By Sgt. 1st Class Charles Crail | 10th Special Forces Group (Airborne) Public Affairs Office
Editor’s note: The full names and identifications of those serving in the 10th Special Forces Group (Airborne) are withheld due to safety and security of the Soldiers and their Families.
FORT CARSON, Colo. — Jumping from an aircraft in flight requires the utmost confidence in equipment. However, that same equipment could pose serious risk when deliberately parachuting into a body of water. For members of 10th Special Forces Group (Airborne), this is where training takes over.
Wet Silk training prepares paratroopers and Green Berets with the skills and confidence needed to ensure a deliberate water landing in order for it to remain as safe as parachuting itself.
Conducted at Ivy Physical Fitness Center, Wet Silk training involves Soldiers entering the pool under a submerged parachute canopy. The techniques taught are how to create an air pocket under the submerged canopy and then how to navigate a safe exit from the submerged environment.
“The first time I slid under the canopy, I honestly thought I would not get out,” said a junior Soldier who attended the training for the first time. “The rescue divers pulled me free and the instructors sent me right back into the pool.”
The overall goal of the training is certification of each paratrooper for waterborne operations. More importantly, however, is that the training teaches the Soldier to remain calm in an unnatural environment or situation and use their training to turn uncertainty into a confident and safe procedure.
“Knowing what to expect I was able to more easily find the center vent on the canopy and complete the training on the second try,” he continued.
10th SFG(A) trains for deliberate water landings on a regular basis. As the premier high altitude and cold weather special operations force, 10th SFG(A) maintains dive qualified teams capable of infiltrating by coastlines and bodies of water in the European theater.