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In Brief

General credits paratroopers,
Families with corps’ success

By Eve Meinhardt

  Photo by Sharilyn Wells / Paraglide
XVIII Airborne Corps Deputy Commanding General Maj. Gen. Daniel Allyn and his wife, Debbie, listen to XVIII Airborne Corps commanding general, Lt. Gen. Frank Helmick’s speech during Allyn’s farewell ceremony on Apr. 2 at Sicily Drop Zone.

Major Gen. Daniel Allyn, deputy commanding general, XVIII Airborne Corps and Fort Bragg, has called Fort Bragg home many times during his almost 30-year career. After graduating the U.S. Military Academy at West Point in 1981, Allyn was stationed at Fort Bragg for the first time with 2nd Battalion, 508th Infantry as part of the 82nd Airborne Division. As he prepares to leave Fort Bragg to assume command of the 1st Cavalry Division in Fort Hood, Texas, he said that no matter where he goes, Fort Bragg will always be home for him and his wife, Debbie.

“Debbie and I have been blessed to serve XVIII Airborne Corps and Fort Bragg here in the Fayetteville, Spring Lake communities for the past three years. This is home for Debbie and this has been our home to come back to throughout our military career,” said Allyn, who is from Berwick, Maine.

Just like the paratroopers of the 82nd Abn. Division and XVIII Abn. Corps, Allyn has his bags packed and is ready to deploy at a moment’s notice when duty calls. Since his assignment to the corps in 2007, Allyn has served on a 15-month deployment to Iraq as the chief of staff for Multi-National Corps–Iraq and recently returned from a four-month deployment to Haiti as the deputy commanding general for Joint Task Force – Haiti.

He said that he was proud of the Soldiers he served with during both deployments and felt that he got to see history being made first-hand.

“We have been extraordinarily blessed to serve the XVIII Airborne Corps in a period of pretty historic times. In terms of the corps mission as Multi-National Corps–Iraq in helping to bring about the safe provincial elections during our watch and the subsequent national elections that they’ve just completed,” Allyn said. “Iraq is at a new place in their history ... the team here at XVIII Airborne Corps helped bring that about and set about the conditions for that.”

He said that while he had participated in a humanitarian aid mission before in Florida during the aftermath of Hurricane Andrew in 1992, he was grateful for the opportunity to assist in Haiti. Allyn said he felt immense pride watching Fort Bragg’s paratroopers assist the Haitian people and work hand-in-hand with the other services to help rebuild the country while providing food, water and medical care.

“I think that for every paratrooper the mission in Haiti was a uniquely rewarding experience. They were able to immediately assist in lifesaving aid to the people of Haiti and they had a direct impact on thousands of lives being saved … While you hate that this disaster struck, you were thankful for the contributions of the entire international community in rushing to take care of the citizens,” Allyn said.

While he has spent most of his three years at Fort Bragg serving in other countries, his service before his assignment to the XVIII Abn. Corps was far from quiet. He’s served wherever Soldiers are. He participated in Operation Urgent Fury in Grenada, Operation Just Cause in Panama, Operation Desert Shield/Storm in Saudi Arabia and served a previous tour in Iraq as part of Operation Iraqi Freedom.

Having been on so many deployments himself, Allyn said that he understands how difficult the life of a Soldier can be on their Families. He gave credit to the strength and resilience of the Army Family in supporting Fort Bragg paratrooper’s continuing missions in Iraq and Afghanistan, as well as no notice missions like Haiti.

“I know, speaking personally from Debbie’s and my perspective, how hard it can be. We’ve done the long missions, like the 15-month tour in Iraq, and we’ve done the shorter crisis response missions, like this Haiti mission. Each one is an upheaval of Family norms,” he said. “The dedication of all the Families to support one another and to look after each other when part of the Family is deployed is to me an integral component that is never spoken about here at Fort Bragg. It’s just how the people here are; they look after each other and are compassionate and committed to taking care of each other and each other’s Families. They are the unsung heroes of Bragg and our Army.”

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