Responders hone parachuting, other skills at doomsday drill

The parachutes slowly float down from Chinook helicopters, first carrying boxes of supplies and then the paratroopers who set up a field operations center as part of a readiness drill for a megaquake and tsunami.

Chief Warrant Officer James Pierce packed up his parachute and grabbed his gear shortly after hitting the ground Thursday at Sanderson Field, an airfield in the small city of Shelton on the west side of Puget Sound.

Parachuting in may be the only option for some responders following a massive earthquake, especially to get to remote locations that are rendered undriveable.

"It's a good, effective way to get gear to the ground," Pierce said.