IDF Parachuting School

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The IDF Parachuting School was formed in 1949, at the same time as the creation of the IDF paratroopers unit. In 1967, after the Six Day War, the school went through a major reorganization and was remodeled after the British Army Parachuting School.

As with other military forces, the introduction of transport helicopters has diminished the need for military parachuting in the IDF. To date, the IDF carry out only one large-scale operational jump - the Kadesh Operation (the Sinai Campaign) - in 1956.

The school has several courses, which runs multiple times per year:

  • Combat Course - undergone by units who might actually need to perform a combat jump. This course lasts 14 days and consists of five jumps - two daytime jumps and three nighttime jumps. The course is undergone by the Tzanhanim (Paratroopers) infantry brigade and by few elite SF units. SF operators, who require to maintain airborne capability, perform additional jumps throughout their service.

  • Non-Combat Course - undergone by for units who are unlikely to perform a combat jump. The course is also considered a perk for distinguished personnel. The non-combat course lasts 10 days and consists of two daytime jumps. This course is passed by the most IDF SF units.

  • Specialized training - other than the school's two primary courses, the school also conducts specialized training sessions for elite IDF SF units, such as parachuting over water and High Altitude Low Opening (HALO) training.

The IDF standard parachuting wings.

The IDF master paratrooper wings worn by soldiers who conducted more then 50 jumps. As actually reaching so many jumps is rare, this insignia is worn mostly by parachuting instructors and by high ranking officers who managed to gather the necessary jumps during their long service.

The IDF HALO pin, worn only by the school's staff.

The school personnel is comprised of male and female instructors:

  • Male instructors - selected from the Tzanhanim infantry brigade initial selection phase (Gibush) and assigned to the school after finishing the brigade's six months basic and advanced training.

  • Female instructors - selected from graduates of the IDF female infantry instructors course.

The parachuting instructors course is held every two years, lasts seven month and comprised of over 60 jumps in all possible parachuting scenarios, including HALO and parachuting over water. The course also teaches how to signal helicopters for landing as well as heavy gear parachuting.

The IDF use American made parachutes. Most jumps are made at 10,000-12,000 feet height using the IDF primary parachuting platform - the C130 airplane. In 2001, the school procured two Virtual Reality parachuting simulators, similar to the ones used by the U.S. Army. The simulators are primarily used by SF units.

The parachuting wings is worn over a colored background:

  • Red - worn by soldiers who took part in the IDF combat jump during the Sinai campaign in 1956.

  • Blue - the most common background, worn by most personnel who undergo the parachuting course.

  • Black - parachuting over sea. Usually worn by Shayetet 13 personnel.

  • Green - worn by the Tzanhanim¬†infantry brigade and by other airborne capable SF units personnel after finishing their training regime.

  • White - instructor.

Qualifications Guide