Another counterinsurgency mission like Iraq or Afghanistan is considered unlikely. Reporting from Ft. Bragg, N.C. — Their parachutes were rigged. Their weapons were secured. Three days of food and supplies were strapped to their bodies.
In full combat gear, hundreds of paratroopers from the 82nd Airborne Division dropped from the North Carolina sky at 23 feet per second. They hit the ground hard and scrambled to their feet, rifles ready.
It was only an exercise, but for paratroopers just back from Afghanistan and Iraq it was a back-to-the-future moment, part of a new training focus that looks beyond America's current counterinsurgency wars.
For the first time in years, Army troops are training for "full-spectrum operations" â€” mounting large strikes against all types of enemies, not just insurgents.