Military Free Fall / HALO Training
Considered to be one of the
military’s most demanding and potentially hazardous advanced
skills, military free-fall, or MFF, parachute operations are
used to infiltrate enemy areas under the cover of darkness to
avoid detection. Infiltration of operational elements, pilot
teams and personnel replacements is conducted under the cover of
darkness, varying weather conditions and terrain. Military
free-fall parachutists land at their objective as a
combat-ready, tactical unit.
The John F. Kennedy Special
Warfare Center and School's Military Free Fall School is a
tenant organization of the U.S. Army Yuma Proving Ground (YPG),
AZ, a general-purpose desert environmental test facility. YPG is
also the host for the annual winter training of the U.S. Army
Parachute Team, the Golden Knights, and the British Royal Air
Force (RAF) precision parachute team, the Falcons.
The freefall school is made up of
nearly 100 permanent instructors who annually train
approximately 1000 students from all the military services in
freefall parachute techniques. Taught by Company B, 2nd
Battalion, 1st Special Warfare Training Group, Special Forces
MFF team members are taught to conduct operational
high-altitude, low-opening (HALO) missions by exiting an
aircraft at altitudes up to 35,000 feet above ground level. The
MFF parachutists free fall to about 2,500 feet from ground level
before deploying their canopies. During high-altitude,
high-opening, (HAHO), parachute missions, MFF parachutists exit
at high altitudes and deploy their canopies at high altitudes
using highly-maneuverable, gliding parachute systems to silently
travel distances of more than 50 kilometers.
Special operations forces
personnel make the transition from static-line airborne
parachutist to military free-fall parachutist in a four-week
course taught at Fort Bragg, NC, and Yuma Proving Ground, AZ.
During the first week, called ground week, students learn body
stabilization while flying in the vertical wind tunnel at Fort
Bragg as well as basic aircraft procedures, altitude physiology
and other MFF parachuting ground training.
Students go to Yuma Proving
Ground for their airborne operations during the last two weeks.
Advanced aircraft procedures beginning with individual exits
while wearing combat equipment introduce students to the MFF
infiltration mission. Students learn mass exits, grouping
exercises, night airborne operations and high-altitude airborne
procedures in combat equipment and oxygen gear.
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|This page is an
unofficial document and does not represent information
endorsed by the United States Government, the United
States Special Operations Command or the United States
Army Special Operations Command. However, most
information is derived from those sources and has been
checked for accuracy. For comments, questions, and
suggestions, please go to the Communications
Gunnery Network - SOF