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Rakkasans seize airfield

By Staff Sgt. George Gutierrez | 201st Press Camp Headquarters | March 17, 2017

March 15, 2017 — More than 100 Soldiers from the 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault) joined forces with U.S. Army Reserve aviators from Bravo Company, 8th Battalion, 229th Aviation Regiment, Fort Knox, Ky., to conduct an airfield seizure on Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, NJ, March 13, 2017 during Warrior Exercise 78-17-01.

The airfield seizure was the first part of a large-scale collective training exercise designed to integrate Army active duty and reserve units in a tactical training environment that closely replicates what they might experience overseas. This training enables both Army components to remain ready for any possible real world missions.

Soldiers from the 101st gathered their tactical gear and loaded onto six Army Reserve UH-60 Black Hawk Helicopters. Once they landed at Lakehurst Maxfield Field, the 101st, also known as the Screaming Eagles, engaged enemy forces on the ground to seize control of the airfield and ensure the success of follow on missions.

Several Army Reserve organizations including the Army Reserve Aviation Command and members of the 200th Military Police Command were integral parts in the planning and execution phases of this real-world training.

“Getting the opportunity to train with the reserve component means we are a more lethal force when we fight the enemy,” said Sgt. Seth J. Scharenberg, an infantryman assigned to Alpha Co., 2nd Battalion, 506th Infantry Regiment, 101st Airborne Division.

The U.S. Army Reserve provides the proficiency to deploy trained service members with the right equipment, to identify future training requirements, and grow the force of tomorrow.

“Army Reserve aviation supports the joint fight in air and ground operations,” said Brig. Gen. Scott R. Morcomb, the commanding general of the Army Reserve Aviation Command. “This is a perfect venue for us to practice, to build skills, and our combat readiness.”

The exercise is hosted by the 84th Training Command and involves more than 3,900 service members from both active and reserve components of the Army, Air Force and the Marine Corps Reserves.