On the advice of Grimmie, I’m re-posting this story in the History Forum. My original post was in reply to AlexZander’s post announcing his exciting plans to organize a jump expedition to the South Pole. If he is able to find the right people and the right support, his will be a great story to tell. In the 80’s, I had a great opportunity to go to Antarctica and make some jumps. My story of jumping in Antarctica goes like this… I joined the U.S. Navy in 1981 and agreed to the standard 4 year hitch. After Boot Camp and initial training in aviation electrical systems, I was very fortunate to be assigned to Antarctic Development Squadron 6, (VXE-6). VXE-6 supported the National Science Foundation by flying scientific research and station supply missions around the continent in the LC-130’s. Short distance science hops were conducted in the H-1 Twin Huey’s. Our home port was Naval Air Station, Point Mugu, CA. Those orders were probably some of the best Sea Duty orders a person could get. Roughly 8 months was spent training at Point Mugu…Fun in the Sun, while the other 4 months were spent “On The Ice” at McMurdo Station, Antarctica. Our deployment schedule was solid since our work could only be done during the “summer” months of October to mid February when we had 24 hours of daylight and reasonable temperatures to operate in. Even though I had close to 400 jumps, a B License and a riggers ticket, I had to wait until I was promoted to 3rd Class Petty Officer to join our squadron’s Para-Rescue Team. By the way, I learned to skydive from the great people of the Osprey Sport Parachute Club in Kalispell, Montana. Dick Steinky (Stinky), Fred Sand and Dave Tousey. Wonderful people who eventually purchaced land and created Lost Prairie. Once I was authorized to join the team, and knowing the military’s mind set of training from the bottom up no matter what a person’s qualifications might be, I was concerned I may have to go through the standard 5 static line jumps etc. before being allowed to make freefall jumps. Fortunately, we had Master Chief John Blankenship as our Para-Rescue Team leader. Master Chief Blankenship also had a B License and about 300 jumps. I don’t remember him doing much civilian jumping, but he certainly knew the business of parachute training and was a good skydiver. After a brief visit in his office, he told me with no uncertainty I could jump my own gear and help with team rigging duties right away. Wow! Great news! In fact, after the first day of making a few jumps at Pt. Mugu, he had me working my way into jump mastering static line and free fall jumpers from the Huey’s and the C-130’s. Good times. Most of the jumpers on the 1983 Para-Rescue Team were on student status. Static line jumps, dummy ripcord pulls, hop and pops mainly. A few of the guys made it to free fall and 15 to 20 second delays. However, along with J. Blankenship was our Squadron’s Flight Surgeon, Doctor Glenn Bacon (LT). Doc Bacon earned his A License by completing the AFF course at Perris Valley prior to our 1983 deployment. We made many memorable jumps from the ski equipped LC-130's and twin "Hueys". After putting out sticks of a dozen or so static line and freefall jumpers from 3,500, J. Blankenship, Doc Bacon and I would get a pass from 12,500 out of the C-130 for some “Three Man Stars” in Antarctica! What a treat! Those jumps were likely the first RW jumps in Antarctica. On other jump operations, we would do hovering exits out of the Hueys from 7,500 with people leaving from both skids! So cool! Of course, we had to make to obligatory 1,500 static line training jump out of the C-130’s on T-10's. Those jumps were nail biters for this Osprey trained jumper. The images here are photocopies of print film from that era, hence the poor quality. The PC's used in these photos were from our squadron's parachute equipment inventory. Thankfully, they let me use my "more up to date" rig. My main was a 220 ft^2 Spirit (a Comet knock off) with Super 22 foot Lopo...possibly made by National. The harness/container was a Northern Light, two pin reserve, belly band hand deployed main. I believe the Northern Light was an early model of today's Infinity. That rig was, quite possibly, the first piggyback rig and square parachute used in Antarctica. I can't prove it, but civilian aviation activity in the Antarctic prior to the 1990's was minimal while skydiving on "The Ice" in the early 80's was most likely non-existent. Military parachute equipment at that time may have started to move towards ram air parachutes for Special Operations, but any cold weather training would have been done in more accessible areas like Canada or Alaska. Since this post started with the idea of jumping at the South Pole, I should mention there was a rumor on one of our deployments we would get the chance to jump at South Pole Station…on New Years Eve no less, but the request was disapproved by “Upper Management”. I heard of one Para Rescue Team making a jump at the South Pole a few years before my time and I understand it was a near disaster due to high winds both aloft and on the surface. Round T-10’s, high winds and a 10,000 foot MSL drop zone don’t fit into anyone’s definition of a “fun jump”. A famous T-Shirt from the South Pole Station general store said it all…”Ski the South Pole….1/2 inch of powder…..10,000 feet of base”.