By Senior Airman Michael Charles
1/14/2012 – SOUTHWEST ASIA (AFNS) — The 379th Air Expeditionary Wing held an event here Jan. 11 to highlight the importance of Comprehensive Airman Fitness in the Air Force. Ten teams competed in the event, called the “Warrior Challenge,” which consisted of games, riddles, and obstacles that reflected the four components of Comprehensive Airman Fitness — physical, social, spiritual and mental fitness.
“As members of the military we seem to get wrapped-up in the physical fitness part of preparing for a deployment but it takes all four aspects of fitness to be really set,” said Capt. Kelly Stahl, the 379th AEW chaplain.
The first team arrived at the gym, sweating from a mile-long run. The team, made up of four Airmen with different ranks, skills and backgrounds, grabbed a basketball and furiously tried to sink shots in order to move on to the next task. The Airmen were determined to beat the other nine teams in this race around the installation.
They completed the task and grabbed their next clue. They tore open an envelope to discover another challenge–a math puzzle. The team would have to use mental agility in order to find out their next location. The team began to realize that this race was indeed a test of more than just physical conditioning.
The purpose of the event was to increase awareness of CAF and to help promote a wingman culture. Members from each of the teams that participated had to work together and support their wingmen to accomplish each task.
“We wanted to create an event where our participants would actually enjoy learning about the pillars of fitness hands-on while strengthening the wingman bond which makes being in the Air Force so unique,” Stahl said.
The competing team members said they were grateful for the experience and excited to compete again in the next challenge.
“It was a blast,” said Airman 1st Class Bryan Kral. “Learning in a fun and competitive environment is refreshing compared to the usual briefs and PowerPoint (slides) we have become accustomed to in the military.”
Taking time to strengthen the four pillars of fitness is important in order to ensure that Airmen are fit for duty, Stahl said.
“Hopefully the Airmen who participated in these events took something away from it,” Stahl said. “It takes more than just being physically fit to have a good comprehensive fitness. You need all four pillars in order to truly be ready to accomplish the Air Force mission.”