22 Soldiers Hurt After Parachuting Into Trees

| October 3, 2019

At least 22 soldiers were injured in a Wednesday night parachuting exercise in Mississippi when they missed a designated drop zone and landed instead in a group of trees, according to officials.

Of those hurt, 15 were treated at the scene by medics and seven were taken to a local hospital, Army spokesman John Pennell told local WDAM-TV. None of the injuries was life-threatening, he said.

The exercise, part of Operation Arctic Anvil, was taking place at Camp Shelby in Hattiesburg and involved soldiers from the 4th Brigade Combat Team (Airborne), normally stationed at Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson in Anchorage, Alaska.

Camp Shelby commander Col. Bobby Ginn was quoted by WDAM as saying the soldiers parachuted from a C-130 aircraft and that wind blew them away from their intended drop zone.

Some 650 soldiers from the Alaska contingent are involved in Operation Arctic Anvil, which is slated to last 10 days, according to a post on the Facebook page of the 4th Brigade Combat Team (Airborne).





Source: NPR

Category: Army News

Comments (71)

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  1. Roh-Dog says:

    Damn shame this. Speedy recovery to the ‘Troopers.
    Thank you SO VERY MUCH for your service to these United States!

  2. Ex-PH2 says:

    Not a good thing at all. I wish them all a speedy recovery.

  3. SgtBob says:

    The facebook commenters who don’t know WTF they are talking about should STFU. But that would shut down facebook.

    • 5th/77th FA says:

      Ditto SgtBob, just cherry picked some comments and FIRST thought was, who are these idiots? Vertical envelopment by parachute is dangerous work, even in training, and is sometimes the ONLY way to get a large group of shooters into “the sh^t” quickly. Not all potential battle areas are going to be a large, wide open place. What was the calculated casualty rate for vertical envelopment, 25%?

      Get well soon Troops, your Country may need you…soon!

      • Roger in Republic says:

        D-day planners estimated a 50 per cent casualty rate for the Normandy operation. When the Germans jumped into Crete they did lose about 50 percent, their losses were so great that Hitler never again allowed them a combat jump.

  4. Graybeard says:

    I hope and pray the troops are all ok, but I fear that for some of them this is life-changing.

    My AB son is now at 80% disability rating from the VA from a bad jump. It is hard to see your kid in constant pain.

    May God mercifully give full healing to all these troops.

  5. ChipNASA says:

    This happened one summer at Andrews during the Air Show. A couple of C-141 drops and they cam out late on the last one, went past the end of the flight line, past the perimeter fence and out in the woods outside the north end of the base, by the Murray’s meat plant and distribution facility neat 495 and Pennsylvania Ave. Good thing no one went towards the beltway. No one injured, but just hung up in the trees.

    • SFC D says:

      Had some MI types jump into Huachuca in 98, I think it was. We were all watching them from the motorpool, nice pretty chutes headed into the DZ as planned. They’re all around 100′ AGL, wind shifts due west, they’re carried off of east range, across highway 90, into a big ass patch of prickly pear and cholla. Busy busy medics that afternoon!

  6. Tony180A says:

    Tree landings… making the best of a shitty situation when pulling a toggle or riser just doesn’t work.

  7. Sapper3307 says:

    Feet and Knees together, chin on chest, elbows in.

  8. A Proud Infidel®™ says:

    Not only a bad jump, but at Camp Shelby MS which is a DUMP!

  9. timactual says:

    When my company was supporting the Ranger school at Eglin AFB we had people standing by with ladders, ropes, etc. to extricate jumpers from trees. Night jumps were particularly risky, since there are no landmarks to aid navigation.

    Just another day at the office.

    • Club Manager, USA ret. says:

      Yeah but Rangers Lead the Way!!

      • rgr769 says:

        But only after we get on the ground in an ambulatory condition.

        • Club Manager, USA ret. says:

          Lost a good friend Ranger Training Bn acting SGM Donnie Shockey in a night jump accident at Dugway Proving Ground. We named the new fitness center after him.

    • Sapper3307 says:

      750AGL who needs landmarks?

