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US Army Military Freefall School
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TSgt James J. Thede


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HALO school...freefall...and even HAHO for the lucky. You do all that and more at this school. This is one of the easier schools the Army has to offer...as long as you can learn to freefall fairly well. If not...it becomes a difficult school to say the least.


MILITARY FREE-FALL PARACHUTIST COURSE (4 WEEKS)

PURPOSE:


TO TRAIN SELECTED SOF, DOD AND FOREIGN PERSONNEL AS MILITARY FREE-FALL PARACHUTISTS

SCOPE:

MILITARY FREE-FALL SKILLS

(DAY/NIGHT) HALO/HAHO OPERATIONS

Course Objectives:

Train personnel to be qualified military free-fall parachutists. This includes military free-fall parachute ground training; physiological training, body stabilization (vertical wind tunnel), basic aircraft procedures, combat equipment (rucksack and weapon); advanced aircraft procedures to include individual exits with combat equipment, mass exits, grouping exercises, night airborne operations, and life-support equipment (oxygen mask and bottles) and procedures with high-altitude airborne operations.

Reporting Instructions

Prior to reporting to the MFFPC, students must ensure that all dental, medical, administrative, and personnel actions are completed or rescheduled for a future date (after graduation).  Company B will not release students during the conduct of the course except for an emergency.

Company B headquarters is in Building 305 at Yuma Proving Ground (YPG), Arizona, DSN 899-3636/3640 or commercial (520) 328-3636/3640.  During the first week of training, the headquarters contingent is in Building D-1209 (Vertical Wind Tunnel [VWT]) at Fort Bragg, North Carolina, at the intersection of Gruber and Mosby Street, DSN 239-5661 or commercial (910) 432-5661.

Students must report to the VWT not later than 1700 on the report date listed in the Army Training Requirements and Resources System (ATRRS), DSN 239-5661.  Officers and enlisted personnel arriving prior to the class start date will report to the Moon Hall billeting office for room assignments or to obtain a statement of nonfilterability.  Reservations for Moon Hall may be made by calling (910) 436-1669.

During airborne operations (weeks two through four), students will be billeted at YPG, Arizona.  No reservations are necessary, and room assignments are made prior to arrival at YPG.  Yuma Proving Ground will not issue statements of nonfilterability.

Students reporting for inprocessing must have their medical records (with the original "approved" HALO physical which must be current within 2 years from graduation date), a current panorex dental x-ray, current AF Chamber Physiological  Card and form, and five hard copies of orders attaching them to Company B, 2d Battalion, 1st SWTG(A), for the purpose of attending the MFFPC.  Students who report without their medical records and orders will not enter training.

United States Army students must bring a copy of DA Form 2A/2-1 or DA Form 2B/2-1.

Orders to the MFFPC must state that government quarters are available at Fort Bragg for $16 per day and at YPG for $8 per day.  Government mess facilities are not always available because of the training schedule.  The use of government mess facilities adversely affects the performance of the mission.  Government mess is not available at YPG, Arizona.  There are eating establishments on YPG within 1/4 mile from billeting.  The nearest town is Yuma which is 25 miles away.

Orders must state the temporary duty (TDY) itinerary is “Fort Bragg, North Carolina, to Yuma Proving Ground, Arizona, and return to home stations or next duty assignment.”  This facilitates funding the individuals return tickets, especially those individuals on TDY en route to their next duty assignment.

Students on separate rations or per diem will provide for their own meals during training.  Company B, 2d Battalion, 1st SWTG(A), will not issue meal cards.

Students with meal cards must arrange for separate rations or per diem prior to departure from their parent unit.

Company B will extend class dates to achieve course graduation standards in the event academic requirements are not met because of adverse weather conditions or air scheduling conflicts.  Students will remain in the course until the rescheduled graduation dates or return to their parent units without qualification.  Students will not make return travel arrangements until the actual graduation dates have been established.  *Students will not be allowed to graduate early because of unit deployment, follow-on TDY/temporary additional duty, or travel arrangements locked in prior to the graduation date.

*All students are responsible for providing their own transportation (taxi) from YPG to Yuma airport after graduation.  (Approx cost $30.00).  Transportation for all training will be provided by Company B.

Prerequisites:

Special operations forces commissioned officers, warrant officers, or enlisted personnel of the Active or Reserve components who are assigned to, or who are on orders for assignment to, a military free-fall coded position or selected DOD personnel or allied personnel who are qualified military parachutists.  Effective 1 October 1995, Army students reporting to military free-fall training must have a memorandum confirming assignment to a military free-fall coded position at inprocessing.  Personnel reporting without the required memorandum will not be entered into training.  Must have passed the high-altitude, low-opening (HALO) physical examination IAW AR 40-501, Chapter 5, paragraph 8, and must report with complete medical records, including original HALO examination, on day of inprocessing.  School must be completed within two years of the date on the physical.  Must also report with a Physiological Training Record, High-Altitude Parachutist Initial (HAP INT).  This record is verified on AF Form 1274 (Chamber Card) and AF Form 702 (Individual Physiological Training Record).  Must have nine months remaining in service upon graduation.

