SOTO CANO AIR BASE, Honduras (Capt. Zachary Anderson) – U.S. and El Salvadoran service members conducted joint airborne operations training, consisting of jumping from a CH-47 Chinook helicopter into a lake at an altitude of 1,250 feet, Jan. 21.
Joint Task Force-Bravo’s 1-228th Aviation Regiment provided aerial support for the exercise, flying each chalk of jumpers from the Ilopango International Airport, El Salvador, to the drop zone over Lake Ilopango.
U.S. Special Forces from the 7th Special Forces Group (Airborne) conducted the training exercise alongside members of the El Salvadoran military. The joint-training, overwater static jump allowed members from both nations to maintain currency while strengthening the relationship between the U.S. and El Salvadoran forces.
“It was a great opportunity for the U.S. and El Salvadoran forces to conduct training together,” said a U.S. Special Forces member. “An operation like this helps to build confidence and also strengthens the trust and confidence that exists between the military forces of our two nations.”
The exercise also demonstrated the capability of the 7th Special Forces Group (Airborne).
“An overwater jump demonstrates another means of infiltration from an airborne platform, which enhances our capability to conduct missions throughout the area of responsibility,” said a U.S. Special Forces member.
In all, more than 15 U.S. Special Forces members and 40 members of the El Salvadoran military safely made the jump to parachute into the water, where they were picked up by waiting boats and brought to shore in what was deemed a highly-successful training exercise.