Soldiers from the 101st Airborne Division recently found out what it takes to load a brigade combat team’s worth of equipment onto a ship as part of the first Sealift Emergency Deployment Readiness Exercise the Army has conducted in years.

Wilson described the process as trying to put together “a big puzzle.”“The biggest part was trying to figure out how to fit all 900 awkwardly-shaped pieces onto that ship and then how to pull them off,” said Maj. Jared Wilson, the executive officer for 2nd Battalion, 506th Infantry Regiment, which is part of the 101st Airborne’s 3rd BCT.

The exercise was “different because we haven’t done this in quite a long time,” he said. “It requires a lot of attention to detail, it requires a lot of specific training.”

The Sealift Emergency Deployment Readiness Exercise was the first of its kind since the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. It was centered on getting the 101st Airborne’s 3rd Brigade Combat Team from Fort Campbell, Kentucky, to the Joint Readiness Training Center at Fort Polk, Louisiana, for the brigade’s combat training center rotation.

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