Parachuting injuries: a medical analysis of an airborne operation.
The purpose of this paper is to discuss parachuting variables as they affect support and planning. The authors retrospectively analyzed an operation in which a Ranger battalion parachuted onto an airfield drop zone. Leaders weighed Rangers to estimate the soldiers' load. The advance team failed to adequately coordinate administrative medical assistance on the drop zone. Forty-one Rangers were injured and evacuated from the drop zone (8.6% of the jumpers). Variables in such operations include drop zone selection, equipment weight, drop altitude, wind speed, the wind-flight angle, drop height, and jumper density over the drop zone. Solutions include cargo drops and leaders' repeated emphasis on minimizing the soldiers' loads in accordance with mission accomplishment.
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