The Sailors jumped out of a plane at altitudes of up to 12,500 feet to maintain their free-fall jump qualification, which they need to be assigned to a Maritime Craft Aerial Delivery System (MCADS) detachment.
An MCADS evolution consists of dropping an 11-meter rigid-hull inflatable boat, weighing up to 20,600 pounds using four large cargo parachutes and deploying it from a C-130, C-5 or C-17 transport plane at a minimum of 1,500 feet or a maximum of 3,500 feet above sea level.
“This is a dangerous evolution, which is why we train until it doesn’t matter how far from now, whether a week or six months from now, these guys will be confident of their abilities and comfortable in the air,” said Chief Aircrew Survival Equipmentman Steve Perry, SBT-20 air operations department head. “Maintaining the basic freefall and static line qualification is just a baseline. This is advanced training for the MCADS detachments, to ensure they land exactly where they need to in multiple scenarios.”
During an MCADS mission, precision is essential. SWCC must land as close to the craft as possible to prevent unnecessary swimming against the current and waste valuable time and energy.
“Being a SWCC means getting the mission done, no matter what that takes,” said SBT-20 Command Master Chief Eric Fuerstenberg. “As operators we put a lot of effort into ensuring we have the best equipment available, but there is no replacement for this level of advanced training because there is no substitute for our people.”
During the two-week training, 30 SWCC completed about 20-40 jumps each.