Story by Senior Airman Joseph A. Pagán Jr., 2nd Bomb Wing Public Affairs
BARKSDALE AIR FORCE BASE — Of all the marks on an enlisted performance report, fitness is the only one that an Airman’s highest rating is meets, while all other performance assessments can be marked as an above average or clearly exceeds.
Airmen of the 2nd Civil Engineer Squadron do not need an EPR to remind themselves they clearly exceed in fitness.
“We are doing different aspects of physical training,” said Master Sgt. Mark Farmer, 2nd CES command and support staff NCO in-charge. “Our commander wants to challenge us. We want to go a step beyond what we normally do.”
Once a month, 2nd CES Airmen push the limits of PT by getting together for an intense workout session.
“Whether it’s practicing self-aid buddy care, picking up your wingman and carrying them around a field, or going on a rucksack march with a set amount of weight, everything is designed to help with combat readiness”
All the workouts are designed to be similar to the physical stressors Airmen might experience during a deployment.
“When an Airman deploys, he or she may be carrying more than 40 pounds,” said Farmer. “The weight can be taxing on the body and we have to be trained, physically fit and ready to go at a moment’s notice.”
The 2nd CES leadership ensures Airmen are capable of performing every workout without injury and physical training leaders follow any waivers Airmen may have.
“We do difficult workouts, but they aren’t impossible,” said Tech. Sgt. Andrew Swancer, 2nd CES Unit Deployment Manager. “What makes it different is the fact that we don’t do the normal push-ups, sit-ups and run.”
Though the regimen may be tough, CES Airmen don’t shy away from tackling the challenge that is put in front of them.
“I’ve really enjoyed PT,” said Senior Airman Elizabeth Thomas, 2nd CES Project Execution journeyman. “It’s something different and helps us strengthen muscle endurance and improve overall fitness.”
Having everyone workout this way creates a sense of competition and no one wants to be last, so we push ourselves and wingmen harder, Thomas added.
The 2nd CES has a goal to keep Airmen ready at all times.
“Airmen get stuck in a peacetime mission and forget about the wartime mission,” said Farmer. “This is our way of doing the best we can to improve overall fitness, break up the complacency and push ourselves past our limit.”