DEADHORSE, Alaska – U.S. Army Alaska paratroopers conducted the largest U.S. airborne operation north of the Arctic Circle in over a decade Tuesday to hone their skills in conducting Arctic airborne and mobility operations.
Paratroopers from the 6th Brigade Engineer Battalion, 4th Brigade Combat Team (Airborne), 25th Infantry Division conducted an airborne jump operation Tuesday in Deadhorse, 495 miles north of Fairbanks in Alaska’s North Slope Borough.
For the exercise called Spartan Pegasus, approximately 180 arctic-equipped jumpers, two Small Unit Support Vehicles and two arctic sustainment packages parachuted from two Alaska National Guard C-130 and two C-17 aircraft.
U.S. Army Alaska is the Army’s proponent for cold-weather training and operations. Spartan Pegasus provided a unique opportunity to validate concepts taught at USARAK’s Northern Warfare Training Center at Black Rapids, which specializes in extreme-cold-weather mobility, high-altitude survival, mobility and mountain warfare.
The average winter temperatures in the area range from 23 degrees below zero to minus 11. The record for February low temperature is minus 57 degrees, but in January 1989 nearby Prudhoe Bay hit a wind-chill of minus 96 degrees.
The 4-25’s unique area of operation stretches from the Arctic Circle to the southern reaches of the Asia-Pacific region. Paratroopers from the Spartan Brigade have recently jumped in Thailand, Australia, Japan and many locations around Alaska.