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Inside the Gates: Paratroopers train to jump at all times, in any weather

Published: Apr. 14, 2021 at 4:02 PM AKDT
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ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) - They do something most of people wound not: jump from a perfectly good jet. Yet paratroopers from JBER’s 3-509 Parachute Infantry Regiment live for it.

More than 100 of them took part in a recent night jump exercise.

“It’s pretty cool. Pretty nice view,” said Private David Morrison, who made his first jump with the unit as he completed training back in February. “Not too much wind. The snow’s not too hard either. It’s pretty soft.”

The jump was the first of two planned last week onto the drop zone. It’s something they do at least once a quarter. The exercises are designed to help instill confidence in the soldiers.

“For a lot of the new paratroopers, jumping on a DZ (drop zone) at night can be a pretty difficult thing to negotiate,” said Major Caleb Ling, the unit’s executive officer. “Trying to find the rest of your paratroopers, and where you’re supposed to go to attack, and seize your objectives.”

This is the first jump back home for the paratroopers since they took part in Arctic Warrior 21 back in February.

“I’m super proud of all the paratroopers behind us,” Ling said. “We put a lot of work into getting here.”

Paratroopers believe these types of exercises will become more common as part of the U.S. Army’s new Arctic strategy.

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