Air Assault School

Air Assault School

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About

Air Assault School
Purpose: To train Soldiers in Air Assault operations, sling-load operations, and rappelling.  Upon graduation of the course each Soldier will be able to perform skills required to make maximum use of helicopter assets in training and in combat to support their unit operations.
Course Scope: Soldiers are trained on the missions performed by rotary wing aircraft, aircraft safety, aero-medical evacuation procedures, pathfinder operations, principles and techniques of combat assaults, rappelling techniques, and sling-load operations.  The core POI requires minimum support assets and is adaptable to organic aviation elements.  Both the core instruction and the additional instruction are conducted in a classroom/field environment.

Use the following link for all your ASSLT informational needs to include packing list and what happens each day!

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What you learn

Training
Air Assault School is a 10 ½ day course that teaches air assault techniques and procedures, and qualifies soldiers to wear the Air Assault Badge. [1]
Day Zero
Soldiers are not considered “Air Assault Students” until after successful completion of Zero, the first day of the course, which requires students to complete an obstacle course, two-mile (3.2 km) run, and extensive physical training.
Inspection
This inspection is extremely meticulous. It is conducted after the six mile foot-march on day one. Soldiers must have all items on the packing list each student is given, with each item clean and serviceable (in usable condition). If a soldier is missing any item during the inspection, that soldier will be immediately dropped from the course. The inspection has a very specific lay-out that the soldier must adhere to. Every item must be placed exactly how the Air Assault instructors have displayed the items, and all items must be laid out "as worn."
Obstacle course and two-mile run
The obstacle course is designed to assess a student’s upper body strength, agility, endurance, confidence, and ability to perform at heights without displaying fear or distress. This test is critical in determining if a student will be able to complete Air Assault School without becoming a safety risk to themselves, instructors, or other students during the tough and demanding training events conducted throughout the course. There are nine total obstacles. There are two obstacles that are considered mandatory, and failing one of the two will result in being dropped from the course. The other seven are minor obstacles, and the Air Assault prospect is allowed to fail one of the seven and still continue. This means that failing two of the minor obstacles will result in being dropped from the course.
Prior to the obstacle course, students will conduct a two-mile (3.2 km) run. Students must complete the run in under 18:00 to receive a "GO" in the event (meaning satisfactory completion of the event). The uniform for the run is Army Combat Uniform (ACU – minus the ACU Top depending on the season in which the training cycle begins) with running shoes.
Phase One – Combat Assault
Phase One, the Combat Assault Phase, is three days long. During this phase, soldiers receive instructions on the following tasks:
  • Aircraft Safety
  • Aircraft Orientation – includes the familiarization of the characteristics and capabilities of Army aircraft
  • Aero Medical Evacuation – includes the capabilities and request procedures for MEDEVAC aircraft
  • Pathfinder Operations – HLZ selection, marking and operation for day and night missions involving multiple aircraft, to include sling loads
  • Hand-and-arm signals – soldiers are taught 17 hand-and-arm signals used during sling load operations
  • Close Combat Attacks – use of attack in a close air support (CAS) role
  • Combat Assault Operations – includes various factors encompassed in an air assault operation such as: components of an air assault mission, the reverse planning sequence, duties and responsibilities of platoon-level personnel during an air assault, static load training, and a simulated combat assault on UH-60 aircraft
Soldiers are given two tests:
  • Written – The written test consists of 50 multiple-choice questions. Soldiers must achieve 70 percent to receive a "GO" on the written test.
  • Hands-on – Students are tested on 10 of 16 hand-and-arm signals and must correctly perform seven of the 10 to receive a "GO". Soldiers must pass both tests to move on to the Sling Load Phase. They are allowed one retest per exam.
Phase Two – Slingload Operations
Phase Two, Slingload Operations, is three days long. During the Sling Load Phase, soldiers receive instruction on various aspects of sling load operations. This includes:
  • Planning and preparation for sling load operations
  • Capabilities, characteristics, and use of sling load equipment
  • Duties and responsibilities of sling load personnel
  • Familiarization with sling load theory and rigging of non-standard loads
Students receive hands-on training on preparation, rigging, and inspection of several certified or suitable external loads. These may include the following loads:
  • M1097 HMMWV
  • M1097 HMMWV, shotgun/side-by-side configuration
  • M1151 HMMWV
  • M119 105mm Howitzer
  • M149A2 Water Trailer
  • A-22 Cargo Bag
  • Fuel Blivets (one, two, three, or four blivit configuration)
  • 5000 lbs or 10,000 lbs Cargo Net
The soldiers will also conduct an actual hook-up of a load underneath a CH-47 or UH-60 aircraft. In this phase, soldiers are given two tests:
  • Written – The written test consists of 50 multiple-choice questions. Soldiers must achieve 70 percent to receive a "GO" on the written test.
  • Hands-on – Students are tested on four of the six loads taught. Students must identify three out of four preparation and/or rigging deficiencies within two minutes per load to receive a "GO".
  • Soldiers must pass both tests to move on to the next phase. They are allowed one retest per exam.
Phase Three – Rappelling Phase
Phase Three, the Rappelling Phase is three days long. During this phase, soldiers receive instruction on basic ground and aircraft rappelling procedures, to include the following tasks:
  • Tying of the hip-rappel seat (Swiss seat)
  • Hook-up techniques
  • Lock-in procedures
  • Rappel with and without combat equipment
  • Belay procedures
  • Fast Rope familiarization
Soldiers will conduct two rappels on the wall side of the school's 34-foot (10 m) tower, 9 to 12 rappels from the open side, and two additional rappels from a UH-60 Blackhawk helicopter hovering at 70–90 feet. All rappels are conducted with and without combat equipment. During fast rope familiarization, students conduct a controlled descent and a static hold for five seconds. Students that successfully conduct both descents from a 12-foot (3.7 m) platform then descend from the 34-foot (10 m) tower using the stack-out/rapid exit technique. Fast rope descents are conducted without combat equipment. Soldiers are tested on:
  • Tie the Hip rappel (Swiss) seat (the 90 second time limit has been reinstated)
  • Hook-up to a rappel rope without deficiency (the 15 second time limit has been reinstated)
  • Conduct three rappels: lock-in rappel, rappel without combat equipment (also known as a "Hollywood" rappel) with three controlled brakes, and combat equipment rappel with three controlled brakes
Soldiers must pass all tests to move on to the next phase and are allowed one retest per exam. The reason the standards of this course are so strict, is because if the soldier does not grasp and then master the skills that are being taught, the chances of an accident increase greatly. The margin for error in this type of training is small.
12-Mile Ruck March
The final event is the 12-mile (19 km) ruck march. Soldiers must complete the 12-mile (19 km) ruck march with the prescribed uniform and equipment in three hours or less in order to graduate. The ruck march is a graded task and a graduation requirement for Air Assault School. Upon completion of the ruck march, Soldiers must do a layout of all items in the packing list. Failure to have 100% of the items results in a failure and not being able to graduate
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How to prepare

Drink Water!

Most recent contributors: MSG David Rogers III CW5 Sam Baker

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