oldier assigned to the 3rd (United Kingdom) Division, has served alongside U.S. troops in various battle places including Iraq, Afghanistan, Kosovo and Bosnia.
“If you want to go in for a fight, there’s only one fighter you want next to you,” Barrow said, illustrating the significance of America’s allied relationship with Britain.
He and other service members are spending nearly a month at Fort Bragg sharpening their warfighting skills in a drill known as WFX-17-5. The 3rd (UK) Div. soldiers, also called “The Iron Division,” arrived in late May to conduct the warfighter field exercise with Soldiers of the 82nd Airborne Division, 101st Airborne Division (Kentucky) and the 40th Infantry Division (California).
According to Maj. Rohan Bate, divisional media officer of the 3rd (UK) Div., their return to Fort Bragg is historic because it reinforces a relationship forged in the heat of battle between the division and Airborne Soldiers in Normandy in World War II.
On June 8, the division conducted a rehearsal of concept drill at the Mission Training Complex, ahead of their return next year for a WFX.
“It’s a preparatory exercise to identify what the whole warfighter is all about and what we need to train for to deliver next year,” Barrow said.
It pushes soldiers to the breaking point and allows them to learn from mistakes, while showing themselves to be a credible ally, said Barrow.
“A failure on an exercise is not a failure — that’s why we do it,” he explained.
For Lance Corp. Kieran Harris, the exercise helps him hone his responsibilities in setting up satellite communications, especially in the dark of night when signals sometimes get lost.
“There’s a lot of stuff to do when we’re setting up at night … (to) send straight communications back to the UK,” he said.
For other British service members, the exercise provided an opportunity to study American Soldiers.
“It’s been great to learn what they (Americans) do and how they do it,” said Sgt. Jordan Perry, 3rd (UK) Div. “I’m in awe of this camp. It’s huge. It’s just fantastic. I’m really looking forward to coming back in April next year.”
According to its website, the 3rd (United Kingdom) Division is the only division at continual operational readiness in the UK. It is made up of the 1 Armoured Infantry Brigade, 12th Armoured Infantry Brigade, 20th Armoured Infantry Brigade and the 101 Logistic Brigade.