Headquarters, Allied Rapid Reaction Corps (HQ ARRC) soldier Corporal Gemma Jones, age 29, jumped out of a plane this past Saturday to raise money for charity.
Participating in Fall for the Fallen, Jones jumped at the Army Parachute Association, Netheravon, Airfield Camp on Saturday afternoon, 28th September.
Fallen is a program recently developed to raise money for charities that support British veterans.
The program attracted 412 people, who signed up for the event, and promised to jump and raise money for charity, each representing one of the total number of British soldiers killed since the start of the Afghanistan conflict.
Prior to her jump this past weekend, Jones' first experience with parachuting was in 2003 in Canada. She did 6 jumps there during several military training exercises she took part in.
"I did it only because I wanted to have a new experience" said Jones. "I heard my father's stories (about) how great it was and I just wanted to try it. But after I finished my last jump I promised myself that I would never ever do it again."
But, 10 years later, she found herself plummeting towards the Earth..
Why did she do it?
"I (did) it for a good reason" she explained "I wanted to do something for charity and after I had some experience with organising a run for cancer in 2007 in Iraq, I just wanted to do something quick and easy this time. And this jump involves only me."
For Jones it was a big challenge. It was the first time that she has jumped tandem - and what was even more challenging, this was her first time jumping from the height of 12 000 feet.
Prior to this point, she had only jumped by herself, at a much lower height of 3 000 feet.
Ultimately her jump only lasted for about 10 seconds, but that 10 seconds made a huge difference, not only for Jones but also to for all of the people she was jumping for.
Luckily for Jones she had her entire family to support her Saturday, especially her 6-year-old son Brandon, who came to the event with her father.
"When I first told my son that I was going to jump out of the plane he just asked me why" said Jones. "So I told him that I'm doing it for charity, for people who need money. But then he asked me what would happen when I fell. I explained that I would have a big parachute to make a safe landing. And after hearing these explanations...he agreed I could jump."
Thus far, Jones has raised well over £500 pounds from this jump.
HQ ARRC is a NATO Rapid Deployment Corps headquarters, founded in 1992 in Germany, and headquartered in Gloucestershire since August 2010.
Although HQ ARRC's ‘framework nation' is the United Kingdom, comprising approximately 60% of the overall staff, the ARRC is fully multinational in nature and organization, with 15 Partner Nations contributing the remaining complement of personnel (Belgium, Canada, the Czech Republic, France, Denmark, Germany, Greece, Italy, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Spain, Turkey, and the United States).
HQ ARRC is now on stand-by for short-notice call-up and subsequent rapid deployment in support of any potential NATO Response Force (NRF) missions that may develop during 2013.
As an NRF Land Component Command, or LCC, the ARRC will essentially be in command of all land combat troops on the ground during an NRF deployment.
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