• Soldiers from the 2nd Infantry Division and Eighth U.S. Army stand at their graduation of one of the toughest courses the Army has to offer " Air Assault " March 8, 2013, at Camp Hovey, South Korea.  Hosted by the 2nd Inf. Div. the 10-day course is the first on the Korean Peninsula in 15 years.  The instructors, from the Warrior Training Center in Fort Benning, Ga., taught students the skills and knowledge required to be competent in the conduct of combat air assault operations.  Upon successful completion of the course, students are awarded the Air Assault Badge.  The training shows that 2nd Inf. Div. is committed to maintaining and strengthening the Republic to fight tonight in order to deter aggression toward the Republic of Korea.

    Air Assault Course increase 2ID capabilities

    Soldiers from the 2nd Infantry Division and Eighth U.S. Army stand at their graduation of one of the toughest courses the Army has to offer " Air Assault " March 8, 2013, at Camp Hovey, South Korea. Hosted by the 2nd Inf. Div. the 10-day course is the...

  • Capt. Wayne Hancock, Joint Security Area, 210th Fires Brigade, 2nd Infantry Division, preps for his first jump off a rappel tower during the 2nd Infantry Division's Air Assault Course March 5, 2013. During this phase of the 10-day course, the Soldiers receive instruction on basic ground and aircraft rappelling procedures, tying of the hip-rappel seat (Swiss seat), hook-up techniques, lock-in procedures, rappel with and without combat equipment and fast-rope familiarization.

    Air Assault Course increase 2ID capabilities

    Capt. Wayne Hancock, Joint Security Area, 210th Fires Brigade, 2nd Infantry Division, preps for his first jump off a rappel tower during the 2nd Infantry Division's Air Assault Course March 5, 2013. During this phase of the 10-day course, the Soldiers...

  • Pfc. Zachary Schneider, 1st Armored Brigade Combat Team, 2nd Infantry Division, salutes Brig. Gen. J.B. Burton, the division's deputy commanding general of maneuvers, after Burton pins the Air Assault badge on his uniform.  The 2nd Inf. Div. hosted an Air Assault Course Feb. 25-March 8, 2013 at Camp Hovey, South Korea. The 10-day course is the first on the Korean Peninsula in 15 years.  The instructors, from the Warrior Training Center in Fort Benning, Ga., taught students the skills and knowledge required to be competent in the conduct of combat air assault operations.  Upon successful completion of the course, students are awarded the Air Assault Badge.  The training shows that 2nd Inf. Div. is committed to maintaining and strengthening the Republic to fight tonight in order to deter aggression toward the Republic of Korea.

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    Pfc. Zachary Schneider, 1st Armored Brigade Combat Team, 2nd Infantry Division, salutes Brig. Gen. J.B. Burton, the division's deputy commanding general of maneuvers, after Burton pins the Air Assault badge on his uniform. The 2nd Inf. Div. hosted an...

  • Pfc. Taivon Collins, 1st Armored Brigade Combat Team, 2nd Infantry Division, preps for his first jump off a rappel tower during the 2nd Infantry Division's Air Assault Course March 5, 2013. During this phase of the 10-day course, the Soldiers receive instruction on basic ground and aircraft rappelling procedures, tying of the hip-rappel seat (Swiss seat), hook-up techniques, lock-in procedures, rappel with and without combat equipment and fast-rope familiarization.

    Air Assault Course increase 2ID capabilities

    Pfc. Taivon Collins, 1st Armored Brigade Combat Team, 2nd Infantry Division, preps for his first jump off a rappel tower during the 2nd Infantry Division's Air Assault Course March 5, 2013. During this phase of the 10-day course, the Soldiers receive...

  • Candidates demonstrate their mastered fundamentals by rappelling down a UH-60 Black Hawk during the 2nd Infantry Division's Air Assault Course at Camp Mobile, South Korea, March 7, 2013.  The 10-day course is the first on the Korean Peninsula in 15 years.  The instructors, from the Warrior Training Center in Fort Benning, Ga., are teaching students the skills and knowledge required to be competent in the conduct of combat air assault operations.  Upon successful completion of the course, students are awarded the Air Assault Badge.  The training shows that 2nd Inf. Div. is committed to maintaining and strengthening the Republic to fight tonight in order to deter aggression toward the Republic of Korea.

