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CommanderIt's a Bird, It's a Plane, It's a Commander?! (updated)
Posted by mike on 2005/9/21 16:26:56 (1935) reads

DaimlerChrysler and Operation Gratitude teamed up earlier today for a unique promotion to kick-off their partnership to send care packages to U.S. troops around the world.

To help kick-off the holiday donation drive for Operation Gratitude, an all-new 2006 Jeep® Commander dove 1,200 feet from a Sikorsky helicopter accompanied by seven skydivers. The Jeep brand will expand its partnership with Operation Gratitude by making the nearly 2,800 Jeep dealerships nationwide official "drop zone" locations for Operation Gratitude, a national non-profit organization that collects comfort items and letters of appreciation from the American public and ships them to service members overseas.

Update: We've gotten some additional information about the Commander that was dropped - it was a stock Commander with only a few things removed: spare tire, jack, airbags (didn't want them to deploy) and air conditioning compressor (maybe because it interfered with a rigging point?). They wanted the Commander to be able to perform the jump, then have it start up and drive off to reinforce the "do anything, go anywhere" message.

"Today, the new seven-passenger Jeep Commander showcased its legendary 'go-anywhere, do-anything' capability by traveling through unusual conditions to help Operation Gratitude as it arrives in dealerships across the country," said Jeff Bell, Vice President – Jeep, Chrysler Group. "The Jeep brand's military heritage goes back more than 65 years, so it's only natural that our dealers would expand our relationship with Operation Gratitude to help our service men and women around the world."

In order to reach troops in time for the holidays, Operation Gratitude will begin collecting donations at Jeep dealerships immediately. Consumers are encouraged to drop off items ranging from packs of gum to tuna salad kits and from CDs to DVDs. For a complete list of needed items, consumers can visit or

(portions of this article were from an official DaimlerChrysler press release)

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Poster Thread
Posted: 2005/9/21 18:05  Updated: 2005/9/21 18:07
Quite a regular
Joined: 2005/7/16
From: Central IL
Posts: 70
 It's a rearended jeep banner?
Sorry, but I just had to point out the skydiver and his banner "attachment location". Somehow I don't think I'll ever enjoy the thrill of having an advertisement sticking out of my backside while I plummet to the earth.

Kind of wonder what that job pays though. I am looking for new work

Poster Thread
Posted: 2005/9/25 15:44  Updated: 2005/9/25 15:44
Just popping in
Joined: 2005/9/25
Posts: 1
 Re: It's a rearended jeep banner?
Interesting observation about the attachment point of the banner. In fact, it's attached via two caribiners on the skydiver's hips and trails back as it appears.

The air conditioner, and other equipment was removed to lighten the load for the helicopter. We were close to max load limits and had to take as much out as possible.

I was a Crew Leader on the demonstration team. Feel free to contact me with any questions about the drop...

Poster Thread
Posted: 2005/9/27 23:14  Updated: 2005/9/27 23:14
Quite a regular
Joined: 2005/7/16
From: Central IL
Posts: 70
 Re: It's a rearended jeep banner?
Well, that does sound a little more pleasant with the hip attachment.

My only other thought is about how strange the view must have been from the inside of the Commander. I can't imagine looking the windows and seeing nothing but sky. I don't supposed I'll no that feeling until hover cars come out.
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