Paratroopers jump north of Arctic Circle

By U.S. Army Alaska Public Affairs | HEADQUARTERS, U.S. ARMY ALASKA, JOINT BASE ELMENDORF-RICHARDSON, Alaska | February 27, 2014

HEADQUARTERS, U.S. 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.

Arctic Arctic Circle