    Air Assault Course increase 2ID capabilities

    Candidates demonstrate their mastered fundamentals by rappelling down a UH-60 Black Hawk during the 2nd Infantry Division's Air Assault Course at Camp Mobile, South Korea, March 7, 2013. The 10-day course is the first on the Korean Peninsula in 15...

  • Pvt. Nicholas Nelsonhall (left), 2nd Combat Aviation Brigade, 2nd Infantry Division, and Pfc. Manuel Lara, 8th Army, prepare to board a UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter during the division's Air Assault Course March 7, 2013, at Camp Mobile, South Korea. The 10-day course is the first on the Korean Peninsula in 15 years.  The instructors, from the Warrior Training Center in Fort Benning, Ga., are teaching students the skills and knowledge required to be competent in the conduct of combat air assault operations.  Upon successful completion of the course, students are awarded the Air Assault Badge.  The training shows that 2nd Inf. Div. is committed to maintaining and strengthening the Republic to fight tonight in order to deter aggression toward the Republic of Korea.

    Air Assault Course increase 2ID capabilities

    Pvt. Nicholas Nelsonhall (left), 2nd Combat Aviation Brigade, 2nd Infantry Division, and Pfc. Manuel Lara, 8th Army, prepare to board a UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter during the division's Air Assault Course March 7, 2013, at Camp Mobile, South Korea. The...

  • Pfc. Kyle Reed (left) and Sgt. Doc Williams, both with the 1st Armored Brigade, 2nd Infantry Division, prepare to rappel off a UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter during the division's Air Assault Course March 7, 2013, at Camp Mobile, South Korea. The 10-day course is the first on the Korean Peninsula in 15 years.  The instructors, from the Warrior Training Center in Fort Benning, Ga., are teaching students the skills and knowledge required to be competent in the conduct of combat air assault operations.  Upon successful completion of the course, students are awarded the Air Assault Badge.  The training shows that 2nd Inf. Div. is committed to maintaining and strengthening the Republic to fight tonight in order to deter aggression toward the Republic of Korea.

    Air Assault Course increase 2ID capabilities

    Pfc. Kyle Reed (left) and Sgt. Doc Williams, both with the 1st Armored Brigade, 2nd Infantry Division, prepare to rappel off a UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter during the division's Air Assault Course March 7, 2013, at Camp Mobile, South Korea. The 10-day...

  • Candidates demonstrate their mastered fundamentals by rappelling down a UH-60 Black Hawk during the 2nd Infantry Division's Air Assault Course at Camp Mobile, South Korea, March 7, 2013.  The 10-day course is the first on the Korean Peninsula in 15 years.  The instructors, from the Warrior Training Center in Fort Benning, Ga., are teaching students the skills and knowledge required to be competent in the conduct of combat air assault operations.  Upon successful completion of the course, students are awarded the Air Assault Badge.  The training shows that 2nd Inf. Div. is committed to maintaining and strengthening the Republic to fight tonight in order to deter aggression toward the Republic of Korea.

    Air Assault Course increase 2ID capabilities

    Candidates demonstrate their mastered fundamentals by rappelling down a UH-60 Black Hawk during the 2nd Infantry Division's Air Assault Course at Camp Mobile, South Korea, March 7, 2013. The 10-day course is the first on the Korean Peninsula in 15...

  • Candidates demonstrate their mastered fundamentals by rappelling down a UH-60 Black Hawk during the 2nd Infantry Division's Air Assault Course at Camp Mobile, South Korea, March 7, 2013.  The 10-day course is the first on the Korean Peninsula in 15 years.  The instructors, from the Warrior Training Center in Fort Benning, Ga., are teaching students the skills and knowledge required to be competent in the conduct of combat air assault operations.  Upon successful completion of the course, students are awarded the Air Assault Badge.  The training shows that 2nd Inf. Div. is committed to maintaining and strengthening the Republic to fight tonight in order to deter aggression toward the Republic of Korea.

    Air Assault Course increase 2ID capabilities

    Candidates demonstrate their mastered fundamentals by rappelling down a UH-60 Black Hawk during the 2nd Infantry Division's Air Assault Course at Camp Mobile, South Korea, March 7, 2013. The 10-day course is the first on the Korean Peninsula in 15...

  • The 2nd Infantry Division Soldier navigate through an obstacle course Feb. 26, 2013, for the Air Assault Course on Camp Hovey, South Korea.  The division hosted the 10-day Air Assault Course Feb. 25 to Mar 8, 2013.  The course provides the Soldiers with the skills and knowledge required to be competent in the conduct of combat air assault operations.  Upon successful completion of the course, the Soldiers are awarded the Air Assault Badge.  The training shows that 2nd Inf. Div. is committed to maintaining and strengthening the Republic to fight tonight in order to deter aggression toward the Republic of Korea.

