HomeNewsArticle Display

Air Force defends Alpha Warrior Inter-Service title

U.S. Air Force members pose for a photograph after winning the 2019 Alpha Warrior Inter-Service Battle Sept. 14, 2019, at the Alpha Warrior Proving Grounds, Selma, Texas.  The Army came in second place and the Navy third place. The Air Force partnered with Alpha Warrior three years ago to deliver functional fitness training to Airmen and their families. (U.S. Air Force photo by Sarayuth Pinthong)

Air Force members pose for a photograph after winning the 2019 Alpha Warrior Inter-Service Battle Sept. 14, 2019, at the Alpha Warrior Proving Grounds, Selma, Texas. The Army came in second place and the Navy took third place. The Air Force partnered with Alpha Warrior three years ago to deliver functional fitness training to Airmen and their families. (U.S. Air Force photo by Sarayuth Pinthong)

SELMA, Texas (AFNS) --

The Air Force won its second straight Alpha Warrior Inter-Service Championship over the Army and Navy Sept. 14, at Retama Park, Selma, Texas.

The grueling competition saw three, six-person teams tackling more than 30 obstacles at the Alpha Warrior Proving Ground, the same place where just two days earlier, they competed in service-specific competitions to earn a spot in the inter-service finals.

“I was here Thursday and let me tell you this is a tough course,” said Maj. Gen. Tom Wilcox, Air Force Installation and Mission Support Center commander and host of the event, during his opening remarks. “I talked to five or six athletes after (the service specific competition) and they told me this is the toughest thing they’ve ever trained for in their lives.”

The course for both days consisted of more than 30 obstacles – half of them permanent obstacles with names like pipe bombs, barrel rolls and “Alcatraz,” a three-story structure. The others were strength obstacles involving sand bags, ropes and weighted sleds.

“You’ve seen the obstacles,” Wilcox said. “You have to train, pace yourself (and) have a strategy. You have to know your strengths and weaknesses and when to turn it on and when to turn it off.”

Having that strategy came a little easier for Capt. Noah Palicia, who was more familiar with the course after the 2018 Inter-Service Battle when he was the fastest athlete in the competition.

He was again the fastest person on the course and helped secure a repeat victory for the Air Force.

Times for individual inter-service athletes were as follows:

Top Three Females
Air Force 2nd Lt. Michelle Strickland, 25 minutes, 5 seconds, from Columbus Air Force Base, Mississippi
Air Force 2nd Lt. Arielle Miller, 26 minutes, 34 seconds, from Edwards AFB, California
Air Force 2nd Lt. MaryCaitlin Dominguez, 28 minutes, 42 seconds, from Langley AFB, Virginia

Top Three Males
Air Force Capt. Noah Palicia, 21 minutes, 5 seconds, from Osan Air Base, South Korea
Army Lt. Col. Eric Palicia (brother of Capt. Noah Palicia) 22 minutes, 29 seconds, from Wiesbaden, Germany
Navy Petty Officer William Rosencrans, 25 minutes, fiveseconds, from Tokyo, Japan

“Establishing an inter-service competition two years ago, in conjunction with the Air Force’s Alpha Warrior program, was a great opportunity, said Col. Donna Turner, Air Force Services Center commander, the unit that manages the Air Force’s fitness and food programs.

“We live, work and play together with our sister services out in the field and this is a great opportunity to get together, celebrate these athletes and encourage them,” she said. “It’s a huge thing and they’re all winners from all of the athletes on Thursday to today. It’s inspiring to see everything that they’re doing to be better Soldiers, Sailors or Airmen.”

Air Force team members, the top three men and women from Thursday’s competition, were Noah Palicia, Strickland, Miller, Dominguez, 2nd Lt. Rhett Spongberg from Laughlin AFB, Texas; and Staff Sgt. Seth Golloway from Hurlburt Field, Florida.

Army team members were Eric Palicia, 1st Lt. Braden Leonardo from Joint Base San Antonio-Fort Sam Houston, Texas; 2nd Lt. Chris Gabayan from Fort Bragg, North Carolina; Maj. Nicole Solana from JB Lewis-McChord, Washington; Sgt. Bawnie Sutton with the Texas Army National Guard, Fort Hood, Texas; and Sgt. Elizabeth Cox, Texas Army National Guard in Austin.

Navy team members were Commander Timothy White from the Naval Operations Support Center in El Paso, Texas, and Petty Officers Austin Alexander from the Seal Beach Harbor Patrol Unit, California; William Rosencrans, Tokyo; and Mikala Hawkins, Corry Station, Florida.

“These are the Navy, Army and Air Force’s top athletes and we got to see them today,” Wilcox said. “For some of these athletes, this was their fifth battle in different aspects around the country. At the end of the day, the best thing that I’ve seen is all the teamwork. Taking care of each other, rooting each other on and that healthy lifestyle.”

Although at the end of the day, a trophy and bragging rights were on the line, the competition was much more than just competing on a field of battle, the AFIMSC commander said.

