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U.S. Air Force Parachutists

Life In 360°: Free Fallin’

What goes up, must come down.

We’re up in the air once more on Life In 360° and at this point it feels like we spent fully fifty percent of our time above ground. Today’s example of 360 degree video in action however is less concerned with getting airborne as it is concerned with getting back down on the ground again.

Life In 360° / 360 Degree VideoWe’re back to Facebook for our first video of the week, this one coming courtesy of the U.S. Army John F. Kennedy Special Warfare Center and School. ‘Swick’, which is it’s informal name, was first set up in 1950’s although at that time it was the Psychological Warfare (PSYWAR) Center and School. It’s naturally had a number of designations down the years, gaining its most current back in 1985.

It’s the home of a number of army units, including the 1st Special Warfare Training Group (Airborne), six battalions of soldiers, a support battalion and special warfare groups related to education and medical needs. Today’s video relates to Special Operations Forces.

The Military Free Fall Parachutist Course trains these combatants in tactical insertion techniques using ram-air parachutes. It’s not exactly without risk, this training. However instructors move to ensure the safety of each and every student as they make their way down to the ground.

“In today’s global environment, areas of conflict are becoming increasingly difficult for military forces to access. Through advances in technology, tactics and training, potential adversaries are prepared to prevent unwanted forces’ physical presence, and the U.S. military must adapt to face these challenges. ” Explains Major James Branch, B Company, 2nd Battalion, 1st Special Warfare Training Group (Airborne) on the U.S. Army website.

“A collective military free-fall, or MFF, capability throughout the Army’s Special Forces regiment will ensure the U.S. Army’s unconventional warfare force can effectively enter and perform within the operational areas of today and tomorrow. Traditional forced-entry techniques such as low-altitude, static-line airborne operations have lost viability as a clandestine entry technique, especially in special-operations missions where silence and accuracy are crucial to mission success. Discreet, low-visibility free-fall infiltration complements the mission and structure of a Special Forces operational detachment-alpha, or ODA.”

“To meet this challenge, the Special Forces Regiment has re-evaluated its training methodology to ensure its Soldiers have an expansive skill set to meet the demands of our current and future operational environment. This re-evaluation has established that while Army Special Forces units do include select MFF-capable ODAs, the force lacks a formal, wide-spread clandestine infiltration capability; such that would be available through regiment-wide military free-fall qualification.”

You can see the video of one training run below. VRFocus will be back later this week with another example of 360 degree video.


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