    Air Assault Course increase 2ID capabilities

    The 2nd Infantry Division Soldier navigate through an obstacle course Feb. 26, 2013, for the Air Assault Course on Camp Hovey, South Korea. The division hosted the 10-day Air Assault Course Feb. 25 to Mar 8, 2013. The course provides the Soldiers...

  • 2nd Infantry Division Soldiers continue to master the basic rappelling fundamentals on the rappel tower March 6, 2013, at Camp Hovey, South Korea, at the Air Assault Course. The Soldiers worked to improve their skills on Hollywood Open Side Rappels, Lock-in, Semi Combat and Full Combat. The division hosted the 10-day Air Assault Course on Camp Casey Feb. 25 to March 8, 2013.  The course provides students the skills and knowledge required to be competent in the conduct of combat air assault operations.  Upon successful completion of the course, students are awarded the Air Assault Badge.  The training shows that 2nd Inf. Div. is committed to maintaining and strengthening the Republic to fight tonight in order to deter aggression toward the Republic of Korea. This is the first course on the peninsula in 15 years.

    Air Assault

    2nd Infantry Division Soldiers continue to master the basic rappelling fundamentals on the rappel tower March 6, 2013, at Camp Hovey, South Korea, at the Air Assault Course. The Soldiers worked to improve their skills on Hollywood Open Side Rappels...

  • 130307-O-KS000-036
Pvt. John Lewis (left), 2nd Combat Aviation Brigade, 2nd Infantry Division, and Pfc. Christopher Lopez, 8th Army, receives last minute instructions from the instructor before rappelling off a UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter during the division's Air Assault Course March 7, 2013, at Camp Mobile, South Korea. The 10-day course is the first on the Korean Peninsula in 15 years.  The instructors, from the Warrior Training Center in Fort Benning, Ga., are teaching students the skills and knowledge required to be competent in the conduct of combat air assault operations.  Upon successful completion of the course, students are awarded the Air Assault Badge.  The training shows that 2nd Inf. Div. is committed to maintaining and strengthening the Republic to fight tonight in order to deter aggression toward the Republic of Korea.

    Air Assault Course increase 2ID capabilities

    130307-O-KS000-036 Pvt. John Lewis (left), 2nd Combat Aviation Brigade, 2nd Infantry Division, and Pfc. Christopher Lopez, 8th Army, receives last minute instructions from the instructor before rappelling off a UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter during the...

  • Soldiers with the 2nd Infantry Division rappels down the tower during the division's Air Assault Course March 5, 2013. During this phase of the 10-day course, the Soldiers receive instruction on basic ground and aircraft rappelling procedures, tying of the hip-rappel seat (Swiss seat), hook-up techniques, lock-in procedures, rappel with and without combat equipment and fast-rope familiarization.

    Air Assault Course increase 2ID capabilities

    Soldiers with the 2nd Infantry Division rappels down the tower during the division's Air Assault Course March 5, 2013. During this phase of the 10-day course, the Soldiers receive instruction on basic ground and aircraft rappelling procedures, tying of...

  • Sgt. Jonathan Mellas, 1st Armored Brigade Combat Team, 2nd Infantry Division, relies on his rigging to suspend himself along the rappel tower during the 2nd Infantry Division's Air Assault Course March 5, 2013. During this phase of the 10-day course, the Soldiers receive instruction on basic ground and aircraft rappelling procedures, tying of the hip-rappel seat (Swiss seat), hook-up techniques, lock-in procedures, rappel with and without combat equipment and fast-rope familiarization.

    Air Assault Course increase 2ID capabilities

    Sgt. Jonathan Mellas, 1st Armored Brigade Combat Team, 2nd Infantry Division, relies on his rigging to suspend himself along the rappel tower during the 2nd Infantry Division's Air Assault Course March 5, 2013. During this phase of the 10-day course...

  • The 2nd Infantry Division Soldiers navigate through an obstacle course Feb. 26, 2013, for the Air Assault Course on Camp Hovey, South Korea.  The division hosted the 10-day Air Assault Course Feb. 25 to Mar 8, 2013.  The course provides the Soldiers with the skills and knowledge required to be competent in the conduct of combat air assault operations.  Upon successful completion of the course, the Soldiers are awarded the Air Assault Badge.  The training shows that 2nd Inf. Div. is committed to maintaining and strengthening the Republic to fight tonight in order to deter aggression toward the Republic of Korea.

