The Guards are infantry soldiers who are proficient in helicopter operations. All Guardsmen are taught and trained to be comfortable working with helicopters. They are proficient in Terminal Air Guidance, in the setting up of landing sites as well as communicating with the pilots.
To ensure that Guardsmen are able to land in any conditions, they are taught the normal emplaning and deplaning drills, all Guardsmen are able to execute hover-jump, heli-rapelling, and fast-rope down, in full battle order.
The specialised skills that Guardsmen possess are vital to the SAF as they add a new dimension to the modern battlefield. To achieve such high standards is not without blood, sweat and tears. The men are put through some of the most rigorous training. To be worthy of adorning the muchh sought-after 'Guards' shoulder tab and the Khaki beret, trainees have to go through the gruelling 'Guards Officers Conversion Course' for officers and 'Guards Specialist Conversion Course' for specialists.
The men go through the 'Guards Advanced Continuation Training' (GACT) to earn their mark as Guardsmen. These conversion courses push every soldier physically and mentally to the limit and only those who qualify will be given the right to be called a 'Guardsmen'.
In battle, Guardsmen are noted for their rapid deployment of troops. Their rapid deployment is by helicopter. Thus, an important part of their training has to do with helicopters. This entails not only rapid disembarkation techniques but also rappelling, coming down from the chopper via long ropes. A nice landing area may not always be available, and Guards units may have to rappel straight into battle zones, or onto rooftops.
The Guards have to master many kinds of rappelling from cliffs and buildings. In one method, they come down a cliff head-downwards. All this business of jumping off cliffs may sound scary but the Guards are used to it such that it is second nature to them.