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The Military Freefall Parachutist Badge is a military badge of the United States Army and United States Air Force awarded to qualified U.S. Army and U.S. Air Force personnel as high altitude parachute specialists. It also is called HALO (High Altitude Low Opening) Wings
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The United States Army Special Forces, known as the Green Berets because of their distinctive service headgear, are a special operations force tasked with five primary missions: unconventional warfare (the original and most important mission of Special Forces), foreign internal defense, special reconnaissance, direct action, and counter-terrorism. The first two emphasize language, cultural, and training skills in working with foreign troops. Other duties include combat search and rescue (CSAR), counter-narcotics, counter-proliferation, hostage rescue, humanitarian assistance, humanitarian demining, information operations, peacekeeping, psychological operations, security assistance, and manhunts; other components of the United States Special Operations Command (USSOCOM) or other U.S. government activities may also specialize in these secondary areas.
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High-altitude military parachuting (or military free fall (MFF)) is a method of delivering military personnel, military equipment, and other military supplies from a transport aircraft at a high altitude via free-fall parachute insertion. Two techniques are used: HALO (high altitude – low opening) and HAHO (high altitude – high opening). In the HALO technique, the parachutist opens his parachute at a low altitude after free-falling for a period of time, while in the HAHO technique, the parachutist opens his parachute at a high altitude just a few seconds after jumping from the aircraft. Military HALO techniques date back to 1960, while in recent years, the HALO technique has been practiced by civilians as a form of skydiving. In military operations, HALO is used for delivering equipment, supplies, or personnel, while HAHO is generally used only for personnel. In typical HALO/HAHO insertions the troops jump from altitudes between 15,000 feet (4,600 m) and 35,000 feet (11,000 m).
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