Naval Special Warfare Sailors Complete Parachute Jump Requalifications

Story Number: NNS071129-12Release Date: 11/29/2007 2:50:00 PM
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By Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Robyn B. Gerstenslager Naval Special Warfare Group 4 Public Affairs

SUFFOLK, Va. (NNS) -- Approximately 15 Sailors from Naval Special Warfare Group (NSWG) 4 and Special Boat Team (SBT) 20, stationed at Naval Amphibious Base Little Creek, Va., leapt from an airplane soaring at nearly 13,000 feet, Nov. 7, to maintain their free-fall parachute jump qualifications.

In order to earn the esteemed free-fall jump qualification these Sailors must first complete Army airborne school in Fort Benning, Ga., where they learn the proper procedures for exiting an airplane using a static line deployed parachute.

For those Sailors who don't get enough of an adrenaline rush from static-line jumps, the Navy offers free-fall parachute jump school. The free-fall school, in Yuma, Ariz., takes parachute jumping to the next level; students step out of a plane and literally free-fall for approximately 9,000 feet, averaging 1,000 feet every six seconds.

Shane Hollar, a military static-line and free-fall jumpmaster and the air operations trainer for SBT-20, has 350 static line jumps under his belt and nearly 4,000 free-fall exits. Hollar said he would rather free-fall out of a plane than use a static-line deployed parachute.

"It's just a lot more fun, you have more maneuverability," said Hollar. "With static-line (parachutes) you pretty much drift at the mercy of the wind and have limited forward drive."

Free-fall jumpers typically jump in groups, so precise control is essential for safety.

Parachute Rigger 1st Class Peter Nusz, the leading petty officer of SBT-20 air operations, completed his 192nd jump Nov. 7. Nusz said that participating in jumps as a team will better prepare the Sailors assigned to a special boat team for actual missions.

NSWG-4 and SBT-20 conduct jump re-qualifications for Sailors assigned to each command approximately every six months.

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