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Archive for the ‘Warrior Athlete’ Category

Air Force Special Warfare Training Wing’s Human Performance Squadron Reaches Milestone

Tuesday, July 13th, 2021

JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-CHAPMAN TRAINING ANNEX, Texas—The Special Warfare Human Performance Squadron, SWHPS, recently marked its second anniversary.

The SWHPS is the first squadron of its kind in the Department of Defense, and its sole purpose is to provide Special Warfare Airmen and cadre embedded/holistic Human Performance, HP support.

“We reached our two-year milestone as a squadron and I cannot tell you how immensely proud I am of the team,” said Lt. Col. Shawnee A. Williams, SWHPS, commander. “With all of the hard work done to stand up the SWHPS, I am excited to see this capability propel forward every day!”

The SWHPS mission statement is to optimize the performance, durability, and sustainability of the Special Warfare human weapon system by taking an interdisciplinary approach toward the advancement of science and technology throughout the SW operator’s lifespan.

The organizational structure is made up of five geographically separated units, GSU, across the United States coast-to-coast. Within this construct are nine human performance flights supporting 80 Special Warfare cadre, 500 support staff, and 1,100 Special Warfare students annually.

“Our team sets the foundation for building physically superior, mentally sharper, and spiritually stronger warriors who will go into harm’s way to tackle our nation’s most dangerous and difficult tasks,” said Col. George Buse, Special Warfare Human Performance Support Group, commander. “To this end, SWHPS focuses on being brilliant at instilling HP principles in SW Airmen. We also leverage technological advances, research capabilities, and a holistic approach for the sake of further integrating and professionalizing the SW training enterprise,” said Buse. 

Some key accomplishments of the SWHPS include standing up the first SW Human Performance purpose-built facility and hence named the Airman 1st Class Baker Combat Conditioning Center at the Panama City Dive School, Panama City, Florida. This facility occupies 13K square feet, $1.3 million in performance equipment, and serves a joint population of cadre and students with over 700K annual course hours.

At GSU location Yuma, Arizona, the first-ever embedded physical therapist for Army and Air Force personnel position has been established to increase access to care for evaluation, diagnosis, treatment, and injury prevention services for trainees and support staff members at Military Free Fall Courses.

Educationally, SWHPS has established a location at the U.S. Air Force Academy and took on their USAF Physical Therapy Fellowship Program for the Air Force Medical Service, and propelled it forward (was not under the old Battle Field Airmen Model). The Fellowship program has since graduated eight fellows with three more due to graduate in 2021 and has secured national accreditation.

Additionally, SWHPS has established a human performance footprint, across the training pipeline that employs integrated wearable technology, along with HP technician support. This footprint enables SWHPS to track parasympathetic/sympathetic system output, sleep, musculoskeletal health, velocity-based training, and water-based event metrics to include heart rate and physiological data points.

“Another first of its kind is the HP portfolio integration with the Learning Management System/database. The integration will soon provide continuity between training and operational units,” Williams said. “This allows for a human performance portfolio to travel with each member throughout their Special Warfare career.”

The Squadron’s Nutrition SMEs created the first stand-alone performance dining facility and now oversee all menus in support of the Special Warfare Preparatory Program. “It provides a much-needed ‘learning lab for trainees when they first enter Special Warfare,” said Maj. Miriam Seville, the lead dietitian for the Special Warfare Training Wing. “The trainees get to practice the sports nutrition principles that they learn in class and experiment with a wide variety of healthful foods and beverages that fuel and sustain optimal performance.

“This dining facility introduces trainees to what fueling the Human Weapon System can and should look like, and enables them to build habits here that will support them throughout their training and into operational status,” she said.

In November of 2020, the SWHPS graduated the first Air Force Institute of Technology Performance Nutrition Fellow, who now brings world-class nutrition capability, guidance, and knowledge to Special Warfare programming.

Williams added a final thought on the accomplishments of the program, “Over the past two years, SWHPS has set the foundation for an integrated approach to building and maintaining a human weapon system. We have taken a purposeful and tailored approach to embedded HP and coupled it with real-time physiological feedback to the trainees and are also expanding care to the cadre,” she said.

“The future of this organization will be to shape not only Air Force, but DOD policy to enable a lifecycle platform for the SW operator. The SW Airmen will not just experience high-level/holistic HP support in the training pipeline, but rather, they will see it woven into their career field education and training plans, and expanded services offered in their operational units,” she said. “This then lends itself to the creation or standup of a human weapon system program office just like we have for our hardware.

“We are truly on the cusp of a cohesive training environment where physiological, cognitive, and resiliency elements are assessed weekly, if not daily, to propel the individual to their highest potential versus a binary reactive environment,” Williams concluded.

Members of the Special Warfare Training Wing provide initial training for all U.S. Air Force Special Warfare training AFSCs, to include, Combat Controllers, Pararescue, Special Reconnaissance, and Tactical Air Control Party Airmen.

