Fort Hood makes another big jump when it comes to training for airborne operations, as it certifies 11 Jump Masters to train paratroopers.
This after the post opened its first fully-certified air assault school in the summer.
Soldiers with the 2nd Squadron, 38th Cavalry Regiment parachuted from 15 hundred feet in the air on North Fort Hood this morning.
Some, like SFC Carlos Arriaza, dropped as many as three times, but first every strap was checked and checked again so they can safely focus on the mission at hand.
It's all about getting as many troops on the ground as possible, undetected.
"It allows you to move on the enemy and not be compromised," said Carlos.
That's what this squadron does.
They specialize in surveillance and reconnaissance.
Parachuting is one way they get where they need to be, so they can make contact with the enemy and tell U.S. commanders what the situation is on the battlefield.
"Because we have unique capabilities, we need to be prepared to insert either through air, ground or water, so if we don't train this skill set, then we can't provide that capability to the commanding general," Squadron Commander LTC John Cogbill said.
To get that skill set, a trainer had to be brought in from Fort Bragg.
Now after his instruction, that's not a problem anymore.
"The benefit of conducting this operation is we have now trained and certified leaders, so that we as a squadron can conduct independent airborne operations and continue to maintain our airborne proficiency," said LTC Cogbill.
The training is bringing soldiers, like Carlos, back down to earth after a decade of deployments.
"We've got to stay current in airborne operations. You never know when we're going to need that in the combat zone," said Carlos.
Now that Fort Hood has its own certified jump masters, they'll be training paratroopers about once a month.
Reporter/Photographer: Sophia Stamas firstname.lastname@example.org