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Slideshow: Annual Ranger water jump brings lake communities together
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A 5th Ranger Training Battalion members lands in Lake Lanier Wednesday, May 9, 2018, during the training battalion from Camp Merrill in Dahlonega's annual water jump from War Hill Park in Dawson County. - photo by Scott Rogers

It has become a local tradition each May for spectators to line the beach at War Hill Park in Dawson County to watch the 5th Ranger Training Battalion soar overhead in helicopters and parachute into the lake below.  

One by one on Wednesday, 140 Army Rangers suited up, ready to jump out of UH-60 Black Hawks hovering 1,500 feet above Lake Lanier.

Every year the Army Rangers at Camp Merrill in Dahlonega complete a water jump training drill to practice and strengthen their airborne proficiency. With 70 percent of the world covered in water, the water jump is an important training exercise in airborne infiltration. 

This is the eighth year the Rangers have organized the jump at Lake Lanier. 

The coordinated mission is a collaborative effort between the Rangers and local agencies from Dawson, Hall and Forsyth counties.  

Jessica Brown/Dawson County News

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