By Sgt. Christine Rosa, 1st BCT Public Affairs, 1st Cav. Div.August 29, 2011
FORT HOOD, Texas -- Filled with adrenaline, commitment and motivation, Soldiers from 1st Brigade Combat Team "Ironhorse", 1st Cavalry Division familiarized themselves with the Fort Hood obstacle course, in preparation for Air Assault Course, 18 Aug.
Ironhorse Soldiers are trying out for their "wings"-Air Assault wings.
Although Fort Hood does not have an Air Assault Course Training command, training is slated for October 2011 and will be provided by Fort Benning's Air Assault Course Mobile Training Team.
When the opportunity presented itself, Soldiers from all over Fort Hood and Ironhorse Soldiers joined Thursday morning for the III Corp AAC prerequisite training.
But like any other special military training comes great challenge.
The AAC is a twelve day course, consisting of three phases: Combat Assault Operations, Sling Load Operations and Rappelling and ending with a 12-mile ruck march.
The AAC is no walk in the park. Soldiers conduct additional physical training in order to be ahead of the competition and in order to complete the course within standards.
"Usually it [training routine] consists of ruck marching, a lot of running and upper-body conditioning," stated Spc. Ronald L. Loshbaugh Jr., an Infantryman with 2nd Battalion 8th Cavalry Regiment, 1st Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division.
The course finishes with a 12-mile ruck march. Soldiers are required to finish the 12 miles within three hours, all while carrying an average of 35 pounds on their backs.
"The ruck march was probably the hardest thing that we had done, the physical exertion," stated Loshbaugh.
During the course, Soldiers are challenged with a variety of obstacle and confidence courses. One confidence course is the rappel tower.
For some Soldiers the physical demands of the course were the most difficult aspect to overcome, but for others it was a different challenge. A challenge within one's self.
"Rappelling was difficult; it wasn't physically tough but just being up there. I'm not very fond of heights and being able to push myself with something that I'm not comfortable doing was rewarding," said 2nd Lt. Johnathon Horst, A Co. Platoon Leader with 115th Brigade Support Battalion, 1st Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division.
Both Soldiers look forward to representing their Battalions, overcoming the challenge and getting their wings- their air assault wings.