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That's the traditional Airborne way to get rid of major maintenance problems... Slip a few bucks to the riggers, and pretty soon the nice Quartermaster folks will be blessing you with a new vehicle.

I'll never forget the look of dismay on the face of a new junior NCO of mine, when I had to break the news to him about being out on the line, where you can't "heavy drop" your chronic maintenance problems, and actually have to fix them. He was not a happy camper...

SFC Dunlap 173d RVN

I can safely tell you that after this event the Riggers in question (responsible for the configuring of the loads), were "toes on line" answering for this. One heavy load burning in is barely acceptable but 3-4 is an indicator and not a good one. I personally a bit twisted in the gut watching this given that for the huge bulk of my career I was a 92R. For the uninitiated heavy drops are actually configured by the unit owning the vehicles to be dropped under a Riggers supervision (usually a senior E-4/E-5. Only the cargo canopies and cargo releases are Rigger only duties. My bet... The Achies heel of Heavy Drop...the cargo releases which should activate on the ground, not in mid air.


I don't get the humor. Watching professional incompetence on display doesn't generate chuckles for me, just a sad shaking of the head. What the hell is wrong with the dude filming this?

SFC Dunlap 173d RVN

Thank you Krag...agree.


It's prolly not funny because you're either not combat arms, or are suffering from the humor removal surgery that happens at E6+

W. Fleetwood

Of course it's funny! It's somebody else's unit! (Probably those know-it-all dorks in B Company.) You don't even have to have video. Just imagine Korea in January and I'll do the dialogue for you.

Infantryman No.1: Look, look, look, the f---ing tankers are going to cross the river right on our tracks!

Infantryman No.2: You're sh--ing me, that ain't the ford, that's the f---ing river! F--k, the ice was crickly crackin' under our f---ing empty 113s.

Infantryman No.1: Yeah, I know that, but...There she goes!!....Oooooogha! Oooooogha! Abandon Ship, Abandon Ship!

Infantryman No.2: Oh sweet Jesus Gawd!...(Slight pause.)..Oh hell yes, back another tank up and try to lift it out, that's going to f---ing work! (Aside to No.1) Who do you think they're going to send in with the fucking cable?

Infantryman No.1 New Guy! New Guy! (Yells to Armored unit who don't notice.) Hey, just leave it there, in thirty minutes it'll be frozen solid and the rest of you can drive across in style! Come back maybe early May and get it, it'll be perfectly preserved like a f---ing Mastodon in a f---ing glacier!

See, funny.

Wafa Wafa, Wasara, Wasara.


RE: It's prolly not funny because you're either not combat arms, or are suffering from the humor removal surgery that happens at E6+

Wrong on both counts - got out as a Sergeant, 0321. Losing tens of thousands of dollars of gear due to either equipment failure or gross stupidity during a routine training event just doesn't tickle my funny bone. Different strokes and all that, I guess.


The Army must just surgically remove the humor center at a higher rank than Marines. Must be from all the years stuck at Lance Corporal that does it in.


Wearing my taxpayer hat, it's not particularly funny to me, either. But I promise to laugh at the disciplinary proceedings for the idiots responsible. Is that okay?


Part of this having happened is probably due to the budget cuts, to be honest. When you're not doing Airborne operations on a routine basis, things get rusty. Operational expertise is a perishable thing--You can't rely on the fact that a unit did this mission perfectly just a year or two ago, when there hasn't been any such activity since.

Additionally, there's the strong likelihood that the equipment used for this was past its serviceability. The gear used to rig those vehicles wears out, and some of the other stuff like the switches that handle the release of the drop rigs have "freshness dates" that may have been exceeded. I gave a bunch of shit to one of my old rigger buddies, and she went ballistic on me over how many issues might have been related to this, aside from incompetence on the part of the riggers. There's also the question of how they were dropped, as well--It's possible for the loadmasters and pilots to screw up a heavy drop through improper air speed, and how they handle the cargo as it leaves the aircraft. Not to mention, air turbulence can play a role, too.

Sometimes, it can be very educational to goad a bear.

SFC Dunlap 173d RVN

All points applicable Kirk. Career Riggers get a bit "testy" when these events happen as the Rigger community gets the blame for most things that are airborne operational ( which I've always found strange). You could have added turnover of personnel, mission intensity on a parallel track, and the standard bugaboo, a general lack of manpower a.k.a. a TOE/MTOE nowhere near 100%.


On a good note, most of @1200 jumpers and the rest of the heavy drop made it down relatively unscathed. All around, this was the start of ten days of good training for the unit. Even though it rained almost every day.

SFC Dunlap 173d RVN

That is a good note, thank you Esli for that.


"Even though it rained almost every day."

Of course. "If it ain't rainin' it ain't trainin'".


off hand, i'd say the guy doing the talking noticed something was wrong, and was told to STFU by someone with more rank than brains...

so he & his buddies took the video to record for posterity his "i told you so" moment, and yes, from their POV, it's funny as hell. i'd have been laughing too

but that might just be one of the reasons i went into the Retired Reserve with over 19 years TIG as an E-4. ;-)

SFC Dunlap 173d RVN

It went viral, drudge, yahoo news, nbc nightly, the works.

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