WEST POINT LAKE – West Overlook was a crowded place from mid-morning to early afternoon on Friday as friends, family and relatives of U.S. Army soldiers gathered to view Paratroopers jump over West Point Lake.
Soldiers from the 507th Infantry Regiment at Fort Benning jumped from helicopters into the deep water portion of the lake east of Anderson Park.
“It’s my baby!” screamed a excited mom as her son slowly descended towards a splash.
The training exercise was well coordinated. The helicopters took eight paratroopers at a time and headed for a drop zone where rubber dinghies were circling the area where the parachute soldiers safely descended. The guys in the boats went to the docks to pick them up.
About 80 soldiers participated. Some were in helicopters and flew north along the Chattahoochee River from Fort Benning. Others arrived by military bus.
The road through the top of the dam, the power station road and Anderson Park were closed during the training exercise. West Overlook remained open and provided a great viewing location, especially for those with binoculars and long-lens cameras.
West Point Lake was chosen for this one-day training exercise because it provides a large area for a safe landing in the water and adequate land areas for mustering purposes.
The 507th Regiment is with the US Army Infantry School at Fort Benning. He is part of the Airborne Training Brigade and Rangers, which includes the Army Basic Airborne School, Jumpmaster School, Pathfinder School, and the Silver Wings Command Exhibition Parachute Team. .
At the height of World War II, the 507th Regiment was formed at Fort Benning in July 1942 and fought on D-Day, the Battle of the Bulge and an airborne crossing of the Rhine to Germany in 1945.