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    445th Reserve Citizen Airman earns silver German proficiency badge

    87 APS Airman Participates in GAFPB qualifications at WPAFB, Ohio

    Photo By Master Sgt. Patrick O'Reilly | Tech. Sgt. Gabriel Clark, 87th Aerial Port Squadron ramp operations representative...... read more read more



    Story by Amanda Dick 

    445th Airlift Wing, Wright-Patterson AFB, Ohio

    One 445th Airlift Wing Reserve Citizen Airman earned the German Armed Forces Badge for Military Proficiency, or GAFPB, during a challenge held Feb. 1 through 3.

    Tech. Sgt. Gabriel Clark, 87th Aerial Port Squadron ramp operations representative, not only qualified in all the events but also secured enough points to gain the silver GAFPB badge.

    Clark, who participated in the event with friends, explained he had been interested in the GAFPB for years.

    “I enjoy physical challenges, and it looked like a fun thing to do,” the Port Dawg said. “I hadn’t seen one since college, and I wanted to hop on the opportunity, as it’s pretty rare to see on the Reserve side.”

    Chief Master Sgt. Joseph Newton, 88th Mission Support Group senior enlisted leader who helped coordinate the event, said the 88th Air Base Wing had been planning the event for a few years but due to COVID-19 had to postpone it.

    “The Air Force doesn’t have enduring physical events that challenge folks where they can show their overall level of commitment and how competitive they are,” Newton said. “A lot of our NATO partners have physical enduring events we can participate in.”

    The Armed Forces of Germany, or Bundeswehr, is one such military NATO partner that has an approved challenge where Airmen can earn and wear the badge – the GAFPB.

    The challenge consists of several events where participants must meet a minimum level to earn the badge. To progress to the main challenge, Airmen need to have completed Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear, and high yields Explosives training within a year, and Self-Aid and Buddy Care or the new Tactical Combat Casualty Care course within the last three years.

    The four main events are:
    • A 12-kilometer ruck march
    • A pistol marksmanship test
    • A 100-meter swim in uniform where participants must also tread water
    • A basic fitness test that consists of a flexed-arm hang, 1000-meter run and completing a 10-meter sprint 11 times

    Participants must finish the ruck march and meet minimum time requirements for the other events to earn the badge. In addition, scores can help them level in bronze, silver or gold.

    Chief Newton said 24 participants were badged out of the 38 who started the challenge which had been reduced from the 100 who signed up. He also praised the Airmen who helped bring it all together.

    “If it wasn’t for security forces, regarding the shooting and overall accountability for scoring, and force support, specifically the Dodge Fitness Center allowing us to use their facility for the competitions, it wouldn’t have been successful,” the senior enlisted leader explained.

    Clark said he and his friends didn’t prepare for the event outside of practicing for the marksmanship portion at the range because they focus on regularly maintaining fitness. What do his workouts look like?

    “A little bit of everything,” Clark explained. “I do lots of cardio during the week, about five to six times either running or swimming; strength training three times a week; calisthenics several times a week; and rock climbing a few times during the week. I don’t focus on one specific thing but on staying in functional shape.”

    The Port Dawg said the ruck was the most difficult and physically demanding.

    “It’s doable, but you have to know your body and pace yourself,” Clark said as he recalled how he had ice on his face once done with the ruck march. “It was a great time; I’m really happy we got out there. It was humbling for me. I crushed the swim and ruck.

    “What prevented me from gold was the flexed-arm hang because I didn’t practice ahead of time,” Clark continued. “I thought because of rock climbing I’d be fine, but those few seconds cost me getting gold. It was also the fastest ruck I’ve ever done.”

    Clark said mentality is the key for those interested in pursuing the coveted badge.

    “Be sure to take care of yourself and approach it from a foundation of fitness,” he said. “Be humble enough to know what to expect on each of the events and not think you can do it all. Approach it with a humble mindset.”



    Date Taken: 02.21.2023
    Date Posted: 02.21.2023 09:55
    Story ID: 438822

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