4th Force Reconnaissance Company practices parachute operations over Kaneohe Bay
By Lance Cpl. J. Ethan Hoaldridge
| | October 24, 2005
U.S. MARINE CORPS FORCES, PACIFIC, CAMP H. M. SMITH, Hawaii --
Five thousand feet above Kaneohe bay in a CH-53D helicopter, Marines from 4th Force Reconnaissance Company, performed parachute operations, Oct. 18.
The reconnaissance Marines were training to make silent, undetectable insertions for future missions.
This insertion method is designed to put recon or special forces teams into an objective area undetected to conduct clandestine operations, either reconnaissance and surveillance, or direct action type missions.
The Marines performed two different types of jumps, double-bagged static-line jumps and military free-fall jumps.
Double-bagged static-line jumps have a static line grounded to the helicopter. The line pulls the chute open immediately upon exiting the aircraft. This method only allows a max jump height of 25,000 feet.
The military free-fall allows for anywhere above 25,000 to a max jump of 35,000 feet.
A military free-fall jump gives the jumper the ability to free-fall around 10,000 feet before opening the parachute himself.
During the parachute operation, the Marines glided to the landing zone from 1,300 meters offshore to the landing zone.
The landing zones are 500 by 700 meters, but ram air conopy, square parachute, jumpers can land within 100 meters of the target.
Experienced jumpers can land on the target even at night in an unlit drop zone.
These Marines train in many other ways as well.
The reconnaissance Marines consistently train in patrolling, land navigation, communications, boat work and sniper training.
“Both active and reserve components are seeking Marines who would like to take up the challenge of becoming a Reconnaissance Marine,” said the 4th Force Reconnaissance Company first sergeant. “If a Marine is active duty and approaching his expiration of current contract, he could consider transferring to the Reserves and joining the Marines of 4th Force Reconnaissance Company. If you want more information or would like to coordinate a screening, contact your Career Planner or the Transitional Recruiter at 257-1251.”