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U.S. Marine Corps Forces Special Operations Command

Camp Lejeune, NC

3d MSOB Marines conduct HAHO training

By Cpl. Kyle McNally | | April 9, 2011

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Twelve Marines with 3d Marine Special Operations Battalion, U.S. Marine Corps Forces, Special Operations Command recently graduated a 12-day Double-Bag Static Line (DBSL) parachute course.
After completing 13 jumps – 10 during the day, and three at night – they received their qualification in DBSL parachuting and earned their gold Navy/Marine Corps Parachutist Badge.
Using a “stair-step” approach, they began with several “slick” jumps in which they were equipped with only a parachute upon exiting the plane. Gradually they added more gear – a pack, then a rifle, until their final culminating jump where they leapt from about 5,500 feet above ground level carrying full combat equipment and oxygen, all under the cover of darkness. Although oxygen is not required for jumps under 13,000 feet AGL, the Marines used it for familiarization and training purposes.
The course was conducted by the 2d MSOB paraloft and instructors from Marine Corps Training and Education Command’s Airborne Mobile Training Team (AMTT).
“We cater to units that need qualification in either DBSL, tandem equipment/personnel or high-glide parachuting,” said the staff non-commissioned officer in charge of the AMTT. “We teach the courses and get Marines qualified on the equipment.”
The graduates now have a basic understanding of High Altitude, High Opening (HAHO) parachuting, said the 2d MSOB paraloft chief. With follow-on training, the Marines will eventually be able to drop far from their target and navigate under canopy to the objective, to avoid early detection, he said.
“This skill is another tool in the toolbox for a MARSOC critical skills operator,” said the paraloft chief. “Just like fast-roping or repelling, (jumping) is another means of mission-dependent insertion.”

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