Health & Safety

April 24, 2014

ERQS PJs honor fallen Airman with a fitness challenge memorial one year later

Staff Sgt. Christopher Gross
(U.S. Air Force photos by Staff Sgt. Christopher Gross)
Service members flip a tire during the Memorial Mash in honor of U.S. Air Force Chief Master Sgt. Nick McCaskill on Camp Lemonnier, Djibouti, April 6. Members of the 82nd Expeditionary Rescue Squadron organized the mash in remembrance of the one year anniversary of McCaskill’s death in Afghanistan. More than 70 people, split into 18 teams, competed in the event, which consisted of a total of 1,010 repetitions between 11 exercises. The repetitions symbolized McCaskill’s operating initials, a unique “XX.”

CAMP LEMONNIER, Djibouti — Members of the 82nd Expeditionary Rescue Squadron (ERQS) organized a “Memorial Mash,” in honor of U.S. Air Force pararescueman Chief Master Sgt. Nick McCaskill on Camp Lemonnier, Djibouti, April 6, 2014.

The mash, a fitness challenge, marked the one year anniversary of McCaskill’s death in Afghanistan. More than 70 people, split into 18 teams, competed in the event, which consisted of a total of 1,010 repetitions between 11 exercises. The repetitions symbolized McCaskill’s operating initials, a unique “XX.”

“He was looked up to by a lot of other PJs. He was a mild mannered, humble professional, and a great father to two girls,” said Senior Master Sgt. Howard Smith, 82nd ERQS, Survival, Evasion, Resistance and Escape specialist and senior enlisted leader.

Smith and McCaskill were stationed with each other at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, Ariz. as part of the 306th Rescue Squadron. In the nearly eight years Smith worked with McCaskill he said he never “sought out recognition,” but wanted to bring out the best in everybody around him.

That’s why Smith and other members of his team thought the fitness challenge would be the most appropriate way to honor their fellow Airman. Bring people together and have them push each other beyond what they thought they were capable.

Eric Beougher performs a dead lift during the Memorial Mash. Beoughe, a U.S. Air Force airman first class, is a member of the 449th Air Expeditionary Group security forces detachment 1.

“Nick would always say ‘Lay it on,’” Smith said. “That just meant for him to take it, run with it, and get it done.” Which is something each of the competitors would have to do. Accept the challenge, push through and get it done.

“PJs are instilled with the value of teamwork very early on,” said Staff Sgt. Isaac Blanton, 82nd ERQS pararescueman. “Chief knew the value of teamwork and exemplified it throughout his career. For that reason, we wanted to honor his memory with a team event.”

A few of the final numbers, accumulated from all the mash participants, included a total of 7,300 box jumps, 1,800 dead lifts for a total weight of 333,000 pounds, 73 buddy carries covering 4.5 miles and 73 memorial pushups. After each team finished their 1,010 repetitions, each participant did one more extra pushup in honor of McCaskill.

Maj. Jesse Peterson, 82nd ERQS commander, said McCaskill would have loved the atmosphere.

“Above all else, chief was a people person,” Peterson said. “The fact that so many people were out there having fun would have put a huge smile on his face.”

Peterson and Smith both recalled just how much McCaskill liked being around friends and family, whether it was a barbecue at his house or a good physical training session with his Airmen.

“Everybody always felt comfortable around him,” Peterson said. “This memorial mash, where everyone was working as a team and enjoying each other’s company, was the perfect way to honor a fallen warrior and friend.”




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 

Legislation changes UCMJ for victims of sexual assault

WASHINGTON — The fiscal year 2015 National Defense Authorization Act, or NDAA, signed into law last month, significantly changes the Uniform Code of Military Justice, known as UCMJ, in cases pertaining to rape and sexual assault. All of the UCMJ amendments contained in the NDAA pertain to investigating and prosecuting sexual assault crimes and victim...
 
 

Airmen get a refresher on water survival training

Airmen backstroke as a unit during a water survival training refresher course. The group activity focused on getting aircrew members accustomed to working together while in water so they are able to preserve energy in the event of a ditched aircraft. Staff Sgt. Whitni Levering, 42nd Electronic Combat Squadron airborne linguist, is dragged through the...
 
 
(U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Jamal D. Sutter)

Want to quit smoking? Here’s how

ROBINS AIR FORCE BASE, Ga. — By using the Federal Employees Health Benefits program, all federal employees and retirees – as well as their spouses and dependents – have full access to evidence-based tobacco c...
 

 

AF government travel cards receive tech upgrade

WASHINGTON (AFNS) — Beginning this month, Citibank is issuing chip and PIN-enabled government travel cards (GTC) to new card applicants, individuals whose cards will expire in 2015 and individuals who have reported lost or stolen cards. This is the first phase in a multi-phased rollout, which will enhance the security and convenience of government travel...
 
 

Air Force makes strides in combating sexual assault

WASHINGTON (AFNS) — Eight-hundred fewer Active-Duty Airmen experienced some form of unwanted sexual contact in fiscal year 2014 than in fiscal 2012, and 500 more Airmen reported the crime over the same period. This data was part of a report provided to the President, Dec. 2, that summarizes the progress the Department of Defense and...
 
 

Officials encourage precaution with flu symptoms prevalent

Flu season is in full swing and health care professionals have seen an uptick in the number of patients reporting with flu-like symptoms. There are steps that can be taken to protect you and your family. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that normally influenza activity is at its peak during the months...
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>


Directory powered by Business Directory Plugin