Saturday, February 9, 2008

The Airborne School is run by the 1st Battalion (Airborne), 507th Infantry, U.S. Army Infantry School, Fort Benning, Georgia. The mission of the Airborne School is to conduct the Basic Airborne Course. It is open to soldiers of both genders from all branches of the United States Army as well as sister services and allied military personnel.
The purpose of the Basic Airborne Course is to qualify the volunteer (all students volunteer for this school) in the use of the parachute as a means of combat deployment and to develop leadership, self-confidence, and an aggressive spirit through mental and physical conditioning.
The course is three weeks long, divided into Ground Week, Tower Week and Jump Week. There is a rigorous physical training (PT) regimen through the entire course. Recently, however, the PT requirements have raised to weed out the weak soldiers to graduate the course, thus providing the best paratroopers available for the 82nd Airborne Division. The pull-up requirement on the PT test has been raised from 10 pull-ups to 20 pull-ups, as has the five mile (8 km) run at the end of Tower Week. It has to be completed in boots and yutes in under 40 mins.

Ground Week
A team effort is added to the training with the "mass exit" concept. The apparati used this week are the 34-foot (10 m) towers, the swing landing trainer (SLT), the mock door for mass exit training, the suspended harness, and potentially the 250-foot (76 m) free tower. Tower Week completes student individual skill training and builds team effort skills. To go forward to Jump Training Week students must qualify on the SLT, master the mass exit procedures from the 34-foot (10 m) tower, and pass all PT requirements.

Tower Week
During Jump Week students make five parachute jumps into Fryar Drop Zone (DZ) located in Alabama on the Fort Benning Military Reservation. Trainees must run to the air field, conduct pre-jump training, and then get into their harnesses and await their turn to jump. Generally, two of the jumps are "combat jumps", in which the jumper carries a ruck sack and a dummy weapon. The other three jumps are "hollywood", in that the jumper only wears the parachute and reserve. At least one jump is at night, although, during training cycles where Jump Week falls on a three day week (due to a Federal holiday), a night jump is not mandatory to graduate.

United States Army Airborne School Students

Parachutist Badge (United States)
"Blood on the Risers"

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