FirstSpear TV

USAF Standing Up MFF Parachutist Course For Battlefield Airmen

(USAF photo by Capt Jessica Tait)

Despite a couple of delays, the US Air Force is closing in on standing up a Military Free Fall Parachutist qualification course for its Battlefield Airmen. Like the US Navy’s course, it will be run by contractors, and the curriculum will be certified by USSOCOM and USASOC as well as AETC. Unlike the USN course, students will not earn their Static Line parachutist qualification, but will already be graduates of the Ft Benning course upon attendence of the AF MFF course. Students will meet all of the standards of the Army MFF course, but it will be conducted at a contractor facility, utilizing contract aircraft.

MFF training is an initial skills course that provides academic, ground, vertical wind tunnel/simulation, and military freefall training to first time jumpers that meets United States Special Operations Command/United States Army Special Operations Command (USSOCOM/USASOC) curriculum requirements.

Sister service parachute training has been stood up due to limited availability of course quotas for the Army MFF course. The Navy has been using a contractor run course for over a decade and added S/L training to their parachutist course because the Ft Benning curriculum lasts three weeks. While NSW primarily conducts MFF parachute ops, they certify their students in S/L procedures within the first few days of their training course.

Final contractor proposals are due on 2 May, 2017. Hopefully, we’ll see a pilot course before the end of the fiscal year.

12 Responses to “USAF Standing Up MFF Parachutist Course For Battlefield Airmen”

  1. patrulje says:

    While more MFF qualified folks is a win, do we really need 3 different schools teaching from the same curriculum? One large Joint DOD run school house seems more efficient.

    • Ed says:

      Yuma is not efficient. Frogs could not get the quotas and prior to the Navy program less than half the members of active SEAL Plts had Free-fall training. Once that school started in 2004, they were able to get the rest of the Plts qual’d in 2yrs. In 2006 they started sending BUD/S grads to this training part of SQT and they were qual’d in both S/L and MFF in less then 5 weeks. NSW doesn’t have time or money to waste anymore spending $$ sending 50+ grads every two months to Ft. Benning and wasting their time foe 3wks what gets done in the first 5 days of this course. Then the next 3+ wks is MFF w/ weather days added for low ceilings. In this instance a certified “in-house” program is the way to go for time, funding and efficiency.

      • AbnMedOps says:

        Hmm. 5 days for Static Line?

        Makes one wonder if after all these decade of a traditional 3 week S/L curriculum at Ft. Benning, perhaps there is another way? IIRC, Army Reserve used to operate a two-week S/L at Ft. McCoy every summer, attuned to the Reserve Annual Training model. Granted, there might be some mismatches in motivation and trainability factors between NSW personnel and the population Ft. Benning serves, but it might be worth a look.

        • Seans says:

          5 days is a bit of a stretch also for the NSW course. The first day is pretty much a half day with in brief and such. Two days practicing PLFs and emergency procedures. Then two days allotted for 5 jumps to cover for weather. Which they could get the 5 in one day if needed.

          • DesignatedDiver says:

            A consideration to factor in is that NSW trainees could very easily pick up on the training faster and more efficiently compared to the average Ft. Benning SL course attendee coming from the conventional military.

    • d says:

      You answered your own question. If one large school was working, we wouldn’t have three now.

      I’m all for it. Each service can worry about its own quality control.

  2. Rob K says:

    Article doesn’t mention it, but the AF had also been using the Contractor run course (Tac Air) until now.

  3. Eric V says:

    Bummer, no more JAATs to Yuma. However, the LZ Bar on the north side of town was legit.

  4. GM. Cole says:

    Any info on this being an option for the Marines? Why not? It saves money and the training could be tailored more To Small unit parachute insertions.

    • Ed says:

      I know in the past there were slots open to MARSOC and CTT/PJ, they integrated into the same class of SQT students. There may of only been 4 or so for each class.

  5. Bunn says:

    The Marine Corps already has its own MFF course. Been running for about a decade now.

  6. Frank says:

    The USAF has also had their own SCUBA school for years, due to the exact same reasons listed in the article. USAF CCT/PJ used to attend the JFKSWCS SCUBA course at Key West.