RELEASE NUMBER: 140721-02
DATE POSTED: JULY 21, 2014
Jumping into their work: Ohio SF unit conducts parachute training
by Sgt. Brian Johnson
196th Mobile Public Affairs Detachment
Minutes after takeoff, the plane flies over the airfield for what will be the first of four passes.
Out of the back of the plane, an object appears, then another, then another. As each object appears, an opening parachute suddenly appears with it, and another and another — until 12 parachutes are open in all.
Almost two minutes later, all of the parachutists are on the ground. With that, Soldiers of Company B, 2nd Battalion, 19th Special Forces Group (Airborne) have completed another successful static-line parachute jump during part of their weekend drill training.
For a jump like this to be successful, it requires the work of a parachute rigger like Sgt. Jason Young. As a parachute rigger, Young and the other riggers have to pack 35 parachutes successfully in preparation for the day’s jump.
Young, a rigger for 19 years, said they always do everything by the book.
“We put the same amount of time and effort into each chute,” Young said. “A lot can happen at 130 knots (150 mph). When you’re jumping, you pack like your own life depends on it.”
Young said that, in the unit, everyone is on a first-name basis and knows each other on a more personal level than in larger units.
“If something happens to me, it’s no big deal. It’s just me. But if it happens to one of my friends, you take it a lot more personal,” Young said.
One of the Soldiers jumping this day was Sgt. 1st Class Corey Masters. Masters has been jumping for more than 10 years and has completed more than 50 jumps during that time. While experienced, Masters said he still gets excited each time when participating in a parachute jump.
“It is still a rush jumping out of the plane,” Masters said.
Masters had a personal connection to the day’s jump. His great-uncle jumped into Normandy as part of the Allied invasion of France on D-Day, June 6, 1944. This drill weekend and jump fell near the 70th anniversary of D-Day.
On D-Day, Soldiers jumped into an active combat area on unknown terrain. On this day, Masters and his fellow Soldiers jumped into an area with familiar terrain at Rickenbacker.
“It is cool to jump this close to D-Day,” said Masters. “I think about my great-uncle. He had it a lot worse.”
Masters was able to land within 50 yards of the bus that would take him and his teammates back to the Special Forces readiness center on Rickenbacker where they would be able to continue their weekend’s training.