The Headquarters, 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault) and 2nd Brigade Combat Team uncased their colors and conducted an Air Assault demonstration on July 30th, 2022, at Mihail Kogalniceanu, Romania.
The ceremony symbolizes the start of the division's forward deployment in Europe in support of the U.S. Army V Corps' mission to reinforce NATO's eastern flank and reassure Partners across the European continent.
After 80 years, the division returns to the European theater with nearly 2,400 Soldiers to reassure NATO Allies and deter our adversaries.
“This ceremony and more importantly our deployment to Romania, Bulgaria, Hungary and Slovakia represents the ironclad commitment of the United States to our NATO Allies”, stated Maj. Gen. JP McGee, the commander of the 101st Abn. Div. (AASLT). “The return of the 101st Airborne Division to Europe represents something significant for us.”
In attendance was Nicolae Ciuca, the Prime Minister of Romania.
“After 25 years since the U.S. - Romania strategic partnership was signed, President Biden reiterated in Madrid the U.S. strong commitment towards the Black Sea security region,” stated Ciuca. “The 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault), a famous and elite U.S. military unit has the mission to reinforce NATOs eastern flank.”
After uncasing the colors, Soldiers from 2nd BCT, 2nd and 3rd Battalion 227th Aviation Regiment and NATO Partners demonstrated the capabilities of a combined arms air assault operation.
“Exercises like this are great for us, not only do we get to pair with multinational forces, between the Romanians, the Canadian F-18s, we get to all synchronize and get on the same page,” remarked Chief Warrant Officer Two Christopher Dillon, a CH-47 maintenance test pilot assigned to Bravo Company, 2nd Battalion, 227th Aviation Regiment, 1st Air Cavalry Brigade, 1st Air Cavalry Division. “Our role for these operations is to really give maneuverability to the ground force.”
The air assault demonstration was an example of how unity amongst NATO Partners and Allies can translate into battlefield successes. Readiness and joint interoperability are paramount to the success of the U.S. and NATO allied nations while forward deployed throughout Europe.
“Dear Soldiers of the 101st Division, thank you for being here, I’m sure that together with the Romanian soldiers and those from the allied countries deployed here, you will accomplish your mission,” stated Ciuca. “Your presence is very welcome; we are stronger together.”