82nd Airborne Division To Lose Famed 'Airborne' Status
FORT BRAGG, N.C. — The nation’s premier Airborne infantry division, the 82nd Airborne, will lose its hallowed airborne status in the next fiscal year, Army officials announced Thursday.
Reasons for the change include the high cost of maintenance and fuel in the face of looming budget cuts, and the higher-than-average injury and fatality rate for soldiers conducting training jumps, according to a statement from U.S. Army Forces Command.
“As much as it helps esprit de corps and a sense of unit pride,” said Army spokesperson Col. Mike Mulally, “It hurts in terms of readiness, injuries and the bottom line. The time spent on jumps could be used for more relevant training. We would save over $4 million a year in facility and equipment upkeep.”
“And let’s not forget,” Mulally added, “The awful fatality incidents we suffer about once a year. Every time the general has to give another flag to a wife or mother whose soldiers were lost on a training jump, we have to ask ourselves: Why are we traini…
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