    Air Assault Course increase 2ID capabilities

    The 2nd Infantry Division Soldiers navigate through an obstacle course Feb. 26, 2013, for the Air Assault Course on Camp Hovey, South Korea. The division hosted the 10-day Air Assault Course Feb. 25 to Mar 8, 2013. The course provides the Soldiers...

  • 2nd Infantry Division Soldiers wait their turn to rappel down a UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter during the division's Air Assault Course March 7, 2013, at Camp Mobile, South Korea. The 10-day course is the first on the Korean Peninsula in 15 years.  The instructors, from the Warrior Training Center in Fort Benning, Ga., are teaching students the skills and knowledge required to be competent in the conduct of combat air assault operations.  Upon successful completion of the course, students are awarded the Air Assault Badge.  The training shows that 2nd Inf. Div. is committed to maintaining and strengthening the Republic to fight tonight in order to deter aggression toward the Republic of Korea.

    Air Assault Course increase 2ID capabilities

    2nd Infantry Division Soldiers wait their turn to rappel down a UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter during the division's Air Assault Course March 7, 2013, at Camp Mobile, South Korea. The 10-day course is the first on the Korean Peninsula in 15 years. The...

  • The 2nd Infantry Division Soldiers learn the basic rappel fundamentals during the division's Air Assault Course March 6, 2013.  They worked to improve their skills on Hollywood Open Side Rappels, Lock-in, Semi Combat and Full Combat. The division hosted the 10-day Air Assault Course on Camp Hovey Feb. 25 to Mar 8, 2013.  Upon successful completion of the course, students are awarded the Air Assault Badge.  The training shows that 2nd Inf. Div. is committed to maintaining and strengthening the Republic to fight tonight in order to deter aggression toward the Republic of Korea. This is the first course on the peninsula in 15 years.

    Air Assault Course increase 2ID capabilities

    The 2nd Infantry Division Soldiers learn the basic rappel fundamentals during the division's Air Assault Course March 6, 2013. They worked to improve their skills on Hollywood Open Side Rappels, Lock-in, Semi Combat and Full Combat. The division...

  • Candidates demonstrate their mastered fundamentals by rappelling down a UH-60 Black Hawk during the 2nd Infantry Division's Air Assault Course at Camp Mobile, South Korea, March 7, 2013.  The 10-day course is the first on the Korean Peninsula in 15 years.  The instructors, from the Warrior Training Center in Fort Benning, Ga., are teaching students the skills and knowledge required to be competent in the conduct of combat air assault operations.  Upon successful completion of the course, students are awarded the Air Assault Badge.  The training shows that 2nd Inf. Div. is committed to maintaining and strengthening the Republic to fight tonight in order to deter aggression toward the Republic of Korea.

    Air Assault Course increase 2ID capabilities

    Candidates demonstrate their mastered fundamentals by rappelling down a UH-60 Black Hawk during the 2nd Infantry Division's Air Assault Course at Camp Mobile, South Korea, March 7, 2013. The 10-day course is the first on the Korean Peninsula in 15...

  • The 2nd Infantry Division Soldiers learn the basic rappel fundamentals during the division's Air Assault Course March 6, 2013.  They worked to improve their skills on Hollywood Open Side Rappels, Lock-in, Semi Combat and Full Combat. The division hosted the 10-day Air Assault Course on Camp Hovey Feb. 25 to Mar 8, 2013.  Upon successful completion of the course, students are awarded the Air Assault Badge.  The training shows that 2nd Inf. Div. is committed to maintaining and strengthening the Republic to fight tonight in order to deter aggression toward the Republic of Korea. This is the first course on the peninsula in 15 years.

    Air Assault Course increase 2ID capabilities

    The 2nd Infantry Division Soldiers learn the basic rappel fundamentals during the division's Air Assault Course March 6, 2013. They worked to improve their skills on Hollywood Open Side Rappels, Lock-in, Semi Combat and Full Combat. The division...

  • Pfc. Jesse Puckett, 1st Armored Brigade Combat Team, 2nd Infantry Division, receives last minute instructions from the Fort Benning, Ga., instructor before rappelling down the tower during the division's Air Assault Course March 5, 2013. During this phase of the 10-day course, the Soldiers receive instruction on basic ground and aircraft rappelling procedures, tying of the hip-rappel seat (Swiss seat), hook-up techniques, lock-in procedures, rappel with and without combat equipment and fast-rope familiarization.

