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Watch soldiers leap into Lake Lanier during this annual U.S. Army event
Ranger water jump 2023 preview
A spectator watches as a parachuting soldier lands closer to the beach at War Hill Park during the U.S. Army 5th Ranger Training Battalion's 2022 water jump event. File photo.

A lakeside park in Dawson County will once again host a time-honored tradition for the U.S. Army’s 5th Ranger Training Battalion.

This story continues below.

Parachute-clad soldiers will jump from UH-60 Black Hawk helicopters into Lake Lanier as part of an annual water landing exercise at War Hill Park on Thursday, May 4 starting at 9 a.m., according to an updated May 2 post from the battalion's Facebook page. 

The water jump event is a part of the soldiers’ time at Ranger School. Training starts during the “Benning Phase” at Columbus’ Fort Benning. Qualifying soldiers then go on to the second “Mountain Phase” at the Dahlonega area’s Camp Frank D. Merrill, followed by the third “Swamp Phase” at Florida’s Eglin Air Force Base. 

Civilian and military spectators alike will set up along the main beach area before the jump in order to catch key views of the soldiers’ water landings. 

After the event starts, helicopters will take turns launching from the boat ramp parking lot, looping away from the area before flying straight over the lake. 

Soldiers will jump out of the helicopters from heights of more than 1,000 feet, relying on 

their parachutes, the wind and colorful flares from boats below to direct their movements. 

The boats will meet the descending soldiers after they’ve landed in the water. 

Stay tuned for more DCN reporting on this annual lakeside gathering.