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Marines with 3rd Reconnaissance Battalion gather their gear after completing another cycle of fast-rope training in northern Okinawa, June 17, 2014.

Marines with 3rd Reconnaissance Battalion gather their gear after completing another cycle of fast-rope training in northern Okinawa, June 17, 2014. (Lisa Tourtelot/Stars and Stripes)

Marines with 3rd Reconnaissance Battalion gather their gear after completing another cycle of fast-rope training in northern Okinawa, June 17, 2014.

Marines with 3rd Reconnaissance Battalion gather their gear after completing another cycle of fast-rope training in northern Okinawa, June 17, 2014. (Lisa Tourtelot/Stars and Stripes)

A crew chief with Marine Heavy Helicopter Squadron 361 looks out over Okinawa from a CH-53 Super Stallion before fast-rope training in northern Okinawa, June 17, 2014.

A crew chief with Marine Heavy Helicopter Squadron 361 looks out over Okinawa from a CH-53 Super Stallion before fast-rope training in northern Okinawa, June 17, 2014. (Lisa Tourtelot/Stars and Stripes)

Marines with 3rd Reconnaissance Battalion perform a simple fast-rope technique before moving on to more difficult skills during fast rope training in northern Okinawa, June 17, 2014.

Marines with 3rd Reconnaissance Battalion perform a simple fast-rope technique before moving on to more difficult skills during fast rope training in northern Okinawa, June 17, 2014. (Lisa Tourtelot/Stars and Stripes)

Marines with Marine Heavy Helicopter Squadron 361 and 3rd Reconnaissance Battalion move from under the heavy rotor wash of a CH-53 Super Stallion during fast-rope training in northern Okinawa, June 17, 2014.

Marines with Marine Heavy Helicopter Squadron 361 and 3rd Reconnaissance Battalion move from under the heavy rotor wash of a CH-53 Super Stallion during fast-rope training in northern Okinawa, June 17, 2014. (Lisa Tourtelot/Stars and Stripes)

Marines with 3rd Reconnaissance Battalion practice fast roping with more gear during fast-rope training in northern Okinawa, June 17, 2014.

Marines with 3rd Reconnaissance Battalion practice fast roping with more gear during fast-rope training in northern Okinawa, June 17, 2014. (Lisa Tourtelot/Stars and Stripes)

A Marine with 3rd Reconnaissance Battalion ensures that the gear is out of the way before the CH-53 Super Stallion, from Marine Heavy Helicopter Squadron 361, lands during fast-rope training in northern Okinawa, June 17, 2014.

A Marine with 3rd Reconnaissance Battalion ensures that the gear is out of the way before the CH-53 Super Stallion, from Marine Heavy Helicopter Squadron 361, lands during fast-rope training in northern Okinawa, June 17, 2014. (Lisa Tourtelot/Stars and Stripes)

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

Marines with 3rd Reconnaissance Battalion move into position during fast-rope training in northern Okinawa, June 17, 2014. (Lisa Tourtelot/Stars and Stripes)

A CH-53 Super Stallion flies in for a quick fast rope drop during fast rope training in northern Okinawa, June 17, 2014.

A CH-53 Super Stallion flies in for a quick fast rope drop during fast rope training in northern Okinawa, June 17, 2014. (Lisa Tourtelot/Stars and Stripes)

Marines with 3rd Reconnaissance Battalion fast rope from the ''hell hole'' of a CH-53 Super Stallion during fast rope training in northern Okinawa, June 17, 2014.

Marines with 3rd Reconnaissance Battalion fast rope from the ''hell hole'' of a CH-53 Super Stallion during fast rope training in northern Okinawa, June 17, 2014. (Lisa Tourtelot/Stars and Stripes)

A Marine with 3rd Reconnaissance Battalion prepares to board a CH-53 Super Stallion during fast-rope training in northern Okinawa, June 17, 2014.

A Marine with 3rd Reconnaissance Battalion prepares to board a CH-53 Super Stallion during fast-rope training in northern Okinawa, June 17, 2014. (Lisa Tourtelot/Stars and Stripes)

A 3rd Reconnaissance Battalion Marine can't help but grin during fast-rope training in northern Okinawa, June 17, 2014.

A 3rd Reconnaissance Battalion Marine can't help but grin during fast-rope training in northern Okinawa, June 17, 2014. (Lisa Tourtelot/Stars and Stripes)

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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