101st boosts air assault training in wars' wake - WSMV Channel 4

101st boosts air assault training in wars' wake

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By KRISTIN M. HALL
Associated Press

FORT CAMPBELL, Ky. (AP) - After years of repeated deployments, the 101st Airborne Division is returning to the training that makes it unique as the military's only helicopter-based air assault division.

In both Iraq and Afghanistan, the division used air assault techniques that combine helicopters and ground-based forces to move quickly.

But due to the division's heavy deployment rotation and turnover in the forces, only about 40% of the division's soldiers on average have gone through the air assault school, said Capt. James Prisock, the school's commander.

Now the division's commanding general wants at least 70% of his troops to complete the tough 10-day course. It teaches skills such as rappelling, carrying heavy equipment by helicopter and a style of descent called "fast-roping" where soldiers slide down a line like a fire pole.

Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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