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When the Going Tough the CCS Keeps Going

  • Published
  • By Tech. Sgt. Todd Wivell
  • 43rd Airlift Wing Public Affairs

Editors note: Some combat control instructors and all trainees are identified by their rank and first name only. This is part 10 of a 13-part series.

As week 10 came to a close, the 16 trainees of Class 09-003 spent their time learning classroom skills and practical training - this time for landing and drop zone procedures. These procedures include a portion of training that is considered one of the most important blocks in the combat control career field. 

As their training ended May 28, the trainees prepared for another grueling Pit physical training session the following morning behind the Combat Control School. 

Pit PT is a physical training session that takes the trainees to their utmost limits physically and mentally. It pushes their bodies to the point of muscle failure, but in the end makes them some of the strongest men in the military. This day's Pit PT session would be like no other. 

The morning started with the students in full uniform standing at the position of parade rest on the PT pad, waiting for their instructor's commands. As the instructors arrived, the trainees went to the position of attention, and the mornings activities started. 

First there were rope climbs, then pull-ups followed immediately by push-ups. With only a few seconds to get a drink of water, the trainees went into 35 minutes of various push-ups, sit-ups, flutter kicks, star-jumpers and other exercises that were physically taxing. 

"This class is in much better shape now," said Senior Master Sgt. Sean Gleffe, CCS Commandant. "Their attention to detail is more tuned and focused, which ultimately is a result of Pit PT and will carry them into the final field phase." 

Once the PT session on the pad was over, the trainees prepared for a five-mile ruck march with an added twist to the end of the march. 

This time, as the trainees reached the last half mile of their march, they were stopped and given two jerry cans filled with water, each weighing approximately 45 pounds. The trainees were timed as they carried the jerry cans from the bottom of a hill to the top for the last half mile. 

The first to complete the timed event was a captain trainee, who completed the course with an overall time of 7 minutes, 53 seconds. When the next 15 trainees finished their course, they would run back and encourage the others to complete the course - another example of how teamwork plays out in the CCS career. 

"As a team, they pulled one another through the challenging moments that otherwise may have been too difficult without the man to his right grunting it out with him," said Sergeant Gleffe. "They all did what was expected of them. 

"This class is on cue with all the other previous classes, which is a good sign," Sergeant Gleffe said. "The PT program is designed to get them ready for the demanding tasks of not only the school but the job. PT is a way of life and this team has a strong foundation to build on." 

As the morning temperatures began to feel like summer, and the trainees completed another session of Pit PT, the trainees said they were relieved to finish week 10 of the 13-week course.