Soldiers from the 82nd Airborne Division, 1st Special Forces Group, and members of the Japan Ground Self-Defense Force conducted an early morning airborne operation as part of Forager 21, the primary training exercise in support of Defender Pacific 21, here, July 30, 2021. The joint event included more than 150 Soldiers dropping from the sky during the early-morning Guam dawn, as four flights delivered them for one of the joint exercise’s key events as over 4,000 U.S service members continue to participate in the month-long training, testing their individual skills to ensure the collective ability of the Theater Army and Corps to effectively deploy a land power force.
“I think (the bilateral exercise) contributes to our airborne operations capability and also our joint interoperability. We learned about where they are from, describing what he has learned as a commander. And how special operations performs and their professionalism within the organization stand out stand as well. this joint opportunity along with the past training occasions, gave himself and his organization a unique perspective as an allied training partner,” said Lt. Col. Shingo Miyachi, commander 2nd Infantry Battalion, 1st Airborne Brigade, Japan Ground Self-Defense Force.
“At about 20 minutes out, we started our airborne operations – standup, hook-up, shuffle to the door,” said Maj. Joe Fritze, the 2nd Battalion, 325th Airborne Infantry Regiment commander. “This demonstrates to our junior paratroopers and junior leaders Soldiers that the 82nd Airborne Division is America’s emergency response force, getting out of North Carolina to anywhere in the world in 18-hours for a direct delivery is something we need to stay proficient on and prove to them, as well as senior leaders, that this is a mission we can and should execute on a drop of a hat.
Prior to the bi-lateral jump Soldiers from the 82nd Airborne Division flew more than 8,000 miles from Joint Base Charleston, South Carolina, complete with a mid-air refueling and in-flight rigging to participate in Defender Pacific after for a direct delivery airborne assault. Exercise Forager 21 is a U.S. Army Pacific exercise designed to test and refine the Theater Army’s ability to flow landpower forces into the theater, execute command and control of those forces, and effectively employ them in support of our allies, partners, and national security objectives in the region.