Fort Drum soldiers take to the skies in training exercise

Air Assault Training on Fort Drum
Published: Jun. 1, 2023 at 6:07 AM EDT
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FORT DRUM, New York (WWNY) - For some soldiers, Wednesday was more than just a normal day at the office.

“This is what we all joined for,” said Staff Sgt. Devin Lindberg, a combat medic.

The 1st Battalion, 32nd Infantry Regiment and the 2nd Assault Helicopter Battalion executed a series of ground and air assault training exercises Wednesday night and into early Thursday morning.

“We’re going to teach them the specific standard of how we want to plan to meet contact with the enemy,” Sgt. 1st Class Jake Morash said, “and then how we want to act upon meeting contact with the enemy.”

More than 20 Black Hawk and four Apache helicopters touched down, then took off carrying soldiers 68 miles south to Griffiss International Airport to unload, refuel, and return. The exercise is meant to better reflect what a real-world mission would resemble.

“It’s very high tempo,” Lindberg said. “Everything needs to be perfect, and everything needs to be in order for us to make sure everything goes smoothly.”

“It’s the muscle reaction of what we’re supposed to be doing in that moment is what helps us win,” Morash said. “The prior training to combat or to that live fire is what separates us from the other armies.”

Soldiers say days like these not only separate the U.S. Army from others around the world, but also help build the bonds between brothers on the battlefield.

“I look forward to the brotherhood mostly of this,” Lindberg said. “It’s not going to be simple, it’s not going to be easy, but at the end of it, it gives you confidence in your guys, and it gives you confidence in your leaders in order to carry out any objective.”

People around Fort Drum continued to hear the sound of choppers in flight through early Thursday morning.