When the Army drops Humvees from the back of a C-130, parachutes soften the landing. The spectacle is dramatic. When a soldier sabotages the parachute cables, the Humvees fall faster. They hit the ground hard. And now one soldier has been found guilty of cutting the cables on three Humvees. The loss cost the Army $660,000.
“A court martial on Wednesday convicted Sergeant John T. Skipper, 29, of three counts of destroying military property and one of lying during the official criminal investigation into the incident in Germany in April 2016,” The Daily Mail writes. Skipper was part of the 91st Cavalry Regiment (Airborne) in Grafenwoehr, Germany, part of the 173rd Airborne Brigade Combat Team.
The vehicles were dropped out the back of C-130 Hercules in Germany in 2016. Three fell to the ground without slowing down.
It is unclear why Skipper cut their chords. He was in charge of the rigging. “The men are soon heard whooping, laughing hysterically and shouting ‘Yeeessss’ as the first Humvee comes loose and crashes to the ground and breaking apart,” DM notes.
The laughter continued as the others fell.
“To airdrop a Humvee, the vehicles are loaded onto metal pallets, sometimes with the use of a crane,” TacAirNet writes.
“Three G-11B parachutes (with a diameter of 100ft apiece, and a weight of 275 lbs are strapped to the Humvees, while honeycombed pads and pieces of lightweight wood are stacked underneath the vehicles to absorb the shock of a normal landing.”
“When in the air, the loadmaster will open the C-130’s rear cargo door when pilots slow down the aircraft to approximately 160mph, releasing a smaller drogue chute attached to the vehicle pallet.”
“The drag of the drogue chute yanks the Humvee out of the aircraft and into the sky, its G-11Bs deploying soon afterwards for a presumably comfortable float down to Earth.”
For his handiwork, Skipper is being demoted and discharged.