This picture was provided by Maj. Dennis T. McKee and represents the training which was conducted prior to deploying on Operation Dominic. The area pictured is an irrigation reservoir located north east of the departure end of runway 34 at MCAS El Toro, Calif. The Santa Ana Mountains are in the background. The technique pictured above was practiced many times by the air crews of HMM-364.
Warren R. Smith related an incident where after one of the pickups they had a hook failure dropping the pod into a chili pepper field. The size and weight of the practice pod made for a pretty good size impact area. They had to measure the hole so that immediate payment could be made to the farmer for the lost peppers. Warren believed the price paid, and the prompt payment, diverted attention from what they were training for.