Air Assault Course comes to Fort Hood
Fort Hood Soldiers do pushups while waiting for their turn at "The Tough One," an obstacle the participants had to complete Oct. 18 to enter the Air Assault course. (U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Eric Glassey, III Corps and Fort Hood Public Affairs)

FORT HOOD, Texas - More than 250 Soldiers from across Fort Hood began the first day of air assault training Oct. 17 during a course that Fort Hood is trying to permanently offer.

The National Guard's Fort Benning-based Warrior Training Center conducted the course, which includes three phases of instruction involving rotary wing aircraft. Students are trained and tested in combat air assault operations, rigging and sling load operations and rappelling from a helicopter.

"The training team will push our Soldiers mentally and physically," Command Sgt. Maj. Arthur Coleman Jr., III Corps and Fort Hood command sergeant major, said. "The Air Assault Course is one of the most demanding courses Soldiers will attend."

Although Fort Hood does not have the course here right now, it's something many feel would be a benefit to the post.

"The course would benefit Soldiers because it gives them an additional skill set without having to leave to go somewhere else," Coleman said. "Soldiers get the training they need and our units get stronger on the battlefield."

Although the course is open to both officer and enlisted, the preparation and execution of the course was primarily noncommissioned officer driven.

"This course shows the type of NCOs we have here at Fort Hood," Coleman said. "By adding this training, NCOs are ensuring Soldiers and leaders have all the tools to grow professionally."

One of the challenges Soldiers faced in the beginning of the week was day "zero," where Soldiers faced several tests that challenged them physically.

"The obstacle course was very hard because we had already ran two miles in the morning and probably did about a 1,000 pushups," Sgt. Jacob Rowe, Headquarters Support Company, III Corps, said.

Although challenged physically, Soldiers said the chance to earn their wings close to home was a great opportunity.

"I wanted to take air assault for a while now, but because of school seats and funding, I was unable to," Rowe said. "When I heard it was going to be offered here, I jumped on the chance … it's great and hopefully I can earn my wings when this is over."

"The course here saves money for units having to send their Soldiers to other posts plus it gives the Great Place an even better chance to train Soldiers," Coleman said.

Page last updated Mon October 31st, 2011 at 17:38