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McConnell Airmen graduate from Army Air Assault School

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class William Lunn
  • 22nd Air Refueling Wing Public Affairs

Defenders from the 22nd Security Forces Squadron became the first two McConnell Airmen to graduate from the Army Sabalauski Air Assault School at Fort Campbell, Kentucky on August 18, 2023. The Airmen learned and honed skills to bring back to their squadron.

Technical Sgt. Noah Hyatt, 22nd Security Forces Squadron kennel master and Senior Airman Matthew Dambrosia, 22nd SFS entry controller, were the two Airmen selected in hopes of completing the course alongside Soldiers and return to McConnell to share their experiences.

“Not many Air Force personnel have the opportunity to go through this course, so it was important to us that we were prepared for the challenges that were going to come our way,” said Hyatt. “By having gone through this I believe the range of things that we can do, as well as the speed we do them at, will be greatly improved.”

The school is a 10 day course to train leaders and Soldiers assigned to the 101st Airborne Division, other U.S. Army units, and U.S. Armed Forces service members. The school is commonly referred to as “the hardest ten days in the Army,” where candidates are tested in many physical and compressive challenges involving aircraft safety and orientation, aero medical evacuations, pathfinder operations and combat assault operations, including simulated combat assault on UH-60 Blackhawk aircraft.

“I want to help our people here at McConnell push past some fears they may have had previously to a lot of the operations we do here, so we can push past the normal capabilities that are outside the scope of a regular job,” said Hyatt. “By having gone through this I believe the range of things that we can do, as well as the speed we do them at, will be greatly improved.” 

After the completion of the school, the Defenders shifted focus to teach lessons learned and encourage other Airmen to go to similar improve their skill set as well as the efficiency of operation at McConnell.

“The next thing on the list is the rappel master course,” said Dambrosia. “That will certify us to be able to essentially run our own people through the stuff that they put us through, such as repelling off rappel walls, buildings and rotary wing aircraft, i’m excited to bring that piece to our squadron as well.”

Integrating Air Force personnel in Army training camps has become more frequent in recent years at an attempt to offer a range of strategic advantages. Airmen have been shown to bring more back to their bases after to the completion of extracurricular courses. The joint environment helps each branch communicate and leads to a more effective military as a whole.