      • timactual says:

        Pilots. One patch of swamp/palmetto looks like any other patch, especially at night. They also used to lose resupply airdrops. Sometimes I think they mistook campfires built by the opfor for DZ marking lights. There are probably many thousands of dollars worth of parachutes and supplies lying around in those Florida swamps.

  10. Hopefully they will heal and be out of the hospital very quickly and ready to jump again.

  11. ninja says:

    Lots of prayers to these Soldiers for a speedy recovery.

  12. Club Manager, USA ret. says:

    There is something inherently wrong jumping out of a perfectly good airplane when they could have been sitting on a barstool someplace.

  13. rgr769 says:

    For the benefit of our legs here and the lurkers, anytime you drop paratroopers at night, or even in daylight, if there are trees within fifty yards of the edge of a drop zone, there is a risk of jumpers ending up in the trees. That is why we are trained for tree landings.

    • SFC D says:

      Drop zone trees are closely related to Charlie Brown’s infamous “kite eating tree”.

      • Fyrfighter says:

        Or the “Whomping willow” from Harry Potter

        • Cameron Kingsley says:

          I got a feeling that parachuting into a forest at night can probably look like the forest in Snow White where she gets lost after running away (especially if you’re alone).

    • Sapper3307 says:

      Keep your rucksack if you have not lowered it for padding. If you have lowered it, jettison it (byby). Keep your chin on chest, elbows in tight, feet and knees together, be prepared to crash thru and land. If you get stuck up in the tree deploy your reserve canopy and climb down the OUTSIDE of the canopy.
      done it. good times in he 82nd

      • rgr769 says:

        We were taught to put your hand under each armpit to protect them from being skewered by a branch.

      • MI Ranger says:

        You were suppose to make fist, and use your arms to cover your face…to keep from getting a stick in the eye.
        My first jump with a MC-1B with a unit was from a C141, I always had twists, but with a MC-1B they don’t just come out when you pull, you had to kick a lot to get it to untwist…Hunter AAF…Water/Tree landing all in one! Lucky for me it was dark, or I would have impaled myself on the 12′ spike of a tree they had left, that my parachute came down perfectly around (right through the apex). We ended up cutting it the rest of the way down, to get the ‘chute back the next day.

        • rgr769 says:

          Jumping off the ramp is the worst for having your risers twisted up. I had mine wound up like a rubber band down to behind my neck. I had to bicycle my legs all the way down to about 20 feet AGL.

        • timactual says:

          Never used a parachute, but there should be some kind of award for us folks who jumped from perfectly good helicopters.
          On one insertion they made a custom LZ just for us with arty & gunships. They turned a hilltop of various sized young trees into a hilltop of various sized punji stakes. As I started to jump off the skid, after carefully choosing an open spot, the helicopter suddenly gained altitude. So, instead of going down as I left the skid I went up several feet, then started down. Fortunately, by sheer luck I landed in a clear space. There was no room to fall, so I just did a deep squat. I could feel my discs compressing. Now I know why ejecting pilots frequently suffer back injuries. I still pucker up when I think about it, because a foot or two in any direction and I would never have been able to pucker up again.

          Parachute? I doan need no steenkin’ parachute!


  14. Fareed says:

    Garbage leadership pushing the envelope to pad their OER’s/NCOER’s is the Airborne SOP at 4/25:

    At this time, we are accounting for 87 jumpers that landed in trees next to our intended drop zone. We have 78 jumpers accounted for with 12 paratroopers from across 4th Brigade Combat Team (Airborne), 25th Infantry Division requiring evacuation to local medical care. Several others have minor injuries treated on site. Paratroopers from across the brigade and Camp Shelby are assisting in getting others out of the trees. All of the accounted for jumpers are being afforded access to phone to call their loved ones. In the interim, the most important thing to remember is that we have systems and professionals who are trained and ready to address situations like this. We ask that the entire Geronimo family please exercise patience and restraint while we work the systems of communication to let families know the status of your paratroopers.

    I will send additional updates soon.

    LTC Matt Myer
    Commander, 1-501st

    • Sapper3307 says:

      Mother nature is tricky, but the DZSO on the ground is gonna be on carpet.

      • timactual says:


        Isn’t that the same thing as a Chaplain? He has about the same chance of making an inherently unsafe act safe.

