You can read part one here

To HALO or Not to HALO?

There I was, ready to do a nighttime combat High Altitude Low Opening (HALO) jump in Afghanistan with a bunch of Ranger pipehitters without having any Freefall training at all.

Delta Force Lieutenant Colonel Jim Blaber squared me away with an impromptu class and his HALO rig. I was pumped, to say the least, and when I told Jim so he laughed out loud, “You will be the only Warrant Officer helo pilot with a combat HALO jump, you motherfucker!”

The Air Force got wind of this and pleaded with the mission commander that a Combat Controller (CCT) needed to go on the mission so he could test the runway.

My reply to the Air Force colonel was that if there is a freaking Boeing 707 parked on the ramp, then the runway is capable of handling an MC-130!

Operator conducting a HALO jump.

An Accidental Discharge

I lost and was bumped: an Air Force CCT was put on the mission. I was pissed, and the Rangers did not like the decision. Karma: The Ranger Recce team was one minute out from the jump point when the CCT’s parachute mysteriously opened in the airplane. The CCT didn’t make the jump, and to this day, the Rangers have no idea how his chute opened one minute out — Rangers Lead The Way!

But now I had to find another role. The 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment’s (SOAR) helos and the ground force prepared to head to the aircraft carrier USS Kitty Hawk, from where we would launch the largest special operations raid since the Second World War.