Airmen attempt Air Assault assessment

MOODY AIR FORCE BASE, Ga. -- Twenty-six Moody Airmen attempted an Army Air Assault assessment, May 16 to 19.

The Army Air Assault assessment is a voluntary, four-day test consisting of seven events, each of which must be passed in order to qualify to attend Army Air Assault School.

“We hold assessments to evaluate members wanting to go to Army Air Assault School so that we can be sure we’re sending our best to represent the Air Force,” said Tech. Sgt. Jose Deleon, 820th Combat Operations Squadron NCO in charge of radio frequency transmission systems and lead instructor during the assessment. “These Airmen are put through a lot during these four days, but it’s [everything they’re going to experience] at the school house.”

Day one of the assessment was full of classroom instruction where Airmen learned about their cargo bag, as well as how to tie a swiss-seat harness. They put what they learned to test during day two when they performed a series of rappels.

Airmen traveled to Camp Blanding, Fla., on day three to complete an Army personal training test and an obstacle course with nine obstacles, as well as various exercises to perform in between each one. In order to complete the obstacle course, Airmen had to successfully pass the first two mandatory obstacles, and six out of the seven obstacles that followed.

“I was just trying to get through the day to get to tomorrow,” said Staff Sgt. Adrian De Dios, 822d Base Defense Squadron fire team leader, after completing the obstacle course. “It’s hard to find motivation out here, but we push each other and don’t let each other stop. Just a little bit of enthusiasm from one person can be enough to get you through the next obstacle and finish strong.”

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

Although the assessment is intended to be difficult and many were not able to persevere, 9 of the 26 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. Ninety-nine percent of all the Airmen that the 820th Base Defense Group have graduated.

“Army Air Assault School provides Airmen with a unique set of skills to do things such as transport equipment downrange where it needs to be and rappel out of a helicopter with combat equipment,” said DeLeon. “It allows these special Airmen to better contribute to the overall mission.”