Airborne

25 Oct 1983 - Operation Urgent Fury - The 82nd Airborne Division deployed to the tiny Caribbean nation of Grenada to protect U.S. citizens and restore the lawfully-elected government. The first aircraft carrying division troopers touched down at Grenada’s Point Salines 17 hours after notification.

Three paratroopers died during the operation. Captain Michael Ritz, the commander of Bravo company, 2-325th Infantry died when a patrol he was leading was ambushed. Staff Sergeant Gary Epps, a squad leader in Bravo company, died after a round he was attempting to remove from a captured recoilless rifle exploded. Ritz-Epps Fitness center is named in their honor. Sgt. Sean Luketina was wounded when a Navy jet accidentally struck the 2nd brigade TOC. He later died of his wounds at Walter Reed. The invasion of Grenada also marked the first time the UH-60 Blackhawk was used in combat.

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