GRAFENWOEHR TRAINING AREA, Germany — Soldiers assigned to the 2nd Brigade Combat Team STRIKE”, 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault), held the Gander Memorial during a combined arms maneuver live fire exercise (CAMLFEX) on Dec. 12, 2022, at Grafenwoehr, Germany.
On December 12, 1985, 248 Soldiers assigned to the 2nd Brigade Combat Team and eight crew members aboard flight 1285 perished after their plane crashed in Gander, Newfoundland, Canada.
“Some people think of the military as only warriors, fierce in their martial expertise; but the men and women we mourn today were peacemakers,” stated former U.S. President Ronald Reagan during his remarks at the Gander Memorial Service at Fort Campbell, Ky. on Dec. 16, 1985. “Their commitment was as strong as their purpose was pure and they were proud; they had a rendezvous with destiny and a potential they never failed to meet.”
This loss was one of the most devasting events to occur within the 2nd Brigade Combat Team’s storied history.
Soldiers from the 2nd Brigade Combat Team were abroad in the Sinai Peninsula for six-months conducting a peace keeping mission and were on their way home. They stopped in Gander, Newfoundland to refuel and continue their trip back to Fort Campbell to spend time with their loved ones before the holidays. Shortly after takeoff, the plane crashed and claimed the lives of all 256 people on board.
During the CAMLFEX, the Commander of the 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault), Col. Ed Matthaidess addressed a formation of Strike Soldiers about the Gander plane crash.
“Today we remember a group of heroic predecessors, the 248 Soldiers of Task Force 3-502 IN who died in the crash of Arrow Air Flight 1285,” stated Matthaidess. “They never again got a chance to hug and kiss the children and spouses they left behind at Fort Campbell and that is why we are taking a few minutes today to remember and reflect.”
The same drive within the 248 Strike Soldiers who perished is still recognizable through the dedication of Strike Soldiers taking part in the CAMLFEX.
The CAMLFEX is a culminating event which took months of training and preparation. It included Air Assault operations, sling load operations, direct and indirect fires support, breaching, support by fire and maneuvering through trenches. The CAMLFEX is designed to increase readiness and lethality throughout the 2BCT.
Through the efforts of Strike Soldiers, CAMLFEX has enabled Soldiers to hone the skills needed to win the future fight.
“Strike is out doing what Strike does best, preparing to win where we fight, whenever and wherever that call comes,” he said. “This “win where we fight” ethos has been at the core of Strike’s existence from our very beginning.”
Amid rigorous training, Strike Soldiers pause to reflect on the life and legacy of those that perished in the plane crash; to continue to honor the memory of those past and to prepare for their rendezvous with destiny.
|Date Posted:||12.12.2022 03:47|
|Location:||GRAFENWOEHR TRAINING AREA, DE|
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