Cyber Airman earns Air Assault Badge

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  • By Story by Airman 1st Class Makensie Cooper

The Army Air Assault course last April had a 55% pass rate; only 42 students graduated including a front-end software developer Airman from the 747th Cyber Squadron.

During this physically demanding 10-day course, students are trained for insertions, evacuation and pathfinder missions, focusing on mastering rappelling techniques from rotary-wing aircraft.

“Going to air assault school is something I have always wanted to do,” said Senior Airman Caden Woodson, 747th Cyber Squadron front-end software developer. “I started looking at it at the start of the [COVID-19] pandemic and it really just sparked my interest, and I was determined to go.”

Woodson’s drive for attending the Army Air Assault course also stemmed from wanting to prove to his many Army friends and family that a Cyber Airmen could keep up.

Completing this course as a Cyber Airman embodied the spirit of being a Multi-Capable Airman as well, expanding his skillset outside of his core AFSC.

“The camaraderie between the soldiers during the course was awesome, I absolutely loved it,” said Woodson. “I originally joined the military wanting to deploy, and with this air assault badge I will be able to go on more missions and deploy a little more.”

The Air Assault course helps to further the reach of the Air Force’s ability to communicate in austere environments by supporting the employment of the Comm Flyaway Kit. This device provides connection to the internet and satellite connectivity to NIPR and SIPR.

“The only way to transport this system is by aircraft,” said Woodson. “Now that I have completed Air Assault, I will be able to transport the CFK by helicopter via sling loads and rappel into any location.”

Once an Airman is both Air Assault qualified and CFK qualified, they will be able to deploy and set up the CFK themselves, allowing for one Airman to do the job of multiple Airmen.

“Senior Airman Woodson is pioneering the development of MCA in new and creative ways,” said Lt. Col. Michael Brewer, 747th Cyberspace Squadron commander. “We are doing our part to accelerate change by integrating a full spectrum of available training by leveraging our joint partners.”