The U.S. Air Force explosive ordnance disposal technicians have a physically demanding job. On May 2, people from around Arizona got a taste, first hand, of just how demanding it really is by participating in the EOD Warrior Fitness Challenge at Luke Air Force Base.
The 56th Force Support Squadron, working in conjunction with the 56th Civil Engineer Squadron EOD flight, hosted the event. Teams of four raced through 10 obstacles competing with each other and the clock to see who was the best.
“The competitors loved it,” said Sherri Biringer, 56th Force Support Squadron recreation aide and event coordinator. “The ones who have already run through want to do it again.”
The invitation for the event was extended across Arizona, with participants coming from the Phoenix Police Department, various CrossFit gyms and local service members.
Crawling through the mud and lifting heavy things wasn’t the only purpose of the event.
It was to give people an idea of what service members in combat do on a day-today basis and what our EOD Airmen do, said Capt. Edmund Spivak, 56th CES EOD flight commander.
“I think it’s important that the community gets to see what we do inside these closed gates when they get here,” he said. “This also raises awareness of the EOD Warrior Foundation, which supports us when we get wounded in action.”
Biringer urges the participants to also use this as a way to judge their overall fitness level.
“I hope they take away a little more respect, not just for the military side of this, but the fitness side of this,” she said, “so they can actually see that their fitness level is not what they thought it was, and they need to bump it up a bit.”
Elizabeth Zapata, a contestant in the challenge, agreed with Biringer.
“I’ve been doing CrossFit for five years,” Zapata said. “This is my first time doing this type of challenge. I had to tell myself not to quit. You just have to keep going and not stop. I have a greater respect for what they have to do physically.”
The EOD Warrior PT Challenge was a huge success, said Spivak and Biringer. So much so that there are plans to make this an annual event at Luke.
“So go out, get fit and get ready,” Biringer said. “Next year’s EOD Warrior PT Challenge could be yours to win.”