AIRMANSHIP 490 - Frequently Asked Questions
Q: I am an officer/enlisted person interested in AM-490. Can I take the course?
A: Generally speaking - No. AM-490 is a course designed for cadets to develop character, confidence, and courage. The jump wings awarded upon completion of the course are non-operational wings and are not recognized by other DoD jump units. If you are interested in pursuing a job requiring jump wings you must attend the Fort Benning basic Airborne Course.
Q: But I work here at USAFA and I've heard of people stationed here attending the course. Has that changed?
A: Yes. AETC operates the airfield programs and have control over how many, and who, take AM-490. Currently, USAFA permanent party (active duty) have no slots to take AM-490, per USAFA leadership and HQ AETC.
Q: Since USAFA parachuting is now under AETC has anything changed regard non-cadet attendance?
A: Yes, see above. Class slots are very tightly controlled - cadets obviously are the focus. Very few slots are given to non-cadets, and the bulk of those are active duty positions for people who work on the USAFA airfield.
If you have additional questions, contact the Parachute Program manager below.
Attn: Parachute Program Manager
USAF Academy, CO
COM: (719) 333-9321
Twenty five elite students are hand selected from a pool of about 250 individuals attempting to upgrade to the Wings of Green program. These third class cadets spend the first semester fine-tuning their parachuting skills. The second semester is dedicated to upgrading to jumpmaster status along with learning to teach the Basic Freefall AM-490 course. At the end of this semester, they become fully qualified members of the Wings of Blue.
The 50 Wings of Blue members are composed of a demonstration team and a competition team. These teams represent the Air Force in numerous events across the country each year. The competition team has won many consecutive collegiate national championships. The demonstration team participates in several high-visibility events such as Air Force Base open houses (air shows), Fiesta Bowl, and Rose Bowl. However, the main duty of the Wings of Blue is to teach and jumpmaster the basic Freefall Course, Airmanship 490.
Demo request information:
Demo Support Handbook
Request for Military Aerial Support / DD From 2535
DD Form 2535 "How to"