Soldiers in the United States Army are expected to excel in a number of tasks that might be required of them in a combat situation. Some are trained as paratroopers and master the art of free-falling thousands of feet though the air. Other soldiers jump from aircraft in a similar fashion, but under different circumstances towards an even more challenging target.
A 2016 video posted to YouTube shows a handful of troops jumping from a speeding helicopter into cold waters in an impressive display of fearlessness and skill.
A Washington National Guard Chinook helicopter chauffeured the Army soldiers across the cold American Lake near Joint Base Lewis-McChord in Washington for the exercise. The troops were part of Charlie Company, 52nd Infantry Regiment Long Range Surveillance (LRS).
Check out the soldiers in action in the video below:
In the video, the highly trained soldiers are suited up in full gear as the leap from the chopper one after the other. The aircraft speeds just a few feet from the water as the men splash down and get their bearings.
Before the soldiers jump, they also shove a Zodiac boat out of the Chinook as well. The boat appears to be completely packed with gear and equipment as it slides down the ramp and plops into the water.
The LRS crew featured in the video are “elite, specially-trained surveillance units of the United States Army employed for clandestine military operations,” according to the video description. They are often deployed for the purpose of gathering direct human intelligence information deep within enemy territory.
“Classic LRS employment is to infiltrate deep into enemy territory, construct hide and surveillance sites, and provide continuous surveillance/special reconnaissance of an intelligence target of key interest,” the information provided with the video explains.
The Boeing CH-47 Chinook helicopter the crew jumps from is a massive dual rotor aircraft whose main purposes include transport and heavy lifting. First introduced in the early 1960s, the Chinook has stood the test of time as one of the most valuable aircraft in the Army’s arsenal.
Today, more than 1,200 Chinook choppers grace the skies around the world.