JUMP

The first training seminar for jumpmasters was held from July to September 1960 at the Air Force site in Cottbus. Highly qualified specialists such as Comrade Gerhard Leutert, who served for many years in the airborne infantry service, emerged from this course. However, the results of the first year of training were hardly satisfactory. An inspection by superiors was not conducted during this year.

There was some difficulty in recruiting for this first battalion. Originally, 169 soldiers were selected from the entire MB V, primarily from the 1st and 8th MSD (motorized infantry division) and the 9th PD (tank division) and stationed in Prora. During the course of the year, these soldiers were assessed and up to 50% replaced by other personnel  mainly on medical grounds.

Following the first aeromedical examination, the soldiers who were fit to jump, were initially pooled in a parachute company, the then 3rd company. Two further companies were set up with soldiers unfit for jumping. In the escort battery (BB), the soldiers fit for jumping were dealt with in a similar fashion.

The first exercise involving MSB-5 was carried out at the beginning of November 1960 during an MB 5 manoeuvre. One of the battalion’s units was successfully deployed as a tactical parachute unit. Over the course of the following year, 1961, the troops were consolidated and steadily progressed towards a target-oriented training. The battalion carried out the first parachute jumps at Barth airfield in September 1961, jumping from an IL-14 aircraft and using the Soviet parachute systems PD-47 and the first GDR development, the RS-1, the so-called Bomber. From 28 September until 10 October 1961, one MSB-5 company took part in a command/staff exercise with Polish forces near Stettin.