Recon Marines from 1st Recon Bn conducted the first combat jump by Recon Marines since the Viet Nam war. The Recon Marines jumped into Western Iraq using a HAHO (High Altitude High Opening) parachute insertion. There were 3 parachute inserts conducted by Recon during Viet Nam, so it’s been quite a while since jumping has been used in combat operations. The full run down of the operation is below as reported by Sgt. Nathan K. LaForte of the 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing on Aug. 10, 2004.
AL ASAD, Iraq(Aug. 10, 2004) — Six recon pathfinders from 1st Reconnaissance Battalion, 1st Marine Division, recently jumped into the Iraqi night sky and into history from a Marine KC-130 Hercules cargo plane belonging to the joint Marine Aerial Refueler Transport Squadrons 234 and 352, Marine Aircraft Group 16, 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing.
The high altitude high opening jump took place in western Iraq, July 23.