The United States Army on Monday activated the new 11th Airborne Division in Alaska. The change brings the 12,000 soldiers in Alaska under a single banner.
June 6, coincidentally, is the 78th anniversary of D-Day, when allied Allied forces stormed the beaches of Normandy in Nazi-occupied France.
“The change will bring the service closer to its mission in Alaska of mastering the frigid, inhospitable Arctic terrain. Previously, two of its brigades were loosely associated with the 25th Infantry Division, an element known for its specialty in jungle warfare. The new division has also folded in U.S. Army Alaska, which mostly served a headquarters role in the region,” according to Military.com.
“As the Army reorients after decades of counterterrorism operations back to conventional warfare, it is anticipating that frigid environments will play a huge role in modern conflicts. Adversaries Russia and China have already laid claims to the Arctic Circle, where melting ice is freeing up territory, natural resources and new sea routes,” the publication wrote.
“They will be the experts for our Army, and we like to see the best in the world operating in this environment,” Gen. James McConville, the Army’s chief of staff, told reporters Monday.