Feb. 27, 2014 —
ARMY ALASKA, JOINT BASE ELMENDORF-RICHARDSON, Alaska – U.S. Army Alaska paratroopers
performed the 4th Infantry Brigade Combat Team (Airborne), 25th Infantry
Division’s first airborne operation north of the Arctic Circle Tuesday, Feb.
25, to practice using their arctic skills in support of civil authorities.
Paratroopers from the
1st Squadron (Airborne), 40th Cavalry Regiment rehearsed joint rescue and
recovery operations in Deadhorse, 495 miles north of Fairbanks in Alaska’s North
Slope Borough. The exercise demonstrates U.S. Army Alaska’s capability to
provide defense support to civilian authorities during a search-and-rescue
scenario for a downed aircraft in extreme arctic conditions.
About 40 arctic-equipped jumpers parachuted
from an Alaska National Guard C-130 aircraft for the exercise, called Spartan
Pegasus. The average winter temperatures in the area range from 23 degrees
below zero to minus 11. The record for February low temperature is minus 57
degrees, but in January 1989 nearby Prudhoe Bay hit a wind-chill of minus 96
degrees. The temperature at jump time
registered minus 35.
The 4-25’s unique area of operation stretches
from the Arctic Circle to the southern reaches of the Asia-Pacific region. Paratroopers
from the Spartan Brigade recently returned from taking part in exercise Cobra
Gold 2014 at Lopburi Airfield in Thailand, where they conducted a strategic air
drop with paratroopers from the Royal Thai Armed Forces.