To learn more about SR Airmen or other U.S. Air Force Special Warfare career opportunities, go to: www.airforce.com/careers/in-demand-careers/special-warfare.

By Andrew C. Patterson, Special Warfare Training Wing/ Public Affairs

SOC-F Ice Climbing Experience

Tuesday, March 17th, 2020

Late last month I had the opportunity to participate in an extraordinary event near Bozeman, Montana.

With the help of Arc’teryx LEAF, Special Operations Care Fund gathered together veterans from each of the US military’s special operations components for a weekend of ice climbing.

Before we go any further, I’ve got give a plug for SOC-F and the wonderful work they do day-in and day-out for our warriors and their families. This non-profit is fighting way above its weight. They do so much…Medical/TBI (Magnetic Electro Resonance Therapy- MeRT) and Other Cutting-Edge Medical Treatments, Intensive Marriage Counseling, Gold Star Kids Camp and so much more. Not a one of the founders is a military veteran, but they have recently added a Veteran to their board to help round out the team. They’re just great Americans who saw a need and banded together to fill it.

The LEAF division of Arc’teryx is well known for making gear built for the most demanding Mil / LE endusers operating and training, in the harshest of environments. Inspired by the incredible work accomplished by SOC-F, Arc’teryx has seen the support they bring to the selfless individuals who need it, but often don’t ask for it.

SOC-F and Arc’teryx LEAF had been discussing ways to provide some outdoor therapy and The Station Foundation came up which provides specialized services to current and former SOF members as well as their families. Programs include:

-Family Foundation
-Spouse Performance
-Restore
-Transition Azimuth Check (TrAC)

The Station’s works with SOC-F to provide the summer program for Gold Star children, those young people who’ve lost a loved one in combat, to find themselves and flourish in the face of life’s challenges. A most worthy pursuit.

These connections led to the creation of the SOC-F Ice Climbing Experience.

We all arrived Friday afternoon courtesy of Arc’teryx and their able planner, Rebecca Faherty who also organizes the annual SOF Select pavilion at Special Operations Forces Industry Conference. While many of us came from across the country, it was amazing how many SOF veterans have settled in Montana.

Accommodations, local transportation, meals and activity planning were provided by The Station Foundation.

The meals were fantastic with hot breakfast and dinner each day at The Inn on the Gallitin. Home cooking and lots of it. I was always stuffed.

Between veterans and members of industry, there were 17 of us on the expedition. Some of us knew each other, but we were provided ample time to get to know one another during meals, free time in the evenings, and out on the ice. Turns out, we all had a lot of common friends and experiences. Naturally, we were also all Arc’teryx customers. In fact, they have each of us a LEAF Cold CW LT Jacket to use during the event. Magpul also provided us with their new eyewear to protect our site while climbing.

Some of the climbing equipment such as helmets and ice tools was provided by Petzl, while other items were supplied by the very capable guide service for this event, Montana Alpine Guides like boots and crampons. The MAG team was friendly, knowledgeable and provided training at both the basic and advanced level. Everyone came out of there a better climber.

The crew brought a mixture of experience from first time ice climbers to very experienced climbers who brought a lifetime of alpine know-how. We had a blast.

The most amazing thing I witnessed all weekend was the indomitable spirit of a Marine Veteran I’ll refer to as CT. He served as an inspiration to all of us.

A bear of a man who lost both legs last year during a battle in the Middle East, CT had never ice climbed before in his life. No matter, he was going to give it a go. But first, he had to get to the ice ,which was located a kilometer or so from the parking area. As you can imagine, it was icy. He strapped crampons to his shoes and off he went, supported as many of us were, with trekking poles to help negotiate deep pockets of snow encountered occasionally along the trail.

He made it about three quarters of the way, but one of the things CT realized was that the cold and his particular prosthetics weren’t well suited for hiking up snowy trails.

A plan was quickly set into motion to fetch a sled to bring him the rest of the way to the climbing site. The crew immediately built a fire to keep him warm while we waited for the sled. Others headed the rest of the way to the site to begin climbing. About an hour later, CT and the team who helped him up that last bit of trail, linked up with the rest of us.

We spent the day climbing a couple of different faces and then made our way back down the trail, CT at the lead atop his sled, accompanied by his new teammates.

We repeated the event the next day with even more ice faces to negotiate. Once again, CT assaulted the ice and came out on top.

There were several guys out there with various wounds, but seeing CT go at it with everything he had, working through the pain he obviously felt, no one was going to complain. He was an inspiration to us all.

I had a great time chatting with him. Aside from some great was stories, he is very in tune with the latest in prosthetic technology and is working to bring newer designs out of the lab and unto those who need them. CT tells me he is going to keep ice climbing and already has some ideas about how to build a better prosthetic for climbing. I can’t wait to see what he comes up with.

