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  • The Rough Terrain Airborne Engineers

    The 57th Sapper Company, 27th Engineer Battalion is the only unit certified to rough terrain jump in the U.S. Army:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bnmmBVipAto

    I know some Special Forces teams have trained this from time to time so I expect the real story is that the 57th Sapper is the only "regular" unit training to jump rough terrain.

    But I think it makes sense to have this as a sapper skill. An infantry battalion could be far away from a good drop zone or landing zone when they encounter a strong point that needs engineer support to breach or reduce. I read of a similer case where an engineer squad from the 101st inserted by combat rappel because a rifle company needed engineer support during the battle for Hamburger Hill in Vietnam. Apparently the area was too far away from a good landing zone to land the engineers and have them move up by foot in a timely manner.
    Last edited by KRJ; 02 Nov 18, 16:54.
    "Shoot for the epaulets, boys! Shoot for the epaulets!" - Daniel Morgan

  • #2
    He said the only "company", not the only unit. While some SF teams have likely trained, I doubt any whole companies have....it's just not in their DNA to do things as a company. It's certainly not in the SCUBA, HALO, and vehicle ASIs that are at the ODA level.

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    • #3
      There are some Smoke jumpers in the Colorado National Guard, the 1157 Engineer Company. I have seen them labelled Airborne in the past.

      Pruitt
      Pruitt, you are truly an expert! Kelt06

      Have you been struck by the jawbone of an ASS lately?

      by Khepesh "This is the logic of Pruitt"

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      • #4
        Originally posted by Pruitt View Post
        There are some Smoke jumpers in the Colorado National Guard, the 1157 Engineer Company. I have seen them labelled Airborne in the past.

        Pruitt
        Smoke jumpers are certainly qualified to be airborne, but don't have the training for the demolition ad other skills associated with combat engineers.

        Tough guys, without a doubt, and Colorado is the place to train them...training grounds for the 10th Mountain Division during WWII and still home to the only Mountain Division in the US military.
        Quis Custodiet Ipsos Custodes? Who is watching the watchers?

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        • #5
          I thought the10th Mountain Division was located in Fort Drum, New York and Fort Polk, LA? Fort Carson is still open and the 4th Infantry Division and 10th SF Group are located there. Rangers still go to Colorado for Mountain Training.

          Pruitt
          Pruitt, you are truly an expert! Kelt06

          Have you been struck by the jawbone of an ASS lately?

          by Khepesh "This is the logic of Pruitt"

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Pruitt View Post
            Rangers still go to Colorado for Mountain Training.
            The Ranger Department (Ranger School) only does mountain training at the camp in Dahlonega, Georgia. But Ranger Battalions will go everywhere to train. I've seen them at Ft. Bragg and Camp McCall and little out of the way posts like Ft McCoy. So I'm sure they get to Ft. Carson sometimes.

            But back to engineers. When I was at Ft. Bragg I never saw them in the field with us. For whatever reason they were never incorporated into our training exercises. I don't know why.

            But in Vicenza they were frequently along side us. And they always seemed to be doing something a little bit funner than we were. I remember live fire exercises in Grafenwohr where engineers were on my helicopter chalk with bangalores and other types of charges. This was back in the old Airborne Battalion Combat Team days before the 173d was reactivated. My battalion had one engineer platoon in combat support company so they were frequently a part of company live fires, etc.

            Last edited by KRJ; 02 Nov 18, 14:04.
            "Shoot for the epaulets, boys! Shoot for the epaulets!" - Daniel Morgan

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Pruitt View Post
              There are some Smoke jumpers in the Colorado National Guard, the 1157 Engineer Company. I have seen them labelled Airborne in the past.
              The 1157th Engineer Firefighter Company is deployed on wildfires when needed. But I've not found anything that says they train to perform a smokejumping mission. I imagine the company might have some personnel in it's ranks who are or have been BLM or USFS smokejumpers but that's not quite the same thing as being a "National Guard Smokejumper."
              "Shoot for the epaulets, boys! Shoot for the epaulets!" - Daniel Morgan

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              • #8
                Originally posted by 82redleg View Post
                He said the only "company", not the only unit.
                Point taken. I believe an SF company has one HALO ODA and one SCUBA ODA so any rough terrain parachute capability would likely be similar.

