Rigging Drops for Special Ops

Much of the doctrinal literature concerning Army special operations is restricted from public disclosure, often for good reasons and sometimes for reasons that are hard to understand.

But one new special operations manual has been approved for unrestricted public disclosure.

As the title indicates, “Airdrop of Supplies and Equipment: Rigging Loads for Special Operations” (FM 4.20-142, September 2007) deals with the proper packaging of military supplies for aerial delivery via parachute. A copy is available here (in a very large 28 MB PDF file).

Also on the subject of new military publications, the Congressional Research Service updated its report “Defense: FY2008 Authorization and Appropriations” on September 28, 2007.

No Responses to “Rigging Drops for Special Ops”

  1. Irving October 16, 2007 at 4:25 PM #

    Ah special ops drops. In 1963 I was on an advance mission for the 101st airborne division and stopped in Okinawa to confer with friends in First Special Forces. They had just been assigned the Military Assistance Advisory responsibility initially assigned to the MAAG mission in Saigon.

    When I arrived, I was fascinated by dozens of HALO (high altitude low opening) drops being performed by dummies released from 20 thousand feet, perhaps higher. Most crashed into Machinato inlet because the reefer lines failed to explode and deploy the skirts of the chutes.

    Special Forces were desperately trying to perfect a technique to deliver teams into remote areas and into the North without detection and HALO was the putative answer. Then came the helicopter and at first it was thought they should be used to be used in parachute operations. Military planners tend to think in parochial ways. Look into this carefully and you may never stop laughing–or crying.