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snap link

McGuire rig

The “McGuire rig” was used to extract soldiers from the jungles of Vietnam. It would be suspended from a helicopter and used to extract soldiers from areas without a suitable pick-up zone. It was simple, inexpensive, and effective. Although less comfortable then the STABO harness, it did not require the soldier to carry any special equipment. It was designed by Sergeant Major Charles T. McGuire, a member of Project DELTA, a Special Forces reconnaissance project.

The McGuire rig was fashioned from a wide, long A7A nylon cargo tie-down strap with a quick-fit buckle on one end. This was typically cut down to an length and a web loop (wrist strap) attached near the top end. This was used to form a sling loop and attached to an over length of 5/8-inch nylon rope. Three ropes with McGuire rigs attached could be dropped from a UH-1 "Huey" helicopter, all on the same side. A deployment back containing a sandbag carried each rope to the ground. A soldier attached his rucksack with a snap link, stepped into the loop, adjusted it, inserted his left hand in the wrist loop, and on signal the helicopter lifted off. The three men would lock arms to prevent oscillation and prevent falls if a rope was shot through. A wounded or unconscious man could fall from the harness unless secured. The system did not allow the extracted soldiers to be hoisted into the helicopter. They were flown out of the danger area and then set down in a clearing in order to board the helicopter. On a long flight the harness proved to be extremely uncomfortable.

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