Fort Campbell holds airborne training - wistv.com - Columbia, South Carolina

Fort Campbell holds airborne training

FORT CAMPBELL, KY (WSMV) -

There's not much that can get the adrenaline pumping quite like parachuting from a plane. That's exactly what the Pathfinders of Fort Campbell did Wednesday afternoon during a historic training.

"The job of the Pathfinder is that we're supposed to be ahead of the rest of the division," said Staff Sgt. Brendan Dougherty. "We're there to light the way for the following forces to bring more guns and more people."

Wednesday afternoon, soldiers suited up at Fort Campbell ready to take the skies. They were jumping from aircrafts and parachuting down to keep their skills sharp.

"That can get us further behind enemy lines," said Dougherty. "We can actually set up marking sites for planes that are coming in."

"Pretty exciting when you realize you're at 1,500 feet," said Capt. Jonathan Bate. "You look out and see the ground below. It's pretty much a thrill."

As parachutes dotted the sky over post, Wednesday became a historic day for the Pathfinders.

"This is our final day on Airborne status," said Bate. "Yes, this will be our last jump for a while. There's a heritage going back to World War II during the D-Day jumps. It goes far back to that time. It is bittersweet for this to be our last jump."

Pathfinder officials said an airborne status all depends on the needs of the Army.

"It's an upsetting kind of thing," said Sgt. Andrew McQuade. "You do take that pride with you, especially knowing the history of the Pathfinder company."

The Pathfinders are holding out hope one day they'll be able to suit up again and take to the skies.

"The 101st chain of command is actively working to restore our airborne slot," said Bate. "We expect to be able to jump again at some point."

Copyright 2013 WSMV (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.

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