(You can read part I here)
We circled Sainte Mère Église Drop Zone (DZ) several times over a near “solid” cloud layer that forded no view of the ground below. In the day it was forbidden by doctrine to put jumpers out if there was no visual identification of the DZ below. Our Jumpmaster elected to land and wait on the ground for improved conditions so as not to burn fuel circling. He had to balance available fuel with time remaining on the schedule for the DZ.
Though forbidden by doctrine to exit jumpers over a solid cloud stratus, MSG Bob S. raised the bar a rung when he poo-pooed jump doctrine with his sniper team and a laptop computer. At altitude (13k feet) he moved to the rear of the aircraft where the ramp was open. He tied/taped/lashed his laptop computer to the side of the aircraft where he could comfortably stand and work on his laptop.
After a number of minutes and communications with the pilot he turned and stood his sniper team up and moved them to the edge of the ramp. The cloud stratum below was as opaque as car windows at Inspiration Point on a Saturday night. He leaned out over the ramp and took a last hard look below. He leaned back to his computer screen for just a few more moments… then vaulted himself off of the ramp in a head-first dive calling out to his team:
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