Frogmen Don’t Leap Into a Helicopter, They Use a Rope-Ladder

Frogmen during HH-60G Pave Hawk rope-ladder exfiltration 13 photos
Photo: USAF/Master Sgt. Kelly Goonan
Frogmen during HH-60G Pave Hawk rope-ladder exfiltrationHH-60G Pave HawkHH-60G Pave HawkHH-60G Pave HawkHH-60G Pave HawkHH-60G Pave HawkHH-60G Pave HawkHH-60G Pave HawkHH-60G Pave HawkHH-60G Pave HawkHH-60G Pave HawkHH-60G Pave Hawk hoisting two pararescuemen
No, "frogmen" is not a term used for some weird species of frog people. In military slang, it stands for scuba divers trained to perform a variety of missions underwater. You can see some examples of this breed in the main photo of this piece.
The word was first used back in the late 1800s, when a Union Navy guy called Paul Boyton took it as his stage name for his water-related exploits, feats that included swimming up and down rivers, crossing the English Channel in 24 hours, or swimming for six days and hundreds of miles in the Danube.

From there, the term was widely (and unofficially) adopted by some of the world’s Navies, with the first proper use of a frogman unit going to Italy, during World War II.

The frogmen we see here, climbing up a ladder to a helicopter, are with the Royal Jordanian Navy and have been captured on film as they were training with their American pararescuemen counterparts at the end of March.

The official name of the operation you see before your eyes is rope-ladder exfiltration. It took place during exercise Agile Rescue, a drill created to fine tune “agile employment processes, testing the ability of multinational rescue forces to work in unison with U.S. Air Force rescue forces to bed down, sustain, and execute maritime search and rescue.”

On site to pick the men out of the water near the port of Aqaba, in Jordan, is an HH-60G Pave Hawk, the breed we’ve seen in action so often here on autoevolution.

The aircraft is one of the preferred tools the American military uses for recovery operations, especially in hostile environments. Powered by a couple of General Electric engines, it can move to distances of 580 miles (933 km) at speeds that can reach 184 mph (296 kph).
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Editor's note: Gallery shows other Pave Hawks.

About the author: Daniel Patrascu
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Daniel loves writing (or so he claims), and he uses this skill to offer readers a "behind the scenes" look at the automotive industry. He also enjoys talking about space exploration and robots, because in his view the only way forward for humanity is away from this planet, in metal bodies.
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