CAMP PENDLETON, Calif. -- Marines and Sailors with Company C, 1st Reconnaissance Battalion, 1st Marine Division, I Marine Expeditionary Force, participated in freefall and static line jump training aboard Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton, Calif., June 25. 2014. The training was held for sustainment purposes as well as transitioning some of the Marines toward using a style of parachute with which they were unfamiliar.
Many of the Marines with Company C got to use a more up to date parachute they didn’t get to practice with during their time at the U.S. Army’s Airborne School, according to Staff Sgt. Nicholas McDougald, a training cell chief with 1st Recon Bn. McDougald said the MC-7 parachute system allows a jumper to have more control and is better suited to small groups attempting to land close to one another.
“We have small groups we try to insert. If we’re doing a low-level static line insert we give them steerable parachutes so that they can stay as a group and land together,” said McDougald.
The training not only introduced newer Marines to a different parachute, but to keep their skills sharp.
Cpl. Phelan Rumley, a reconnaissance man with Company C said he was satisfied with the MC-7 parachute and the training as whole.
“We train all of our insert capabilities throughout the year,” said Rumley. “We constantly rotate through, training up on stuff. We train a couple weeks on one aspect and then move to something else.”
Two CH-46E helicopters were used to help Company C complete their training from Drop Zone Basilone.
Having air capabilities on station made it easier to pack in more training time, said McDougald. Unlike fixed-wing aircraft, the helicopters could land directly at the drop zone and quickly take more Marines up to jump.
“There’s a lot that goes into it; with the air waiting on station it went really well, and everyone got to do the maximum number of jumps we were supposed to,” said Rumley.
Overall McDougald said he was satisfied with the training and even though static line jumps can be a dangerous thing, no one got hurt and everyone did their part operating safely.
Prior to boarding the aircraft each parachute goes through two last-minute inspections by jumpmasters and fellow Marines. McDougald said the Marines did an excellent job following the commands of jumpmasters and doing what they’ve been taught.
“Once you get in the aircraft everybody’s paying attention to the jumpmaster. We have an assistant jumpmaster and a primary jumpmaster,” said McDougald. “They work in tandem with each other while the assistant jumpmaster is checking the jumpers and the primary is giving the commands.”
Company C brought some of its Marines up to date with jump training and is in early work-up phases for a deployment with a Marine Expeditionary Unit in 2016.