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 percent 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 percent 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 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)