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Army Strong

The Heavy Drop - Airborne Gun Bunnies

This Heavy Airdrop at Ft. Bragg is a test for Airborne Artillerymen.  Once the Artillery Battery leaves the bird, you've got fifteen minutes to get on the ground, find your equipment (which weighs about 4,600 pounds), protect yourselves, and get the gun operational AND then receive a fire mission from a Foward Observer, calculate a fire mission and BOOM!  This standard is so tough that it is rarely met.

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Staff Sgt. Rodel Yadao, a gunnery sergeant with A Battery, 2nd Battalion, 319th Airborne Field Artillery Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 82nd Airborne Division, keeps one eye on his stopwatch and the other on his fellow artillerymen as they race to prep an airdropped 105mm Howitzer in under 15 minutes during a heavy drop exercise Oct. 4.  Photographer: Sgt. Mike Pryor, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 82nd Airborne Division (AA) Public Affairs.


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Artillerymen from B Battery, 2nd Battalion, 319th Airborne Field Artillery Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 82nd Airborne Division, leap from a perfectly good airplane during a heavy drop exercise at Sicily DZ Oct. 4.


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Staff Sgt. Antonio Alvarado of B Battery, 2nd Battalion, 319th Airborne Field Artillery Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 82nd Airborne Division, uses his knife to remove the cushioning on a 105mm Howitzer after it was airdropped during a heavy drop exercise at Sicily DZ Oct. 4.


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An airborne artilleryman from B Battery, 2nd Battalion, 319th Airborne Field Artillery Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 82nd Airborne Division, parachutes into battle while fellow soldiers prepare to fire a 105mm Howitzer during a heavy drop exercise at Sicily DZ Oct. 4.

Editor Note: B Battery didn't make it under fifteen minutes.  It took them 18 minutes to jump, land, secure their equipment, protect their position and prepare their artillery for a fire mission.  Four minutes later, they received a fire mission and fired accurately.

Edit. Note 2:  I don't mean to disparage B Battery.  I've actually never witnessed nor heard of a unit that made the standard.  I think they rock!  BTW, in the last photo one of the Sergeants, SFC Duggins, was yelling at the jumper to slip away, "Get away from my gun, you idiot!"

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