News: Falcon Troopers provide essential services for terrorized town during field training exercise
Story by Sgt. Kissta DiGregorio
FORT BRAGG, N.C. - A group of paratroopers maneuvered by foot through the forest, silently signaling commands along their route. Just when it seemed they had traveled far from civilization, the cement walls surrounding the village materialized through the trees. A small team entered first, reconnecting with the villagers they had met the day before, and ensuring the security of the town’s perimeter. When the coast was deemed clear, the remaining soldiers entered the village.
Paratroopers assigned to C Company, 2nd Battalion, 325th Airborne Infantry Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 82nd Airborne Division, and members of the Brigade’s assessment team conducted a village assessment, Aug. 23 as part of the Brigade’s week-long field training exercise. The mock village, populated by role-playing soldiers, had been damaged by insurgents’ indirect fire a few days earlier.
The 2-325 AIR “White Falcons” pulled security while the assessment team went to work. Sgt. 1st Class Pedro Gonzalez, the Brigade’s military information support operations planner, spoke with villagers and town leaders to gather information about the town, from basic needs the town was missing to government support for police and medical personnel.
The “mayor” of the village said they were in need of weapons to defend themselves against the local insurgent group, which he believed was responsible for the indirect fire the town received just nights before, damaging buildings and “wounding” three of the civilians there.
In addition to defense capabilities, he said the town also needed school supplies, medical supplies and essential services, such as water and electric.
The villagers were in such need of medical supplies, they were not even able to care for their wounded. Spc. Tyler Beck, a medic assigned to C Company, 407th Brigade Support Battalion, 2/82, provided aid to the wounded villagers. One laid on the ground, cradling his head and crying for help while Beck attended to the shrapnel wounds of another casualty. A native of Puyallup, Wash., he quickly wrapped the wound and moved down the line of injured civilians.
Although the scenario was fictional, the training was real. As a part of America’s Global Response Force, paratroopers of the 82nd Airborne Division are accustomed to multi-faceted training that encompasses combat situations as well as interacting peacefully with the local populace. “The Brigade has a history of conducting short-notice deployments to both combat and humanitarian aid missions,” said Gonzalez, a native of Manati, Puerto Rico. “It is important that we prepare for all types of scenarios so we can be ready for any mission.”
This work, Falcon Troopers provide essential services for terrorized town during field training exercise, by SSG Kissta DiGregorio, identified by DVIDS, is free of known copyright restrictions under U.S. copyright law.