Approximately 350 paratroopers from the brigade are taking part in separate training exercises throughout November. Both exercises are part of the Operation Atlantic Resolve, an increase in tempo of exercises with NATO allies to demonstrate U.S. commitment to collective security and sustain interoperability between allied forces.
Last month, the brigade conducted an Emergency Deployment Readiness Exercise, alerting Grafenwoehr, Germany based paratroopers for a no-notice alert and parachuting them into Campia Turzii, Romania for a several day rapid-response exercise.
Some 250 paratroopers from the 173rd Brigade Special Troops Battalion are training alongside Romanian troops in Babadag, conducting live-fire ranges, skills training as well as a combined airborne operation.
“Our exercise is a great opportunity to learn from each other and build a stronger partnership,” said Maj. Jared Runge, the executive officer of the 173rd BSTB. “We’ve deployed together in places like Afghanistan, Iraq and Kosovo. This will help us sustain the interoperability we’ve built in combat.”
Later this month, approximately 100 paratroopers from the brigade’s 1st Battalion, 503rd Infantry Regiment, will train in Campia Turzii and in Cincu longside Romanian special-forces troops.
“We were fortunate enough to work with a Romanian company in Exercise Rapid Trident 14 and was impressed with their level of proficiency,” said Capt. Teddy Borawski, commander of Company C, 1st Bn., 503rd Inf. Regt. “Taking this relationship and maintaining and even building on the existing interoperability is the number one goal.”
The brigade finished its six-month deployment to Poland and the Baltic states of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania in October. The “Sky Soldiers” of the 173rd transferred responsibility for that portion of the Atlantic Resolve mission to Soldiers from the U.S. Army’s 1st Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division.
The 173rd Airborne Brigade is the Army Contingency Response Force in Europe, providing ready forces on short notice to accomplish a range of missions in the U.S. European, Africa and Central Command areas of responsibility.