Robins Airmen participate in military challenge

  • Published
  • By Wayne Crenshaw
  • 78th ABW/PA
On a chilly morning last week, many Airmen clad in t-shirts and shorts were running the track outside the Fitness Center for their fitness test, but some were putting themselves to an even more strenuous exam.

They were participating in the first Military Challenge, an event organized by the Fitness Center to give Airmen a chance to prove they are up to some of the real-world physical challenges they might face on deployment.

Two four-man teams dressed in battle gear competed in nine events, which included pushing a Humvee, running with a ruck sack, dragging a litter, performing a low crawl, and disassembling and reassembling an M4 carbine. They also did push-ups, pull-ups and dips, in addition to running a kettle ball relay, which consists of lugging 80-pound kettle balls in each hand.

The two competing teams were from the 78th Security Forces Squadron and the 116th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron. While they competed in each event with four people, each team brought five and interchanged participants throughout the events.

The 78th Security Forces emerged the victor.

Although it was more than two hours of tough work, competitors on both sides were clearly enjoying themselves, and said at the end they would definitely like to do it again.

Staff Sgt. Brian Holliman of the 116th said his team didn't practice for it; in fact, he didn't even know about it until the day before the event, when he was invited to participate. He also wasn't expecting it to be such a tough workout, but said he enjoyed it. He would like to see the 116th Air Control Wing have multiple teams in the next challenge.

"We will be better prepared next time," he said.

The Fitness Center plans to make it an annual event, but it may do something similar as early as May, said David Yann, one of the challenge organizers.

The 78th SFS and the 116th ACW have had some of the highest numbers of deployers from Robins. The SFS' Senior Airman Brandon Thorn is a veteran of two Iraq deployments.

"It was a really good workout," he said. "It relates to being deployed, especially with wearing the gear." Other members of the SFS team were Staff Sgt. Michael Bambarger, Staff Sgt. Cornelius Bostic, Staff Sgt. Kelaine Smith and Senior Airman Dustin Jones. Tech. Sgt. Jerrod Tracht served as the coach.

Members of the 116th team included Tech. Sgt. John Manos, Tech. Sgt. James Brewer, Staff Sgt. John Mayner and Airman 1st Class Kevin Lewis.