On Tuesday November 12, marines of the Royal Netherlands Marine Corps, embarked on the EU Naval Force (EU NAVFOR) Somalia Operation Atlanta flagship, HNLMS Johan de Witt, have executed a parachute jump exercise in the Gulf of Aden.
The marines are part of the Enhanced Boarding Element of HNLMS Johan de Witt and are able to carry out boarding operations in case of a counter piracy operation.
The para jump on water is a way of quickly deploying marines, anywhere and anytime, closely to a maritime unit in order to operate at and from the sea. If the marines are not on board, they can be flown in for a counter piracy operation. The para jump is a unique capacity to fight piracy, because there is no need for the warship to schedule a harbour visit to pick up the marines. They can carry on with their operational program, while the marines deploy through a para jump.
Marines of the Netherlands Defence Para School and Guardian Angels of the United States Air Force, also stationed in Djibouti, supported the para jump exercise. They jumped out of an American C130 aircraft of the Combined Joint Task Force Horn of Africa, stationed in Djibouti.
After two so-called “sticks” with a static line, several free fall jumpers jumped out of the craft, including a tandem jump. This method, where two persons jump together, is used to deploy for example an interpreter or a doctor, who is not a trained paratrooper, during a counter piracy operation.
Press Release, November 15, 2013; Image: US Navy