Military News

Friday, August 14, 2015

Missouri Airmen earn German Armed Forces Proficiency Badge

by Maj. Melanie Englert
139th Airlift Wing Public Affairs

8/11/2015 - ST. JOSEPH, Mo.  -- U.S. Airmen from the 139th Airlift Wing earned the German Armed Forces Proficiency Badge during a competition Aug. 6 - 8 at Rosecrans Air National Guard Base here.

The 36 member team consisted of Airmen medics and pilots, ranked from airman first class through lieutenant colonel, who bonded together to accomplish timed events to include: 11x10-meter sprint, flexed arm hang, 1,000 meter run, pistol marksmanship, 7.5 mile ruck march, and 100 meter swim in uniform.

"This is the best turnout of Airmen I have ever tested," said German Sgt. Maj. Kitzler, a liaison officer from the German Armed Forces who is stationed at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas.

Individuals competing were awarded gold, silver and bronze badges based on their overall score standings.

"The German Armed Forces Proficiency Test is the most popular among our international partners and we offer testing more than 20 times a year," Kitzler told the 139th Airmen. "Outstanding performances by all of you. In the German Army we have one year to complete these events; you did this in two days."

U.S. Air Force Maj. Kim Smith, who is assigned to the 139th Medical Group, said she was glad she did it.

"As a female I think sometimes we don't even try because it's physical and we don't think we have the strength, but as more and more people stand up, we realize it can be done," said Smith.

"The comradery was the best part; I was able to come here with the team and do something like this and achieve a milestone.   Being able to do this with the people you go to war with that you work with every day," said U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Joshua Hartzell, who is assigned to the 560th RED HORSE Squadron  from Charleston, South Carolina.

Hartzell was invited by the 139th Security Forces Squadron, when members had trained together earlier this year for a combat arms course.

"Thanks for leading from the front," 139th Airlift Wing Commander Col. Ralph Schwader told the Airmen. "Other wing members are going to see your outstanding performance and I know this took great effort, my hat's off to you."

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