MOODY AIR FORCE BASE, Ga. --
Airmen began battling for the title of “Alpha Warrior” Sept. 27, continuing through Oct. 6
The best male and female competitors from Moody are determined by whoever completes the course the fastest and will move on to the Southeast Regional tournament at Hurlburt Field, Florida.
Those who qualify at the regional competition will then compete for a chance at the national title in San Antonio, Texas, in November.
“I’m definitely excited, but a little nervous too, because you never really know what’s going to be thrown at you,” said Capt. Abby Wilkins, an ‘Alpha Warrior’ competitor and qualifier for the regional competition. “So far, I’m having a blast with these ‘Alpha Warrior’ courses. Everyone’s been super supportive, and it’s been a lot of fun, so I look forward to the next step and seeing if I can get through that next course.”
The Air Force adopted the “Alpha Warrior” program in support of the Comprehensive Airmen Fitness pillars: mental, social, physical, and spiritual.
The program consists of varying obstacle courses resembling those seen in TV shows.
“We always talk about being ‘fit to fight,’ and I think a big part of today’s fight is that you don’t really know what’s going to be thrown at you,” Wilkins said. “So, I really like the mentality of training for the unknown.
“To me, ‘Alpha Warrior’ is exactly that, because they give you obstacles you’ve never seen before and are probably not proficient at, and see if you have the physical and mental aptitude to navigate your way through them,” she added. “It’s as much mental for me as it is physical and that’s kind of the part I like about it.”
The obstacle equipment, known as battle rigs and stations, are designed to train participants’ muscles to work together while making strategic choices.
“It’s a fairly new program,” said Staff Sgt. Christopher Windley, 23rd Force Support Squadron fitness specialist. “A lot of people don’t realize [the battle rig] is an option available at the gym for exercise, and our fitness center staff are available to answer questions about the battle rig.”
Windley said the “Alpha Warrior” battle rig is different from what most people look for in the gym.
“A lot of people come to the gym to do cardio or weightlift, but this ‘Alpha Warrior’ program focuses a lot on upper body strength, hand-grip strength and the ability to control your bodyweight,” said Windley. “A lot of people don’t really train for that, and that’s why it can be more difficult.”
While the course is difficult, Windley and Wilkins agree that with a little practice it gets much easier and much more fun.
“It’s always uncomfortable and makes you a little nervous, but I think it’s always very rewarding when you can walk away doing something that you haven’t done before or something you weren’t sure you could do,” Wilkins said. “Whether you make it through the whole course or not, I think you can definitely be proud that you at least showed up and gave it your best effort that day.”
With some effort, strength and practice, anyone could qualify for the Hurlburt Regional competition Oct. 14.
“I and the staff here really enjoy being able to provide [this opportunity] to the rest of the base, and people who maybe missed out or just want to try again,” Windley said. “So, come out and practice, so we can send you to regionals at Hurlburt Field.”