Okinawa Marines practice the art of fast-roping

Marines with 3rd Reconnaissance Battalion move into position during fast-rope training in northern Okinawa, June 17, 2014.

NORHTERN OKINAWA, Japan — Marines with 3rd Reconnaissance Battalion practiced their fast-roping skills during a training exercise in northern Okinawa last week.

A crew with the Marine Heavy Helicopter Squadron 361 provided the fast-rope platform: a hovering CH-53 Super Stallion.

Fast roping is a special troop insertion technique typically used when a helicopter cannot touch down, such as boarding a ship at sea. Unlike rappelling, troops slide down a thick rope without the use of a harness, just the friction of their gloves, legs and feet.

The 3rd Recon Marines practiced several variations of fast-roping, starting with simple drops without extra gear, then moving on to progressively heavier and more complicated drops.


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