US Army soldiers test low-cost parachute system in Kuwait

14 January 2019 (Last Updated January 14th, 2019 10:42)

US Army soldiers and US Marine Corps teamed up to test low-cost parachute system in the Udairi Training Grounds drop zone at Camp Buehring, Kuwait.

US Army soldiers test low-cost parachute system in Kuwait
Soldiers observe the cargo landing during a joint aerial delivery mission with the Special Purpose Marine Ground Task Force. Credit: Capt Jerry Duong.

US Army soldiers and US Marine Corps teamed up to test low-cost parachute system in the Udairi Training Grounds drop zone at Camp Buehring, Kuwait.

Training and testing were carried out last month and involved successful drops of four low-velocity-low-cost, four high-velocity-high-cost, and two joint precision aerial delivery systems from a KC-130J multi-role, medium-sized fixed-wing aerial refuelling aircraft.

The training saw the participation of Special Purpose Marine Air-Ground Task Force Crisis Response-Central Command Marines, and 824th Quartermaster Company, 524th Combat Supply Sustainment Battalion, 300th Sustainment Brigade, and 1st Theater Sustainment Command Soldiers.

During the joint exercise, soldiers and marines trained in proper system use and employment of the systems.

“The parachute samples will be tested by the US Army Natick Soldier Research, Development, and Engineering Center to find out the actual lifespan of the material of each system.”

300th Sustainment Brigade senior aerial delivery technician sergeant 1st Class Larry Carter said: “We took the parachute that was right by the expiration date and loaded them with four 55-gal drums of water. Each load weighed approximately about 2,000lb.

“It was a successful drop. All the loads came out properly, parachute executed properly, and hit the ground properly.”

The parachute samples will be tested by the US Army Natick Soldier Research, Development, and Engineering Center (NSRDEC) to find out the actual lifespan of the material of each system.

Carter added: “We cut a piece of the material out of each parachute system and sent it to Natick Labs in order to test the elasticity strength of the canopy.”

According to Carter, the parachutes can save the US Army more than $25m with another five years of potential use.