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Soldier Charged In Epic Humvee Free-Fall Captured In Viral Video
Last year, the internet was treated to a video of three Humvees plunging to their doom from a fleet of C-130s during an Army parachute jump in Germany. Despite the footage’s popularity, the only things we knew about the incident at the time were that it involved the 173rd Airborne Brigade and heads were definitely going to roll.
Now, we know that one of those heads belongs to Sgt. John Skipper of the 173rd’s 1st Battalion, 91st Cavalry Regiment. Skipper has been charged with destruction of government property and making a false official statement regarding his conduct during the incident, brigade spokesman Maj. Juan Martinez told Stars and Stripes on July 5.
If convicted, Skipper could face a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison and a dishonorable discharge. However, as Stars and Stripes reports, a recommendation on whether the case will proceed to court-martial is still pending. “Should this case progress, we will continue to release information consistent with Army policy,” Martinez said.
Does the punishment fit the crime? Well, for context: A Humvee can cost up to $220,000, has a curb weight of 5,200 lbs, and explodes like a watermelon when it hits the ground after falling hundreds of feet. We know this because on April 11, 2016, three Humvees were rolled out the backs of C-130 Hercules transports over a field in Hohenfels and slipped from their riggings as their parachutes deployed. Each vehicle was utterly destroyed.
— WTF Nation (@TheWTFNation) April 12, 2016
The jump was part of the annual Saber Junction training exercise, which in 2016 featured nearly 5,000 participants from 16 NATO and European nations. The Vicenza, Italy-based 173rd Airborne was the focus of that rotation, and the goal was to evaluate and certify the unit’s readiness to conduct unified land operations, “with an emphasis on tactical interoperability among the Allied and partner-nation forces,” according to the Army.
“The specific malfunctions that occurred on this day are under investigation,” Martinez said in an email to Army Times several days after the video of the free-falling Humvees surfaced on the internet shortly after the incident occured. “There were multiple rehearsals and inspections of the equipment prior to mission execution.”
The video may have added extra pressure on the Army to quickly identify the person or persons responsible: between Facebook and YouTube, the footage has been viewed more than three million times. Some of that popularity probably owes to the commentary accompanying the footage. Instead of shock, the falling Humvees elicit cheers and laughter from the filmmaker and his pals. “Burn in, baby!” one screams after the first Humvee falls.
As Stars and Stripes notes, the charges against Skipper suggest that human error, rather than an equipment malfunction, is to blame for the embarrassing — and costly — episode.
In addition to the Humvees, the C-130s dropped 150 supply bundles, vehicles, communications equipment, and indirect weapons systems. All floated safely to ground.
Hand grenades from the last major battle of the Revolutionary War have repeatedly scrambled bomb squads in Virginia's capital
In an uh-oh episode of historic proportions, hand grenades from the last major battle of the Revolutionary War recently and repeatedly scrambled bomb squads in Virginia's capital city.
Wait – they had hand grenades in the Revolutionary War? Indeed. Hollow iron balls, filled with black powder, outfitted with a fuse, then lit and thrown.
And more than two dozen have been sitting in cardboard boxes at the Department of Historic Resources, undetected for 30 years.
At least 4 American veterans among group arrested in Haiti with arsenal of weapons and tactical gear
At least four American veterans were among a group of eight men arrested by police in Haiti earlier this week for driving without license plates and possessing an arsenal of weaponry and tactical gear.
Police in Port-au-Prince arrested five Americans, two Serbians, and one Haitian man at a police checkpoint on Sunday, according to The Miami-Herald. The men told police they were on a "government mission" but did not specify for which government, according to The Herald.
They also told police that "their boss was going to call their boss," implying that someone high in Haiti's government would vouch for them and secure their release, Herald reporter Jacqueline Charles told NPR.
What they were actually doing or who they were potentially working for remains unclear. A State Department spokesperson told Task & Purpose they were aware that Haitian police arrested a "group of individuals, including some U.S. citizens," but declined to answer whether the men were employed by or operating under contract with the U.S. government.
White supremacist Coast Guard officer stockpiled firearms and hit list of Democrats for mass terror attack
A Coast Guard lieutenant arrested this week planned to "murder innocent civilians on a scale rarely seen in this country," according to a court filing requesting he be detained until his trial.
(Reuters Health) - Military service members who are at risk for suicide may be less likely to attempt to harm themselves when they receive supportive text messages, a U.S. study suggests.
The Army allegedly missed this soldier's stomach cancer for 4 years. His widow wants someone to answer for it
The widow of a soldier whose stomach cancer was allegedly overlooked by Army doctors for four years is mounting a medical malpractice lawsuit against the military, but due to a decades-old legal rule known as the Feres Doctrine, her case will likely be dismissed before it ever goes to trial.