CLAY NATIONAL GUARD CENTER, Marietta, Georgia, July 16, 2013, By SGT Sharon Maloney - The 4th Battalion, 1st Brigade, rose to new heights as it ran its first Basic Rappelling class. A weekend in Toccoa, Georgia was put to good use as 14 troopers were instructed by MSG Jarrard and MSG Moorhead on rappelling equipment, safety, knots, anchor points, and rappelling commands. The troopers also demonstrated their newly acquired skills with qualifying rappels off the 40-foot Toccoa rappel tower.
4th Battalion also conducted a Low Angle Extraction course at the Cleveland training area in May. This course, also taught by MSG Jarrard and MSG Moorhead, instructed GSDF members how to safely extract an individual up a low angle slope. The course included the equipment required for low angle extraction, knots, safety, proper use of a litter, anchor point selection, haul lines, low angle descent and assent, selection of the low angle extraction team, and how to select low angle descent lanes. These skills were put to good use during a field exercise on Mount Yonah during the unit’s June drill.
Having access to this type of hands-on field training is very advantageous when it comes to the terrain the Georgia State Defense Force encounters when called to duty in the mountains. It ensures troops have the skills, confidence, and knowledge required to perform search and rescue missions.
Story and photos by SGT Sharon Maloney, 4th Battalion, 1st Brigade, UPAR