During a comprehensive two-day training exercise at Mihail Kogalniceanu Air Base in Romania, the Bravo “Bone Crusher” Battery, and Charlie Battery of the 3rd Battalion, 320th Field Artillery Regiment, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division, attached to “Task Force 82,” collaborated with the 1st Combat Aviation Brigade, 1st Infantry Division, in sling-load operations and elevator drills from January 4th to 5th, 2024.
Artillery Soldiers from the 3-320th FAR actively engaged in elevator drills, honing their ability to seamlessly integrate with allied partners in Romania.
Sgt. 1st Class Lewis Goins, Platoon Sergeant from Charlie Battery, 3-320th FAR, emphasized the significance of this training in enhancing the artillery unit’s capabilities.
“This gives us the ability to build combat power,” said Goins. “It’s just adding one more step to our proficiency and allowing our hookup teams to be able to safely get underneath an aircraft and hookup a triple 7 (M777 Howitzer) so that we can do long-range air assault missions, or an air assault raid.”
The 3-320th Artillery Soldiers executed elevator drills utilizing two distinct aircraft over the exercise’s duration. On January 4th, they collaborated with UH-60 Black Hawks from the 3rd Attack Helicopter Battalion, 1st Aviation Regiment. Subsequently, on January 5th, they partnered with CH-47 Chinooks from the 2nd Support Helicopter Battalion, both part of the 3rd Assault Helicopter Battalion, 1st Combat Aviation Brigade, 1st Infantry Division, showcasing the unit’s versatile skill set to accomplish missions and support regional Allies and partners.
These helicopters played a pivotal role in aiding the proficiency of the 101st Airborne Division Artillery Soldiers by facilitating the aerial transportation of M101 howitzers.
First Lt. Teddy Evans, platoon leader for the “Bone Crusher” Battery, underscored the exercise’s importance in demonstrating the unit’s preparedness.
This is important because we have to be prepared to conduct air assault operations at any moment, Evans stated.
“We must remain ready for air assault operations at any given moment,” Evans highlighted. “Training while we are deployed is important because we need to show our Allied and partner nations that we are prepared to support them in any circumstance,” Evans concluded.
Task Force 82, a part of the 82nd Airborne Division, assumes vital responsibilities within the US military, ensuring Allies’ assurance, deterring adversaries, and fortifying NATO security in the Black Sea region.