Vital equipment helps jumpers during Operation Toy Drop
BY JELIA HEPNER
Hundreds of Soldiers trained with paramount equipment called the Airborne Caution Light (ACL) 500 series during this year’s Randy Oler Memorial Operation Toy Drop.
At this event, multiple airborne jumps were performed, in which this light module technology helped jumpmasters communicate not only verbally, but also visually with paratroopers ground training. During the light module displays three different colors that corresponds with various commands: red, amber and green.
“The red tells jumpers not to exit, amber light means 30 seconds out and a green means for Soldiers to go,” said Chad Haver, founder of Combat Defense Systems (CDS). “This equipment is attached on or near the mock doors.”
This equipment is a major key to airborne training because there is a light system in the aircraft that paratroopers have to keep watch before jumping.
Before jumpers get to the “ready stage”, they have a 20-minute warning, 10-minute warning and a 6-minute warning. These warnings are followed immediately with the command to “get ready” from a jumpmaster.
Once troopers get the command of get ready, this is when training with the ACL equipment will take effect. Wind and noise is a big factor to why paratroopers may have a difficult time hearing commands, which leads to jumpmaster giving commands by arms and hand signals. The lights on the aircraft help everyone communicate better with fewer complications.
“This gives our troops a visual when jumping instead of just hearing the commands from the jumpmaster,” Haver said.
Once troopers get ready, they will start to follow the commands of the jumpmaster, along with the colors displayed on the aircraft. This is when the displayed lights change colors that line up with the commands of the jumpmasters comes in full effect.
This ACL-500 series is wireless and portable; it also contains one controller and two, three or four lights with every kit.
“We like the equipment because it does not only help the jumpers, but it also helps the jumpermaster teams,” said Master Sgt. Hermin Sarantes, U.S Army Civil Affairs and Psychological Operations Command (Airborne). ”
Haver’s store, CDS, is located off post, at 710 N. Reilly Rd., right outside the Reilly Road Gate where you can see or purchase the ACL-500 series, other technologies, helmets or even OCP uniforms. You can also visit www.combatdefense. systems.
Contributed photos by Combat Defense Systems
The ACL-500 series is a new technology, co-created by CDS and Core Survival, used to communicate between jumpmasters and those jumping while training on the ground at the mock doors. These devices mimic the exercises performed on the aircraft prior to jumpers exiting.