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Fort Hood air assault training starts Saturday

Email   Print   Share By Dave Larsen, Sentinel Editor
June 21, 2012 | News
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A 1st Cavalry Division Soldier takes on the “Zero Day” obstacle course Oct. 18, 2011 during a 10-day Air Assault Course at Fort Hood. Cadre members from the Fort Benning, Ga. training center conducted the course, which included three phases of training. During the course, Soldiers weres trained and tested in combat air assault operations, rigging and sling load operations and rappelling from a helicopter. Staff Sgt. Bryanna Poulin, III Corps Public Affairs
Saturday is “Zero Day” again at the Great Place, as cadre of the Fort Hood Air Assault School commence training.

“Zero Day is Saturday,” 1st Sgt. James Williams, first sergeant for the Fort Hood Air Assault School, said on Tuesday. “We have reservations for 130 students. Each unit participating has also provided alternates to ensure we have 130 to start the course.”

Those 130 students begin arriving for in-processing to the course Friday. The training cycle, which starts Saturday, is the first iteration conducted by the Fort Hood-based cadre.

“We have 15 cadre and we’re growing,” Williams said. He said he recently added one new instructor and expects to add another after the upcoming training cycle, as Williams’ newest cadre member will complete the course himself.

During the 10-day course of instruction, the students won’t be the only ones undergoing scrutiny. This course will also certify the Fort Hood Air Assault School’s instructors and their processes, Williams said.

Williams said the Air Assault Course is considered one of most difficult in the Army.

“It’s comparable to some of the toughest courses in the Army,” he said. “It’s tough. Zero Day washes out those who can’t do it physically. Then there’s testing which can knock out others. Finally, there is the 50-foot tower and aircraft rapelling, which gets a few.”

Even after completing some difficult training events leading up to graduation, Williams said there remains one final challenge to the students.

“On the last day they have to walk to graduate – a 12-mile ruck march,” he said.

Williams said the air assault course site was validated by Fort Benning-based instructors in October. This time, Williams and his cadre will seek certification.

“I’m confident we’ve made all the necessary preparations,” he said. “We have all the tools.”
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