More than 400 paratroopers from the 4th Infantry Brigade Combat Team (Airborne), 25th Infantry Division, United States Army Alaska, parachuted into Guam early this morning as part of their Emergency Deployment Readiness Exercise from Joint Base Elemendorf-Richardson, Alaska today.
The exercise was the largest airborne operation held on Guam in recent memory, according to Joint Region Marianas.
Col. Christopher Landers, commander of U.S. Army Alaska's 4-25 IBCT(A), led the training mission to secure the airfield as part of U.S. Army Pacific’s participation in ongoing joint exercises throughout the region to include the Mariana Islands.
“This scenario tested our ability to execute real-world missions and demonstrated that we are capable of deploying anywhere in the U. S. Indo-Pacific Command area at a moment’s notice.” said Landers.
Five C-17 Globemasters appeared in the early-morning sky over Guam carrying the paratroopers that had flown directly from Joint Base Elemendorf-Richardson, Alaska, and donned their parachutes enroute. Immediately after hitting the ground, paratroopers with the 3rd Battalion, 509 Airborne Infantry Regiment, one of two organic infantry-battalions in 4-25 IBCT(A), seized objectives and secured the airfield.
According to Joint Region Marianas, the exercise began several days ago in Alaska when paratroopers were notified of their mission and were screened for COVID-19 prior to departing from Alaska. The unit was quarantined to AAFB and were separated from the Andersen community throughout the exercise.
“We are successfully balancing readiness and mission requirements with health and safety precautions to protect ourselves and our communities,” said Landers. "Andersen Air Force Base and Guam leadership have facilitated every one of our requirements. It's been an incredible experience to work with them."
The paratroopers will begin preparations to return to their home station in Alaska.