Now, the 82nd is working to reclaim its mission to be ready to deploy anywhere it's ordered within hours.
The nation's only paratrooper division began Thursday with a huge training mission. Some 1,500 soldiers jumped from low-flying planes to practice tactics that could help them seize an enemy airfield at night.
The division has not made a large combat jump in action since the invasion of Panama, but small paratrooper units jumped in Afghanistan.
Bragg officials say by this spring, the 2nd Brigade will be ready to go anywhere in the world in hours if the President calls.