    Air Assault Course increase 2ID capabilities

    Pfc. Jesse Puckett, 1st Armored Brigade Combat Team, 2nd Infantry Division, receives last minute instructions from the Fort Benning, Ga., instructor before rappelling down the tower during the division's Air Assault Course March 5, 2013. During this...

CAMP HOVEY, South Korea -- For the first time in 15 years, 2nd Infantry Division and Eighth U.S. Army Soldiers tackled the rigorous Air Assault Course at Camp Hovey, South Korea.

The course, held Feb. 25 to March 3, 2013, at Camp Hovey, began with 312 Soldiers ready to compete for the course's 250 slots. The course qualifies Soldiers to conduct air assault and helicopter sling-load operations and proper rappelling and fast-rope techniques. Those who graduate are the best of the best and authorized to wear the coveted Air Assault Badge.

"The school is 10 days of rigorous, fast-paced training that tests the Soldiers' physical endurance and mental capacity to pay attention to detail," said Lt. Col. William Beck, 2nd Inf. Div. director of training and exercise.

This was proven even before the course officially started when the Soldiers had to meticulously lay out all of the gear on their packing list for inspection.

"Attention to detail serves as an indicator of whether the Soldier is capable of maintaining the standards of the course," said Maj. Pattrick J. Lander, officer in charge of the Air Assault Course instructors.

The inspection was followed by the completion of a two-mile run and the challenging Air Assault Obstacle Course for Soldiers to gain entry to the course.

"Strength and mental capacity are both tested right away because it takes both to complete the class successfully." Lander said. "This course is not all physical. But if you miss one detail, it could be detrimental to the mission -- loss of the bird, equipment, supplies or the loss of a life."

Fourteen instructors were flown in from the Warrior Training Center at Fort Benning, Ga., to lead the course in Korea.

"I love to travel all around the world because I get to interact with different military services and we get to train the best fighting forces in the world," said Staff Sgt. Derek C. Koth, air assault instructor, with the WTC.

The last 2nd Inf. Div. Air Assault Course was held in 1997. Following 9-11, emphasis was placed on training Soldiers headed overseas to Iraq and Afghanistan. In conjunction with President Obama's pivot to the Asia-Pacific region, the opportunity presented itself to bring the training back to the Korean Peninsula to make maximize the division's helicopter assets to support unit operations.

"Due to the difficult mountainous terrain here in Korea, traveling and resupplying our forces by air is faster and more efficient than by ground," said Beck. "We can cover more ground if we have Air Assault qualified Soldiers, fully trained and capable of completing the mission," said Beck.

Many Soldiers feel this course will also enhance their military career.

"Becoming Air Assault qualified will mean a lot to me," said Pfc. Ryan S. Rivers, a human resource specialist with Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 1st Armored Brigade Combat Team, 2nd Inf. Div., and a native of Bronx, N.Y. "I want to complete and succeed through this course, knowing I did my best and pushed myself through all three phases. I know I can accomplish anything I set my mind to."

U.S. Soldiers weren't the only ones who feel that way. Korean Augmentation to the U.S. Army soldier Cpl. Kim Jong-chan, a chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear specialist with the 3rd General Support Aviation Battalion, 2nd Aviation Regiment, 2nd Combat Aviation Brigade, 2nd Inf. Div., also completed the course.

"I am really proud of myself and everyone who graduated with me," said Kim. "I had amazing support from my teammates because this accomplishment means the world to me."

On the final day of the course, the Soldiers completed a 12-mile ruck march in three hours, then stood in formation while division leadership pinned their well-earned Air Assault badge on their uniform. One hundred and ninety-five graduated the course.

"This course demands a level of professional commitment, physical prowess and individual discipline that is measured in exacting standards, which demand attention to detail," said Brig. J.B. Burton, 2nd Inf. Div. deputy commanding general for maneuver at the graduation ceremony. "The efforts of these young men and women have added capability to the 2nd Infantry Division.

"Excellence, precision, and technical competence are what you represent," he said. "You've met the mark and that badge identifies you as someone that others can turn to for assistance and expertise in Air Assault operations, which directly contribute to our capability to 'Fight Tonight' as part of the ROK-U.S. Alliance."

Page last updated Fri March 8th, 2013 at 00:00