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    The 197th Special Troops Company (A) hosts aerial Delivery System Familiarization and Operations in support of ATLAS DROP 2011

    The 197th Special Troops Company (A) hosts aerial Delivery System Familiarization and Operations in support of ATLAS DROP 2011

    Photo By Staff Sgt. Nicolas A. Cloward | Sgt. Maj. Gary W. Barnes of the 97th Troop Command, Utah Army National Guard, conducts...... read more read more



    Story by Pfc. Nicolas A. Cloward 

    128th Mobile Public Affairs Detachment

    PROVO, Utah — On Feb. 8, members of the 197th Special Troops Company, along with active-duty U.S. and Ugandan Soldiers, stood on the open doors of a C-130 at Provo Airport, rehearsing a cargo drop to take place within the hour.

    The familiarization was in preparation for Atlas Drop 2011, an overseas-training mission in Uganda, said Capt. Bruce Roberts, operations officer for the 197th.

    Proponents from the Natick Soldier Center in Natick, Mass., and Fort Lee, Va., sent out instructors and other contractors to certify riggers and familiarize other soldiers in the deployment of low-cost, low-altitude parachutes, Copterboxes, and Free Drop System One.

    The aerial delivery systems are designed to provide rations, ammunition, medical supplies and other items to ground forces, said Sgt. 1st Class Jose Caoili, airdrop non-commissioned officer in charge for the 197th.

    The LCLA parachutes, Copterbox and Free Drop System One are all low-cost, disposable systems. They require less rigging knowledge and can be deployed at lower altitude, compared to their predecessors, which required more preparation and had a higher cost, said Roberts.

    “The main objective today was to effectively deploy low-cost, low-altitude parachutes in a garrison training environment,” said Caoili.

    “Soldiers have been training the last two days getting LCLA certified by the mobile training team sent from Fort Lee,” said Roberts.

    “Today was basically the execution phase of that training to make sure they flew correctly and to make sure everything held up the way it was supposed to,” said Capt. Marc L. Cooper, executive officer of the 197th.

    Soldiers will be taking the training with them to familiarize their Ugandan counterparts in the use of the aerial-drop systems, said Caoili.

    Soldiers preformed a number of rehearsals to help them overcome hurdles of unknown and uncharted territory, said Cooper.

    “It’s that way for the air crew as well, so we’ve run into some obstacles in trying to throw these different aerial systems out of aircraft ,” added Roberts.

    Finally the time came to put the training to the test. The aircrew prepared the plane for the flight and soldiers found their seats as the cargo doors closed. And as the old song goes, the “C-130 rolled down the strip” and began to climb.

    Soon after the plane took off, the cargo doors began to yawn. The chilling wind at the 1,500-foot altitude began to spill through the fuselage of the large bird. This was their cue. Silhouettes of Soldiers lay against the snow-capped mountains as they began to position themselves around the rigged cargo that would soon be pushed from the aircraft.

    When the plane was finally positioned over the drop zone cruising at 500 feet, the crew pushed the cargo from the aircraft. The load disappeared below the door, and within seconds soldiers cheered as the open parachute became visible in the distance as the cargo made its descent to the earth below.

    “This is only Phase One of a three-phase operation,” explained Caoili, “Phase Two involves the deployment of Copterboxes, and Phase Three will be the deployment of free-drop boxes. I feel like we came back with some good learning points. [There were] a lot of lessons learned using LCLA—stuff that we can bring with us to Uganda.”

    “[Today] was a successful low-cost, low-altitude parachute operation,” added Cooper.



    Date Taken: 02.12.2011
    Date Posted: 03.01.2011 17:27
    Story ID: 66303
    Location: PROVO, UT, US 

    Web Views: 496
    Downloads: 1