JOINT BASE ELMENDORF-RICHARDSON, Alaska - A cool breeze and a light mist provided for a refreshing run as Lt. Col. Christopher Ward led his 2-377th Parachute Field Artillery Regiment on a four-mile run in celebration of the Regiment’s 92nd birthday June 28, 2013, at Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, Alaska.
The 377th Parachute Field Artillery Regiment, now a part of the 4th Infantry Brigade Combat Team (Airborne), 25th Infantry Division, was originally constituted on June 24, 1921, in the Organized Reserves. The Regiment was later activated into the Regular Army in 1942. The 377th fought in several campaigns in defense of the United States during its 92-year lineage.
Combat deployments include several during World War II where soldiers in the unit fought in Normandy, Rhineland, Ardennes-Alsace, and Central Europe. The 377th took part in eight campaigns in Vietnam, including the 1969 Tet counteroffensive.
While actively engaged in the war on terrorism to this date, the unit has served in campaigns in both Iraq and Afghanistan.
The 2-377th recently returned from a 10-month deployment to Afghanistan, and has completed its reset phase. Paratroopers in the unit are proud of their lineage, and they are particularly proud of their physical fitness and Airborne capabilities. They are ready to assume their quick reaction responsibilities in defense of the Pacific Rim.
“It’s a great day to be in Alaska and to be able to run to celebrate the 377th Regiment while bringing back Esprit-De-Corps, and the Airborne Culture,” said Lt. Col. Ward. “We want to remind people of how this Regiment formed up as part of the Airborne community back in the early forties and the invasion of Europe, and how we have a legacy and a piece of that history. We will carry that legacy on as we prepare to fight our enemies in the 21st century.”
Paratroopers in the 377th are in top physical condition, and they easily completed the four-mile run.
“We’re physically fit and we’re ready to do our mission,” said Ward.
A new member to the unit since May of this year, Sgt. Rodney K. Blade Sr. with PFAR’s Bravo Battery, said he was surprised to see how committed the unit is to physical fitness, and he was impressed with it’s Airborne proficiency.
“They are a lot more about physical training here then some of the units I’ve been in. Being in the Army, you have to be physically fit, so I like that about PFAR,” said Blade. “We did a heavy drop a few weeks ago, and I was very impressed. We did it pretty fast and pretty accurate. There are some minor things we need to work on, but that’s how we learn, by doing these types of operations.”
At the celebration, and in continuing with tradition, Lt. Col. Ward cut the unit’s birthday cake with the youngest member of the battalion, 18-year old Pfc. Jeshua Haskins from Syracuse, N.Y., paratroopers in the unit enjoyed the moment socializing and eating cake before moving out for another day of Army service.