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Thread: Army creating second Paratrooper division

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    Army creating second Paratrooper division

    https://www.military.com/daily-news/...ctic%20warfare.

    While I often thought having elements of the 25th ID "Tropic Lightning" stationed in Alaska was a bit of an oxymoron, it is just a unit designation after all. Now the Army is going to create (or re-activate) the 11th Airborne Division, but it is designated specifically for Arctic operations. WTF? Is there a forthcoming threat we face in sub-zero temps, enough to justify an entire Airborne division dedicated to it? Sure, they can and would be deployed anywhere needed if the SHTF, but really? I read a comment somewhere today that the thought of a light infantry unit in Arctic conditions, i.e. moving on foot and not in any motorized way, was ludicrous.
    Last edited by ABNAK; 05-06-22 at 23:28.
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    I was there when 4/25 formed up. This makes me said to know the unit will be no more but it is probably a good thing. It isn’t much of a division with only two BDE’s.

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    Better than the old 6th Division.

    Hopefully the 2nd Brigade, 11th Airborne Division goes full jump status and keeps their Strykers (they're still part of USARPAC and would be the airborne division for Asia and INDO-PACOM (since the 82nd is organic to XVIIIth Airborne Corps). Maybe augment with BV202s.

    Curious as to whether or not they get a third brigade.

    When I was in the National Guard back in the 20th century, Texas had the 49th "Lone Star" Armor Division and I was in the (separate) 36th Airborne Brigade -- the Guard round-out (war mobilization) 4th Brigade, 82nd Airborne Division. We were deactivated in 1980.

    An expanded National Guard airborne brigade could wartime round-out 11th Airborne to three brigades.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ABNAK View Post
    https://www.military.com/daily-news/...ctic%20warfare.

    While I often thought having elements of the 25th ID "Tropic Lightning" stationed in Alaska was a bit of an oxymoron, it is just a unit designation after all. Now the Army is going to create (or re-activate) the 11th Airborne Division, but it is designated specifically for Arctic operations. WTF? Is there a forthcoming threat we face in sub-zero temps, enough to justify an entire Airborne division dedicated to it? Sure, they can and would be deployed anywhere needed if the SHTF, but really? I read a comment somewhere today that the thought of a light infantry unit in Arctic conditions, i.e. moving on foot and not in any motorized way, was ludicrous.
    Wouldn't proximity to Russia be a large consideration?
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    That plus the fact that Russia is building secret bases in the Arctic, or at least trying to

    FSB Major General Yuri Sulin was sentenced to 6 years in prison in a closed court session for abuse of power. He disrupted a top-secret construction program in the Arctic, and allocated the 658 million rubles for the construction of FSB housing in Crimea.
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    The Arctic has been an emerging focus for us for a few years. I assume everyone knows that Russia can have a chilly winter and all you have to do is enter “China arctic” to see what they’re up to. I don’t know about entire light BDE’s fighting on foot in Arctic conditions. Smaller units of action can do quite a bit on snowshoes, skis, and snowmobiles, but there was an article circulating a few days ago about the new division HQ spearheading the process to figure out the best way to fight on a large scale. Honestly I don’t think there’s anything we have in the inventory right now that would be great for it.


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    From what I've read, this has less to do with strategic considerations, and more to do with the rash of suicides the Army command in Alaska. The idea is that a division headquarters centered in Alaska might help pull the different units together and give them a bit more of a sense of identity.

    She said the 11th Airborne, which was nicknamed the “Angels” before deactivation, could provide the bedrock for a new collective identity among soldiers stationed in Alaska.

    “We are looking at...reflagging the U.S. Army Alaska headquarters as the 11th Airborne Division,” Wormuth told Sen. Dan Sullivan, R-Alaska, who recently joined with other members of Congress to demand the Army do more to resolve a mental health crisis among troops in his state.

    Wormuth emphasized to lawmakers that the move is meant to address a common refrain among Alaska-based troops: they don’t know why they’re there.

    “Some of the soldiers there don’t feel like they have a sense of identity or purpose around why they’re stationed there,” Wormuth said.
    https://www.armytimes.com/news/your-...e-army-alaska/

    The new division likely will have a strategic role to play, especially now that we seem like we've gotten tired of playing in the sandbox. Exactly what that role is, who knows? Probably won't know til they figure out the TO&E for the "arctic brigades" and exactly what their mission set will be. I'll be really curious to see if the unit actually becomes an airborne division in reality as well as just name, or if it'll be a weird hybrid with a couple of airborne brigades, and a couple of mechanized brigades permamently.
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    Quote Originally Posted by SteyrAUG View Post
    Wouldn't proximity to Russia be a large consideration?
    Yeah, but we pre-suppose at that point an "invasion" of Russian or Chinese territory, and I don't think that we would do that if we were wise. Same could be said of any plans those two might have of invading America proper.

    Maybe for a one-off "Siberian Winter" fight in Korea (like the winter of 1950-51) but dedicating an entire division for one unlikely scenario? I dunno.

    Having said all that, Alaska is an odd duck (along with Hawaii) in being a U.S. state but not physically attached to CONUS. I can certainly see wanting to defend Alaska but by creating an entire Airborne division to do it? Doesn't seem like the most prudent use of resources.....and this is coming from an old Airborne guy!

    Maybe a hybrid unit like some have mentioned, combining light infantry and mechanized/motorized units.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alpha-17 View Post
    From what I've read, this has less to do with strategic considerations, and more to do with the rash of suicides the Army command in Alaska. The idea is that a division headquarters centered in Alaska might help pull the different units together and give them a bit more of a sense of identity.
    An esoteric or intangible reason like that is a stretch, but it is presented in the article, soooo.....I can certainly see the Army throwing that out there as an additional (aside from strategic) reason why we need to do this.

    Never been to Alaska but I have no desire to go there. I hear it's beautiful, yada yada. Perhaps so. But I don't like cold, and Alaska cold is even more off the charts for me. Plus the extended "night" for nearly half the year and I can see how it would be depressing to a young soldier. Assigning them to some snappy new unit with a new patch for some reason doesn't seem like the answer to suicide/morale problems. Will the 11th AbnDiv designation bring more sunlight and warmth?

    Having been stationed in Panama I may bring a biased view to the discussion but the Army seems to have lost focus of fighting in jungled or thickly wooded terrain in the last few decades. Granted, 20 years of war in the Sandbox no doubt influences things, and now we look toward Arctic capabilities. Maybe some of you active duty guys can shed some light on whether the Army is still looking to be proficient in a Vietnam-type AO as a potential need in the future?
    Last edited by ABNAK; 05-07-22 at 08:41.
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    Airborne insertion does make sense for somewhere like the Arctic or Greenland or Siberia.
    Last edited by mack7.62; 05-07-22 at 08:46.
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