Talon Vision jumps into training
CAMP FOSTER, Okinawa — An annual bilateral air delivery training exercise in the Philippines kicked off Monday with servicemembers and supplies falling from the skies.
Airmen and marines from the Philippines armed forces joined Okinawa-based U.S. Marines from III Marine Expeditionary Force in a simulated resupply of food, fuel and other items at Clark Air Base, Philippines, according to Capt. Burrell Parmer, a U.S. Marine spokesman.
Twenty-nine U.S. and Philippine servicemembers jumped from a U.S. Marine KC-130 Hercules aircraft along with three pallets of cargo.
“This is a really good opportunity for our Marines to see how other jump units in foreign countries operate,” said Staff Sgt. Steven R. Parker, a platoon sergeant with Air Delivery Platoon, 3rd Transportation Support Battalion, in a news release.
Philippine Airman 1st Class Michael Abiera, a pararescueman with the 505th Search and Rescue Group, said in the release jumping for the first time with American troops was a great learning experience.
“I now understand mental alertness better,” Abiera said. “Everything went real smooth, and I want to jump again.”
Parker stated in the release that the first jump is always hardest.
“Everyone experiences anxiety and fear, especially their first time,” Parker said. “But once you jump and see your canopy, it’s very exhilarating and an adrenaline rush. Then you can’t wait until your next jump.”
During Monday’s flight, nine U.S. Marines jumped from the airplane using static lines that automatically open their parachutes at low-level altitudes, Parmer said. Ten airmen with 505th SRG jumped with them using the same method. They exited the aircraft at 1,250 feet for short air-t o-ground time.
For the final evolution of the training day, 10 Philippine reconnaissance marines performed free-fall jumps at 9,999 feet, Parmer said. It takes special certifications to free-fall, he said, and if the marines had jumped from 10,000 feet, they would have been required to wear oxygen masks.