3rd Heavy Brigade Combat Team prepares for training exercise

The 3rd Heavy Brigade Combat Team, 3rd Infantry Division, at Fort Benning will take part in the Joint Operations Access Exercise at Fort Bragg, N.C.

Other units taking part in the June 5 exercise include U.S. Army’s 18th Airborne Corps, 82nd Airborne Division, other Army units and the U.S. Air Force’s 93rd Air Ground Operations Wing. The major training exercise gives units a chance to test their Global Response Force readiness and joint abilities to conduct highly realistic operations with coalition partners.

Spc. Erik Anderson, a public affairs officer for the 3rd Brigade, said a small element of soldiers are part of a quick reactionary force.

"We stay prepared to deal with this on the rotation,” Anderson said. “It simulates an immediate action conflict.”

Lt. Col. Angela L. Funaro, a public affairs officer at Fort Bragg, said the 3rd Brigade is sending 34 soldiers from 2nd Battalion, 69th Armored Regiment to Fort Bragg. The group includes the brigade commander and command sergeant major.

To prepare for the training, Anderson said two Bradley Fighting Vehicles, two M1A2 Abrams tanks and other wheeled vehicles will be loaded onto four C-17 aircraft Saturday.

"There are going to be four of them,” he said of the cargo aircraft. “We are loading four tracked vehicles and some wheeled vehicles.”

With the brigade deploying to Kuwait in a month, Anderson said the training won’t impact soldiers scheduled for deployment.

"It will not affect it at all,” Anderson said. “Units taking part in this exercise are not scheduled to deploy with the first wave in June.”

At Fort Bragg, more than 1,900 airborne soldiers will train in multiple nighttime combat-equipment parachute jumps at Sicily Drop Zone. Soldiers will practice assaulting and clearing a flight-landing strip, practice an air assault, a ground assault convoy and evacuation of civilian non-combatants.

Three times a year, the joint exercise is held to ensure that each rotation of soldiers are skilled and trained for any situation that would include a joint airborne military assault.

Pieces of the exercise include a division headquarters, brigade combat teams, a combat aviation brigade, a fires brigade, support transportation units and five Air Force Aircraft. In addition to airborne soldiers, personnel include soldiers, airmen and their allies.