News: Helocast training in south Mississippi
Story by Spc. Jovi Prevot
GULFPORT COMBAT READINESS TRAINING CENTER, Miss. – Members of Bravo Company, 1st Battalion, 111th Aviation Regiment and 20th Special Forces Group (Airborne) conducted helocast water insertion training at Combat Readiness Training Center, Gulfport, Miss., April 30, 2014.
The training was part of an exercise known as Operation Emerald Warrior. Emerald Warrior is a Special Operations Command-sponsored event structured to assess and train in core operational tasks.
One of these core tasks is helocasting, a Special Forces water insertion method that bolsters maneuverability in operations.
“It is great to use because if the helicopter can’t land all we need is a little water and we can get to objectives hard to reach otherwise,” said a Soldier with 20th Special Forces Group (Airborne). Many Special Forces operators do not like to be identified because of the nature of their jobs.
Although helocasting is used in many combat missions, it also has its function in a humanitarian aid capacity.
“You can use helocasting if you didn’t have anywhere to land and you needed to drop off food or water,” said Warrant Officer Christopher White, a pilot with Bravo Company, 1st Battalion, 111th Aviation Regiment. “The supplies will float so you could drop in the water and it will wash on to shore so people in need could be fed and hydrated.”
By supporting the Special Forces Group in this mission, pilot training is also facilitated.
“It gives us a finesse, a chance to work with things closer to the ground and trying to figure out how to get into tight spots,” said White.