Pathfinder School To Get Cut

Marauder06

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I'm actually OK with this. I think the skills were useful, but could be (and largely were) taught in other courses. I think the only reason people go to this school--and certainly the only reason I went, as an S2 in the 160th--was because it has a cool badge associated with it.

The Army will discontinue its historic Pathfinder School at Fort Benning, Georgia, as leaders prepare for fiscal constraints in future budgets and expect a shift in how they wage war.

Pathfinder School at Fort Benning slated to officially get the ax
 

The Hate Ape

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How relevant are jump wings now? Yep, Kewl patch, but how useful is it as an insertion skill.
Extremely relevant when future conflicts are considered. From that perspective, masses of troops are necessary to campaign/control territory even with enemy area denial counter measures considered.

This is law just as it is timeless.

The enemy threat/defensive posture can & will be addressed in a variety of ways prior to wheels up. You’re going to have to get a bunch of equipment/troops/etc on enemy land at some point on your own accord despite whatever international relationships our country has at its disposal.

So until we develop a faster & more efficient delivery system in areas where geography would otherwise impede or disable momentum, jumping will remain relevant. We need to maintain that skillset and our subject matter experts IOT be effective down the road without falling victim to our near-target operations goggles.
 

Devildoc

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It doesn't even have to be relevant, it just has to be a capability. Add one more wrinkle an adversary has to worry about, one more contingency plan for them, one more avenue to protect and with which to be spread thin.

We have not had a mass airborne drop by non-SOF units in how long, yet we know we can.
 

ThunderHorse

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How relevant are jump wings now? Yep, Kewl patch, but how useful is it as an insertion skill.

Depends on the enemy and what we'll before wheels up @The Hate Ape stated.

In the last 20 years there were three "major" combat jumps between Iraq and Afghanistan for the US Army that are at least public knowledge.

Operation Rhino- Company + (3/75)

Objective Serpent- Company (3/75)

Operation Northern Delay- Battalion+ (173rd ABN)

I'm unsure of removing the Pathfinder School completely makes sense, I know that they ran the course at Ft Campbell. If anything I would be in favor of consolidating the course with the Airborne school house.

What we have seen consistently in the last decade+ is almost all divisions wanting an Air Assault School on post. The moment 10th MTN stood their's up is the moment a GO was like: "Why do they get one?" So now there is an Air Assault School at Ft Hood and Ft Bliss as well.

Generally speaking, when I was at Bliss there was a decent reason behind standing one up because we had an SBCT on post (that's gone, and thank god, that unit had all sorts of issues when I was there). But for some reason Big Army thinks ABCTs need to have Air Assault in their METL. So Ft Bliss and Ft Hood keep their air assault schools.
 

Marauder06

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West Point now has an Air Assault school on campus as well. When it's used, it is staffed by cadre from one of the existing schools (Campbell, I think).
 

DasBoot

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Depends on the enemy and what we'll before wheels up @The Hate Ape stated.

In the last 20 years there were three "major" combat jumps between Iraq and Afghanistan for the US Army that are at least public knowledge.

Operation Rhino- Company + (3/75)

Objective Serpent- Company (3/75)

Operation Northern Delay- Battalion+ (173rd ABN)

I'm unsure of removing the Pathfinder School completely makes sense, I know that they ran the course at Ft Campbell. If anything I would be in favor of consolidating the course with the Airborne school house.

What we have seen consistently in the last decade+ is almost all divisions wanting an Air Assault School on post. The moment 10th MTN stood their's up is the moment a GO was like: "Why do they get one?" So now there is an Air Assault School at Ft Hood and Ft Bliss as well.

Generally speaking, when I was at Bliss there was a decent reason behind standing one up because we had an SBCT on post (that's gone, and thank god, that unit had all sorts of issues when I was there). But for some reason Big Army thinks ABCTs need to have Air Assault in their METL. So Ft Bliss and Ft Hood keep their air assault schools.
It’s already “consolidated” with Airborne school. It’s a separate company from JM and BAC that is run under ARTB.

In line with your post, I think the best option is to have divisions set up their own Pathfinder schools. There are several different Air Assault courses spread across the Army. Same curriculum, same badge. Different locations.
 

Devildoc

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It’s already “consolidated” with Airborne school. It’s a separate company from JM and BAC that is run under ARTB.

I think the best option is to have divisions set up their own Pathfinder schools. There are several different Air Assault courses spread across the Army. Same curriculum, same badge. Different locations. That would be a good idea IMO.

Once upon a time the Navy did this with diver. They had...5 I think. Now just the one. With small schools and small enrollments it sounds like it is easy to do.
 

AWP

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Airborne is such a weird thing in the US Army.

You can get an Airborne contract, complete jump school, and never spend a day on jump status after that. We hand out the school (along with Air Assault) as a recruiting and retention bonus (promotions points if you're a grad) and to just about any officer candidate/ cadet in that pipeline. The Army throws wings at people.

BUT

There are valid reasons to have an airborne capability. It isn't just "we can do this" but it also shows our adversaries that...we can do this. In the same vein as the Marine Corps with an afloat MEU, we can put a brigade anywhere in the world within 18 hours. We can put a brigade plus a Ranger BN anywhere within 18 hours. Those units bring attachments from the Air Force who can wreck a lot of shit because we aren't dropping 3,000-ish people anywhere without the considerable might of the AF overhead.

Nations out there know that we can take a bridgehead, seize an airfield, and begin conducting offensive operations within 18 hours of giving the order. That's why discussions about cutting the Marine Corps are as stupid as those about cutting the Army's airborne units. Pathfinder going away is a "heritage loss", but these things called Special Tactics Squadrons have plenty of men more than capable, and willing, of doing the deed.

Every now and then the Army gets one right, even if this stings a little.
 
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Devildoc

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My only complaint is that we have only one airborne division, and the 101st is air mobile and not airborne.

I always thought the integration of the Marine Corps MEU with army airborne rapid deployment forces could make a truly lethal combination; they could put boots on ground and get down range very very quickly.

As for airborne school slots, I don't know how the army does it (quota allocation), but when I was on the reserve side in the Navy we had opportunities to go from time to time.
 
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DA SWO

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My only complaint is that we have only one airborne division, and the 101st is air mobile and not airborne.

I always thought the integration of the Marine Corps MEU with army airborne rapid deployment forces could make a truly lethal combination; they could put boots on ground and let down range very very quickly.

As for airborne school slots, I don't know how the army does it (quota allocation), but when I was on the reserve side in the Navy we had opportunities to go from time to time.
Add two Brigades, one in Italy and one in Alaska.
I wish the Army would cut back on jump school slots and make the course longer (it was a PARATROOPER course at one time).
 

DasBoot

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My only complaint is that we have only one airborne division, and the 101st is air mobile and not airborne.

I always thought the integration of the Marine Corps MEU with army airborne rapid deployment forces could make a truly lethal combination; they could put boots on ground and get down range very very quickly.

As for airborne school slots, I don't know how the army does it (quota allocation), but when I was on the reserve side in the Navy we had opportunities to go from time to time.
We have 3 “divisions” of Airborne. 82nd, 173rd and 4/25 in Alaska. Technically the 173rd and Alaska are Brigades but operate like independent divisions.

ETA: @DA SWO beat me to it.
 
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