Not Cats, but U.S. Paratroopers Stuck in Trees Were Rescued by Firefighters

The Gettysburg Fire Department helped rescue paratroopers stuck in trees 7 photos
Photo: Facebook/Gettysburg Fire
82nd Airborne DivisionU.S. Paratroopers got stuck in trees during a training sessionU.S. Paratroopers got stuck in trees during a training session82nd Airborne DivisionU.S. Paratroopers got stuck in trees during a training sessionU.S. Paratroopers got stuck in trees during a training session
Any military training can have its bad moments, especially when mother nature gets moody. In this case, luckily, nobody got hurt and, at the end of the day, it was good practice for everybody involved.
The 82nd Airborne Division prides itself in being the only airborne division in the U.S. Army that can be deployed in any corner of the world in 18 hours at most…if trees don’t get in the way. During a training held near Gettysburg National Military Park, Pennsylvania, earlier this week, six of the paratroopers got stuck in trees.

A public affairs officer told Penn Live that this does happen sometimes and that all jumpers are trained on what to do in case they end up in trees instead of on the ground. However, only four of the six that were stuck managed to eventually get on the ground by themselves. A rescue operation had to recover the other two soldiers.

The “hero” of the day was a helicopter from Haverfield Aviation, which is sleeker and lighter than the Chinooks that were used for the paratrooper jumps, so it was able to make its way to the stuck soldiers without getting tangled itself. But, according to Penn Live, that only happened after the local fire department’s apparatus got stuck in the mud, while the firefighters couldn’t reach them by foot either because the trees were too tall and the woods too heavy.

Gettysburg firefighters were already present during the training because these jumps are always potentially dangerous. But the rescue operation required additional help from the local police and park rangers. The soldiers were eventually lifted from the trees and then dropped safely.

The 82nd Airborne Division out of Fort Bragg, North Carolina, rarely conducts military training exercises in Gettysburg. According to officials, this might not happen again for one of two years. So this will certainly be a memorable one for everyone involved.

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About the author: Otilia Drăgan
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Otilia believes that if it’s eco, green, or groundbreaking, people should know about it (especially if it's got wheels or wings). Working in online media for over five years, she's gained a deeper perspective on how people everywhere can inspire each other.
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