What I Learned In Jumpmaster School.
I’m on the fifth day of, without a doubt, the most difficult Army course I’ve ever taken. Jumpmaster School. I’m exhausted and dehydrated. My lips are chapped. My hands are raw from the nylon webbing of the SF-10A Parachutes. Becoming a Static Line Jumpmaster is difficult work. I’m not 100% sure I’ll be able to pass the widowmaker test, the Jumpmaster Personnel Inspection (JMPI) test. It’ll be close.
Anyway, as I review for my General Subject exam tomorrow, here are the things I’ve learned over the last week.
- The five block letters used to mark a Computer Assited Release Point (CARP) Drop Zone (DZ) are J, C, A, R, and S. They don’t mean anything specific.
- The form to complete a DZ Survey is an Air Force Form 3823.
- Never mark a DZ with red smoke.
- Every DZ must have a DZ Survey before it can be jumped.
- A C-130 Hercules can put out a maximum of four door bundles. Two in each door.
- Lines of Longitude are known as Meridians
- The DZ Marking system known as RAM stands for Raised Angle Markings
- A Tree is not considered an obstacle on the DZ until it is 35 feet tall
- A VS-17 marker panel is 2 x 6 feet
- DZ Surveys are good for five years
- DZs can be marked at night with the following items: White Omni-Directional Lights, Beanbag Lights, an Amber Rotating Beacon, A Whelan Light, An Air Traffic Control Gun, a Four Battery Maglite, Ground Flares, or Strobe Lights.
- The Block Letters used for marking a Random Approach DZ are H and L.
- The optimal drop speed for a CH-47 Chinook is 90 knots
- Smoke and Signal Mirrors can be used to mark daytime DZs
- VS-17 Panels can be used to mark CARP, Ground Marking Release System (GMRS), and Verbally Initiated Release System (VIRS) DZs
- The minimum size for a Block Letter is 11 feet by 11 feet
- When boarding a UH-1H Iroquois, jumpers should approach from a 45 degree angle.
- The maximum weight for a door bundle is 500 lbs.
- The maximum dimensions for a door bundle are 30″ wide by 48″ long by 66″ deep, including the parachute.
- The components for a Modified Anchor Line System in a UH-60 Black Hawk are Type XXVI Nylon, 8 D-Rings with Cotton Buffer, and 4 Connector Snaps with Safety Wire and Lanyard.
- When jumping a UH-60, the opening portion of the static line snap hook faces the front of the aircraft.
- To calculate the minimum length of a DZ for Rotary-Wing Aircraft, multiply the speed of the helicopter in meters/second by the number of seconds required to send out the load (1 second for each jumper, 3 for each door bundle), not counting the first thing out the door.
- The recommended minimum size of a Military Free Fall DZ is 50x100m
- Army Regulation 59-4 covers Parachute Malfunctions
- Medical personnel has priority over scenes of malfunctions which result in serious injury.
- Special Forces qualified Jumpmasters can survey DZs
- Geographic Coordinates are measured in Degrees, Minutes, and Seconds.
- The minimum size of a GMRS DZ is 275m x 275m
- Jumpers count to four when jumping Fixed-Wing Aircraft before checking to see if their canopy has deployed. Rotary-Wing jumpers count to six.
- You cannot use both the Standard Overhead and Modified Anchor Line Systems in a UH-60.
- When marking a DZ with a VS-17 panel, use the side the contrasts the strongest with the DZ.
- The C-23B Sherpa can exit 12 combat-equipped or 16 Hollywood parachutists.
- The minimum rank of an Army Malfunctions Officer is E-5.
- The Primary Jumpmaster does not have to perform the aircraft safety inspections prior to jumping. He can deligate it to other members of the JM team.
This is your tax dollars at work.
Channelling My Inner Lester Bangs
I got cut loose from class today early because of inclement weather. So, I was watching the end of the My Chemical Romance Loaded special on Fuse, waiting for the Foo Fighters episode to come on. I saw their HORRIBLE cover of Bob Dylan’s “Desolation Row”. It spawned this status message on my facebook:
Dennis Higgins would like to take every fan of My Chemical Romance’s song “Desolation Row” and smack them upside the head with a baseball bat that reads “Dead Boys” on one side and “The Dictators” on another. I’m sorry, MCR, the transition from Loser to Arena Glam to 1970s NYC… I’m not buying it. Go fuck yourselves.
To which my one MCR loving friend defended them and praised The Black Parade. My response:
Okay, Jenny, I think that The Black Parade is actually a pretty rockin’ album. Great Arena Glam. My biggest problem with My Chemical Romance is how they appear to go on a trip to the Genre Store and pick up what they read about in some trendy magazine. They are, in my opinion, sell outs on the Weezer scale. Kids who weren’t cool and now are so … they are trying to stay cool. By not being cool. I could stomach it when it wasn’t one of my Genres, but now that they are trying to look and play like people who hung out in Max’s Kansas City circa 1978, yeah. No. Fuck them in their asses. It’s not just the bad cover, it’s the scene hopping without any credit or acknowledgment of history or, at the very least, a sense of irony.