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Airmen complete assessment to qualify for Army Air Assault School

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by Airman 1st Class Lauren M. Johnson
23d Wing Public Affairs

12/21/2015 - MOODY AIR FORCE BASE, Ga. – Thirty-nine Airmen from the 820th Base Defense Group here and the 1st Special Operations Security Forces Squadron at Hurlburt Field, Fla., completed a bi-annual Army Air Assault assessment, Dec. 16.

The Army Air Assault assessment is a voluntary, three-day test consisting of six events, each of which must be passed in order to qualify to attend Army Air Assault School at Camp Blanding, Fla.

“We hold assessments to accurately evaluate members who wish to go to Army Air Assault School,” said U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Joseph Weidenbach, 820th Combat Operations Squadron group air assault program manager. “This ensures the 820th BDG sends the most qualified Airmen to properly represent the Air Force at sister-service schools.”

Day one of the assessment consists of a Swiss-seat test, where Airmen are tested on their ability to tie an emergency rappel harness. They then, perform a series of rappels which will prepare them for the Army Air Assault School.

During day two, Airmen went to Camp Blanding, Fla., to complete an Army physical-training test and an obstacle course with nine obstacles.

“I thought it was really fun, but extremely hard and exhausting at the same time,” said Airman 1st Class Cristian Ring, 822d Base Defense Squadron fire team member. “Plus, it was raining so that made it even more challenging, but giving up was not an option.”

The Airmen returned to Moody for the final day of the assessment where they started out with a 12-mile ruck. After the ruck, Airmen were evaluated on the appearance and order of mandatory items inside their ruck to test their attention to detail.

Although it was an assessment that is designed to be difficult and many were not able to persevere, 17 of the 39 contenders qualified for the Army Air Assault School.

The Army Air Assault School is an 11-day course which consists of physical training as well as education of specialized career skills.

“Airmen should attempt to complete air assault school because upon graduation, you are now part of a unique family,” said Weidenbach. “As an Airman, you are then able to provide vital skills to rotary-wing transportation of personnel and equipment.”


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