Chatham County supports water jump exercise with Fort Bragg special operations soldiers

Pittsboro, NC – On August 20, 2021, Chatham County emergency responders partnered with several other local and state agencies to support a jump exercise at Jordan Lake with US Army Special Operations Command 95th Civil Affairs Brigade (Airborne) of Fort Bragg.  

Photos Courtesy of CPL Brittney VerBerkmoes, 95th Civil Affairs Brigade

Seventy-one Soldiers loaded onto CASA C-212 aircraft, parachuted into Jordan Lake, and floated until they were “rescued” by local partner agencies. Several crews from water rescue teams awaited the Soldiers’ arrival in boats, pulled them on board, and delivered them to shore.

The 95th Civil Affairs Brigade requested Chatham County to support the training exercise, and Chatham County Emergency Management coordinated all public safety participants:

  • Chatham County Emergency Management
  • Chatham County Emergency Communications
  • Chatham County Community Emergency Response Team (CERT)
  • Chatham County Sheriff’s Office
  • North Chatham Fire Department
  • Cary Fire Department
  • Apex Fire Department
  • Alamance County Rescue Squad
  • South Orange Rescue Squad
  • NC Wildlife Resources Commission
  • US Coast Guard Auxiliary – Jordan Lake Flotilla

The purpose of the exercise is for soldiers to build proficiency jumping into different environments, while local agencies gain water rescue experience.

“Training experiences like this jump exercise are invaluable to maintaining our preparedness,” said Chatham County Emergency Management Director Steve Newton. “Besides contributing to our military’s readiness, we were able to demonstrate our region’s ability to manage a dynamic, multi-discipline, multi-agency response on the water.”

“As a Civil Affairs unit, it is critical to our mission to build relationships with local agencies, and I am grateful for their preparation and participation in the exercise,” said MAJ Randall Summerhill, Brigade Engineer with the 95th Civil Affairs Brigade. “I was amazed at the ease of communication with our partnering first responders, their capabilities, and professionalism.”  

Newton added that the success of this exercise could lead to additional opportunities to receive hands-on training. “Because our teams are so proficient, I expect that we will continue to receive requests to support these and other future training missions,” said Newton.

More information about Chatham County Emergency Operations can be found on the County website.

More information about the 95th Civil Affairs Brigade can be found on the US Army Special Operations Command website.