Senate Approves Sullivan-Murkowski-Reed Resolution Designating August 16th as “National Airborne Day”
WASHINGTON—The United States Senate last night unanimously approved a resolution sponsored by U.S. Senators Dan Sullivan, Lisa Murkowski (both R-Alaska), and Jack Reed (D-R.I.) designating August 16, 2022 as National Airborne Day. The resolution calls on all Americans to observe the day with appropriate programs, ceremonies, and activities.
The resolution also adds language acknowledging the recent re-activation of the 11th Airborne Division in Alaska as part of the ongoing history of American Airborne forces. While previous resolutions acknowledged the service of the 11th Airborne during World War II, it did not reflect the recent re-activation of the division. The 11th Airborne Division unites roughly 12,000 soldiers in Alaska under one flag, marking the first time that the Army has activated an airborne division in 70 years.
“The activation of the 11th Airborne Division in Alaska earlier this summer reaffirmed the Army’s commitment to its new Arctic Strategy, our state’s unrivaled strategic location, and the importance of America’s security interests in this region,” said Senator Sullivan. “As Americans honor the service of all of our brave airborne members, this day will be particularly meaningful for Alaskans celebrating the Arctic-tough warriors of our newly-minted 11th Airborne Division who are standing by on a moment’s notice to keep us safe from threats from across the globe.”
“While I’ve led this resolution to honor National Airborne Day for years, this year the resolution is particularly special to the Alaska delegation. That’s due to fact the 11th Airborne Division in Alaska just re-activated, returning to the Army’s active rolls with a reinvigorated mission focused on operations in extreme cold weather and high altitudes, including the ever-evolving Arctic. It was a truly momentous occasion, and one I was thankful to be a part of,” said Senator Murkowski. “Alaska’s Airborne units are Arctic tough—withstanding some of the most challenging climates and terrains on earth as they carry out their missions. They are truly some of our nation’s most skilled and respected forces. With today’s unanimous passage of our resolution, I’m proud my Senate colleagues joined us in formally honoring airborne divisions across the U.S. and all the strength, grit and determination they add to America’s armed services. It’s an honor to recognize their hard work in this way.”
“America’s airborne forces are the tip of the spear of our military,” said Senator Reed, who served in the 82nd Airborne Division. “They are trained to operate behind enemy lines, endure the toughest conditions, and blaze the trail for our ground forces – all after jumping out of a perfectly good airplane. I am immensely proud to honor the service and sacrifice of these brave men and women by recognizing National Airborne Day.”
National Airborne Day is observed on August 16 of every year to honor the U.S. Army's elite airborne troops and to celebrate all of their accomplishments. In 2002, President George W. Bush established National Airborne Day to commemorate these "foundational efforts." The day commemorates the first official Army parachute jump on August 16, 1940, which soon led to the formation of the U.S. Army Airborne Units.