ABNSOTDAirborne and Special Operations Test Directorate (US Army)
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The two types of testing that an ABNSOTD test officer will typically be assigned to execute are personnel airdrop testing and heavy equipment airdrop testing.
In addition to heavy airdrop testing, ABNSOTD is often tasked to conduct testing of external air transport (EAT) procedures of various types of equipment.
ABNSOTD has developed a trusted relationship throughout the airborne community.
According to Pete Morakon, ABNSOTD's most recent Hall of Fame inductee, "...
"The ABNSOTD averages about 50 tests a year," Jesmer said.
Assignment to the ABNSOTD is considered a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, and all nominated Soldiers are interviewed by the unit's sergeant major to determine if they have what it takes to be a test parachutist.
"We do this by identifying the most highly qualified parachutists for assignment to the ABNSOTD, and then providing them with intensified ground training and extensive practical-exercise jumps so they become subject-matter experts who understand how to deal with and mitigate the risks," White said.
"By the time Soldiers are assigned to the ABNSOTD to become test parachutists, they have an average of 14 years of jump experience and 450 jumps." Tabor said.