Fort Campbell, KY – Soldiers from Alpha Company, 526th Brigade Support Battalion, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault) conducted sling load operations during the Division Training Density (DTD) here, November 7th.
The DTD, known as Operation Lethal Eagle is the first division-wide field training exercise the 101st Airborne Division has held in 20 years to increase the division’s readiness to operate in large-scale combat operations.
The purpose of this sling load operation was resupplying their sister units from the “Strike” Brigade with food support via a UH-60 Blackhawk, operated by the 101st Combat Aviation Brigade, while at the same time enhancing their sling load skill sets.
This resupply allows for expedient resupply to support or replenish units across a large area, so they can continue with their mission. Utilizing the helicopter sling load method of carrying equipment overcomes many obstacles that hinder other ways of movement. It also provides greater movement flexibility for ground personnel to smoothly accomplish their operation.
“Annihilator Company runs the Heavy Pick-Up Zone for brigade-level air assaults, so this was a great repetition to test our systems in preparation for JRTC (Joint Readiness Training Center) in February,” said 1st Lt. Leslie Frankland, an officer in charge, 526th BSB. “We slung 1x DOS to the 1st Squadron, 75th Cavalry Regiment, and the 2nd Battalion, 502nd Infantry Regiment, and were able to send it straight to the individual companies to allow them to continue their mission.”
For some of the Soldiers, having the opportunity to conduct sling operations during Operation Lethal Eagle has been a valuable experience, which has better prepared them for future fights.
“Sling loading materials was exciting because it’s something we always train for, and now we had the opportunity to do it for real-world support,” said Cpl. Kyle Hunter, member of the hookup team, 526th BSB. “It means a lot knowing your work is directly going to support someone else out here training with us. Resupply is what we do, so being able to sling load supplies makes us more proficient at our job.”
The 526th BSB continues to train hard and diligently to ensure their readiness to provide sling load operations support at any given time.