For the first time in more than a year, the skies above Fort Bragg are filled with the paratroopers of the famed 82nd Airborne Division.
Soldiers from the division's 3rd Brigade are practicing parachute jumps this week for the first time since they returned from a deployment to Iraq that began in August 2006.
On Wednesday, about 1,200 paratroopers made their jumps -- some
more than once. Another 1,200 will follow Thursday. The Army requires that all airborne-qualified soldiers make a practice jump at least once every three months.
The 82nd Airborne traditionally serves as the nation's strategic reaction force, ready to jump into combat -- by parachute if need be -- anywhere in the world on short notice.