US Army loses three Humvees in botched airdrop exercise
The only casualties were the vehicles (and the egos of some parachute riggers).
Training exercises exist so that when you're out in the thick of things, you don't make costly mistakes. We're sure somewhere in Europe there's a US Army officer anxiously reminding himself of that, as he tries to figure out how to explain the loss of three Humvees during a practice airdrop. Thankfully the trucks (and the egos of some parachute riggers) were the only casualties of this incident.
The incident occurred during Sabre Junction 2016, an annual exercise conducted by the US Army Europe and attended by 15 different European nations. Most are members of NATO, but there are some unaligned nations, including Armenia, Bosnia, Macedonia, and Moldova. All three Humvees were being dropped from C-130 Hercules cargo planes, but what's remarkable about this comedy of errors is that the Humvees were dropped from three separate planes. It'd have almost been understandable if some kind of failure on a single aircraft caused the loss of three Humvees, but when three separate planes have the same problem in an airdrop, it signals a bigger issue.
Only two of the three chutes deployed on the first Humvee, which obviously wasn't enough to keep it in a controlled descent. A rigging issue claimed the second truck, and as for the third vehicle, it seemed like the parachutes simply failed to deploy. But perhaps the most entertaining thing about this fiasco is the reactions of the soldiers watching it unfold. (Note that there's some NSFW language in the video below.)
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