Special Operation 2006

It was with high expectations that we all gathered at the airport in Krakow for the jumps of special operations 2006. Some of us arrived earlier in the day which allowed us a good meal and a couple of beers before the somewhat tedious journey by bus to the Ukraine started.

After a night on the bus and a time consuming delay at the border we arrived in Rivne in the north east of the Country. We immediately got some late breakfast, in fact it was lunch since it was 11 in the morning, and got settled in to our accommodation. The least to say, the facilities was not what we were used to with the spring hard spring beds and the lack of flushing toilets. However this did in no way reflect the quality of the parachutes or the professional attitude of the instructors.

With some translations we got a briefing on the D5 and D6 parachute systems and the aircraft procedures of the An2. This took some time due to the translation from Russian to German and then to English. Then after the some check with the medic and some PLFs we got our chutes on and were on our way up in the air.

The DZ was huge and the weather could not have been better with glistering sun and calm winds, which made for some prefect jumps. With the slow decent-rate of the chutes also allowed for soft landings. Over the course of the jumps only one person were hurt when he sprained his ankle on landing, which has to be viewed as an excellent result.

After dinner that night we started the wing ceremony for the Russian wings. To many persons surprise the wings were awarded at the bottom of a tall glass, filled to the edge with Vodka.

The second day started earlier, although fore some British colleagues the day before never ended, and we continued our jumps. The weather was now almost better than the day before and with almost no wind. Roscoe Turner also held a briefing of the US T10 parachute system and US Jumpmaster procedures, after we conducted our jump for the American wings.

The bus ride back was a little more comfortable since we made a few more stops for dinner and some sight seeing. When we arrived back in Krakow we visited the polish 6th Airborne brigade and got a very interesting tour of the unit museum before we parted ways.

The courage of parachuting
Courage is not to fearlessly jump out of an airplane with a smile on your face. Courage is to climb into the plane with trembling legs, sit in the seat with sweat on the forehead, pale face and empty eyes. Courage is to attach the static line with trembling hands, freeze in the door and get kicked out, and then be first in line to do it all again.

1LT David Bergmann
Swedish Army

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