Buckley demolishes Team Cohesion challenge
By Airman 1st Class Samantha Saulsbury, 460th Space Wing Public Affairs
/ Published October 15, 2014
BUCKLEY AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. -- Team Buckley nominated 21 of their strongest members to participate in a 10K ruck challenge Oct. 8 through the muddy waters and trails of Buckley AFB.
Buckley was chosen as a pilot base for a new program called the Team Cohesion Challenge. The five-hour long, 6.2-mile trek incorporated grueling simulated special operations activities, while combining the five C's of Comprehensive Airmen Fitness: caring, committing, connecting, communicating and celebrating.
The challenge, hosted by GORUCK, began long before sunrise. The team formed up at 3 a.m. to begin their warm-up -- a routine filled with push-ups, burpees and jumping jacks. From there, the team began their 6.2-mile journey.
Once the challenge started, team-building activities ensued that included crawling through muddy water drains near base housing, marching through the slime in Lake Williams and even hauling an old, wooden telephone pole down Aspen Street on their shoulders.
On top of that, each team member also carried a rucksack on their back that could not touch the ground for the duration of the challenge.
"It was rough," said Senior Airman Jon Wen, 460th Force Support Squadron customer support technician. "Just the fact that you wake up at three in the morning in the dark, in the cold. I wanted to give up. The only thing that kept me running was the team spirit."
The team trudged through simulated enemy areas and simulated improvised explosive devices, while navigating the dark early morning sky. The mission was to be quiet and get to the end on time.
"At one point we all had to turn our headlamps off and navigate in the darkness," said Lauren Presgrove, 460th Space Wing Outdoor Recreation assistant. "It was very team-focused and a magnificent way to establish team cohesion."
After five long hours of team-building and pain, the team was greeted outside the 460th SW headquarters building by their Team Buckley family with water, food and applause. Each member was also given a GoRuck patch that stated "Be stronger, together."
"Congratulations team 012," said Michael, the Team Cohesion Challenge cadre leader and former special operations military member. "You are only the 12th Air Force base to complete the GoRuck Light challenge."
According to team members, the best part was the encouragement and support they had for each other along the way, as well as learning how to completely trust their teammates.
"I felt equal and involved," Presgrove added. "It was gross, but it was motivating and character building. I would do it again in a heartbeat."