‘Raiders’ hone skills with helocast into Pacific

| October 2, 2015 | 0 Comments

A1_25th CAB Helocast_004

Staff Sgt. Armando R. Limon
3rd Brigade Combat Team Public Affairs
25th Infantry Division


BELLOWS AIR FORCE STATION — Soldiers with Troop C, 3rd Squadron, 4th Cavalry Regiment, “Raiders,” 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division, conducted a helocast, a unique form of training, off the eastern coast of Oahu, here, Sept 21-24.

The Soldiers from Troop C performed a series of day and night rappels, that eventually culminated into a day and night helocast, combat equipment, into the Pacific Ocean.

“Today we will be conducting a helocast mission with F470 Zodiacs (combat rubber raiding craft) out into DZ Falcon,” said Sgt. 1st Class Ryan Davison, platoon leader, 2nd Platoon, on the last day.A1_25th CAB Helocast_003

The troops worked on cold-loading the F470, the same craft used by Special Forces and Navy Seals, prior to the helocast.

It was a learning experience for the Soldiers as they honed their skills by helocasting – jumping into the ocean from an altitude of 10 feet and an airspeed of 11-12 mph. They then swam toward their boat, boarded it and then rowed it toward the beach.

“We’ve developed and improved our standard operating procedures and developed new tactics, techniques and procedures where we’ve had holes previously,” Davison said. “We’ve figured out things that have and have not worked, and we’re definitely progressing as a unit toward using this as a viable infiltration technique.”

A1_25th CAB Helocast_001

For scout observer Spc. Blas Colunga, 2nd Platoon, the hours were long and the training arduous, yet satisfying, while at Bellows.

“It has been a lot of hours back and forth on the beach, but it’s been really good,” Colunga said. “It’s a lot more experience than a normal infantryman would get without having some kind of tab.”

The Raiders participated in every rappel and helocast into the ocean without difficulty … except for one issue. The Soldiers sometimes had to swim vigorously to their inflatable boats as the rotor wash pushed away.A1_25th CAB Helocast_002

“I like the casting into the ocean, except when we had to chase a boat,” Colunga said.

“Chasing after them can be a little difficult,” agreed Spc. Nathan Beeler, radio operator, 2nd Platoon. “We’re trying to work the kinks out of that.”

Beeler said that, regardless of the challenges of helocasting, he still found it the best part of the training.

“It’s outside of your everyday norm of training,” he said. “Just being in the water by jumping out is quite an adrenaline rush.”

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Category: News, Training

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