Defense

February 26, 2018
 

2018 Air Force Wounded Warrior Trials begin

Master Sgt. Matthew Bates
Nellis AFB, Nev.

Athletes pose for a group photo during the 5th Annual Air Force Wounded Warrior Trials opening ceremony at the Warrior Fitness Center on Nellis Air Force Base, Nev., Feb. 23, 2018. Service members are participating in adaptive athletic reconditioning for lasting effects on physical and emotional recovery.

More than 150 wounded warriors from the Air Force, Army, Great Britain and Australia gathered today to officially open the fifth annual Air Force Trials at Nellis Air Force Base, Nev.

The Paralympic-style event features wheelchair basketball, sitting volleyball, archery, shooting, track, field, cycling and swimming competitions, where participants vie for a spot on the Air Force’s Warrior Games team which will compete June 2-9, in Colorado Springs, Colorado.

The Air Force Trials, which run through March 2, are part of an adaptive and resiliency sports program designed to promote the mental and physical well-being of the wounded, ill and injured service members who participate.

“We are here for one reason: To support you and help you on the road to recovery,” said Maj. Gen. Brian T. Kelly, Air Force Personnel Center commander, during remarks at the ceremony. “Our hope is that you leave here stronger than when you arrived.”

Approximately 150 athletes hold their hands over their hearts during the singing of the national anthem during the 5th Annual Air Force Wounded Warrior Trials opening ceremony at the Warrior Fitness Center on Nellis Air Force Base, Nev., Feb. 23, 2018. The trials are an adaptive sports event designed to promote the mental and physical well-being of seriously ill and injured military members and veterans.

The Trials are also a test of the athletes’ resiliency, strength and endurance, according to Col. Mike Davis, vice commander of the 99th Air Base Wing, and Nellis and the surrounding community are excited to host the event.

“We are honored for the opportunity to support these warriors,” he said. 

During the ceremony, the athletes were recognized by service and nation, the U.S. Air Force Academy’s Wings of Blue performed a parachute demonstration, two HH-60 Pave Hawks from the 66th Rescue Squadron flew a two-ship formation and the Trials torch was lit.

Approximately 120 Air Force athletes stand ready before the 5th Annual Air Force Wounded Warrior Trials opening ceremony at the Warrior Fitness Center on Nellis Air Force Base, Nev., Feb. 23, 2018.

This year, the participants are made up of 52 active duty, 12 Air National Guard and Reserve and 55 Air Force veterans. 

The Trials are part of the Air Force’s Wounded Warrior program, which is a congressionally mandated and federally funded organization administered by AFPC in San Antonio, Texas. The program includes recovery care coordinators, non-medical care managers and other professionals who work with wounded warriors, their families and caregivers to guide them through various day-to-day challenges. 

For more news and information, go to www.woundedwarrior.af.mil or visit the Facebook page at www.facebook.com/airforcewoundedwarrior.
 

Staff Sgt. Vincent Cavazos carries the Air Force flag during the 5th Annual Air Force Wounded Warrior Trials opening ceremony at the Warrior Fitness Center on Nellis Air Force Base, Nev., Feb. 23, 2018.

 

Roger Placido, Air Force Wounded Warrior team staff member, and Australian Defense Force Capt. Ruth Hunt, hold the torch during the 5th Annual Air Force Wounded Warrior Trials opening ceremony at the Warrior Fitness Center on Nellis Air Force Base, Nev., Feb. 23, 2018. The Air Force Wounded Warrior Program is a congressionally mandated and federally funded program that provides personalized care, services and advocacy to wounded, ill or injured recovering service members.

 

Andres Rodriguez and his service dog Sandy, stand in formation during the 5th Annual Air Force Wounded Warrior Trials opening ceremony at the Warrior Fitness Center on Nellis Air Force Base, Nev., Feb. 23, 2018.

 

Army Spec. Peter Sky passes the torch to Air Force Senior Airman Hanna Stolberg during the 5th Annual Air Force Wounded Warrior Trials opening ceremony at the Warrior Fitness Center on Nellis Air Force Base, Nev., Feb. 23, 2018.

 

Senior Airman Hanna Stolberg lights the cauldron during the 5th Annual Air Force Wounded Warrior Trials opening ceremony at the Warrior Fitness Center on Nellis Air Force Base, Nev., Feb. 23, 2018.

 

Athletes from the U.S. Army march into the 5th Annual Air Force Wounded Warrior Trials opening ceremony at the Warrior Fitness Center on Nellis Air Force Base, Nev., Feb. 23, 2018.

 

An HH-60 Pave Hawk, 66th Rescue Squadron, flies over the 5th Annual Air Force Wounded Warrior Trials opening ceremony at the Warrior Fitness Center on Nellis Air Force Base, Nev., Feb. 23, 2018.

 

A member of the U.S. Air Force Academy Wings of Blue Parachute Team glides into the 5th Annual Air Force Wounded Warrior Trials opening ceremony at the Warrior Fitness Center on Nellis Air Force Base, Nev., Feb. 23, 2018.

 

Capt. James Byrne, a pararescueman assigned to the 58th Rescue Squadron, salutes after handing off the wounded warrior flag during the 5th Annual Air Force Wounded Warrior Trials opening ceremony at the Warrior Fitness Center on Nellis Air Force Base, Nev., Feb. 23, 2018.




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