AM-490 1st Go Ground Training
We're back at the Airfield this week getting coverage of AM-490, in other words - Jump!
I'm sure if you've read our blogs over the summer about what AM-490 is, but in case you haven't here's some background on the program.
Airmanship 490 or AM-490 is a Basic Freefall Parachuting Program that the Academy offers and it is the core mission of the Wings of Blue and the 98th Training Squadron, all of the Cadets on the Wings of Blue team are certified AM-490 Instructors and Jumpmasters. Throughout each year over 700 Cadets complete this course where they achieve 5 parachute jumps and earn their jump wings.
AM-490 is the only program in the entire world where the first jump is an unassisted freefall, how amazing is that? Because of this unique difference all students, cadet or staff who go through this program will have roughly 40 hours of ground training before their first jump.
Below is small glimpse we caught during their Ground Training this week.
The Academic year is much different in pace than the summer program months, during the summer Cadets will move through this program from beginning to end within one to two weeks. During the Academic year they can take a bit more time and will go through this program in just under a months' time usually, though this Go they've seemed to speed through their ground training and we not only caught them in training but also getting their initial tour of all of the locations they'll be working around as they go through their 5 jumps. The first half of the program is all ground training, most of it takes place here at the Academy but the last stage is the vertical wind tunnel which they get to experience up in Denver which will be taking place on Saturday. When they have successfully completed ground training, the aerial portion of AM-490 begins. Each jump is videotaped and reviewed by the Wings of Blue members, after they are reviewed the Cadets will earn a grade on each jump and will be given retraining if needed.
Once a student has completed their 5 jumps and has received their jump wings, for the rest of their AF Careers they will have those wings on their uniform.
We were able to stop by and catch both the M and T day groups this week and will catch them again as they get their jumps in the coming weeks.
Some of the Wings of Blue Cadets even had the chance to do some jumps for the Cadets during their tour out on the Drop Zone at the practice 50 yard line!
To view the rest of the pictures taken this week go to Galleries - Airmanship - Jump. Or click the link below.