Professional anglers visited Fort Bragg May 9, for a tour and demonstrations at the virtual training and parachute packing facilities.
The visitation, coordinated and organized by the Fort Bragg Garrison community relations and public affairs office, supported 11 pro anglers from along the east coast, who were in town for the Warriors on the Water (WOW) military appreciation bass fishing tournament, held at Jordan Lake.
The three-day itinerary prior to competition included a tour of the Virtual Training Facility off Longstreet Road. Anglers had the freedom to explore the small arms weapons training simulators and Humvees designed for tactical convoy operations simulation, at the Reconfigurable Vehicle Tactical Trainer (RVTT).
They were also introduced to the 11th Quartermaster (QM) rigger facility. The tour was led by Chief Warrant Officer 2 Tommy Young, senior aerial delivery officer, 11th QM Co. The fishing professionals were educated on the busy epicenter of airborne operations to include the daily physical and mental challenges, expectations and routines of the riggers.
In the pack shed, Young walked the anglers through the rig hanger, warehouse storage containers and lines of riggers packing parachutes. He walked the group through the responsibilities and skills of the riggers, trained and licensed to pack and maintain main parachutes, reserves and rig sling loads. The riggers perform basic parachute repairs under the never ending airborne operation schedule of Fort Bragg.
Young identified the inspection parachutists (IP) supervising in red baseball caps and stressed the importance of attention to detail. He noted the skills of the riggers enable paratroopers to land safely after jumping. Every piece of equipment that leaves the warehouse is used not only by paratroopers, but also the large supply loads combat arms Soldiers receive on the ground.
“We work with the Soldiers, we want them to be motivated,” Young said. “Every rigger ensures exact precision. I come in, I know what I am doing today and next week. I am packing 15 parachutes every single day. Each parachute has 16 checkpoints at which senior riggers validate the accuracy. Everytime a rigger packs a parachute they accept the fact that they are taking responsibility for the safety and life of another individual.”
Anglers participated in demonstrations and suited up in full combat jump gear, equipped with a parachute, reserve, rucksack and weapons case. Staff Sgts. Nathaniel Mumbuto and Neil Singh, 11th QM Co., instructed the visiting group on gear checking and pointed out aspects of the gear a paratrooper carries that can be taxing and cumbersome.
“Wow, there is an incredible amount of weight you are carrying here, how do you even walk, let alone jump out of a plane?” said Shaw Grigsby, professional angler from Gainesville, Florida.
The group visited the offices of the supervisors to watch videos of a High Altitude Low Opening (HALO) parachute jump, also known as a Military Free Fall (MFF), as well as paratroopers static line jump from a C-130.
The tour was followed by lunch at the 82nd Sustainment Brigade Dining Facility.