Maintenance window scheduled to begin at February 14th 2200 est. until 0400 est. February 15th


Forgot Password?

    Or login with Facebook
    Defense Visual Information Distribution Service Logo

    Preparation For The Night Air Assault

    Preparation For The Night Air Assault

    Photo By Spc. Christian Cote | TAPA CENTRAL TRAINING AREA, Estonia — U.S. Army Pvt. Jake Tamlin of Stuarts Draft,...... read more read more



    Story by Spc. Christian Cote 

    U.S. Army Europe and Africa     

    TAPA CENTRAL TRAINING AREA, Estonia — U.S. Army Soldiers from 1st Battalion, 319th Field Artillery Regiment, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 82nd Airborne Division and their equipment were dropped off late in the evening via Boeing CH-47 Chinook helicopter in preparation of an air assault exercise that started before sunrise at Tapa Central Training Area, Estonia, May 8, 2021.

    The larger equipment had to be carried by helicopters like the CH-47 Chinook and the Sikorsky UH-60 Black Hawk. The larger equipment consisted of two M777 Howitzers, TPQ-50 Lightweight Counter Mortar Radar, and a High Mobility Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicle.

    The soldiers readied their equipment as soon as they stepped out of the Chinook, setting up the radios, preparing the Howitzers to fire, and setting up the TPQ-50 Lightweight Counter Mortar Radar to track friendly and enemy rounds fired. Their mission is to protect the area from any potential threats, while waiting for the arrival of more heavy equipment for other units in the area.

    This exercise is a continuation of a previous joint force entry exercise that happened this early morning, where the soldiers parachuted down on a dropzone in Nurmsi, Estonia and placed a M777 Howitzer.

    “We placed a Howitzer there this morning, then we rigged up these Howitzers and conducted an air assault mission from Nurmsi to Central Training Area, Estonia,” said Staff Sgt. Michael Marchese, a cannon crewmember of Charlie Battery, 1st Bn., 319th Field Artillery Regt., 3rd Bde. Combat Team, 82nd Abn. Div.

    Though the darkness of night makes the exercise more difficult and cold, these tense circumstances are what helps these soldiers master their equipment during harsh environments for if a real war-like scenario were to occur.

    “Everything is harder at night. There’s lack of visibility; you’re tired from the whole day. So when training at night, that's what makes it the most difficult portion,” said Capt. Max Yates, commander of Charlie Battery, 1st Bn., 319th Field Artillery Regt., 3rd Bde. Combat Team, 82nd Abn. Div. “It’s also where the United States gains the advantage with night vision and thermal vision; that’s where we win.”

    “For us, it’s a good training event, because you really have to know the equipment when you’re occupying it at night,” said Capt. Luke Dawson from Bravo Battery, 1st Bn., 319th Field Artillery Regt. “It shows off our capabilities as an airborne unit.”

    “It’s a great experience to take off from one country, do an airborne assault in another country,” Yates said. “It’s an opportunity to get [as close] to the real thing as a joint force entry operation as you possibly can without actually having to do one live.”

    “It’s been a great opportunity to work with our British and Estonian partners and it’s interesting to see how they do things compared to how we do things, and what they can learn from us, and what we can learn from them,” he said. “It’s a great opportunity to showcase the capability to pick up a brigade combat team and place it anywhere in the world where it wants.”

    This exercise demonstrates the capability and readiness of the U.S. Army Soldiers, to get anywhere in the world efficiently and be prepared for any potential threat that may arise.

    This exercise is part of DEFENDER-Europe 21. DEFENDER-Europe 21 is a large-scale U.S. Army-led exercise designed to build readiness and interoperability between the U.S., NATO allies and partner militaries. This year, more than 28,000 multinational forces from 26 nations will conduct nearly simultaneous operations across more than 30 training areas in more than a dozen countries from the Baltics to the strategically important Balkans and Black Sea Region. Follow the latest news and information about DEFENDER-Europe 21, visit



    Date Taken: 05.08.2021
    Date Posted: 05.09.2021 10:44
    Story ID: 395975

    Web Views: 396
    Downloads: 2