DELAND, Florida — A military freefall parachuting team has a better reason to conquer Mount Everest than "because it's there."
The 12-member team, assembled by Complete Parachute Solutions of DeLand, will attempt a world record for the highest-elevation tactical military freefall parachute landing. But it's more than a record. It's validation.
"When CPS says we've landed our parachutes at over 20,000 feet, that means we've done it," said Johnny Rogers, the company's vice president.
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U.S. Air Force Courtesy Photo/Edited by Tech. Sgt. Gregory Brook
It isn’t often that I say “Wow” when I look at a photo. I did when I saw this one, of an Air Force pararescueman training in Afghanistan. I can’t believe I used to go skiing in those mountains when I was a teenager.
The military’s elite special operations forces are facing a troubling and deadly rise in the number of parachute deaths that occur during training. According to Military Times, which broke the story, 21 special operations forces have died while performing high-risk parachute training since 2004.