2 Reserve Officers are first females to compete paratroopers course

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Second Lieutenants Afesha Ross (left) and Alexis Williams proudly display their paratrooper's wings (GDF Photo)

Two female Reserve Officers have etched themselves into the history of the Guyana Defence Force, following their successful completion of the Basic Paratrooper Course.

Second Lieutenants Alexis Williams and Afesha Ross, graduates of the Reserve Officer Course 16, are the first female Officers to have completed the course and are among 35 students who graduated.

The graduation ceremony was held today at the 3 1 Special Forces Squadron Headquarters, Base Camp Stephenson, Timehri.
Today’s graduation also honoured 15 ranks who successfully completed the Free Fall Paratrooper Course.

Both courses were conducted over a period of six-weeks. The participants received training in Break fall drills, exit drills, emergency drills, folding of parachutes and navigation. Ranks attending the Basic Para Course also completed a minimum of five static-line jumps ranging from 1000ft to 1500ft altitude, inclusive of a night jump and a battle jump. The graduates of the Free Fall Course completed a minimum of seven free fall jumps ranging from 6000ft to 12000ft altitude inclusive of a night jump.

The closing ceremony for the Basic Paratrooper Course (GDF Photo)

The students who completed the Free Fall Course have completed the Basic Para Course and have done a minimum of 15 Static Line Jumps. All the graduated are now qualified to conduct aerial operations in peace time or limited war.

Base Commander, Base Camp Stephenson, Lieutenant Colonel (Lt Col) Lloyd Souvenir, Jump Master, encouraged the graduates to network and learn, remember safety and be resilient. “Networking for you in this era is easy considering all the technological advances. Distance and language are no longer a barrier as it was in my time as a basic paratrooper.
In your networking you would see videos of people jumping from all altitudes, doing formations and it is good to strive to achieve that level of proficiency,” he urged.

Lt Col Souvenir also urged the paratroopers to always conduct paratrooping in a safe manner.

“The beauty of paratrooping is in doing it safely. As paratroopers you will experience challenges that would cause you to sometimes question whether or not you want to continue jumping. Once it is safe you should continue it and become a part of the support group. Know the importance of your role as paratroopers,” he urged.