Parajumpers practice in Tift County - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Parajumpers practice in Tift County

Tift County- It's not everyday that not one, but two, C-130 aircraft fly into Tift County air space, and it's even more unusual to see them dropping military parajumpers.

"It's just one more way of getting to work, and then once we get down there, we do our security operations," says Ssgt. Joseph Uekesa.

More than a dozen airmen with the 820th security force at Moody Air Force Base participated in the jump as a part of regular training.

"It's all about proficiency and also your muscle memory of doing certain actions with your body when you're falling through the air. It's something you can lose if you don't practice," says Uekesa.

The jumpers try to practice at least once a month. In addition to dropping the airmen, pilots also practice dropping equipment.

"All terrain vehicles that way once we get on the ground we can go to an assembly point or rally point in a quicker fashion then try to walk through mud," says Uekesa.

"Out the rear of the ramp that we just did today it's pretty smooth, kind of like a slide," says Senior Airman Christian McKay.

It may be their job, but the airmen say parachuting out of an airplane for a living has it's perks.

"It's really quiet and you can kind of just hear the wind and that's it," says McKay. "Once you get the green light it's go, and you don't even realize and the next thing you're in the air and all right."

Staying proficient during their jumps is very serious to the airmen, but they say parajumping is both a thrill and a challege they're glad they can get paid to do.

The airmen practice jumping at several Georgia and Florida airports every month. The jumps also serve as proficiency training for the pilots.

Feedback: news@walb.com