Natick Soldier Systems CenterCommunity

Parachute Testing

Story by CPT Jerry Duong on 01/09/2019

By Capt. Jerry Duong and 1st Lt. Andrew Garrido

CAMP ARIFJAN, Kuwait – Soldiers and Marines partnered to train with and test a low-cost parachute system at Camp Buehring, Kuwait, Dec. 10, 2018.

Special Purpose Marine Air-Ground Task Force Crisis Response-Central Command Marines released four low-velocity-low-cost, four high-velocity-high-cost, and two Joint Precision Aerial Delivery Systems from a KC-130J onto the Udairi Training Grounds drop zone at Camp Buehring.

“We took the parachute that was right by the expiration date and loaded them with four 55-gallon drums of water. Each load weighed approximately about 2000 pounds” said Sgt. 1st Class Larry Carter, U.S. Army Reserve 300th Sustainment Brigade senior aerial delivery technician. “It was a successful drop. All the loads came out properly, parachute executed properly, and hit the ground properly.”

U.S. Army Natick Soldier Research, Development, and Engineering Center (NSRDEC), Aberdeen Proving Grounds, Maryland, develops and tests new materials for the U.S. Army. NSRDEC will test the samples to determine the actual life-span of the parachutes, and using their full life-cycle ultimately saves taxpayer dollars.

“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,” said Carter. He believes the parachutes have another five years of potential use, saving the U.S. Army in excess of $25 million.

The joint event also provided training on proper systems use and employment for 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.

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