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    101st Combat Aviation Brigade arrives in Germany in support of Atlantic Resolve, quarantine to prevent spread of COVID-19

    101st Combat Aviation Brigade arrives in Germany in support of Atlantic Resolve

    Photo By Sgt. Alleea Oliver | U.S. Army Soldiers assigned to the 101st Combat Aviation Brigade, 101st Airborne...... read more read more



    Story by Sgt. Alleea Oliver 

    7th Army Training Command

    GRAFENWOEHR, Germany -- Approximately 250 U.S. Army Soldiers assigned to the 101st Combat Aviation Brigade, 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault), arrive in Germany for a nine-month rotation as part of the regionally allocated forces supporting Atlantic Resolve, June 22-23, 2020.

    This will be the sixth brigade-sized rotational aviation unit to support Atlantic Resolve, which will build readiness, increase interoperability and enhance the bonds between ally and partner militaries with multinational training events.

    “The hard work from these Soldiers really helped set the conditions for what's going to be an incredible deployment for the Wings of Destiny, “ said Col. Travis Habhab, Commander for 101st CAB. “We are on our way to build readiness overseas, become a more lethal unit, increase the capability of our partners, and deter enemy threats. Our Soldiers have started off at a great pace. I am confident that their hard work will continue throughout the next nine months, and they're going to make everyone in the 101st proud.”

    Prior to arriving in Europe, 101st CAB conducted a rigorous train-up, including individual and crew skill tasks, gunnery qualification and multiple training exercises at the National Training Center and the Joint Readiness Training Center while combating the COVID-19 pandemic.

    “Coronavirus threw things off a little bit, but we were able to adapt and overcome,” said Maj. Jay Berger, Executive Officer for 101 CAB. “[We] were practicing social distancing… and proper sanitation while we were conducting our trainup to come here. We had to get a little more creative with some of our key training events but overall we maintained our readiness and timeline to deploy.”

    To mitigate the spread of COVID-19, 101st CAB will spend two weeks at Camp Kasserine in Grafenwoehr, Germany, isolated in small groups before moving to forward locations alongside allies and partners.

    “With COVID being both present in the United States and Germany, we wanted to make sure for our host nation partners that we do not bring any infections into the area,” said Lt. Col. Benjamin Ingram, Brigade Surgeon for 41st Field Artillery Brigade, 7th Army Training Command. ”Right now [Germany] is decreasing in the number of COVID cases so we are testing 100 percent of the 101st Soldiers, or any other Soldier coming into our area of operations for summer training, for COVID-19 followed by a two week quarantined period to make sure we do not have any false negative tests.”

    The Soldiers were transported by contracted busses from Albrecht Duerer Airport Nurnberg to Camp Kasserine to decrease any chances of cross-contamination. Upon arrival, combat medics assigned to 41st FA Brigade immediately briefed the incoming Soldiers on the camp’s procedures, provided medical sheets for them to keep track of their symptoms over a 14-day period, and conducted COVID-19 testing.

    7th Army Training Command structured the camp into four separate areas made up of tents and amenities for each location such as laundry, showers and hot chow. Each Soldier is given 72 square feet of personal space as well as access to physical fitness resources available on a scheduled basis. The Soldiers are separated into the small groups according to the date of their arrival, so if a group tests positive for the virus, it would not affect the remaining Soldiers.

    “The first and foremost important thing is [ensuring] force health protection,” said Ingram. “If we find out that someone is a carrier of COVID-19, we can identify them early and anyone else they may have affected and put them in isolation to help protect the larger force, which ensures we are combat deployment ready.”

    Despite being isolated for two weeks, 101st CAB is eager to conduct multinational training in Europe for the next nine months. The unit will have plenty of opportunities to hone their skills during the rotation.

    “Everyone’s excited to be here for this rotation,” said Berger. “We are excited to link in with our partners and host nations here and to increase our interoperability amongst our NATO allies. The 101st Airborne Division has history over here in Europe… [I’m ready] to train and focus on readiness for us and our host nations partners and interoperability to make us all stronger.”

    During the two weeks spent in isolation, the aviation brigade plans to use their time conducting lower-level, individual training such as Sergeant Time’s Training.

    “[Training] didn’t stop back in Fort Campbell and it won’t stop now,” Berger said. “We are still mission focused.”

    Although the world paused for a moment due to the outbreak of COVID-19, U.S. Army Europe’s efforts to increase interoperability and strengthen the NATO alliance and partnership between the U.S. and host nations did not.

    “COVID-19 is an unprecedented world problem which has been difficult for every nation in the world to tackle,” said Ingram. “The fact the United States Army and the entire Department of Defense has been able to continue to be world-wide deployable, to meet missions and find ways to do this really testifies to the amazing things the men and women in uniform can do.”

    101st CAB will deploy with approximately 2,000 personnel, 50 UH-60 and HH-60 Black Hawks; 4 CH-47 Chinooks; 25 AH-64 Apaches; and more than 1,800 wheeled vehicles and pieces of equipment.

    101st CAB will conduct much of its training alongside Atlantic Resolve nation counterparts from Belgium, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Georgia, Germany, Great Britain, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Romania and Slovakia.

    The deployment of ready, combat-credible U.S. forces to Europe in support of Atlantic Resolve is evidence of the strong and unremitting U.S. commitment to NATO and Europe. Through bilateral, joint and multinational training, Atlantic Resolve builds readiness, increases interoperability and enhances the bond between ally and partner militaries.

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    Date Taken: 06.25.2020
    Date Posted: 06.26.2020 04:08
    Story ID: 372813

    Web Views: 2,993
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