The U.S. military uses Humvees manufactured by AM General in numerous ways -- even dropping them from the sky with parachutes.
A video recently released by the Air Force shows eight Humvees being dropped by a plane from a height of 5,000 feet to a drop zone at Fort Bragg, N.C. The Humvees, also called high mobility multipurpose wheeled vehicles, are manufactured at AM General's Mishawaka plant.
A C-17 Globemaster plane was used for the airdrop, which was conducted in late May by the 16th Airlift Squadron, part of the 437th Airlift Wing at Joint Base Charleston in South Carolina. The wing has the one of the largest C-17 fleets in the Air Force and about 1,900 personnel.
The video shows the Humvees -- each with three parachutes -- in metal pallets that slide out the back of the plane. Cameras were strapped to the vehicles to show them successfully landing.
The drop was part of a larger annual exercise called Crescent Reach 2016, which tested the ability of the Joint Base to mobilize quickly in response to a crisis abroad. Among other things, the weeklong exercise included the simulated launch of a large aircraft formation with the deployment of airmen and cargo.
Ten C-17s were used along with about 100 passengers and 40 tons of equipment in the mobility part of the exercise. Marvin Krause, a spokesman for the Joint Base, said the airdrop of Humvees is among a variety of ways that C-17s are used across the globe to assist the U.S. Global Response Force.
"This is only one aspect of what they do as an airlift squadron," he said. "On any given day, Joint Base Charleston's C-17s are delivering humanitarian aid, supporting war fighters and saving lives through the delivery of medical equipment. Their mission is to provide rapid, global mobility at the right place and the right time."
Chris Vanslager, executive vice president of U.S. programs for AM General, said in an email that Humvees "have the flexibility to be transported rapidly worldwide using a multitude of methods," including airdrops from cargo aircraft "into some of the most difficult and contested areas in the world."
Not all airdrop exercises with Humvees, however, have been successful.
In an exercise conducted in April by the U.S. Army at Sabre Junction 2016 in Germany -- an annual training event with militaries from several countries -- three Humvees were destroyed because of rigging problems with parachutes.