Basic Parachute Course
The Basic Parachute Course (BPC) takes place at No1 Parachute Training School, RAF Brize Norton in Oxfordshire. Students have all completed the All Arms Pre-Parachute Selection course, or associated service equivalent.
The course has varied in content over the years, but today lasts for up to four weeks. Reservists arrive at the school partially-trained and, therefore, their course lasts for only two.
PTS students are taught all the basic skills required of a military parachutist. These include aircraft and descent drills, drawing and fitting 'chutes and associated equipment (CSPEP) and harness release & drag drills - for both dry and wet landings. Week 1 is intensive and requires maximum effort & concentration from all students. Those reaching the required standard could make their first descent as early as Day 4 of Week 1.
Seven descents from a C130 Hercules transport aircraft are required to qualify as a military parachutist at varying altitudes. Two jumps are carried out at night to familiarise the student with tactical drops. The parachute utilised is the GQ LLP Mk1 rig. This is the standard 'chute for non-specialist drops and it replaced the long-serving Irvin PX1 Mk4 in 1993.
Descents are as follows:
- 1000 ft exit. Single stick. No container. Day
- 1000 ft exit. Single stick. Container. Day
- 800 ft exit. Single stick. Container. Day
- 800 ft exit. Single stick. Container. Night
- 800 ft exit. Simultaneous stick. Container. Day
- 700 ft exit. Simultaneous stick. Container. Night
- 600 ft exit. Simultaneous stick. Container. Day (Qualifier)