and missions.
“We take so much away from this training event that will make us more proficient as we continue to maintain our readiness for the next mission,” Chivers said.