Fort Drum soldiers conduct helicopter jumps over St. Lawrence River


Video screen grabs show service members from Fort Drum, N.Y., taking part in Helocast training in the St. Lawrence river on Sept. 25, 2023. (U.S. Army)

ALEXANDRIA, N.Y. (Tribune News Service) — About 70 Fort Drum soldiers were jumping 10 feet out of helicopters and into the St. Lawrence River as part of Helocast training, which simulates the soldiers entering an area of operation.

Maj. Rachael Jeffcoat said the training gives soldiers the chance to build their confidence in these operations.

It also allows them to test their planning efforts as two different units take part in the training, which included the U.


S. Coast Guard.

The soldiers jumping out of the helicopters weren’t infantry members; they were the second brigade engineer battalion. They do the training for their engineering operations.

“Ultimately, it’s just a technique that we use to insert ourselves into areas of operation,” Jeffcoat said.

During the first path that the Chinook helicopter made, Jeffcoat said it went by an Uncle Sam Boat Tour, and they could see the crowd on the boat looking at the helicopter.

She said that having this body of water close to the military post is pretty unique, although she has seen it done at other military posts.

“We’re very fortunate at Fort Drum to have such unique terrain in order to train on these tasks,” she said.

Jeffcoat said Drum is grateful to the community for its understanding during these types of training exercises.

(c)2023 Watertown Daily Times (Watertown, N.Y.)


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