The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Louisville District park rangers worked with the Kentucky Fish and Wildlife Department to safely cordon off an area within Green River Lake for Kentucky National Guard Soldiers to parachute, Aug. 5, 2023, in Campbellsville, Kentucky.
“The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers along with Campbellsville Fire and Rescue and Kentucky Fish and Wildlife have been extremely accommodating in assisting us with ensuring the safety of our paratroopers,” said U.S. Army Sgt. 1st Class Raymond Lunger, 20th Special Forces Group Military Intelligence Company readiness NCO and jumpmaster. “Working with the Army Corps of Engineers has been great. They have been extremely helpful and go out of their way to ensure we are taken care of for the airborne operation.”
The Kentucky National Guard chose Green River Lake to conduct a deliberate water jump because the size of the water area that is available to parachute is sufficient to safely accommodate paratroopers and their parachutes. Additionally, the available space at boat ramp one was able to accommodate the types of boats required for the operation. With the exception of 2022, the Kentucky National Guard has been parachuting into Green River Lake since 2011.
“The National Guard training day at Green River Lake is an event where the Kentucky National Guard, Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources, Campbellsville Fire-Rescue, Kentucky Department of Parks, and USACE come together to ensure safe and successful training occurs,” said Lori Brewster, Green River Lake park manager. “It turns into a community event because it is publicized and members from the local community come out, set up on the dam or the visitor center point to watch the guardsman drop into the lake.”
To ensure a safe event for everyone, USACE park rangers ensured the jump area was clear of obstacles, coordinated communication between participating agencies and provided traffic control on the dam. During the jumps, park rangers directed boaters outside of the ‘drop zone’ and assisted lake patrons and spectators.
“It’s just an enjoyable day and a joint cooperation between many agencies to make it happen,” Brewster said.