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Naval Special Warfare Boat Team Completes MCADS Drop

Navy NewsStand

Story Number: NNS071212-02
Release Date: 12/12/2007 9:40:00 AM

By Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Robyn Gerstenslager, Naval Special Warfare Group 4 Public Affairs

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (NNS) -- Special Warfare Combatant-craft Crewmen (SWCC) and parachute riggers from Special Boat Team (SBT) 20, stationed at Naval Amphibious Base Little Creek, Va., completed another successful Maritime Craft Aerial Delivery System (MCADS) drop Dec. 5.

The MCADS drop was conducted off the Virginia Beach coast, as part of a training evolution.

During this MCADS drop, two 11-meter rigid inflatable boats (RIB) deployed from the rear of Air Force C-130s at 3,500 feet, with four parachutes, 100-feet in diameter, rigged to each boat. Four SWCCs free-fall parachute after each RIB, which they then pilot back to the shore.

SBT 20 Air Operations trains two special boat team detachments a year on MCADS; each detachment is required to complete three MCADS drops before going on deployment. In order to earn the MCADS parachutist qualification, SWCCs must complete a military free-fall jump and a static-line parachute jump behind an 11-meter RIB from a C-130 or C-17. A third jump is required for additional training.

Each MCADS launch requires at least one month of preparation by the parachute riggers of SBT 20 Air Operations.

"There is one week of rigging the boat and getting it ready to air drop," said McMurray. "After the drop there are three weeks of recovery, which includes re-packing the parachutes, rehabilitating all the hardware and preparing for the next rigging cycle."

The parachute riggers of SBT 20 are the only riggers in the Navy who prepare parachutes to deploy a boat, and SBT 20 is one of the few units in the world with this maritime deployment capability.



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