Air Assault

Air Assault


Scope:  Air Assault School is a 10 ½ day course that teaches Air Assault techniques and procedures, and qualifies soldiers to wear the Air Assault Badge.


Soldiers are not considered “Air Assault Students” Until after successful completion of Zero Day

Zero Day Tasks are:

  • Inspection
    • This is an extremely meticulous inspection
    • Will be conducted as soon as the soldier enters school grounds
    • Soldier must have all items IAW packing list all items must be clean and serviceable
    • If a soldier is missing ANY item that soldier may not be allowed to in-process (the unit will be allowed an alternate at this point)
  • The Obstacle Course: is designed to assess a student’s upper body strength, agility, endurance, confidence, and ability to perform at heights without displaying fear or distress.  This test is critical in determining if a student will be able to complete Air Assault School without becoming a safety risk to themselves, instructors, or other students during the tough and demanding training events conducted throughout the course.
    • Soldiers are given a briefing on all obstacles prior to them negotiating the course
    • Consists of 9 obstacles
    • Soldiers must negotiate all obstacles
    • Soldiers who fail an Obstacle will be given a 5 minute break and given a second attempt after failing the second attempt the soldier will be a “No-GO” for that obstacle
    • A soldier must successfully negotiate 2 (two) “Mandatory” Obstacles
    • A soldier may not miss more than 1 (one) “Non-Mandatory” obstacle
  • 2 Mile Run
    • Soldier must complete run in 18 Minutes or less, for ALL students regardless of age or gender

    Air Assault


This Phase is three days long.  During the Combat Assault Phase, soldiers receive instructions on the following tasks:  

  • Aircraft Safety
  • Aircraft Orientation – includes the familiarization of the characteristics & capabilities of Army aircraft
  • Aero Medical Evacuation – includes the capabilities and request procedures for MEDEVAC aircraft.
  • Pathfinder Operations – HLZ selection, marking and operation for day and night missions involving multiple aircraft, to include sling loads.
  • Hand and arm signals-  Soldiers are taught 17 hand and arm signals used during sling load operations
  • Close Combat Attacks- use of attack aviation in a CAS role
  • Combat Assault Operations – Includes various factors encompassed in an Air Assault operation such as: components of an AASLT mission, the reverse planning sequence, duties & responsibilities of platoon level personnel during an Air Assault, static load training and a simulated combat assault on UH-60 aircraft  

Soldiers are given two tests:  

  • Written – 50 question multiple choice – soldiers must achieve 70% to receive a GO  
  • Hands-on – They are tested on 10 of 17 hand and arm signals and must correctly perform 7 of the 10 to receive a GO.  
  • Soldiers must pass both tests to move on to the Sling Load Phase, they are allowed one retest per exam  

Air Assault


This Phase is three days long.  During the Sling Load Phase, soldiers receive instruction on various aspects of sling load operations.  This includes:

  • Planning & preparation for sling load operations
  • Capabilities, characteristics and use of sling load equipment
  • Duties & responsibilities of a sling load personnel
  • Familiarization with sling load theory & rigging of non-standard loads


Students receive hands on training on preparation, rigging, and inspection of several certified or suitable external loads.  These may include the following loads:  

  • M998 HMMWV  
  • M998 HMMWV, shotgun/side-by-side configuration  
  • M119 105mm Howitzer
  • M149 Water Trailer
  • A-22 Cargo Bag
  • Fuel Blivets (1, 2, 3, or 4 blivit configuration) 
  • 5000 lb or 10,000 lb Cargo Net  

The soldiers will also conduct an actual hook-up of a load underneath a CH-47 or UH-60 aircraft.

