Summer airborne training

Photo credit: U.S. Army Photo by Sgt. Maj. Kelly C. Luster

The U.S. Army Airborne School is at the
U.S. Army Infantry Center, Ft. Benning, Georgia.

This school is located at Ft. Benning, Georgia. Soldiers begin their first week on the ground, learning the basics of parachute landings, and start a vigorous training program. During the second week, called tower week, proper exiting of the plane is mastered, and Soldiers are given the opportunity to parachute from a 250 foot high tower. The third and final week is the jump week. Everyone make five jumps from either a C-130 or C-141, including one night jump and two combat jumps with full combat gear. Each student must satisfactorily complete 5 jumps from an aircraft while in flight to earn the airborne wings.

Cadet Perspective on Airborne School

By: CDT Tim Shebesta

Airborne School is a three-week school to train you to jump from an airplane at 1,200 feet. When i found out I was selected for Airborne School, I was pretty excited but also very nervous. The school is broken up into three weeks called Ground Week, Tower Week, and Jump Week.

The very first day of the school was probably the most challenging day of the 23 days I was there. Starting at 0400 (4 a.m.), we took an Army Physical Fitness Test (APFT) that we knew 70 out of the 395 students would fail.

After we passed the test, we started Ground Week. This week we trained for landings and door exits. The days were long but in the end the time passed by quickly. Week two was Tower Week and was much more fun than the first week. We practiced landings more, and door exits out of towers, instead of on the ground. We used the 34-foot tower a lot, which was the most exciting training tool in the school.

Finally, Jump Week started bright and early at 0300 the first day. Our schedule was for a day “Hollywood” (no combat equipment) jump on Monday, a day combat (with a rucksack and rifle) jump and an evening “Hollywood” jump on Tuesday, and on Wednesday a day “Hollywood” jump, and a night combat jump.

I can't even describe the jumps in a way that would tell how incredible they were. After every jump, I was excited to get back in the plane to do it again.

Overall the school was actually much more mentally challenging than physically challenging. It was a lot of work but when it finally came to jumping, every negative about camp was well worth it. I recommend every Cadet do this school if possible.


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