“It’s about functional fitness,” Wilcox said. “It’s about taking care of yourself. It’s about resiliency, but the other piece is nutrition. If you don’t prepare yourself and eat right as part of this, you will not come out and be successful.”

Stickland was in full agreement.

“(To prepare for this competition) I took every opportunity I could to at least get in the gym a couple of times a week and really push as hard as I could while there, and I think nutrition is a big part of it too,” Strickland said. She is a student pilot with not much free time to work out because of training and mandatory crew rest and is a strict vegan.

“The competition was definitely the hardest physical thing I’ve ever done, and it feels good to be rewarded,” Strickland added.

It’s that combination of fitness and fuel that perfects the human weapon system our nation needs, Turner said.

“Alpha Warrior is a great opportunity for unit cohesion, to build on functional fitness, to help build that athlete-warrior mentality and allow everyone to see that this is a holistic human performance activity,” Turner said. “It’s how we train, how we prepare (and) the nutrition that we use to fuel the human weapon system to ensure we’re able to conduct the mission for this great nation.”

As part of its Alpha Warrior program, the Air Force has set up smaller battle rigs and stations at more than 70 installations around the globe.

Palicia, whose brother was the top finisher on the Army team, is passionate about what the rigs and stations can do for Airmen at installations.

“I’ve learned so much about alternate methods to train my entire body in one workout,” he said. “I’ve also learned valuable skills to maneuver and control my body in a dynamic movement. Overall, this Alpha Warrior fitness program has improved my muscular strength, muscular endurance, ability to problem solve in a physical environment and my coordination.”

He said he understands, for many, the equipment may look a little daunting but encourages everyone, Airmen and their family members, to give it a try at their installations.

“Don’t be deterred by the look of the rig,” he said. “There are different levels and certified instructors at fitness centers who can safely coach you to accomplish the rig, and there are many workouts you can do around the rig that don’t take grip strength.”

People can learn more about Alpha Warrior equipment at their installation by visiting the fitness center or talking to unit physical training leaders.

Engage

Facebook Twitter
RT @LukeAFB: Starting the week off with a F-16 slow-mo! ✈ #slowmomonday #aviation #jets #f16 #fighterjet #usaf #sunrise https://t.co/toXXl…
RT @AETCommand: Airmen from the 29th AMU check over the first MQ-9 Reaper to be transported through ferry flight, Jan. 8, 2020, on @Holloma
RT @DeptofDefense: The cold won’t slow down the @usairforce! The Air Force is working with the @usarmyccdc to test cold weather gear and e…
RT @USAFCENT: GROUND SUPPORT | USAF Airmen assigned to the 379th AEMS worked alongside the 746th EAS to load cargo onto & launch a C-130 at…
RT @USAFHealth: #DidYouKnow, Air Force Expeditionary Medicine brings leading-edge medicine directly into battle providing injured personnel…
As he served, let us serve. Happy Martin Luther King Jr. Day. https://t.co/SuE0D4UAnI
RT @AirNatlGuard: "We talk about lining ourselves up with our sister services and joint efforts to make sure we accomplish our mission; the…
RT @AFResearchLab: The year is 1947. The @usairforce officially broke the sound barrier with the Bell X-1 aircraft. This incredible feat w…
RT @theF35JPO: Congratulations to the @AusAirForce for completing their #F35 training mission at @LukeAFB! 🇦🇺 ⚡ Learn more 🔗 https://t.co/2…
RT @CENTCOM: A French Rafale conducts nighttime air refueling with a U.S. Air Force KC-10 Extender assigned to the 380th Air Expeditionary…
RT @DeptofDefense: Jumping from a plane becomes a big step toward friendship. 301 soldiers and airmen from @USArmyReserve, @usairforce, and…
Explosive Disposal Ordnance (EOD) Airmen are often assigned to some of the most dangerous missions and perform tact… https://t.co/xYc9Ip5psn
Start this year by supporting your #Airmen in their pursuit of #resiliency. Learn about common triggers of invisibl… https://t.co/6gJSfJKvcK
RT @OHNationalGuard: The @180thFW hosted members of the Nigerian Air Force recently Officers visited the 180FW in search of #bestpractice
RT @HiAirGuard: Airmen from 154th Security Forces Squadron became first responders during a Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear…
RT @US_SOCEUR: U.S. #airmen assigned to the 352d Special Operations Wing perform maintenance on a CV-22B #Osprey aircraft in Szolnok, #Hung
RT @HQ_AFMC: The @AFResearchLab s X-60A program achieved a key developmental #milestone with the completion of integrated vehicle propulsio…
RT @DeptofDefense: If you want to get there as fast as possible, don’t stop for gas. ⛽ That’s why the @usairforce relies on airmen like Tec…
RT @DeptofDefense: Press ▶️ to learn more about @USAFCENT, the command that provides air & space warfighting capabilities to help defeat v…
Airmen with the Puerto Rico Air National Guard provide support at the “tent cities” to support Task Force South and… https://t.co/zg2yT0LqpS