Local News

Fort Bragg Soldiers Undergo Aerial Training

Posted July 20, 2006

— Combat isn't just about fighting, but also about getting in and out of hostile territory fast. Fort Bragg soldiers spent Thursday training for that eventuality by roping from helicopters.

Some soldiers already know what it is like to use that method in a real-life situation. Staff Sgt. Tyler Williamson has roped into harm's way in the past. He can't say where or when, just that it's an important skill to have.

"It's fast and safe for the helicopter crew and everybody going down the rope," said Williamson.

When ground vehicles can't get somewhere, helicopters can. Roping out of difficult areas is quick, effective, and works in most places.

"You never know where you're going to have to get set down -- maybe building tops, rooftops, mountains," said Williamson.

Soldiers don't just rope into combat. They rely on the technique for search and rescue missions, because they can't always see things from the ground, even when they are right in front of them.

Some of these soldiers haven't had to rope in the real-life situations yet, but that doesn't make it any less dangerous. Even in training, their lives are still on the line.

Paratroopers may be seen jumping from helicopters more than airplanes these days. However, that doesn't mean the traditional airborne unit is a thing of the past. Soldiers said modern warriors need both skills.

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