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 than the STABO (Short Tactical airborne operations) 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.From the pilot’s standpoint, performing an extraction using a McGuire Rig required intense concentration. Once the soldiers were in the rig, the pilot would attempt to hover straight up, but with the nearest ground reference over 100 feet away, it was difficult to discern when the chopper was moving. There was the distinct possibility, therefore, that the soldier(s) would be dragged through tree limbs during the extraction.CPT John W. “Jack” Green, III, flying a UH-1B for the 145th Airlift Platoon in support of Project Delta, was the first pilot to utilize the McGuire Rig in an emergency extraction. In mid-1966, 145th was blended into the 281st AHC, which then assumed the mission of supporting Project Delta. Due to intense training with the MACV Recondo School and on-the-job training with Project Delta, the 281st AHC became highly proficient in using the McGuire Rig.