Following an impressive parade of 5,000 Congolese troops through Leopoldville Nov 17 - to prove to the population and the United Nations command that his army was in full control - Colonel Mobutu staged the first official jump of his newly-formed unit of parachute troops.
LV Arrival of troops
SV Troops lined up
SV Moroccan Lieutenant gives instructions
SV Troops unload equipment from truck
LV Troops run in circle, exercising
LV Troops exercising on ground
SV Soldier puts on equipment
LV Troops lined up, wearing equipment
LV Troops march towards
BV Troops board plane
LV Plane about to take off
LV Plane passing over
LV Paratroops drop from plane
LV Parachutists come down
SV Parachutists about to land
SV Colonel Mobutu with officers watching
SV Parachutist walks after landing
SV Parachutists landing
LV Parachute on ground
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Background: Following an impressive parade of 5,000 Congolese troops through Leopoldville Nov 17 - to prove to the population and the United Nations command that his army was in full control - Colonel Mobutu staged the first official jump of his newly-formed unit of parachute troops.
At N'Gilim Airport, just outside the city, 40 parachutists - part of Mobutu's army reorganization scheme - lined up smartly before their Moroccan instructor. On his command they ran to unload parachutes from nearby trucks.
There followed a series of "limbering-up" exercises before they donned their equipment and marched away to the carrying aircraft.
Colonel Mobutu and other officers watched as the 40 men - after only a month's training - made well-disciplined parachute descents. Afterwards, their instructor said that their attitude had been courageous and there was no "hesitation" before jumping into space.