Local

March 7, 2014

Ruck March held to honor fallen Defenders

Tech. Sgt. Terrence Flowers, 412th Maintenance Group maintenance instructor, lugs 44-pounds worth of gear in his ruck sack during the march to honor fallen Defenders of U.S. Air Force Security Forces and law enforcement March 4. The ruck march was 11.5 miles and began at the Combat Arms Training and Maintenance building by Camp Corum and ended at the communications tower near the edge of Rosamond, Calif., and perpendicular to the Edwards AFB sign on the west side of base.

It’s commonly said that the most valuable gift we can give to another is our time, especially when it’s spent marching through 11.5 miles of steep and rocky, desert terrain in remembrance of those who have served.

For more than 30 participants, that opportunity arose during a 412th Security Forces Squadron Ruck March held March 4 to honor all fallen Defenders.

“Our job is inherently dangerous so taking the time to come out here to remember those who have fallen not only in combat- or duty-related incidents, but also in some form of tragedy, is only fitting. We are usually one of the largest squadrons on any given base which increases the likelihood of us having some type of tragedy occur in our squadron,” said Capt. Jose Garcia, 412th SFS acting commander. “At some point, it’s only appropriate for us to take the time to recognize those folks that may not often be recognized in public. I really appreciated everyone who showed up and participated in today’s event.”

For one of the ruck march organizers, the event held a greater significance since it was a way to initiate something for all and carry on the legacy of a fellow, fallen wingman.

Staff Sgt. Manuel Rodriguez, 412th Security Forces Squadron military working dog handler, and Schmykel, 412th SFS military working dog, were one of many 412th SFS members who took part in their squadron’s Ruck March to honor all fallen Defenders who have served on Mar. 4. The ruck march took participants through 11.5 miles of steep and rocky, desert terrain that began at the Combat Arms Training and Maintenance building and ended atop the mountain with the communications tower near the edge of Rosamond, Calif. and perpendicular to the west Edwards AFB sign.

“This event was very personal to me. Last year, a senior airman who I worked with at Malmstrom Air Force Base, [Mont.,] passed away due to very sudden circumstances. I thought he deserved more recognition for his service, so I decided to create a ruck march in his honor,” said 1st Lt. Don Kempf, 412th SFS operations officer. “The ruck expanded from there, and it became an opportunity for anyone to honor somebody who has served and passed away, regardless of the circumstances of their deaths.”

For other marchers, the event was also used as an opportunity to remember and pay tribute to their fellow wingmen as well.

“A friend of mine was killed in the line of duty and I came here to march in honor of him today,” said James Bigger, 412th Communications Squadron Quality Control Section. “We should always take the time to remember those who’ve passed in the line of duty or off duty no matter what line of work you’re in”

Participants of the ruck march included people from the Personnel Section, the 412th Maintenance Group, the 412th Communications Squadron, the U.S. Marshals Service, to include two retired Defenders and Defenders from the 412th SFS.

The 11.5-mile ruck march began at the Combat Arms Training and Maintenance building and ended atop the mountain with the communications tower near the edge of Rosamond, Calif., perpendicular to the west Edwards AFB sign.

“There were no requirements to participate; the event was open to anyone who wanted show support,” said Tech. Sgt. Jaqualene Taylor, 412th SFS unit deployment manager said. “I would definitely recommend this event to the base community, because it is a great opportunity to come together to tell a small part of the security forces story and the people behind it. This event builds moral and shows the base that we support each other 24/7.”

“Well, since I’m a Reservist for the 412th SFS, I found out about the event and I wanted to come out here and support it as fellow law enforcement,” added Deputy Zach Tyler, U.S. Marshals Service.

Of the more than 30 personnel that took part in the ruck march, Kempf noted that all were given a black ribbon to don during the 11.5-mile march that began at the Combat Arms Training and Maintenance building, ended atop the mountain with the communications tower near the edge of Rosamond, Calif., and perpendicular to the Edwards AFB sign.

“After researching how many people have passed from under these circumstances, the numbers were astounding. In most cases, these fellow defenders didn’t receive a plaque on a wall,” said Kempf. “Everyone usually knows someone that has been affected by a fellow coworker who has passed, that’s why we gave out the black ribbons today … to keep someone in mind.”
 

All the more than 30 personnel that took part in the ruck march were given a black ribbon to don during the 11.5-mile march to honor fallen security force members.

 

A couple deputies from the U.S. Marshals Service also participated in the ruck march.

 

The ruck march participants pose for a group photo at the Combat Arms Training and Maintenance building where the march began March 4.

 




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


 
 

 
Air Force photograph by Chris Higgins

412th Test Wing 1st Quarter Award Winners

Air Force photograph by Chris Higgins Brig. Gen. Carl E. Schaefer, 412th Test Wing commander, watches Jeanette White, 412th Civil Engineering Group, absolutely smash a foam baseball into the audience after accepting her 30-year...
 
 

News Briefs May 22, 2015

North Gate safety alert SAFETY ALERT! Due to mechanical issues with the North Gate, there have been large metal plates installed over gaps in the roadway while repair operations are being scheduled. Drivers should exercise caution and reduce speeds in these areas. In inclement weather and blowing dust, the plates may become slippery and vehicles,...
 
 
MG-appointments

Don’t be a no show

The 412th Medical Group is dedicated to meeting the health care needs of you and your family by providing access to its services and the best possible medical care. No shows are a costly problem for the 412th MDG and the patie...
 

 
Air Force photograph by Brad White

Team Edwards hosts Military Retiree Appreciation Day

Air Force photograph by Brad White Approximately 400 military retirees, their families and surviving spouses were in attendance during the 2015 Military Retiree Appreciation Day event held at the Oasis Community Center and 27 i...
 
 

Education Center Open House May 27

The Edwards AFB Education Center will be hosting an Open House†that will be open to all military and their family members, and civilians working on Edwards 11 a.m.-1 p.m., May 27. The Education and Training†Center is located on 140 Methusa Ave., Bldg. 2453. Attendees will have the opportunity to speak with the Ed Center staff...
 
 

Excellence in Aviation Award banquet set for June 13

The Flight Test Historical Foundation will hold the 5th annual Excellence in Aviation Awards banquet June 13. This year’s honorees are the California Air National Guard’s 163rd Reconnaissance Wing from March Air Reserve Base. The wing operates the remotely piloted MQ-1 Predator aircraft built by General Atomics Aeronautical Systems. For the first time in the...
 




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>