MARINE CORPS BASE CAMP PENDLETON, Calif. -- Marines with Company A, 1st Reconnaissance Battalion, 1st Marine Division, performed parachute jumps into the ocean at Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton, California, July 14-15, 2015.
The Marines and sailors conducted low-level parachute operations with intentional water landings to make insertions, where other means such as boats or high-altitude parachute jumps may not be available.
“Sometimes we don’t want to risk the ships coming too close to shore to launch the combat rubber raiding craft so at times we’ll execute low-level ops from a C-130 or MV-22 to get swimmers in a position where they can conduct that surface movement,” said Capt. Steven Uziel, the assistant operations officer assigned to 1st Recon Bn.
The training takes place in step by step increments. Once a Marine or sailor completes a jump without extra gear, referred to as slick, they then deploy into the ocean with gear and CRRCs.
“This is the first part of the sustainment training and a stepping stone for November so they’ll be current and get equipment like boats that they’ll actually utilize in an actual tactical scenario to travel to their objectives,” said Gunnery Sgt. Gabriel Machado, a parachute safety officer assigned to 1st Recon Bn.
It prepares the Marines for a full-mission exercise with boats for the culminating event, according to Uziel. You can actually load a CRRC onto a pallet, kick that out with a parachute, and then the jumpers follow it.
He added that seeing Marines intentionally parachute from aircraft into the ocean is a rarity in the training schedule.
“It puts the parachutes down for a long time for maintenance afterward,” stated Uziel. “Those parachutes will be back up in about a month because they have to be fresh water rinsed, dried and re-inspected.”
For the Marines with the battalion, it’s just another day in the office.
“Like a lot of things, it’s inherently dangerous, but the professionalism of the jumpers and jump masters is what makes it occur,” said Uziel.