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Airborne Operations -

Anyone in the Airborne community can relate to the famous phrase, "Any time you walk away from a jump, it's a good jump." Sometimes, however, Soldiers don't walk away-they either limp or are carried from the drop zone. Accidents during Airborne operations are common, and causes range from a weak or improper parachute landing fall (PLF) to Soldiers misjudging clearance of ground objects. Airborne operations are unforgiving!

The purpose of airborne training is to qualify personnel in the use of the parachute as a means of combat deployment. This training also develops leadership, self-confidence, and aggressive spirit through tough mental and physical conditioning. Airborne training initiates and sustains a high standard of proficiency through repetition and time-proven techniques. The ability to hit a specific landing spot and to avoid other parachutists during descent is essential to successful airborne operations.

Knowing how to exit an aircraft, avoid entanglements and land safely is not easy. Continuous training is absolutely essential. Each Alpha echelon soldier should make a tactical jump at least once a month. One of the keys to walking away is stressing the importance of sustained Airborne training, also known as part of "pre-jump." Sustained Airborne training is a vital component of any Airborne operation. However, seasoned Airborne Soldiers are prone to complacency due to the repetitive nature of the training. Complacency is inexcusable - adherence to standards and attention to detail during this training are critical.

Pre-jump is explained in explicit detail, for example, the first point of performance is Proper Exit, Check Body Position and Count. Explain the importance of a proper exit, why does your body position have to be the way we explain and why do we count to four thousand? DON'T RUSH! Jumpers are accustomed to hearing Pre-jump, but that does not mean they fully understand it. This is also a good opportunity to explain the different types of malfunctions, what causes them and what to do in the event one of them occurs. Explain towed parachutist so that the jumpers not only know what they have to do if they become towed, but what you the Jumpmaster are going to do inside the aircraft to retrieve or release them. During entanglements have the jumpers pair off, as if there grabbing each others main lift web, and talk them through observing both canopies and pushing away from each other to activate the reserve. Emergency landings should also be explained in great detail. Ensure jumpers understand the three different types of prepare to land attitudes and how to recover properly from each hazard. Night jumps and AWADS should also be described.

Jumpmasters explain and demonstrate the Modified Parachute Landing Falls. Front Right, Front Left, Rear Right and Rear Left in the following manner. The three commands for PLF's are "Get Ready", "Prepare to Land" and "Land". On the command of "Get Ready" the jumper will face forward or Aft, depending on the PLF being conducted, with hands securing the risers. On the command of "Prepare to Land" the jumpers will assume a good prepare to land attitude and expose the lower 3 points of contact by rotating the feet a turn in the opposite direction of the PLF to be executed. The jumper also looks over the opposite shoulder at the opposite boot heel for the Front PLF's and between the elbows at the opposite boot toe for the Rear PLF's. Emphasis needs to be placed on pulling the risers into the chest, chin on chest and elbows tight into your sides. On the command of "Land" the jumper will exit the PLF Platform. Each jumper will conduct one satisfactory PLF in all four directions.

During tower training, jumpers will conduct two satisfactory exits. One from the left and one from the right paratroop door. Jumpmasters will be positioned at the base of the tower and two Jumpmasters will be exiting jumpers. The Jumpmasters at the base will be there to assist in donning the parachutes and to JMPI each jumper prior to entering the tower. Jumpmasters in the tower will talk each jumper through the proper exiting procedure prior to them exiting.

During mock door training, begin with the SARJE briefing, which stands for Static Line Control, Activation of the Reserve Parachute onboard the aircraft, Red Light Procedures, include amber light procedures, Jump Refusals and Exiting Procedures. This will be demonstrated by the Jumpmasters as it is talked through. Ensure jumpers understand all aspects of this briefing. Load mock up as if for a normal airborne operation. Conduct time warnings and jump commands explaining each one as it's given. Go into specific detail the action taken by the jumper at each jump command. Emergency procedures will also be discussed, to include crash landings, bailout, horns and bells, etc. Exit the jumpers two times. Once conducting multiple passes and once as a mass exit. Jumpmasters will watch as each jumper exits the door, making on the spot corrections as needed.

The rig-ex is designed to ensure the jumpers understand the proper rigging procedures for the ALICE Pack and M1950 Weapons Case. The Jumpmasters will give a period of instruction on these procedures then conduct the rig-ex portion. Jumpmasters will instruct the jumpers on rigging the M1950 Weapons Case as a tandem load and as a single item of equipment. The ALICE Pack will be rigged with the HSPR and HPT Lowering Line. These procedures are found in Chapter 9 of the 82d ABN DIV ASOP. Prior to conducting the rig-ex, have the jumpers fully elongate and disassemble all items to be rigged. The jumpers will be given 15 minutes to complete this task. Once completed, inspect the equipment and have jumpers correct deficiencies.

Units conduct airborne refresher training at the Advanced Airborne School.

Safe and efficient airborne operations depend on the skill, knowledge, and dedication of Jumpmasters. Regardless of rank, Jumpmasters are special people who have earned and deserve special recognition and authority. To train and sustain Jumpmaster proficiency, the Advanced Airborne School [AAS] has three Jumpmaster programs: Initial (qualifying) training, Refresher training, and special classes on any aspect of Jumpmaster duties as requested by the unit. Jumpmaster refresher training is a 3 day course of instruction designed especially for the Jumpmaster who fails to maintain currency, has not performed Jumpmaster team duties on Air Force aircraft during the last 180 days, is newly assigned or returned to XVIII Airborne Corps, to the 82d Airborne Division and for Command referred.

All soldiers in the 82d Airborne Division must be able to rig their equipment. Rigging of the ALICE pack and M1950 Weapons Case should take place quarterly. All equipment will be rigged and inspected by their chain of command prior to manifest call. Equipment and clothing worn during any kind of airborne operation must be Army issue only. The only authorized headgear when exiting an aircraft is the ballistic helmet.

All tactical jumps are made with full combat equipment, which normally includes individual weapon(s), M1950 weapons case, LCE, and ALICE pack and at the airborne commander's discretion an M40 protective mask. Combat light, consisting of the soldiers individual weapon and the minimum essential equipment required to execute a mission, is at the MSC Commander's discretion. Tactical jumps will include a tactical assembly and a thorough AAR. Exceptions to this policy must be approved by the Command Group.

After landing, jumpers must stay on the ground. They will not get to their feet to collapse their parachutes. Jumpers will always activate at least one canopy release assembly, then remove their weapon from the M1950 weapons case. The last thing the jumper will do is get out of the parachute harness. Once jumpers are completely out of the parachute harness, they can then stand up to roll up their parachutes, except when specified by the airborne commander, the jumpers will remain in the prone to roll their parachutes and place them inside the aviator's kit bag. Snap, do not zip, the aviator's kit bag, so not to damage the canopy. After the jumpers have policed up all their equipment, they will move quickly to the nearest turn-in point.

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Page last modified: 05-07-2011 02:20:21 Zulu