MOUNTAIN HOME AIR FORCE BASE, Idaho --
Out of breath, legs and arms shaking uncontrollably, muscle pain and fatigue have set in ... how can people push themselves forward?
Only one more set with those weights; one more lap on the track - could you do it knowing it would only make you better?
Airmen from the 366th Logistics Readiness Squadron at Mountain Home Air Force Base accept that challenge and bring the phrase "Excellence in all we do" to another level.
366th LRS Airmen reached a milestone, skyrocketing to a 100-percent passing rate for each Airman's physical fitness assessment.
It's a motivational time for everyone in the unit, yet, instead of using this great feat as bragging rights, humility still shines through. Perhaps none is more humble than the squadron commander.
"I am not the focus of this achievement being reached," said Lt. Col. Todd Jensen, 366th LRS commander. "The Physical Training Leaders are the ones who should get all of the accolades because they hold each individual accountable and make sure everyone in the squadron is performing at their greatest level possible."
They run early in the morning when the sun has yet to rise and back at it again before the sun disappears under the horizon.
You can't stop LRS; they're Fit to Fight!
Photo by A1C Devin Nothstine
Being physically fit in the United States Air Force is critical, specifically for LRS Airmen, who provide support for F15-E and F-15SG aircraft. Also, Expeditionary Combat Support, deployed and stateside, units demand Airmen with mental and physical excellence.
"Over the years, our role as combat logistics Airmen has evolved from traditional Air Force taskings to joint expeditionary taskings. We are now embedded with the Marines and Army as well as with Iraqi and Afghanistan Security Forces and Special Operations units," said Jensen. "This ultimately translates to operating in high threat situations. In combat operations, the demands of long hours, high stress and environmental extremes require us to be in the best physical condition possible."
Never knowing what is coming their way, they need a physical training program instructed by the squadron commander, Jensen, and executed and pressed by PTLs.
"You never want to be in a position where you can't accomplish the mission because of physical limitations," said Senior Airman Dakota Beasley, 366th LRS vehicle operator. "I feel with lifting and cardio I am able to complete just about anything thrown my way!"
These Airmen understand the big picture of the Air Force. Although they have proven to be the best of the best, they still push themselves and others to lift the bar even higher.
"We also have an ongoing challenge with our flights to take on my Command Support Staff in sporting events. Beyond the physical benefits of playing sports, the team building aspect is equally important," said Jensen. "When Airmen get the opportunity to challenge their squadron leadership and talk some good-natured smack with their first sergeant, chief or commander, it helps build trust and unit camaraderie."
Tracking back to the original thought of being out of breath, legs and arms shaking uncontrollably, muscle pain and fatigue have set in ...
You're alone in what feels like a ghost town with steel equipment all around you and a mirrored wall reflecting your every move. You hear your own breath at a rapid pace and the beads of your sweat drip from your forehead, and pool on the floor.
Are you ready for one more set?
Or, would you settle for less than the best?
Watch this motivating video, stay fit and deployment & mission ready:
Video by A1C Devin Nothstine