US AIRMEN IMPRESSED BY BANGLADESHI PARATROOPERS’ JUMPING TECHNIQUES
Senior Correspondent, bdnews24.com
Jumping techniques of Bangladeshi paratroopers have pleasantly surprised the US Air Force officers during a joint exercise.
On the second day of the exercise on Sunday, Bangladeshi airmen jumped from the US C-130 Hercules aircraft over the Bangladesh Air Force’s (BAF) north-eastern base in Sylhet.
After releasing the jumpers, the aircraft commander Captain Travis Wilkes told journalists at Bangabandhu Air Base in Dhaka that he learnt new things and was “really surprised”.
He said he saw Bangladeshis used “visual guidance release points” when the paratroopers jumped.
But Captain Wilkes said the Americans execute the jump using computer to time their jump.
“Whenever we are dropping troopers we drop them using our computer. We calculate and say ‘jump’.
“But the Bangladeshi controllers guide us visually. They look up to the sky and then guide us to turn left, turn right through the radio, and then they say ‘drop…drop…go’.
“Whenever they say ‘go’ we look at our computer. It’s always precise.”
Bangladesh Air Force lays importance on this joint exercise styled “Cope South” as it is focused on disaster response.
The C-130 aircraft, being used for this exercise, is regarded as the best transport aircraft in the world.
The US air base in Japan’s Yokota has deployed three such Hercules aircraft and Bangladesh deployed one for the exercise.
One of the features of the C-130 is that it can transport troops and equipment in the combat zone via airdrop using short runways.
Bangladesh has deployed one of its C-130s for its relatively challenging UN mission in Congo.
BAF Group Captain MA Awal Hossain during the opening of the exercise on Saturday said they can easily drop materials and men in a disaster zone quickly with this aircraft.
Airmen of the two forces will jointly try out airlift, air-land and airdrop delivery tactics, techniques and procedures, as well as develop and expand combined airlift capabilities during the week-long exercise.
They will also conduct cooperative flight operations.
Aircraft generation and recovery, day and night low-level navigation, tactical airdrop, and air-land missions, maintenance and rigging disciplines will be the highlights of the exercise, the US embassy in Dhaka had earlier said.
BAF has carried out 38 different types of exercises including the ‘Cope South’ with the US since the beginning of 1990s.
Two of them were outside Bangladesh – in Qatar and Malaysia.
JANUARY 26, 2015