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News | May 8, 2014

Arctic Paratroopers Jump into Deadhorse

By U.S. Army Alaska Public Affairs

HEADQUARTERS, U.S. ARMY ALASKA, JOINT BASE ELMENDORF-RICHARDSON, Alaska -  U.S. Army Alaska paratroopers made the 2nd Engineer Brigade's first airborne operation north of the Arctic Circle May 1 to hone their arctic mobility skills in an exercise called Arctic Pegasus. This exercise expanded U.S. Army Alaska's arctic airborne capability.

Paratroopers from the 6th Engineer Battalion jumped into a landing zone near Deadhorse, 495 miles north of Fairbanks in the North Slope Borough and added a follow-on air movement to conduct a site orientation visit 60 miles south along the Dalton Highway. The exercise was intended to help the unit's soldiers build proficiency in their arctic mobility and survivability skills, while collaborating closely with the Air Force and the Alaska Army National Guard.

A dozen arctic-equipped jumpers and a Small Unit Support Vehicle parachuted from an Air Force C-17 aircraft for the exercise.  The Small Unit Support Vehicle, commonly referred to as a SUSV (pronounced "suss-vee"), weighs more than 10,000 pounds fully equipped and is essential to small unit arctic mobility.  The Alaska Army National Guard provided two UH-60 Black Hawk helicopters for air mobility during the mission. 

While primarily aimed at arctic mobility and survivability in an austere arctic environment, Arctic Pegasus also served as a rehearsal for U.S. Army Alaska, should it be requested to rapidly deploy a small arctic force in support of a variety of missions including fixed site security, humanitarian assistance/disaster relief or support to civil authorities. 


Video and still photos from the U.S. Army Alaska arctic airborne mission can be found at the following links: