Instructors in free fall

Dozens of parachuting instructors concluded their training course with a parachuting demonstration, as their proud families watched

Date: 31/05/2012, 1:33 PM     Author: Or Hochman, Ground Forces Website

Last weekend, dozens of parachuting instructors marked the conclusion of their training course with a demonstration jump at the IDF (Zahal) Parachuting School. The demonstration followed the soldiers’ successful completion of the prestigious jump instruction course, a seven-month instructional course held at the Parachuting School once every two years.

An hour before the concluding jump, the dunes surrounding the jump site filled with the families of the new instructors. While watching their loved ones parachute from heights of 4,000 to 12,000 feet, those in the crowd applauded and snapped pictures.
 “The jump demonstration for the parents at the conclusion of the course is a longstanding tradition, and today is like a holiday,” explained parachuting instructor Warrant Officer (res.) Uzi Piro, “Today symbolizes the end of the beginning. From here, [these instructors] will move on to interesting and important service.”

Immediately following the demonstration, the families continued to the Parachuting School, where the soldiers received their wings – the insignia symbolizing their successful completion of the jump instruction course.

“The feeling is unbelievable – an amazing sense of satisfaction,” course commander Cpt. Kobi Limor said at the event. “We have met our soldiers’ parents before, but every time it is an amazing feeling. We are one big family, and we have maintained a close and consistent relationship throughout the course. To see them jumping in front of their families – finishing the training process – is an unimaginable feeling and a once-in-a-lifetime experience.”

The prestigious course includes a variety of challenges. During the last few weeks, the new instructors participated in courses on operational jumps, skydiving, jumps with and without equipment, daytime and nighttime jumps, and jumps in a variety of locations.

The soldiers also participated in training with infantry forces, including navigation, expeditions, and a beret march in Jerusalem. Additionally, they participated in a series of workshops on command and leadership, during which they had a chance to practice instruction and take part in patrols across the country.

Maj. (res.) Tomer Tal served as a parachute jump instructor.  His cousin, Cpl. Ziv Hasson, followed in his footsteps and finished the course last week. “It’s very exciting to see him finish; it really brings me back,” Tomer explained. “When he was little, he always asked me what I was doing in the army, how the job was, what we did. He was very excited and wanted to do the same thing, and now here he is.”

Cpl. Zohar Carmel is one of the twelve women who completed the course last week. Moments after her final jump, she explained that the experience is entirely different when one’s family is waiting on the ground with open arms. “The views during the jump amaze me every time,” she says.