Twelve airmen from across the U.S. Air Force competed in the Super Regional Alpha Warrior event at Joint Base Charleston July 27.
The competition tested participants’ overall fitness by utilizing Joint Base Charleston’s Alpha Warrior battle rig. The rig’s equipment was designed to strengthen functional fitness and promote more resilient and fit-to-fight athletes through a variety of obstacles.
U.S. Air Force 2nd Lt. Jesse Montgomery, a C-130 Hercules structures engineer assigned to the Air Force Life Cycle Management Center at Robins Air Force Base, Georgia, placed first among males, completing the battle rig obstacle course in 4 minutes, 30 seconds.
“It’s fun to get out here and compete with my fellow service members,” said Montgomery. “Everyone is cheering each other on and doing their best. For me, it’s a lot easier to train where there’s a goal in mind and something like this gives you something to aim for. This has given me a lot more confidence.”
U.S. Air Force 2nd Lt. Michelle Strickland, a student pilot assigned to the 14th Student Squadron at Columbus Air Force Base, Mississippi, placed first among females, completing the battle rig obstacle in 5 minutes, 31 seconds.
“We’re using our whole body. I think having something as comprehensive as this, something more than just push-ups, sit-ups and a run, really brings us together toward a more comprehensive fitness,” said Strickland. “We’re all on the same team, we’re all in the same fight and this is bringing us together.”
For some participants, the training and preparation it takes to reach the super regional event is worth the experience alone and a way to maintain and increase readiness.
“If I’m in a deployed environment, 110 degrees, and I have to carry bags onto a flight line, am I going to do that better because I trained for Alpha Warrior? … absolutely,” said U.S. Air Force 1st Lt. John Novotny, 423rd Mobility Training Squadron deputy flight commander, U.S. Air Force Expeditionary Operations School, Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, New Jersey. “I’m functionally fit, I have the endurance and stamina to complete my job.”
Increased readiness isn’t the only benefit Novotny said he received from the program. He said camaraderie built during events like these is important and if an Airman can push themselves to get a faster time than him, there’s still victory.
“These are people you deploy with, people you work with, who are on the same team as you,” said Novotny. “You want everyone in the Air Force to be that fit. If I have 10 airmen that can beat my time who may be more fit than me … good. I want that in my military.”
Once all super regional competitions are complete, the top performing six male and female competitors from across the globe will compete at the 2019 Air Force Alpha Warrior Champions in San Antonio Sept. 12, 2019.