Air Assault School


Army Air Assault Badge

US Army Air Assault School is a two-week (10 days) course of instruction conducted at several locations across the Army, including Fort Campbell, KY; Fort Drum, NY; Camp Smith, USMA; and at overseas locations in Germany and Hawaii. In each case, the course of instruction is focused on Combat Assault Operations involving US Army rotary-wing aircraft. Our battalion usually receives only one or two slots to Air Assault School(s) each summer, which are open to both male and female cadets meeting the minimum requirements listed below.

Purpose of the Air Assault School:

Train Soldiers in Air Assault operations, sling-load operations, and rappelling.  Upon graduation of the course each Soldier will be able to perform skills required to make maximum use of helicopter assets in training and in combat to support their unit operations.

Air Assault Course Scope:

Soldiers are trained on the missions performed by rotary wing (helicopter) aircraft, aircraft safety, aero-medical evacuation procedures, pathfinder operations, principles and techniques of combat assaults, rappelling techniques, and sling-load operations.  The core program of instruction requires minimum support assets and is adaptable to organic aviation elements.  Both the core instruction and the additional instruction are conducted in a classroom/field environment.

Example Course Description


On Zero Day, you will report to the school no later than 4:30 am for in processing followed by completion of an obstacle course.  A 2-mile run in Army boots will be performed by all obstacle course survivors. The 2-mile formation run will be run at a 10 minute per mile pace. Those who complete the obstacle course and finish the 2-mile run in 20 minutes will be enrolled in the Air Assault School.


During the Air Assault Phase, students become proficient in air assault operations, pathfinder operations, hand and arm signals, aircraft familiarization, aircraft safety, and aeromedevac operations.


During this phase, students will learn how to prepare loads for slingload. This equipment includes the M101A1 Howitzer, M998 HMMWV, 5,000 lb. or 10,000 lb. Cargo Nets, A-22 Cargo Bag, and Multi-Fuel Blivets. Everything must be committed to memory, such as the tensile strength of equipment used in slingload operations, lift capabilities of supporting aircraft, and rigging and inspection of prepared loads.


In this final phase, students will receive instruction in rappelling, from the basics to advanced rappelling from the 50-foot tower wall side, both with and without equipment. Next students will rappel off the tower from the skid (open) side. Finally, students will rappel from Army helicopters hovering at 100 feet above the ground.


Each student puts on load bearing equipment, 30-pound rucksack, helmet, draws an M-16 rifle and moves to the starting point for the 12-mile road march. Exactly three hours later, approximately 90% of the students have crossed the finish line. Those who survive the tough foot march begin realizing that they have done it!

The Air Assault Course is physically and mentally demanding. It requires a great deal of studying to pass the written tests and physical conditioning to pass the physical tests. If you have the stamina, intelligence and “gut it out attitude” you can become Air Assault qualified. If you rise to the occasion and successfully complete the Air Assault, Slingload, and Rappelling phases, and the 12-mile foot march, the distinctive right and honor to wear the Air Assault Badge will be yours.

To visit the Air Assault School at Fort Campbell website click here.

Minimum Entry Requirements
  • Be a contracted cadet
  • Complete the MS I year of ROTC
  • Pass the Army Physical Fitness Test
  • Demonstrate ability to do at least 6 pullups
  • Receive an approved Army/Air Assault Physical within 18 months of attendance
  • Instructor Nomination
  • Since attendance at Air Assault is both mentally and physically challenging, the PMS will assess each applicant, with special emphasis on overall physical fitness and the maturity level to attend and complete the course.


Air Assault School at Fort Campbell Kentucky