                I can remember seeing an article in the ‘’’’'80s about SF doing rough terrain parachute training. I believe it was in the Ft Bragg newspaper Paraglide. So I know they’'ve done it but I don’t know if it’s continuously been done since then.
                "Shoot for the epaulets, boys! Shoot for the epaulets!" - Daniel Morgan

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by KRJ View Post

                  Point taken. I believe an SF company has one HALO ODA and one SCUBA ODA so any rough terrain parachute capability would likely be similar.

                  I can remember seeing an article in the ‘’’’'80s about SF doing rough terrain parachute training. I believe it was in the Ft Bragg newspaper Paraglide. So I know they’'ve done it but I don’t know if it’s continuously been done since then.
                  I've heard talk about it from time to time. I think the 19th SFG use to run a jump school near Helena (Fort Harrison); they may have even trained in rough terrain landings for smoke jumpers.

                  I've only known of one guy that went through the training, might have been with the US Forest Service.
                  My worst jump story:
                  My 13th jump was on the 13th day of the month, aircraft number 013.
                  As recorded on my DA Form 1307 Individual Jump Log.
                  No lie.

                  ~
                  "Everything looks all right. Have a good jump, eh."
                  -2 Commando Jumpmaster

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                  • #10
                    It may be of interest that its now about the 100th anniversary of the first parachute drops by combat engineers anywhere. In 1918 in the final days of WW1 the French dropped two man engineer teams behind the retreating German army to disrupt German communications. The first ever parachute troops to go into combat.
                    Human history becomes more and more a race between education and catastrophe (H G Wells)
                    Mit der Dummheit kaempfen Goetter selbst vergebens (Friedrich von Schiller)

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by MarkV View Post
                      It may be of interest that its now about the 100th anniversary of the first parachute drops by combat engineers anywhere. In 1918 in the final days of WW1 the French dropped two man engineer teams behind the retreating German army to disrupt German communications. The first ever parachute troops to go into combat.
                      I am not able to find anything about this online.
                      "Shoot for the epaulets, boys! Shoot for the epaulets!" - Daniel Morgan

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by KRJ View Post

                        I am not able to find anything about this online.
                        It's in an book just because you can't google something doesn't mean its not out there. I did post on this in a different thread some time ago and provided the reference. If I get time I'll try and find it again
                        Human history becomes more and more a race between education and catastrophe (H G Wells)
                        Mit der Dummheit kaempfen Goetter selbst vergebens (Friedrich von Schiller)

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by MarkV View Post

                          It's in an book just because you can't google something doesn't mean its not out there. I did post on this in a different thread some time ago and provided the reference. If I get time I'll try and find it again
                          Of course. I always heard that it was the Russians that first experimented with the idea of mass paratroop drops.
                          My worst jump story:
                          My 13th jump was on the 13th day of the month, aircraft number 013.
                          As recorded on my DA Form 1307 Individual Jump Log.
                          No lie.

                          ~
                          "Everything looks all right. Have a good jump, eh."
                          -2 Commando Jumpmaster

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by 101combatvet View Post

                            Of course. I always heard that it was the Russians that first experimented with the idea of mass paratroop drops.
                            Mass drops, yes. But I think MarkV was referring to saboteurs. I did find something that mentioned Italian saboteurs parachuting in WWI but nothing about the French.

                            It's not that I'm questioning the accuracy of it, MarkV. It's that it sounds like interesting reading and so I want to know the source.
                            "Shoot for the epaulets, boys! Shoot for the epaulets!" - Daniel Morgan

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