Soldiers are given two tests:  

  • Written – 50 question multiple choice – must score 70% to receive a GO  
  • Hands-on – Tested on 4 of the 6 loads taught.  Must identify 3 out of 4 preparation and/or rigging deficiencies within 2 minutes per load to receive a GO 
  • Soldiers must pass both tests to move on to the next phase.  They are allowed one retest per exam



This phase is three days long.  During this phase soldiers receive instruction on basic ground and aircraft rappelling procedures, to include the following tasks:  

  • Tying of the hip-rappel seat (Swiss seat)
  • Hook-up techniques
  • Lock-in procedures  
  • Rappel with and without combat equipment
  • Belay procedures
  • Fast Rope familiarization

Soldiers will conduct 2 rappels on the wall side of the 34 foot tower, 9-12 rappels from the open side, and 2 from a UH-60 Blackhawk helicopter hovering at 70-90 feet.  All rappels are conducted with and without combat equipment.  During fast rope familiarization, students conduct a controlled descent and a static hold for 5 seconds.  Students that successfully conduct both descents from a 12 foot platform, then descend from the 34’ tower using the stack-out/rapid exit technique.  Fast rope descents are conducted without combat equipment.

Soldiers are tested on:  

  • Tie the Hip rappel (Swiss) seat within 90 seconds with no deficiencies  
  • Hook-up to a rappel rope within 15 seconds, without deficiency
  • Conduct 3 rappels: lock-in rappel, rappel without combat equipment (Hollywood) with three controlled brakes, combat equipment rappel with three controlled brakes  
  • Soldiers must pass all tests to move on to the next phase and are allowed one retest per exam  


The final event is the 12-mile foot march.  Soldiers must complete the 12-mile foot march, with the prescribed uniform and equipment, in three hours or less in order to graduate. The foot march is a graded task and a graduation requirement for Air Assault School. Units and individuals may NOT pace or otherwise walk with a student during the foot march. 


Photo of two AH-64 Apache Longbow       helicopters



If a student fails a phase test, to include the road march, they may be re-cycled into another class. Each phase may be re-cycled one time.  A second failure of the same phase will result in a “Day 0 drop,” meaning that the student must begin a new class from day zero.  Students who have failed a phase, may return to any Air Assault School and insert into an ongoing class at the beginning of the failed phase.  The same procedures apply with foot march failures.  Regardless of how many phases have been re-cycled, the student must complete the course within 6 months of the original start date.  If not, the student becomes a “Day 0 drop.”



  • Graduates are awarded the Air Assault badge and the 2B ASI.
  • Graduates in the rank of SPC (E-4) and above are qualified to inspect rigged sling loads and sign a DA Form 7382R.
  • Graduates in the rank of CPL & above are qualified to perform as rappel lane NCOs for ground rappel training and are eligible to attend the Rappel Master Course. 
  • Graduates in the rank of SFC or above are qualified to serve as a rappel site Safety Officer for ground and aircraft rappelling.
  • Graduation ceremony is held near the rappel tower at 1100 hrs on the day of graduation (DAY 10)
    • Units and family members are encouraged to attend
    • Parking is available in the Student Parking Lot north of the rappel tower

Air Assault


  1. Recommended by commander and rated excellent in conduct and efficiency after a minimum of 30 days of assessment in the unit
  2. Soldier must have a current physical on file. (Does not have to Bring it with)
  3. Soldier cannot be on profile (except a shaving profile or corrected hearing profile)
  4. Pass the APFT within 30 days of the course start date
  5. Successfully completed a 12-mile road march (with 35 lbs. of equipment) in three hours, within 90 days of the course start date, and negotiated TSAAS obstacle course within 60 days of the course start date, each event conducted by the individual soldier's unit
  6. Must have an inspection of all equipment IAW the packing list. Leaders need to ensure all equipment is CLEAN and SERVICEABLE, Inspect these items carefully within 30 days of start date
  7. Meet height/weight standards in accordance with AR 600-9, signed by CDR/1SG.  A copy of DA Form 5500-R (Body Fat Content Worksheet - Male) or DA Form 5501-R (Body Fat Content Worksheet - Female) must be attached to FC Form 4137 if the soldier exceeds the height/weight standards.  This worksheet is mandatory and the packet will not be accepted for processing without it
  8. Soldiers over the age of 40 must be medically screened and cleared (by a doctor or Physician's Assistant) to attend TSAAS. This screening is mandatory for processing and recorded on a DD Form 689 (Individual Sick call Slip) and must be completed within 30 days of the course start date
  9. All eyewear must be IAW AR670-1 and CAM PAM 600-1
  10. The first line supervisor/squad leader is required to inspect the soldiers     uniform and equipment prior to attending TSA