MOBILE, Ala. – The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Mobile District Lake Sidney Lanier project office hosted the 5th Ranger Training Battalion May 3 and 5, as the rangers complete their annual water proficiency training at the lake.
Rangers conducted a helocast and water jump to stay proficient and current on their jump status. Members of the battalion parachute through the sky as boats speed across the lake to pick up jumpers from a drop zone. USACE’s Lake Lanier Park rangers ensured the designated drop zone was clear of traffic for safety for all at the lake.
Helocasting is an insertion technique developed by Airborne troops whereby Soldiers step off the aircraft's ramp at a low altitude and low speed directly into the water below.
“This is a great opportunity to maximize effectiveness for our rangers, so everyone knows their duties and increases their situational awareness,” said Lt. Col. Christopher Green, 5th Ranger Training Battalion commander. “We are extremely grateful to have everyone come out today, we would not be able to do this event without all these different agencies coming together.”
Lanier park rangers, Hall County, Dawson County, Forsyth County emergency services and law enforcement, along with Georgia Army National Guard supported the jump but, they also took the opportunity to train and collaborate like they would during an emergency situation.
“It is a joint agency support for when the parachuters are coming in the patrol boats will run a perimeter security to keep private vessels out of the drop zones for safe landing,” said Ernest Noe, USACE Lake Sidney Lanier chief ranger. “Safety is always a priority in our line of work, and we’re honored to provide that service for our partner agencies.”
The day is not only about the rangers keeping their current jump status but also a moral day for the unit. It has become a local tradition for families and spectators who line the beach at War Hill Park to watch helicopters soar overhead dropping the Rangers by parachute into Lake Lanier.
“Half of our park rangers are prior military, and they really enjoy supporting the jump every year, it is like a kid at Christmas when they come in,” said Noe. “The ranger staff really love supporting events like this.”
With an area of operation across Alabama, Mississippi, Georgia, and northern Florida, and a vast military region that includes operations across Central and South America, the Mobile District’s award- winning teams of engineering, construction, regulatory and emergency management professionals are nationally recognized for their leadership in delivery of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ civil works and military programs missions to the Nation.
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