Story by: Staff Sgt. Michael Beck
129th Mobile Public Affairs Detachment
Posted: June 17, 2015
CAMP GUERNSEY, Wyo. – National Guard Soldiers perform combat airdrop training at Camp Guernsey, Wyo., as a part of the 31st Golden Coyote training exercise hosted by the South Dakota National Guard, June 6-20.
The Texas Army National Guard’s 1st Battalion, 143rd Infantry Regiment (Airborne), is performing four jump missions during the exercise.
“Our first jump was challenging,” said Spc. Susana Olalde, a cook with the 143rd’s Forward Support Company. “We jump with all of our gear, which is pretty heavy.”
These airborne Soldiers carry their full gear which includes their weapon, kevlar and up to a 100-pound rucksack while jumping out of an aircraft.
A few of the Soldiers made their first jump outside of Airborne School
“I was a little nervous on my first jump,” said 1st Sgt. Jose Gilberto Del Bosque, of the 143rd’s Forward Support Company, who made his first jump this exercise at 46 years old. “It turned out fine once I focused on what I was doing and did what the jump masters told me to do.”
The 143rd will be utilizing a range of aircraft this year as a part of their operations.
“Our deployment jump used two C-17 and five C-130 Air Force aircraft,” said Lt. Col. Max Krupp, commander of 1-143rd Infantry.
The airborne unit not only conducts operations during the day but they also jump at night.
“We conduct operations in hours of limited visibility to leverage our night vision capabilities and increase stealth,” said Krupp.
The 143rd’s final jump during Golden Coyote will be the beginning of the full-scale cumulating training event, and will consist of three C-130 aircraft delivering a 150-man strike force to assault multiple objectives. The unit expects to perform a total of 720 individual jumps during this year’s exercise.
High-resolution photos are available at www.flickr.com/southdakotanationalguard