Organization/unit surgeons will base their determination of a soldier’s medical qualification/disqualification on AR 40-501, Standards of Medical Fitness (1 May 1989), Interim Change No. 101 to AR 40-501 (1 October 1991), and the USAJFKSWCS Memorandum, “Requirements for Completing Physical Examinations for USAJFKSWCS Schools,” 1 March 1995.

*Soldiers requesting waivers for disqualifying conditions will submit their physical examinations along with a memorandum requesting the waiver (not later than 30 days prior to the class start date) through the USASOC Medical Training Division for delivery to USAJFKSWCS (where waivers are considered).  The address for the USASOC Medical Training Division is:

Commander, USASOC
ATTN:  AOMD-MT
Ft Bragg, NC  28307-5217

*Waivers must be approved in writing prior to start date!

Packing List:

Students will bring the following uniforms and equipment:

Two sets of their duty uniform (i.e., battle dress uniform [BDU], utilities, etc.); headgear (BDU or utility cap with rank and insignia); five brown T-shirts, five pairs of black nylon running shorts, and five pairs of olive drab socks; and one set of the gray Army physical training uniform or sister service equivalent.  T-shirts will not have logos on them.  Students will wear unit issue sweat suits during the winter months.

One pair of military-type gloves (flight gloves or black issue are acceptable).  Recommend that during the cold weather months gloves have good insulation without sacrificing dexterity.

Notebook, pen/pencil, and a good flashlight (mini mag recommended).

Black combat boots or jungle boots (lace through eyelet type) that meet the standards outlined in AR 670-1, Wear and Appearance of Army Uniforms and Insignia (1 September 1992), are acceptable.  Boots with open-hook eyelets are unacceptable for wear.



General Weekly schedule:

Week One

Week one begins with the usual Army drill of In-processing, weigh-in, equipment issue, etc. You are assigned an instructor and a jump buddy (about your same height and weight so you fall at about the same rate). Your instructor stays with you the whole time. You learn all about the ram air parachute, emergency procedures, rigging procedures, repack procedures, etc. You do table drills to learn how to fall properly and stable, and also get into the hanging harness to practice emergency procedures (malfunctions, cutaways, entanglements, etc.). You also cover jump commands and the oxygen system. Then the fun begins! First, you get into the wind tunnel. This is a massive fan that blow at speeds up to 150mph...it actually lifts you and supports you in the air to simulate freefall! You go through all the ep's, and you fine tune your body position.

Week two through four

Jump, Jump, Jump...and you will also jump. From here on out it is pretty much all jumping. You begin by exiting at 10000ft with no equipment, to exiting at 25000ft with full equipment and oxygen. You must remain stable, pull at the designated altitude (+/- 200ft), and land within 25m of the group leader. If the weather is good, you get to do a lot of jumps (including HAHO). High Altitude High Opening jumps are jumps where you exit at say...13000ft and 5 seconds later deploy your chute. You then glide 5-10 kilometers (a lot more depending on exit altitude and winds) to the target...quite a ride! Graduation consists of equipment turn in, diplomas and paperwork, and the requisite class party. Definitely a pretty fun school.


halo jumperThis is a Military Free-Fall jumper under canopy. You make at least 14 freefall jumps at MFF (HALO) school, which is at Ft. Bragg, NC. That is a ram-air "square" parachute. You use the square ram-air canopies for free-fall jumping, not normally for static line, but the MC-5 can be rigged for SL. With a round, you can jump with a little more equipment, but you hit harder and it is not nearly as maneuverable. With the ram-air, it is more like a wing; you can steer it where you want it to go to a certain degree although you can't jump with quite as much weight. Of course, you manually deploy the parachute by ripcord on the freefall jumps, usually around 3500ft, rather than it being extracted by a static-line. Except for water jumps, all jumpers are equipped with automatic opening devices designed to deploy the chute should the jumper be incapacitated, or otherwise unable to deploy his own canopy.




suitupHere is a fully equipped HALO jumper prior to boarding. You cannot see the weapon, oxygen bottles, or LBE but they are there. Maximum a jumper can weigh when exiting the aircraft is 360 lbs. Other items that might be worn include GPS, Compass board, or another rear mounted ruck-sack. ARCH HARD!!