The US Army had just as busy a year in 2015 as ever.
With training exercises with global partners around the globe and at home, it maintained its everlasting vigilance. In order to showcase all of the Army’s exploits from the past year, the branch compiled a year in pictures.
We have selected some of the best below.
March 16: A US Army Soldier with Operational Detachment Alpha 1215, 1st Special Forces Group, Joint Base Lewis-McChord, runs off the back of a CH-47F Chinook helicopter while conducting a simulated combat dive mission in the water off of Marine Corps Training Area Bellows. The helicopter hovered the ocean and allowed the soldiers to conduct a boat movement leading to reconnaissance of the beach and a raid in the training facility at Bellows.
March 20: US Army Maj. Stewart Brown, 55th Signal Company, jumps from a UH-60 Black Hawk from 1st Battalion, 171st Aviation Regiment during airborne operations at Plantation Airpark, in Sylvania, Georgia. Operation Skyfall is a joint, multilateral combat-camera subject-matter expert exchange hosted by the 982nd Combat Camera Company, which takes place at multiple locations in Georgia.
April 11: US Army and British paratroopers perform a static-line jump at Holland Drop Zone in preparation for Combined Joint Operational Access Exercise 15-01 on Fort Bragg, North Carolina. The exercise is an 82nd Airborne Division-led bilateral training event on Fort Bragg. It was the largest exercise of its kind held on Fort Bragg in nearly 20 years, and demonstrated interoperability between US and British army soldiers, US Air Force, Air National Guard, Royal Air Force airmen, and US Marines.
April 27: A US Army soldier from D Company, 1st Battalion, 52nd Aviation Regiment stands outside a CH-47F Chinook helicopter at the Kahiltna Glacier base camp on Mount McKinley, Alaska.
May 19: For the first time since losing his legs in Afghanistan, US Army Master Sgt. Cedric King joined his fellow 82nd Airborne Division paratroopers on a division run to kick off All American Week on Fort Bragg, North Carolina.
US Marines assigned to the 3rd Assault Amphibian Battalion observe the approach of amphibious assault vehicles (AAV) during well deck operations aboard amphibious transport dock ship USS Somerset (LPD 25). Somerset is participating in Exercise Dawn Blitz 2015 (DB-15).
June 1: A US Army soldier, assigned to 1st Brigade, 1st Armored Division, fires an M136 AT4 during Decisive Action Rotation 15-08 at the National Training Center at Fort Irwin, California.
June 26: A US Army UH-60 Blackhawk helicopter crew chief, assigned to the Alaska National Guard, conducts water-bucket operations during a firefighting mission south of Tok, Alaska. Two UH-60 helicopters aided in fighting the wildfire in coordination with the Bureau of Land Management, Fire Services based out of Fort Wainwright, Alaska.
July 17: A US Army Reserve combat engineer soldier, from the 374th Engineer Company (Sapper), tries to stand up with a loaded ruck sack full of water during Combat Water Survival Training at Fort Hunter Liggett, California.
July 31: A wave splashes onto an MK-2 boat operated by US Army Reserve soldiers Staff Sgt. Chad Bentley, bridge crew member, and Spc. Ben Adams, medic, from 341st Engineer Company (Multi-Role Bridge), during a sling-loading operation on the Arkansas River near Fort Chaffee. Soldiers from various Army Reserve and active-duty units trained together at River Assault, a bridging training exercise that involves Army Engineers and other support elements.
August 5: Snipers from the 1st Squadron, 11th Armored Cavalry Regiment, dash across the rocky desert terrain during a combined-arms live-fire exercise at Fort Irwin, California. The 11th Armored Cavalry Regiment was one of several organizations from across the US participating in Operation Dragon Spear, a demonstration which included a joint forcible entry operation with XVIII Airborne Corps, 82nd Airborne Division, 75th Ranger Regiment, 10th Special Forces Group and the US Air Force.
August 21: A US Army soldier, assigned to the Washington National Guard, uses his body to create an opening in a wire obstacle so his team can assault a position during Exercise Grizzly Defender in Alberta, Canada. Grizzly Defender is a joint training exercise with the Canadian army reserve with a focus on offensive tasks, including patrols, convoys, raids, information operations, traffic-control points, and company-level group attacks.
August 23: Soldiers, assigned to Kosovo Force Multinational Battle Group-East’s Task Force Hurricane, made up of soldiers from the National Guard and US Army Reserve, hike to the peak of Mount Ljuboten in southern Kosovo. Led by German members of MNBG-E’s headquarters, these soldiers earned Germany’s Edelweiss Badge by successfully completing the 8,000-foot trek.
September 20: US Army Staff Sgt. Brian Wright, 1st Battalion, 1st Special Operations Group (Airborne), holds a US flag outside a C-130 Hercules during the 2015 Japanese-American Friendship Festival at Yokota Air Base in Japan. The US flag, waved by Wright, was held out on one C-130 and a Japanese flag was simultaneously held outside another taxiing aircraft, symbolizing the US and Japan partnership and reinforcing the general idea of the festival: to increase bilateral relationships between the two countries.
September 29: Soldiers take to the water by jumping out of Black Hawk helicopters in an airborne operation, helicopter cast and recovery, known as a helocast, off the shores of Okinawa. The operation involves inserting and extracting personnel or equipment from a helicopter over water. Helocasting is an effective means of inserting or extracting reconnaissance elements. Units plan and conduct a helocast operation similar to an air-movement operation, except the landing zone is in the water.
December 2: US Army Spc. Timmy Racke, an infantryman with the 3rd Battalion, 69th Armor Regiment, 1st Armor Brigade Combat Team, 3rd Infantry Division, engages targets with his M240B Machine Gun while conducting battle drills at Pabrade Training Area in Lithuania.
December 10: US Army soldiers, assigned to 1/25 SBCT “Arctic Wolves,” US Army Alaska, transport equipment using snowshoes and ahkio sleds during an arctic mobility-squad competition in the Yukon Training Area at Fort Wainwright in Alaska.
The US Navy’s carrier-strike group steams alongside Japan’s navy in the Pacific Ocean on November 27.