Special Ops Marines Conquer The Skies

Mon, 03 Dec '07

On an expanse of dry and barren land with rolling hills and winding dirt roads known as Basilone Drop Zone, 15 Marines with 1st Marine Special Operations Battalion, U.S. Marine Corps Forces, Special Operations Command, gathered to fall, float and fly through the air as they conducted paraloft operations at Camp Pendleton, Nov. 14. Marines conducted multiple jumps using different techniques at various heights in order to hone their parachute insertion skills.

“The object of these exercises is to maintain proficiency with this skill set,” said Master Sgt. Deryck Dervin, operations chief, Company C, 1st MSOB, and the primary jump master for the exercise. Marines started off the exercise with static-line jumps. The jumpers used SF-10 parachutes that deploy immediately after exiting the UH-1N Helicopter. The helicopter ascended to 2,500 feet at which point the jump master gave Marines the order to exit. Marines then directed their descent to a large orange T marked on the ground.

After several static-line jumps, the Marines moved on to free-fall jumps. This time, the helicopter flew to 10,000 feet and when Marines were given the order to jump, they fell several thousand feet before deploying their parachutes. The Multi-Mission parachute used in free-fall jumps are rectangular shaped and allow the Marines more control over where they land.