Friday, October 07, 2005

Fairchild Airmen test for Ranger School

Fairchild Airmen test for Ranger school
Airmen with the 336th Training Group here
haul 65-pound rucksacks on a 14-mile
march as part of their Ranger School test.
Successful completion of this test will
advance them as candidates to pre-
Ranger School. The march is only a portion
of the 12-hour test they had to finish.
(U.S. Air Force photo by Staff. Sgt. Nathan Putz)

by Senior Airman Nathan Putz92nd Air Refueling Wing Public Affairs10/7/2005 - FAIRCHILD AIR FORCE BASE, Wash. (AFPN) -- Airmen assigned to the 22nd Training Squadron and select Airmen with the 66th Training Squadron here have taken on a rare challenge to push themselves beyond normal endurance for the chance to attend the Army’s elite training program -- Ranger School.
And they only had a day to do it. The 12-hour test begins at 7 a.m. and measures the person’s ability to run nearly 25 miles with various challenges added on, including a fitness test and combat water survival.
“I’ve had 20 people sign up and only six of them made it through the one-day selection,” said Staff Sgt. John Messenger, a Survival, Evasion, Resistance and Escape specialist and tester with the 22nd TRS.
The test starts with a minimum standard of 54 push-ups, 64 sit-ups, eight chin-ups and 15 minutes to run two miles.
Directly following is the five-mile formation run that which must be completed by all students in 38 minutes. The testing areas continue one after another until testing is completed.
“The test must be completed with no food and minimal breaks in training,” he said. The day continues with combat water survival testing, a two-and-a-half mile buddy run with a weapon, and finally, a 14.5-mile road march with a 65-pound rucksack and other gear.
“The road march is often where we see the most people struggle,” Sergeant Messenger said. “The best way to complete it is to go out quick, because it is very hard to increase your speed later into the march.”
Completion of the test does not automatically advance the Airmen to Ranger School. It adds them to a pool that will receive further training and evaluation.
“Final selectees will attend Air Force pre-Ranger training,” Sergeant Messenger said. “If they graduate at the top of that class, they will receive slots to Army Ranger School.”
This is the second time testing has been conducted here. Ranger School is located at Fort Benning, Ga., with phases in Dahlonega, Ga., and Camp Rudder, Fla.
“Some instructors want to go to Ranger School to gain valuable experience in small unit tactics so they can better support the special operations community,” Sergeant Messenger said. “Or as we used to say, ‘You’ve got to live hard to be hard.’”

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