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    U.S. Army Soldiers conduct paradrop training with Bulgarian Special Forces

    U.S. and Bulgarian Soldiers conduct static line paradrop training

    Photo By Pfc. Andrew Wash | A Bulgarian Special Forces Soldier jumps out of a UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter during a...... read more read more



    Story by Pfc. Andrew Wash 

    5th Mobile Public Affairs Detachment   

    PLOVDIV, Bulgaria--.Falling from nearly 7,000 feet, Bulgarian paratroopers zipped through the air, their parachutes making a whirring sound as they approached the ground, landing gracefully and making the jump from a helicopter look effortless.

    Bulgarian Special Forces paratroopers collaborated with the 3rd Assault Helicopter Battalion, 1st Aviation Regiment, for paradrop training from a UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter August 19th through 22nd in Plovdiv, Bulgaria.

    Over the course of the four-day bilateral training event, U.S. Army Soldiers walked the 35 Bulgarian paratroopers through dry runs of the jumps and gave safety training on the aircraft. The training included static line jumps and high altitude, low opening (HALO) jumps. Some of the Soldiers with the 3-1 AHB also qualified in conducting and guiding paradrop operations.

    The 3-1 AHB has participated in training events with Bulgarian land and air forces before, but this was the first time that they were able to train with their Special Forces.

    “Sometimes the language barrier and the different operating procedures of our allies can be challenging,” said Chief Warrant Officer 3 Jeremy Harmon, UH-60 pilot in command and tactical operations officer. . “But we have worked to find alternative ways to communicate, such as developing hand signals and conducting rehearsals to ensure that everyone knows the necessary steps, as well as some of the Bulgarian soldiers helping to translate instructions.”

    The U.S. Army Soldiers conducted two different jumps with the Bulgarians. The first two days of jumps were static line jumps, and the final day of the exercise concluded with HALO jumps, also known as a free-fall jump.

    The first type of jump was a static line jump. This is a type of jump in which there is a cable connected to the parachute that runs to an anchor point inside the aircraft. When the paratroopers jump from the helicopter, the line pulls on the parachute and deploys it for them. These types of jumps typically take place at lower altitudes.

    The second type of jump, the HALO, or free-fall, jump, is much different. The Soldiers fly to a much higher altitude, around 6,900 feet, and, with no lines to automatically pull their parachutes, must manually pull the cord after jumping free from the helicopter.

    During the training event, four crew chiefs and five pilots from 3-1 AHB were qualified in paradrop operations.

    Events like this help build the working relationship between the U.S. and Bulgaria and help each other to understand different ways of teaching and performing training, said Sgt. Dylan Hauck, a standardization instructor with the 3-1 AHB.

    “Our whole rotation here is all about building relationships with our NATO allies and making those relationships stronger,” said Hauck.



    Date Taken: 08.22.2019
    Date Posted: 08.22.2019 13:56
    Story ID: 336943
    Location: PLOVDIV, BG 
    Hometown: FORT RILEY, KS, US

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