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  • 2016
Descent from above: Marines conduct parachute operations

By Lance Cpl. Luke Hoogendam, II MEF Headquarters Group

Marines with U.S. Marine Corps Forces, Special Operations Command dive out the back of a MV-22B Osprey with the goal of hitting their pre-designated landing zone with Marine Medium Tiltrotor Squadron 365 at Marine Corps Air Station New River, North Carolina, Jan. 21, 2016. The squadron supported Marine Raiders by conducting high altitude low opening jumps as well as static line jumps to allow them to train for future operations.
Descent from above: Marines conduct parachute operations
Marines with U.S. Marine Corps Forces, Special Operations Command dive out the back of a MV-22B Osprey with the goal of hitting their pre-designated landing zone with Marine Medium Tiltrotor Squadron 365 at Marine Corps Air Station New River, North Carolina, Jan. 21, 2016. The squadron supported Marine Raiders by conducting high altitude low opening jumps as well as static line jumps to allow them to train for future operations.
A Marine with U.S. Marine Corps Forces, Special Operations Command jumps out of the back of an MV-22B Osprey at a height of 13,000 feet with Marine Medium Tiltrotor Squadron 365 at Marine Corps Air Station New River, North Carolina, Jan. 21, 2016. The squadron supported Marine Raiders by conducting high altitude low opening jumps, which are jumps at a height of around 13,000 feet, as well as static line jumps, which are jumps at a height of around 4,000 feet, to allow MARSOC Marines to train for future operations.
Descent from above: Marines conduct parachute operations.
A Marine with U.S. Marine Corps Forces, Special Operations Command jumps out of the back of an MV-22B Osprey at a height of 13,000 feet with Marine Medium Tiltrotor Squadron 365 at Marine Corps Air Station New River, North Carolina, Jan. 21, 2016. The squadron supported Marine Raiders by conducting high altitude low opening jumps, which are jumps at a height of around 13,000 feet, as well as static line jumps, which are jumps at a height of around 4,000 feet, to allow MARSOC Marines to train for future operations.
Marines with U.S. Marine Corps Forces, Special Operations Command board an MV-22B Osprey to conduct parachute operations with Marine Medium Tiltrotor Squadron 365 at Marine Corps Air Station New River, North Carolina, Jan. 21, 2016. The squadron supported Marine Raiders by conducting high altitude low opening jumps as well as static line jumps to allow Marine Raiders to train for future operations.
Descent from above: Marines conduct parachute operations.
Marines with U.S. Marine Corps Forces, Special Operations Command board an MV-22B Osprey to conduct parachute operations with Marine Medium Tiltrotor Squadron 365 at Marine Corps Air Station New River, North Carolina, Jan. 21, 2016. The squadron supported Marine Raiders by conducting high altitude low opening jumps as well as static line jumps to allow Marine Raiders to train for future operations.
Marines with Marine Medium Tiltrotor Squadron 365 prepare to take-off with U.S. Marine Corps Forces, Special Operations Command to conduct parachute operations at Marine Corps Air Station New River, North Carolina, Jan. 21, 2016. VMM-365 supported Marine Raiders by conducting high altitude low opening jumps as well as static line jumps to allow them to train for future operations.
Descent from above: Marines conduct parachute operations.
Marines with Marine Medium Tiltrotor Squadron 365 prepare to take-off with U.S. Marine Corps Forces, Special Operations Command to conduct parachute operations at Marine Corps Air Station New River, North Carolina, Jan. 21, 2016. VMM-365 supported Marine Raiders by conducting high altitude low opening jumps as well as static line jumps to allow them to train for future operations.
Marines with Marine Medium Tiltrotor Squadron 365 took to the sky to assist the U.S. Marine Corps Forces, Special Operations Command with parachute operations at Marine Corps Air Station New River, Jan. 21.

The squadron supported Marine Raiders by conducting high altitude jumps, which are jumps at a height of around 13,000 feet, as well as static line jumps, at a height of around 4,000 feet, to allow Marine Raiders to train for future operations.

“Parachute operations are basically getting Marines to land in their drop zones undetected,” said Lance Cpl. Harrison Haymaker, a crew chief with VMM-365. “If the landing zone is too dangerous for the Osprey to land, we still have the ability to accomplish the mission by allowing Marines to parachute in.”

This training provides operational reach and tactical flexibility to the deployed forces and gives them the ability to overcome obstacles that would otherwise hinder the mission. If the operational area is unreachable to ground forces, VMM-365’s ability to insert Marines into difficult areas is a valuable option.

The squadron conducts parachute operations weekly for different units to ensure they are ready to deploy at a moment’s notice.

“Flights like this give us the extra practice to be able to conduct the procedures of parachute operations smoothly,” said Capt. Brett Statema, a VMM-365 pilot. “This also enhances our overall unit readiness to operate while on deployment.”

No matter how many times VMM-365 conducts these operations there’s always room for improvement.

“Practice makes perfect, the more the Marine Aircraft Wing and the squadron conduct these kinds of operations the better we will be when the time comes for us to drop Marines in,” Haymaker added.

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