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US, Slovenian Army : To fight a modern war takes more than infantry, artillery, reconnaissance and engineers. Even a highly deployable fighting force like the 173rd Airborne Brigade has to get to the battle and be sustained in the fight. This means having riggers to pack the parachutes and rig the equipment to be dropped, mechanics to keep the vehicles in top condition, and fuelers to keep those vehicles running, or even the “water dogs” to purify thousands of gallons of water a day to keep the paratroopers fighting.

When the Sky Soldier combat forces are decisively engaging the enemy, the support troops must be prepared to defend themselves, even as they are helping the brigade to win the battle. If they cannot defend while they sustain, valuable infantrymen must be pulled from the line to guard them – this is not the Sky Soldier way. Every paratrooper is a warrior who can employ any weapon. This is accomplished with tough, realistic training, in the rain, and mud, digging fighting positions, stringing wire, and developing a battle plan to defeat any enemy who dares to approach their perimeter while they are packing chutes, turning wrenches, cooking meals and pumping fuel.

This past week, the 173rd Airborne Brigade Support Battalion traveled to Pocek Range, where six different companies completed live fire base defense training in day and night environments. The BSB, commanded by Lt. Col. Christopher Baker deployed the battalion to the Slovenian training area where they created a defensive perimeter, dug in fighting positions for the M2 .50 Caliber and the M240 heavy machine guns, and support by fire positions for their quick reaction forces.

“We have a unique opportunity to train here in Slovenia on force-on-force, as well as live fire conditions with our Brigade Support Battalion,” stated 173rd Airborne Brigade Commander Col. Jay Bartholomees. The 173rd BSB is partnering with Soldiers from the Slovenian Army to conduct Exercise Lipizzaner IV along with Echo Company of the 54th Brigade Engineer Battalion.

“This training area has been incredible for us,” added Lt. Col. Christopher Baker, the 173rd Brigade Support Battalion commander, “We are partnered with the Slovenian Army’s 157th Logistics Regiment, where we are training in a valley where we can conduct multiple scenarios, using multiple weapon systems with the added ability to maneuver on the terrain”. Read more

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US, Slovenian Army : To fight a modern war takes more than infantry, artillery, reconnaissance and engineers. Even a highly deployable fighting force like the 173rd Airborne Brigade has to get to the battle and be sustained in the fight. This means having riggers to pack the parachutes and rig the equipment to be dropped, mechanics to keep the vehicles in top condition, and fuelers to keep those vehicles running, or even the “water dogs” to purify thousands of gallons of water a day to keep the paratroopers fighting.