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NY Guard Airmen "ruck up" for training mission

Members of the 105th Airlift Wing Logistics Readiness Squadron conduct a ruck march as a part of a unit cohesion exercise, October 4, 2020, at Stewart Air National Guard Base, Newburgh, NY. Airmen simulated that they were rescuing a downed pilot and set off to complete the mission with their equipment and a stretcher. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Jonathan Lane)

Members of the 105th Airlift Wing Logistics Readiness Squadron conduct a ruck march as a part of a unit cohesion exercise, October 4, 2020, at Stewart Air National Guard Base, Newburgh, NY. Airmen simulated that they were rescuing a downed pilot and set off to complete the mission with their equipment and a stretcher. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Jonathan Lane)

Members of the 105th Airlift Wing Logistics Readiness Squadron conduct a ruck march as a part of a unit cohesion exercise, October 4, 2020, at Stewart Air National Guard Base, Newburgh, NY. Airmen simulated that they were rescuing a downed pilot and set off to complete the mission with their equipment and a stretcher. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Jonathan Lane)

Members of the 105th Airlift Wing Logistics Readiness Squadron conduct a ruck march as a part of a unit cohesion exercise, October 4, 2020, at Stewart Air National Guard Base, Newburgh, NY. Airmen simulated that they were rescuing a downed pilot and set off to complete the mission with their equipment and a stretcher. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Jonathan Lane)

STEWART AIR NATIONAL GUARD BASE, New York-- Nine Airmen from the New York Air National Guard’s 105th Logistical Readiness Squadron shouldered 25 pound packs and “ruck marched” three miles on October 6, 2020 during their weekend drill at Stewart Air National Guard Base.

The 105th Airlift Wing flies C-17 Globemaster III aircraft on missions around the world from the Newburgh, New York base.

The goal, said Capt Jason Nordlund, was to enhance unit cohesion and incorporate physical training as well.

The training scenario called for the nine Airmen to retrieve an injured pilot and carry her to safety. The Airmen’s mission was to head to the pilot, pick her up on stretcher and bring her back to base.

Due to COVID-19 training restrictions there was a concern that Airmen were not doing enough physical training, Nordlund explained.

“We saw a physical training challenge from a leadership perspective and found a different way to get members of the squadron to engage. We planned a great event in which squadron teammates came together to struggle through the endurance exercise. In the end, we did both those things and had fun as well,” he said.

The nine Airmen completed their mission in an hour and 15 minutes and covered just over three miles on the course.

“It was a great bonding experience,” said Senior Airman Mark Briscoe.

“It helped to highlight the importance of staying in shape, and the value of unity for the mission. It was rewarding in itself how we all came together and made great time with ground covered. I’m hopeful this will be something implemented more frequently in regularly scheduled drills to come,” Briscoe said.

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