Blowing imaginary dust from his palm immediately before showing two open hands to the Paratroopers diligently watching, the jumpmaster calls out in voice barley heard over the whirring turbines of the CH-47 Chinook helicopter.
"10 minutes," he yelled.
What followed was a series of hand gestures and signals that culminated in a static line jump for 74 Paratroopers assigned to C Company, 2nd Squadron, 38th U.S. Cavalry Regiment throughout the day June 19 on Fort Hood as Family members looked on from Rapido Drop Zone.
"It's good the Families see this," said 2nd squadron, 38th U.S. Cavalry Regiment commander Lt. Col. John P. Cogbill. "They may hear a lot about what happens at work, but this gives them the opportunity to see what happens--seeing is believing."
Kayla Good, Spouse of Spc. Robert Good of C Co., 2-38 Cavalry, was seeing her husband jump for the first time. She is supportive of his decision to become Airborne, but admits the act of Robert jumping out of planes makes her nervous.
"He likes the excitement of being Airborne, but it makes me nervous. The danger of breaking a limb worries me," said Mrs. Good.
Charlie Company is the only Army Airborne unit on Fort Hood and the training requirements remain the same as other Airborne units. To maintain proficiency, the Soldiers are required to jump at least once a quarter. At Fort Hood, wind and unpredictable weather can prove challenging.
"Minimum requirements have Soldiers jumping once a quarter," said Cogbill. "Here in Central Texas, wind can become an issue; there is a higher possibility that the jumps will be cancelled, so we have to take every training opportunity possible, which is why we try to get one to two jumps in per month."
Proficiency jumps usually follow a training method that builds from simple concepts to more complex as the training progresses. This particular jump, typically called "Hollywood", does not require the same equipment load as a combat jump.
"We do these types of jumps during the day and with little equipment because it allows new guys to get comfortable jumping with the unit, while fulfilling the training requirement," said Lt. Col. Cogbill.
Sergeant Emilian Firan, a Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear NCO with C. Company, 2-38 Cavalry was appreciative of the Family participation.
"Today was a beautiful day to jump," Firan said. "It's a good idea to have the Families out here so they can see what we do; it is motivating."