They call it 'Green Hell' - This photo won an award

Jungle Expert

"This type of training builds confidence in our junior soldiers, the kind of confidence that make our troopers the finest in the world."

--Col. Henry H. Shelton
Commander, 1st Brigade
82nd Airborne Division

Note: This brigade commander's name... Yes he is the same man, General Shelton... Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff!
It's a small Army!

2-504th Infantry Attends Jungle Operations Training Course

by Specialist Four Dave McNally
82nd Airborne Division
Public Affairs Office

Originally published in the "The Paraglide"
Fort Bragg Newspaper, February 7, 1985

FORT SHERMAN, Panama - -  Troopers from the 2nd Battalion, 504th Infantry (Airborne) recently jumped into Panama to begin jungle training.

During the early morning of January 25, 1985, over 600 paratroopers loaded onto a C-141 "Starlifter" aircraft for the five and a half hour flight to the Panamanian drop zone.

The battalion’s adjutant, Captain Kurt Lyman, described the operation as, "a prelude to Exercise Kindle Liberty ‘85", a joint-service training exercise in Panama.

"The Jungle Operations Training Course (JOTC) here at Fort Sherman," Lyman said, "is two weeks of intensive jungle-warfare training designed to aid the soldier on the upcoming exercise."

Sharp Contrast

The tropical climate of the jungle contrasted sharply with Fort Bragg’s recent cold spell. According to JOTC instructors, the soldiers will not be acclimatized until it’s time to return to Fort Bragg. For the first three weeks in the jungle, it is necessary to down nine to 14 quarts of water per day.

Training at JOTC is varied and, to many soldiers, exciting. Airborne troopers learned to become "waterborne," and how to survive and fight in a jungle environment.

Finest in the World

"JOTC trains our troopers to survive where the 82nd Airborne Division may have to fight someday," said Colonel Henry H. Shelton, 1st Brigade commander. "This type of training builds confidence in our junior soldiers, the kind of confidence that make our troopers the finest in the world."

That confidence is built through tough training at JOTC. Training includes "Green Hell," a challenging and dangerous obstacle course. Troopers learn how to rig a rubber raft for a combat operation and how to navigate in the jungles.

Most Dangerous

Soldiers learned about what to eat in a survival situation because the jungle is full of poisonous and dangerous plants and creatures. Instructors reminded paratroopers that the most dangerous thing in the jungle is the U.S. Soldier. "He’s the boss. He controls it," instructors stress.

After graduation from JOTC, the soldiers will be recognized as "Jungle Experts."

Task Force 2-504 will remain at Fort Sherman for two weeks.

The battalion’s redeployment to Fort Bragg is set for mid-February, after Exercise Kindle Liberty ’85.

The rationale for attending the jungle warfare course was best summed up by a serious, anonymous voice in a group of waiting soldiers: "This is the best training we’ve had in a long time!"

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