HALO jumps, or high-altitude military parachuting, is a tactic utilized by the United States Air Force in order to deliver soldiers and cargo to important locales. Highly trained airmen must be willing and able to parachute into all kinds of conditions – both in the air and on the ground – and these specially trained soldiers are some of the most fearless in the bunch.
A video posted to YouTube shows a half-dozen parachutists from the U.S. Air Force leaping from a cargo aircraft in the dead of night, and the pictures are incredible to see.
Check out the entire video below:
According to the video description, the airmen featured are part of the Air Force Special Operations SERE (Survival, Evasion, Resistance and Escape) team. Their aircraft of choice for the mission was the Lockheed C-130H cargo plane.
In the video, the airmen can be seen performing various pre-jump procedures. In a seamless, coordinated effort that requires precision and concentration, the jumpers need to ensure that everything is accounted for. There is simply no room for error.
In the moments leading up to the jump, the crew can be seen searching for their jump point. Out of the windows of the plane and eventually peeking over the loading door, the men stare down into the darkness of night with just the dim city lights on the ground to guide them.
The piercing sound of the aircraft and intense wind noise makes it so that the airmen have to rely on hand signals and non-verbal cues to communicate. As the big moment approaches, the six-man team gets in formation on the loading door of the aircraft.
Peering out over the plane, the cityscape can be seen whizzing by, and it becomes apparent just how high up the men are and how dark their surrounding is.
Without hesitation, all six men leap from the back of the aircraft in unison. In the blink of an eye, the parachutists have abandoned the aircraft and must now navigate their way to the ground safely.
HALO jumps can be performed anywhere between 15,000 and 35,000 feet above the earth. Developed in the 1960s, the technique is now heavily utilized by all branches of the United States military to drop supplies, equipment, and personnel. The main purpose of a HALO jump is to allow for aircraft to fly above surface-to-air-missile engagement while still being able to deliver the load.