Special Operations News

Jump Ops Bring MARSOC Down to Earth

Reno, NV – In a continuing effort to refine and hone the skills of the Marines and Sailors of a Marine Special Operations Company within U.S. Marine Corps Forces, Special Operations Command, members of 2nd Marine Special Operations Battalion conducted static line and military freefall parachute operations in Nevada, April 3.

Marines and Sailors arrived in Nevada to conduct their deployment for training. For one Marine Special Operations team, the first days of training were devoted to sharpening their military freefall insertion capabilities. The members of the military freefall team gathered on the flight line early the first morning to prepare their Multimission Parachute Systems for the jump. The operators were joined by Marines from 2nd MSOB’s paraloft who were there to assist the company in maintaining safety standards, as well as to provide additional subject matter expertise to the event.

The exercise included both re-supply drops and military freefall jumps. The re-supply drops were conducted with static line systems and jumpers. Static line jumps are performed at lower altitudes than freefall and were incorporated for aircrew training and to validate the MSOC’s airborne re-supply capability. The biggest difference between the two is the altitude at which the bundles or jumpers exit the aircraft. In static line jumps, the parachute deploys immediately after exiting. In freefall jumps, the operator will fall for several thousand feet before deploying their parachute.

The ability to insert Marines and Sailors via airborne methods provides companies within MARSOC an important asset to utilize when they deploy to combat. MARSOC deploys Marines and Sailors in every clime and place, so operators within the company must possess a wide range of skills to ensure success wherever they may operate.

This training has the added benefit of being conducted in the mountainous and desert areas of Nevada. The terrain is similar to places like Afghanistan where the MSOC could operate in the future.

After multiple jumps at varying heights and times of day, the airborne portion of training during the DFT concluded. The Marines and Sailors of the company have laid the foundation for the establishment of a credible, military freefall capability, and members of the company left with an improved understanding of how a particular terrain and climate can be successfully managed when conducting airborne operations.

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