FreeFall is a skill within its self, one of the harder skills to master and one of my favorite things to do. Most commandos see this as Hollywood shit and frankly suck at it. When I was a new guy I thought this was normal. When I became a FreeFall instructor I realized they suck and suck bad, lol. I always thought as a commando I should be Olympic level at everything I do. Or as the Ranger inside of me would say, technically and tactically proficient.
As the primary jump master on hundreds of jumps, I would always think it was funny when guys would say “dudes we are gonna link up then…”. Sad truth is most of the time I would be the only one that made link up. And the rest are like sharks, hovering around some chum.
I will say right here and now about how dangerous this shit can be. And I’m not talking about jumping a sport rig on the weekend with pot heads. I’m talking about night, 25,000+, with an oxygen mask and over 100 pounds of kit.
The safest place to be is next to or holding on to each other always. The closer you are during FreeFall the less of a chance you have of an incident. I learned this as a Recce guy in a more senior troop. I can’t tell you the comfort I felt knowing everyone was where they should be. Hell the SF HALO course doesn’t even teach guys to link up or touch any more. If it’s just 3 or 4 guys leaping into the darkness you don’t want to get lost! So normally I would jump the bundle and be the base man. Each guy would fly to me and grab on. We didn’t have to do anything fancy but we would. Side note: This led to a second rule (the first I will cover later) of no “freak flying around bundles” lol. This was from the older generation that thought skydiving was dangerous and sex was safe.
I think the mindset at the time was, it’s never going to happen. Yet this has been proven to be wrong in modern times.
Oh… rule number 1 “NO white socks”. Which I’m purposely breaking this rule in the pic. Lol.
Article and photo courtesy of SOB Tactical
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