  15. DirtDart says:

    Sorry for the Guys, but being a rigger: glad its not my drop or equipment!!!

  16. Commissar says:

    That sucks. I hope they have a speedy and complete recovery.

    Normally when a jumper misses the drop zone they blame the jumper.

    But this is clearly on someone else. Wind can’t always be accounted for entirely but something seems to have likely been off with the timing, flight path, or calculations.

    • 5th/77th FA says:

      Well I’ll be damned, you mean to say it’s not Trump’s fault? After all, he is the Commander-in-Chief and you usually blame everything else on him. Who are you and what have you done with the zamploit Commissar?

      • rgr769 says:

        This dumb crypto-commie likely never jumped at night after moonset, if he is even jump qualified. When one jumps in the darky-dark, it is impossible to tell you are headed for the tree line until it is too late to steer away from it. The pilots are instructed to fly a specified heading over a lighted marker on the ground on a specified heading and altitude (usually around 1000 AGL). Dumbshit wouldn’t know that because he he has never been the air operations officer conducting a night simulated combat drop; I have.

        • rgr769 says:

          When I said “steer away from” it, I was referring to the jumpers, who have steerable chutes. The pilots can make minor adjustments for their track to correct for wind on the drop zone, if known. The wind at 1000 AGL may not be the same at 200 feet.

        • SFC D says:

          Huachuca has a nice big target on a former DZ. A big, lighted “X marks the spot”.

          31°39’33.2″N 110°16’03.8″W

  17. Ex-PH2 says:

    Just a question: World War II, the drop zone in Normandy had been flooded by the Germans. Some of the troops landed in it and it was fairly deep, but it was a night drop and the flooding was not really visible.

    Is there any training for that kind of thing?

    • Sapper3307 says:

      B-11 water wings can be issued and water landing, training can be conducted and practiced in a pool.
      WW2 predated quick releases on gear as seen in Saving Private Ryne. With full gear even chest deep water could be deadly.

      • rgr769 says:

        In 1969, the Brits were still using the WWII style chutes with no quick releases. The harness webbing was still tan cotton looking material.

    • Tony180A says:

      Water landings are covered under emergency landings during pre jump sustained airborne training prior every airborne operation.

    • Ex-PH2 says:

      Thanks for the update!

    • MI Ranger says:

      It actually would be a blessing! Just deep enough to break your fall, but not enough to sink. But yes, if your gear (as in WWII) is attached, it might be a little difficult to extricate yourself…especially if your ‘chute comes down on top of you.

    • rgr769 says:

      In my last SF Group (the 19th) someone had the brilliant idea to have a training jump into Utah Lake, about a year before I joined the unit. Luckily no one drowned, but I heard it was close. There was some wind that day, so people were being drug for a bit before they could get out of their harnesses. Apparently, being drug by your chute on your back or your stomach pulls your head under the surface.

    • Honor and Courage says:

      In Okinawa we always jumped with the maewest(floatation device for those that don’t know)on. You would exit to plane over the water and the air current would blow you in. The landing zone was an old Japanese Air strip called Yamaton. it was made out of corral cement and was like a huge sanding disk. You had to have your best stuff in order. Only one injury that I recall. A Marine 1st SGT couldn’t release the riser, and got drug about 100′. He looked like he had been sand blasted, He was tuff as hell.

  18. Toxic Deplorable Racist B Woodman says:

    25th Dimension, the Electric Banana Leaf.
    I served with them in Schofield Barracks, HI (625th Maint)
    Good times………….

  19. jon spencer says:

    Take a look at all the gear that Smoke Jumpers wear and when landing they still get injured, although that occurs only occasionally.

  20. Green Thumb says:

    Jumping with snowshoes is bitch.

    Or did that memo get pushed to higher?

    • rgr769 says:

      Hopefully, you weren’t wearing them when you went out into the slipstream.

    • timactual says:

      Oh, wow, what an image. I’ll bet that shuffle to the door is a double bitch.

      • rgr769 says:

        Imagine what that shuffle to the door would look like wearing White Star skis. Thankfully, our skis would be dropped by a weapons pod with a cargo chute.