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JBLM Parachute riggers work toward certification on MC-6 system

Sgt. Memory E. Payne Sgt. Drew Oliver, a parachute rigger with 201st BfSB., is laying out the Maneuverable Canopy-6 during the two-week-long pack- and-process class.

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In a warehouse on Joint Base Lewis McChord, parachute riggers from the 201st Battle-field Surveillance Brigade worked at four long tables with the Army's newest parachute system spread out in front of them.

The Maneuverable Canopy-6, part of the Advanced Tactical Parachute System and used by the Army since 2002, is the main training tool for the two-week pack-and-process class.

For riggers from the 201st BfSB, the MC-6 is a new system, on which they must certify to keep the brigade mission ready.

"The MC-6 provides more maneuverability, a softer landing and lowers injuries," said Sgt. 1st Class Franz Tovar, a 201st BfSB platoon sergeant.

"I have been around the MC-6 for about two years at my last unit, and I love the new system a lot more," Spc. Jacob Speakman, a 201st BfSB rigger said.

The training for riggers goes beyond PowerPoint slides and manuals. Riggers have to learn everything about their parachutes through repetition and hands-on training.

"We pack the chutes about 25 times a day, in order to become proficient," rigger Sgt. Drew Oliver said.

Learning a new system takes dedication and attention to every detail.

"It is challenging; this is the first time I have packed the MC-6 parachutes," rigger Spc. Brian Brown said. The next step in the 201st Riggers Training is to test their packing skills out by jump-ing out of a C-17 with the parachutes that they packed.

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