Airborne training provides players entry to the U.S. Army's elite Airborne School at Fort Benning, Georgia. There, players will experience practice drops from the school's monstrous 250 foot Free-Fall Tower and learn how to execute a proper Parachute Landing Fall (PLF). With the exception of the jet blast as you exit the aircraft and the opening shock of your parachute, a drop from this tower is the next best thing to jumping with one the Army's elite parachute units. While descending at virtually the same rate as an actual jump, the player must control his parachute and execute a correct PLF, just as he'll have to do when he makes his qualifying jump.
After mastering PLFs from the 250 foot Tower, players will take to the air for their first qualifying jump. From an altitude of 1,250 feet above ground level, players step into the side exit door of a C-17 Globmaster aircraft into the night sky above Fort Benning. At the command of the jumpmaster players exit the aircraft, observe the opening of their canopy and descend within the designated target area of the drop zone to earn the coveted silver wings of an Army paratrooper.
After earning their airborne wings, players join the 82d Airborne Division (the All American Division), the largest parachute force in the free world. To maintain the ability to deploy worldwide in 18 hours and seize objectives by airborne or airland assault players will apply their new skills to jump onto and seize a tactical airfield (Field Landing Strip, FLS) at the Joint Readiness Training Center at Fort Polk, Louisiana.
In addition to joining the ranks of the Army paratroops, players will be able to earn the prestigious Army Ranger Tab. The Ranger tour will offer gamers two training missions and the opportunity to join the elite 75th Ranger Regiment during subsequent combat missions to be released this fall. The Florida phase of Ranger Training places players in the swamps outside Eglin Air Force Base where they must seize or defend a Tactical Operation Center (TOC). Next training moves to the Mountains of Dahlonega, Georgia where sparse vegetation and compartmentalized terrain sets the stage for patrolling and ambush exercises.
This fall, players will build upon this training when they join the 75th Ranger Regiment in combat missions to defeat terrorist organizations trafficking in Stinger Anti-Aircraft missiles. These missions, along with the complete America's Army: Operations mission set will be available on CD only at local Army Recruiting stations, ROTC Detachment or Army events to be listed at www.americasarmy.com.
This release marks the completion of the initial launch of America's Army: Operations RECON edition on the Internet. Throughout the fall the Army will continue to offer mission updates and game enhancements via Web download. As with the 60 megabyte Airborne and Ranger pack, these missions and enhancements can be downloaded from a number of mirrored sites listed at www.goarmy.com and www.americasarmy.com.