At approximately 5,000 feet, a jumper pulls the rip cord and deploys the parachute, jolting them into a slow descent. McDermott said that the shock of the chute opening is “probably the worst part,” but added that it’s a “good shock,” in that the chute opened and he’ll survive the jump. After that, he said the jumpers stack up in formation and move to the target as a team and touch down before gathering their chutes and moving on to the objective.
“I enjoy it,” said McDermott. “Everybody who comes in to Recon wants to jump and dive – it’s definitely a benefit of the job.”
Before deploying in June, the Recon element helped the MEU earn its “Special Operations Capable” designation during its pre-deployment phase, signifying the MEU’s proficiency in some two dozen missions spanning the spectrum of conflict. Continuing to work in concert with their MEU counterparts, MSPF Marines have demonstrated a leading-edge mentality and combat readiness that corresponds with their legendary warrior status. With unrelenting diligence, they’ll continue to bring the fight to the opposition’s doorstep while remaining swift, silent and deadly.
The MEU has returned to CENTCOM for the first time since completing a seven-month combat tour in Iraq in February 2005 and is composed of its Command Element; Battalion Landing Team, 1st Battalion, 8th Marine Regiment; HMM-365 (Rein); and MEU Service Support Group 24.