By Sgt. David Cox, 4th Brigade Combat Team Public AffairsAugust 29, 2013
FORT CAMPBELL, Ky -- The Air Assault course at the Sabalauski Air Assault School can be a tedious course for some U.S. Army Soldiers.
Rope climbing, the confidence climb and "the weaver" are just a few of the obstacles Soldiers will face at the beginning of each air assault class.
In addition to the intense physical fitness sessions, Air Assault school challenges Soldiers mental aptitude as they digest large amounts of information over a 10-day-time period.
Leaders are preparing their Soldiers for what they will face when they attend the class to mitigate the shock that some Soldiers may experience upon being enrolled in an Air Assault class.
By conducting "Air Assault Physical Training," units can increase the likelihood of their Soldier's success.
The Air Assault qualified Soldiers of the 4th Brigade Special Troops Battalion "Apache", 4th Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division lead the "Air Assault" physical fitness sessions to ensure that air assault candidates from their battalion will be successful in earning their Air Assault Badge at Fort Campbell, Ky.
"We do this to prevent failure [of 4th BSTB Soldiers] on our part," said Staff Sgt. Andre Reed, a food service specialist and an Air Assault PT instructor with Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 4th BSTB. "It's just doing our part, as [noncommissioned officers]. [Soldiers] do what we tell them to do. [Soldiers] will perform how we prepare them to perform. Preparation is the key to anything you do, Air Assault School, Airborne school. NCOs are very important in that role."
This type of training is to make the course tangible for Soldiers and keep expectations realistic.
"First thing we do is give [Soldiers] a dose of reality," said Reed. "We are going to give them what Air Assault School is going to give them. Rope climbing skills, proper attire, it's just a dose of reality of what Air Assault School is going to be like."
Apache Soldiers successful completion of the course is the goal of the program.
"Soldiers usually need to mentally prepare themselves," said Staff Sgt. Timothy Adams, a military police NCO with HHC, 4th BSTB and an assistant Air Assault PT instructor. "It's a hard school; it's 10 days of hard work. We want [Soldiers] to get physically fit so they can represent Fort Campbell's history and heritage."
The program focuses on the most challenging day of Air Assault School for many Soldiers: day zero.
"Day zero is usually the hardest day at Air Assault School," said Adams. We do the [foot marches] and a lot of running in groups to help people get their time down. Some of the easier tasks that will help [Soldiers] get physically fit."
Both Adams and Reed expressed a sense of pride in not only helping Soldiers become Air Assault qualified but also being a part of the 101st Airborne Division.
"Here in the 101st, it's the biggest thing they got going on, besides Rappel Master or Pathfinder," said Reed. "We are the biggest Air Assault Division in the world. Why not be a part of legacy?"