2nd July 2020
United States carry out an exercise to land two companies of paratroopers on Guam Airbase in the light of Chinese developments in the Indo-Pacific Command area.
The operation was carried out by the 3rd Battalion, 509 Airborne Infantry Regiment of the US Army’s 4th Infantry Brigade Combat Team (Airborne), 25th Infantry Division. They flew from the Joint Base Elemendorf-Richardson in Alaska to demonstrate the Army Alaska’s 4-25 IBCT(A) ability to land area int he area at a moment’s notice.
Whilst this is not an active military operation, I have included it because it uses paratroopers which I feel are generally underused in all military theatres in modern war. Paratroopers represent an advanced military force and quite simply, many nations can’t do that, mainly because of the complexity of ensuring that parachutes work and knowing how to use them.
My own thoughts on this are how many would actually land, in this day and age, alive. I guess you could get 30 technicals with heavy machine guns and AA guns and position them nearby, without warning and see how soon they could get the alert, mobilise and hit distant falling targets. You could drop dummies and count how many have bullet holes in them. I imagine that a company of Middle East militias, for example, would take quite a while responding, shout a lot, and miss. However, Chinese forces, in an aggressive stance might have a different approach, and it would not surprise me if they had advanced auto anti-airborne armaments that used advanced optical and sighting systems to automatically shoot a swarm of descending paratroopers. As such, you would need to eliminate that first. An interesting exercise.