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.
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. 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.
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. 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.
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. 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. 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.
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.