NY Air National Guard Staff Sgt. Cristian Marulanda, a North Bergen resident, completes Army Air Assault School at West Point
Stewart Air National Guard Base, Newburgh, New York (08/22/2023) — New York Air National Guard Staff Sgt. Cristian Marulanda, a North Bergen, New Jersey resident, graduated from the demanding Air Assault Course taught at the United States Military Academy at West Point on August 6, 2023.
Marulanda, a member of the 105th Airlift Wing's Base Defense Squadron, was one of seven airmen who completed the course.
The 105th Airlift Wing, located at Stewart Air National Guard Base in Newburgh, flies the C-17 Globemaster III strategic transport on missions around the world.
Security forces Airmen like Marulanda are trained to secure air bases around the world, and also provide security for aircraft on the ground.
The Army's Air Assault course prepares personnel to conduct helicopter assault operations. During the ten-day course the participates learn how to rappel from a hovering helicopter, sling load ammunition, weapons and equipment under CH-47 and UH-60 helicopters, and the tactics for leaving a helicopter under fire.
The course is physically demanding. Soldiers must complete obstacle courses and run between training events. The final event is a 12-mile timed march carrying a weapon and field pack.
Personnel who complete the course are entitled to wear the Air Assault Badge on their uniform.
The Air Guardsmen got the opportunity to take part in the training, because West Point had vacancies in the class and reached out to the 105th Airlift Wing to fill them with qualified personnel.
Out of 260 people who started the course 185 finished.
"Having our base defenders complete Air Assault School not only inspires others to success, but it also instills confidence and adds skills set for agile combat deployments, "said Major Brian Ibbs, the commander of the 105th Base Defense Squadron.
"It also enhances our interoperability with the Army in joint operations," Ibbs said.
New York Air National Guard Staff Sgt. Cristian Marulanda, center, a North Bergen resident, recently completed the Army Air Assault School taught at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point. Here he poses for a photo on August 6, 2023, following the graduation ceremony, with four other Air Guardsman from the 105th Airlift Wing Base Defense Squadron who passed the course. Pictured are Senior Airman Nixon Castro, Staff. Sgt. William Suggs, Marulanda, Staff Sgt. Casey Clemente and Senior Airman Christopher Navarro.