The need to stay current and ready is crucial to the Army’s success. For America’s 82nd Airborne Division, maintaining one of their motto’s “Fight Tonight, Win Tomorrow’s Fight,” is not just a philosophy, but also the way of the division. Maintaining the role as the Army’s Joint Forcible Entry component of the Global Response Force to deploy within 18 hours of notification, conduct forcible entry parachute assaults and secure key objectives for follow-on military operations in support of U.S. national interests requires constant readiness.
To ensure paratroopers are ready for any contingency, the division conducted a two-week Warfighter Exercise (WFX 19-3) at Fort Bragg. From Feb. 4 through 15, III Corps Headquarters served as the higher command to subordinate unit training audiences.
“The goals that we had going into WFX 19-3 was to continue to improve some of our systems and processes from our last WFX 19-2,” said the 82nd Airborne Division G3 Sergeant Major, Sgt. Maj. Jonny Resseguie. “Everything from the way we set up with the new pieces in the D-Main and the actual internal planning processes and interactions between the division’s brigades were goals for us.”
Warfighter exercises are training events for units to assess readiness and the, ability to deploy. It tests and evaluates a headquarters’ reaction to its management execution abilities through a virtual battlefield.
The scenario involved the division as part of the U.S. Army’s military force, made up of the 35th Infantry, 3rd Infantry and 82nd Abn. Div. It simulated their deployment to bolster a foreign nations’ forces and to repel enemy forces with the use of ground artillery, air strikes and ground forces.
“I saw better communication across all the war fighting functions and getting information into the planning process, which led to a better execution this time around,” said Resseguie.
For Army Reserve and National Guard units who have limited training time throughout the year, this exercise offered an opportunity for proficiency in their jobs.
“I get a chance to train like this once a year,” said Staff Sgt. Xavier Ghee, a National Guard Soldier from the 82nd McPod, Main Command Post Operational Detachment.
The traditional guard unit drills every month on a weekend, but not for Ghee. Ghee’s drill weekends fall every other month. He categorizes it as a hybrid National Guard unit.
“The information I’ve absorbed during this warfighter I can pass onto my Soldiers expanding their knowledge,” said Ghee.
This type of exercise not only ensures systems and personnel are prepared for combat, but it instills confidence in Soldiers from all echelons and components who will rely on each other in the heat of battle.
“Having the National Guard guys participate in this exercise helped out a lot,” said Resseguie. “They did a lot of heavy lifting for us and they definitely filled some gaps that we had that could’ve left us struggling.”
This consistent and cohesive approach builds the readiness needed to face conditions today and for future conflicts.
“Overall, I’m happy with the growth that we showed and the progress we’re making,” said Resseguie. “We will continue to push ourselves improving in every weak area we still need to work on in the warfighting functions.”