As the brisk morning air nips at his fingers, Pvt. Jon-Luk Cole fights to keep his grasp on the rope as he pulls himself up reaching the top of the obstacle.
Cole and fellow paratroopers from the 82nd Airborne Division Sustainment Brigade and Fort Bragg battled with the chilly air to negotiate their way through the air assault obstacle course at Fort Bragg, Jan. 4.
“The course was more challenging than I thought,” said Cole, a parachute rigger assigned to the 151st Division Aerial Delivery Company, 189th Combat Sustainment Support Battalion.
“It showed me what I need to work on before going to air assault.”
More than 120 paratroopers and Soldiers traversed the course with the intent of completing a prerequisite to attend an upcoming air assault class at Fort Bragg.
The DeGlopper Air Assault School hosted this prerequisite training as a way for Fort Bragg units to certify paratroopers and Soldiers on the course.
“Attending our monthly obstacle course is not a requirement for entry into air assault,” said Sgt. 1st Class Joshua Bronson, air assault chief instructor. “Soldiers must have their commanders state they are able to complete the course prior to enrollment. We host the course monthly to allow units on (Global Response Force) or smaller units who cannot certify their Soldiers themselves due to circumstances.”
The school graduates nearly 1,000 Soldiers and paratroopers per year from the air assault course. Air assault instills confidence in service members to use rotary wing assets to accomplish the mission.
The DeGlopper Air Assault School offers air assault, rappel master and fast rope insertion and extraction system master courses since opening in 2013.
“We update our courses and doctrine to meet the needs of commanders,” Bronson said. “It’s important to maintain skill sets we haven’t used in the past few years and possibly use in the future.”