Public Affairs Broadcast Specialist Sergeant King

2009 EPISODE 10 of 12: HELOCAST-SWIM

With a 60-pound rucksack on their backs, Soldiers will perform a Helocast, then swim to the shore.

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2009 EPISODE 10 of 12: HELOCAST-SWIM

With a 60-pound rucksack on their backs, Soldiers will perform a Helocast, then swim to the shore.

49 hours into the event, only 24 of the original 49 competitors are left. These Rangers have covered more than 50 miles with 60 pounds on their backs. They have traversed one of the toughest obstacle courses in the military, mastered four different ranges, operating ten different weapon systems at targets up to 800 meters away. All of this on minimal sleep and nutrition. By the end of the event each one of these competitors will have lost at least 12 pounds in less than three days. Day three: eleven hours left and four events to go, the Rangers can see the finish line. The next event, the Helocast. The Rangers will board a Blackhawk helicopter with their poncho raft, fly to Victory Pond, execute a Helocast and then swim to shore.
SFC Gerald L. Nelson: "For the competition, what you'll see is, they'll build a two-man poncho raft. Which is nothing more than their rucksack, weapons, everything they want to at least keep dry as they insert into the water. A lot of times they'll drop those guys miles off shore and they'll swim into shore. They jump out of the helicopter over the insertion point there, and their time starts then and ends once they get out of the water to the finish line. That's another method of insertion for Rangers."
The Helocast is scored in two parts, and it all starts at Mount Mckenna. First, the Rangers are timed in the construction of their poncho rafts; the second time comes from the Helocast swim to shore. Combining the two times gives them their total points. Currently, Team 21, Stackpole and Simms still hold a slim lead over the past champions, Team 22, Zajkowski and Master Jenkins.
Team 22 climbs onto the bird headed for Victory Pond and the Helocast. Stackpole and Simms posted the fastest time in the raft build. Turning up the pressure on Zajkowski and Jenkins. They will need to push up their effort in the Helocast just to stay within striking distance.
Once they hit the water, the clock will start; and it won't stop until they pass the finish line. These two Rangers will gut it out one more time. Because the Ranger motto is "Rangers lead the way."
SFC Gerald L. Nelson: "These guys are feeling the pain right now; this is three days of nonstop, continuous moving, very little sleep, very little food, and a lot of aches and pains that they're feeling right now. What this is, though, is that intestinal fortitude to fight on to the Ranger objective and complete the mission. That's what you're seeing right now."
Up to now, Team 21 has run nearly a flawless competition. As Stackpole and Simms lift off, they have to think about what lies ahead of them, the final events of day three. Can they maintain their edge under the constant pressure of Zajkowski and Jenkins, two past winners that are just lying in wait for just the slightest of mistakes by Team 21. As they approach the target area at 110 miles-per-hour, the Blackhawk will slow into a complete hover over the buoys. Stackpole and Simms watch as the Crew Chief for the command to deploy. Twenty to twenty-five feet off the water, the Rangers will push out their poncho raft and jump. They will need to cover the 500 meters to shore as fast as they can with their poncho raft in tow.
Up to now, Team 21 has run nearly a flawless competition. As Stackpole and Simms lift off, they have to think about what lies ahead of them, the final events of day three. Can they maintain their edge under the constant pressure of Zajkowski and Jenkins, two past winners that are just lying in wait for just the slightest of mistakes by Team 21. As they approach the target area at 110 miles-per-hour, the Blackhawk will slow into a complete hover over the buoys. Stackpole and Simms watch as the Crew Chief for the command to deploy. Twenty to twenty-five feet off the water, the Rangers will push out their poncho raft and jump. They will need to cover the 500 meters to shore as fast as they can with their poncho raft in tow.
Stackpole and Simms completed the Helocast with the fastest time of all. But just seconds faster than the next five finishers. Allowing them to maintain their lead over Zajkowski and Jenkins.
Next up on BRC 2009. With 51 hours complete, the Rangers have three more events to go. Now they will face everyone's fear of heights. The log walk, cable crossing, and a 90-foot tower and a slide for life. The Water Confidence Course.
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