U.S. Army Makes Weapons and Tactics Discoveries in Arctic Training

The newest Alaskan division realizes the unique hurdles of frigid operations.

Major General Brian Eifler, commander of the Army’s 11th Airborne Division headquartered at Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, Alaska, outlined the challenges faced in the Arctic Circle during recent multinational training exercises. The 80-degree temperature swings, high winds, and regular sub-zero conditions presented obstacles that the Army has not had to navigate before, causing the commander to consider equipment and procedural improvements for Arctic operations.

The commander said that different procedures were required to fly helicopters. He also highlighted the challenges of staying camouflaged and the limitations of tent and communications systems.

In addition to the enemy’s ability to jam digital wavelength technology, “batteries go really quick… less than hours and more into seconds and minutes,” said the major general. “So those challenges of keeping batteries warm and battery-operated vehicles and stuff like that are really put to the test up here because of the environment.”

General Eifler added that, with many of the weapons being made out of metal, “some of the parts retain the cold so much that you can get frostbite from touching the weapon.” 

He said that his division will likely study military equipment used by Norway and Sweden to push their current systems toward Arctic functionality.

As the Lord Leads, Pray with Us…

  • For Major General Eifler to be led by God as he commands the 11th Army Airborne Division.
  • For wisdom for Secretary Wormuth and U.S. Army leadership as they prepare troops for Arctic operations.

Sources: National Defense, Army.mil


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