The 173rd Airborne Brigade is investigating what went wrong during an airborne drop that resulted in three Humvees free-falling to their destruction, as depicted in a widely-shared online video.
On April 11, the Army conducted a heavy drop and personnel airborne operation as part of exercise Saber Junction 16 at Hohenfels training area in Germany. About 150 supply bundles, vehicles, communications equipment and indirect weapons systems were dropped, according to Army spokesman Maj. Juan Martinez. But three Humvees slipped from their rigging as their parachutes deployed. plummeting hundreds of feet to the earth. Martinez said no one was hurt.
“The specific malfunctions that occurred on this day are under investigation,” Martinez said in an email to Army Times. “There were multiple rehearsals and inspections of the equipment prior to mission execution. We cannot speculate on what went wrong until the investigation is complete.”
Martinez also hinted at the severity of the issue, writing in a subsequent email that “this investigation will receive the highest priority.”