Tactical Tailor

XVIII Airborne Corps Jumping T-11 Parachute Again

The US Army’s XVIII Airborne Corps is once again jumping the T-11 advanced tactical parachute system after a parachute related fatality in June of last year caused a suspension of use. As you can see, The T-11 is cruciform in shape, as opposed to a circle like the T-10. This means a larger surface area and diameter and a greater weight limit (400 lbs). This new canopy also results in a slower rate of descent to 19 feet per second vice the 22 feet of the T-10. Combine these features and you get a lower risk of jump-related injuries.

To signal its return to operational use, on March 22nd, Corps leadership, including commander LTG Frank Helmick conducted an airborne operation on Fort Bragg’s Normandy Drop Zone. Prior to the jump, all jumpers received New Equipment Training on the chute.

“It is important for the leadership to jump this parachute first,” said LTG Helmick. “We know that this is a safe parachute. Most of us have jumped this parachute before. As leaders, we are supposed to lead the way, and as such, we have been training to ensure that we transition our parachuting capabilities in a very deliberate manner.”

While conventional forces at Bragg had stopped using the T-11, the US Army Airborne school at Fort Benning had continued to train students in its use.

“The T-11 parachute is the first revolutionary change in tactical parachutes in more than 51 years,” said LTC John Ring, director of operations, XVIII Abn Corps. “It’s the first static line parachute where you actually experience freefall for a period of time. [With] every other static line parachute that we jump, you are tied to the airplane all the way until the parachute is completely deployed.”

Not only did the jumpers receive additional training but so did Jumpmasters and Riggers. For example, Rigger training lasted up to eight days.

“There has been a lot of preparation for this jump,” said CW4 Kelvin Thompson, senior airdrop systems technician, 82nd Sustainment Brigade, XVIII Abn Corps. “Riggers have been training and packing this system since February.” LTG Helmick commented, “There is no room for error in the parachute rigger community and I am confident that each of them live by their motto: ‘I will be sure always.'”


7 Responses to “XVIII Airborne Corps Jumping T-11 Parachute Again”

  1. Jason says:

    22 ft/sec is faster than 19 ft/sec

  2. mike says:

    Luckily, that’s obvious and reinforces the point he was making!

  3. Paul Weaver says:

    Almost makes me wish I was still jumping.


  4. maresdesign says:

    I remember when being a Paratrooper meant you expected a rough landing.

    • Paul Weaver says:

      Yep – the 5 points of performance actually included #4B – Begin chanting “F*** this is gonna hurt, f*** this is gonna hurt” until you reach the ground, then progress immediately into the 5th point of performance – Land.