911th Airlift Wing holds Air Assault School tryouts

  • Published
  • By Senior Airman Grace Thomson
  • 911th Airlfit Wing Public Affairs

Airmen from the 911th Airlift Wing participated in tryouts for the Combat Air Assault training course May 4-5, 2019.

The tryout was designed around the requirements for the Combat Air Assault training course, as well as what it will take to pass the first week of the training.

In order to qualify, the candidates must pass an Army physical fitness test and an Army obstacle course 30 days before the training is to start.

During the tryouts, the candidates did a rope climb, two minutes of sit-ups, two minutes of push-ups, a two-mile run around the base, and a 6-mile ruck march.

When choosing what to test the candidates on for the training Master Sgt. James Stamos, 911th Security Forces police services manager, wanted to make sure they had enough of the requirements to understand what they were getting into but also not too much for a unit training assembly weekend.

The planners also took advice from others who have been through the Combat Air Assault training course, when it came to what would be important to include in the tryouts.

“They told us one of the biggest failures is the rope climb, so we wanted to add that in there and make sure people know it’s something they need to do,” said Stamos.

On top of adding Airmen to the base who are Combat Air Assault trained, Stamos said that 911th AW Commander Col. Douglas N. Strawbridge’s main reason for having these tryouts was to bring up base morale and comradery, said Stamos.

During the events every Airmen had at least one person cheering them on and urging them to do their best. Two of the candidates even had entourages of personnel cheering them on from the sidelines with signs as well as voices.

It was not just the people on the sidelines either. Fellow candidates would cheer on others when it was not their turn or give pointers if an Airman was struggling with a particular task.

Strawbridge’s base wide motto is “people first, mission always,” and these tryouts exemplified that motto.

“This is like my family and they always support me in everything I do, so we are really close and I like having them there,” said Senior Airman Karissa Lee, 911th SFS personnel specialist. 

Lee was the only female to participate in the first round of tryouts. She said that she decided to try out because she is always challenging herself and this was just another challenge to her.

“Initially I was just nervous; you know, just thinking about how I was going to do. But I feel O.K. It’s just that there is always room for improvement,” said Lee.

While Lee was seeking a new challenge, another Airman was seeking a second chance. James Krobot, 911th Maintenance Squadron sheet metal technician, said that he was former Army and had wanted to do this for quite some time, so he took the opportunity when it came along.

According to Stamos, out of the 13 participants who tried out, 12 successfully passed.

Of those who qualified, their scores were ranked in order from 1 to 12. When dates for the Combat Air Assault training course are decided, members will be chosen based upon there rank in the order, as well as their availability to attend.