Troopers Apply Indoor Skydiving Training 10K Feet Up - kcentv.com - KCEN HD - Waco, Temple, and Killeen

Troopers Apply Indoor Skydiving Training 10K Feet Up

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Last month, troopers with Fort Hood's long range surveillance team practiced skydiving indoors, and Monday, they put their skills to the test from 10 thousand feet up.

One by one, his comrades jump out of a Chinook, then Staff Sergeant Adam Davila goes and watches the aircraft disappear above him.

As he glides through the air with a ruck sack in tow, he's positioning his arms and legs to control where he goes.

Then he pulls out his shoot and celebrates with a jubilant, "Yeah!"

This is his first military free-fall since his team trained at iFLY Indoor Skydiving in Austin a month ago.

"The ruck sack catches air and just starts twisting you around, it twists you left and I just counter to the right, and that's what the wind tunnel helps us train for," said Davila.

Staff Sergeant Tyler Holt also trained indoors before this, his first jump in a year.

"That time in the first session in the wind tunnel, where I got re-familiarized with flying, it would have been up there," said Holt.

But at iFLY, trainers were right by his side to guide him, then review his technique via video monitor.

"So it was kind of second nature once I got on this bird and jumped," said Holt.

Some of the body positioning the troopers practiced at iFLY include how to move forward and how to move backward, like if you put your hands forward and bend your legs, you'll move backward, but if you pull them in and straighten your legs, you'll go forward.

Lieutenant Colonel John Cogbill said, "Practice makes perfect, so I think guys are just more comfortable controlling their bodies at terminal velocity, getting a good stable body position."

It's all about being at the top of their game whenever duty calls, ready to get the drop on the enemy.

"And that's why the jumps, the iFLY, all of that put together just makes us more valuable and a better asset to the corps," Davila said.

The team plans to use the wind tunnel before each quarterly free fall, saving Fort Hood thousands of dollars in fuel costs.

It also gives the troopers several minutes of continuous fly time, versus the mere 70 seconds they spend freefalling from an aircraft.

Reporter: Sophia Stamas sstamas@kcentv.com

Photographer: Chris Buford cbuford@kcentv.com

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