On Monday morning we returned to the airport to make our way home, but all of us left with some new friends and some great memories.

Once again, this event wouldn’t have been possible without SOC-F and Arc’teryx LEAF. While this was the first event of its kind for Arc’teryx, they plan to hold more of these outdoor-oriented events around the world for other allied veterans.

Warfighter Countdown – Tim Kennedy Presents “LEADERSHIP: Becoming The Sheepdog” At Warrior West

Wednesday, May 8th, 2019

We may mentioned once or twice that MMA Fighter and SF NCO Tim Kennedy will present training at next week’s Warrior West in San Diego, but thats because we anticipate this to be the best event ever presented at a Warrior Expo.

“Every time you train, train with the motivation and purpose that you will be the hardest person someone ever tries to kill.”

Tim Kennedy

UFC Middleweight Fighter | Army Ranger | Special Forces Sniper | Weapon Specialist | Actor

The premise behind the training is that there are three types of people in this world: the wolf, the sheep, and the sheepdog. The wolf is violent, the sheep is passive, and the sheepdog is there to protect one from the other.

The Details:

LEADERSHIP: Becoming the Sheep Dog, Featuring Celebrity Guest Speaker Tim Kennedy

Wednesday, May 15 @ 1130 – 1230, Classroom 5B

Featured celebrity speaker, Army Green Beret, and UFC ranked middleweight fighter, Tim Kennedy, will speak about how to overcome fear, how to get up and learn from losses, how to recognize strengths and weaknesses, and how to become the sheepdog.

Tim is well known for his support of those serving in uniform and will also hold a meet and greet, Wednesday, May 15 @ 1000 – 1100, in the Warrior Lounge.

Both events will be held at the San Diego Convention Center—Sails Pavilion and in both cases, valid Government ID is required for entry.

Warrior West 18 – LBT-WTV (Weight Training Vest)

Thursday, April 19th, 2018

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Looking to offer an alternative to working out in your armored plate carrier, LBT worked with the fitness community to develop a functional/stable weight vest capable of handling the stress of a high intensity workout.

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The weight vest can hold standard 5 or 10 lb circular plates that can be found at almost any gym/fitness center, they also partnered with Sorinex to develop weight plates specific to the shape of the vest that will come in 5/8/10 lbs plate options, the plates can be purchased with the vest or without.

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Unlike most weight vests, the LBT-WTV also comes with an elastic compression strap to keep the weight vest stable during running and inverted exercises.

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The LBT-WTV will be launched later this month via LBTINC.com, just in time for those of you training for this years Murph challenge.

Pat McNamara Recommends Reading “Mind Gym”

Friday, April 1st, 2016

  
-Pulled this quote from Gary Mack’s book “Mind Gym“, which is an variation of a quote from former MLB pitcher Carl Hubbell. I previously mentioned this book in one of the CST recommended reading posts a few months back. Highly recommend you read this book.

-Use the tools laid out out in the book to build your own personal “mind gym” and visualize your peak performance. Like a physical gym, your mind gym is a place where effort and struggle take place.

-Performance gains start here. Build yours today!

Warrior Expo – Mechanix Wear

Thursday, April 25th, 2013

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Coming soon from Mechanix Wear is he Impact 3 Covert Split Knuckle Design. The split knuckle offers a lower profile and is more form fitting and it has extra stitching on the index finger to prevent fraying in case the wearer wants to trim back the material for use with weapons. There are also reinforced fingertips and Thermal Plastic Rubber along the fingertips as well as a Poron insert on the palm. Finally, there is a 550 cord loop for stowage of the gloves when not in use.

www.mechanix.com

Prospecting Idaho – Season 3

Tuesday, February 5th, 2013

Prospecting Idaho Season 3 – Full Movie put together for a local Film Festival in Sun Valley. Watch your favorite ski and snowboard athletes come together and ride in the coolest place in Idaho!

Shared with us by Smith Elite. Thanks guys!

Register Now for the 2013 Sniper Adventure Challenge

Thursday, January 31st, 2013

Competition Dynamics has opened registration for the 2013 Sniper Adventure Challenge. The event will run July 4-7 at a new 150,000 acre venue near Mayhill, New Mexico. The 2013 Sniper Adventure Challenge is an adventure race involving land navigation, practical shooting with long-range rifle, carbine and pistols, fieldcraft, problem solving and other related tasks. The Sniper Adventure Challenge, had its debut in 2012 and was very well received by active and non-active military, law enforcement, and citizens. Due to demand, the 2013 Sniper Adventure Challenge will be expanded to provide an Endurance Class (24-30 hours of effort, 30-40 miles of on foot land nav) as well as a Sprint Class (8-16 hours of effort, 8-15 miles of on foot land nav).

www.competition-dynamics.com