Just 11 days after they began their basic airborne jump training at the Dong Ba Tin Special Forces Camp near Cam Ranh Bay, approximately 200 miles northeast of Saigon, Mobile Strike Force personnel of the Army of the Republic of Vietnam (ARVN) made their first parachute jump from U.
Instructor talking to trainees over the public address system
Trainees putting on gear
Instructor checking parachutes on trainees
Special Forces advisor
Trainees jumping from simulated doorway of aircraft
Trainees jogging to 34-foot jump tower
Special Forces advisor watches trainees prepare to jump from tower
Trainees jumping from tower
Trainees packing gear for jump from C-130
Smoke marks drop zone for jump
Trainees jump from C-130 "Hercules"
Paratroopers drifting to earth
Trainees landing in drop zone
NOTE TO EDITORS: PLEASE CREDIT DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE IN TITLE OR COMMENTARY.
Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
Background: Just 11 days after they began their basic airborne jump training at the Dong Ba Tin Special Forces Camp near Cam Ranh Bay, approximately 200 miles northeast of Saigon, Mobile Strike Force personnel of the Army of the Republic of Vietnam (ARVN) made their first parachute jump from U. S. Air Force C-130 "Hercules" aircraft.
During those 11 days, these Vietnamese soldiers underwent an intensive training program to prepare them to become "paratroopers", in every sense of the word.
Physical training is an important part of the overall parachute jump training program. In addition to the physical training given during the course, the trainees must also double-time, or jog, from place to place during the training phases.
After learning proper landing techniques, the soldiers are trained to exit an aircraft in the proper fashion. This is doe by means of a simulated aircraft doorway on a two-foot-high platform.
The next plateau in the training program is the 34-foot-high tower which gives the trainees their first "taste" of the jolt experienced when the parachute opens during a jump.
When all the ground training is finished, the men face the final test, that of actually making a real jump from an aircraft.
A drop zone is selected and a smoke grenade is thrown to make the target and wind direction for the pilot of the C-130 "Hercules".
The parachutes emerge from the large transport plane and the trainees gently float down the earth.
These men, all 152 of them can now call themselves "paratroopers" and are better equipped to continue the battle for freedom against the communist forces in their country.