Parachute check
Army 1st. Lt. Robert Judge from the 509th Airborne Battalion checks the parachute equipment of a Honduran soldier before a combined jump with U.S. and Honduran military members April 30. The jump was the final event of a week-long key leader exchange.

SOTO CANO AIR BASE, Honduras - Soldiers from Fort Polk, La., finished more than a week of training with Honduran soldiers with a combined airborne operation here April 30.

The 27 soldiers from the 1-509th Airborne Battalion jumped with 22 Honduran "paracaidistas" throughout the morning from a Joint Task Force-Bravo UH-60 Blackhawk helicopter, according to Maj. Michael Angell, one of the jumpmasters for the event from Joint Task Force-Bravo.

"It took about two hours to complete all 12 lifts," Angell said. The first few lifts dropped three soldiers per pass, but increased to six per pass on later lifts.

Most of the week-long training was held at Tamara and included marksmanship, cordon and search, convoy operations and medical, according to Maj. J.C. White, director of operations for the 509th.

"We were here for a key leader exchange to help prepare the Honduran troops for PANAMAX [a multi-national mission] in August," he said. The exchange was a U.S. Army South-sponsored event.

Working with Hondurans was a pleasure for the Fort Polk soldiers, White said.

"They are great hosts and soldiers," he said. "They were very receptive to everything we had to show them and soaked up everything. They already knew most the skills we brought to exchange, so we were able to get into details quickly."

The jump was the only airborne operation during the key leader exchange. An exchange of jump wings followed the event.

Page last updated Mon May 5th, 2008 at 10:33