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Soldiers parachute into Big Lake

By Bonney Bowman 7:58 PM August 6, 2014

Alaska paratroopers put their training to the test Wednesday, prepping for one of Mother Nature’s most challenging obstacles.

Water is a big threat to paratroopers. Their heavy gear and parachutes can pull them under, putting their lives at risk.

Around 200 U.S. Army soldiers jumped out of helicopters and into Big Lake.

It gave them a chance to learn lifesaving skills while showing how quickly they can jump into action.

“This unit hasn’t conducted a water jump in probably three years, so originally we planned about 15 minutes per pass,” said First Lt. George Hogg. “But before the boats are full, we’re getting out seven minutes per pass, so we’re going a lot faster than we thought.”

After the soldiers landed in the water, boat crews pulled them to safety.

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