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Yorktown Natives Plan to Ruck 830-Miles with Teammates to Honor Fallen
Submitted by Jaclyn Pienkowski, 1st Lt., USAF

Ruck830 imageHURLBURT FIELD, Fla. – Two Yorktown, Virginia natives will ruck 830- miles across five states with 18 other Air Force Special Tactics teammates in honor of the 20 Air Force Special Tactics Airmen who have been killed in action since 9/11 and their Gold Star Families.

U.S. Air Force Technical Sgts. Thomas Keefe and Daniel Cutrell, both natives of Yorktown, volunteered to ruck with their teammates in honor of U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Dylan J. Elchin, a Special Tactics combat controller who was killed in Afghanistan on Nov. 27, 2018.

Elchin’s vehicle hit an improvised explosive device in Ghazni Province, Afghanistan, while he was deployed in support of OPERATION Freedom’s Sentinel, also killing U.S. Army Capt. Andrew Ross and U.S. Army Sgt. 1st Class Eric Emond. U.S. Army Sgt. Jason McClary died later as a result of injuries sustained from the IED.

The Special Tactics Airmen departed Medina Annex on Feb. 22 at 2:00 a.m. and they are scheduled to arrive at Hurlburt Field, Mar. 4 at 1:00 p.m.

Special Tactics Airmen begin their training at Medina Annex, together, and become combat ready upon graduation of the Special Tactics Training Squadron at Hurlburt Field, thus the march route mimics the training passage our Airmen endure. The journey takes the Airmen across five states and 830 miles.

Historically, Air Force Special Tactics plans a memorial march when a member is killed in action. This is the 5th Special Tactics Memorial March since 2009 and since it originated as the "Tim Davis Memorial March.” The march was renamed to honor all fallen Special Tactics Airmen in 2011 to the "Special Tactics Memorial March.”

The ruck marchers are composed of 10 teams of two Special Tactics Airmen. These Airmen will begin the march by rucking the first 4.7 miles together.

From there, each team will ruck an average of 12 miles per leg and alternate teams. Each day, the teams will ruck a combined 70 miles to complete the 830-mile journey over 11 days.

A memorial baton inscribed with each of the fallen Special Tactics Airman’s names will be carried throughout the way to honor the fallen.

Today, there are about 1,000 Special Tactics operators who combine the core skills of special operations forces with the tactical integration of the world’s greatest airpower, working to find unique solutions to ground problems. They are the most decorated community in the Air Force since the end of the Vietnam War, with one Medal of Honor, ten Air Force Crosses, and 44 Silver Stars.

Special Tactics is U.S. Special Operation Command’s tactical air and ground integration force, and the Air Force’s special operations ground force, leading Global Access, Precision Strike, Personnel Recovery and Battlefield Surgery operations on the battlefield.

A disciplined special operations force of hand-selected Airmen leading joint operations, Special Tactics Airmen are deliberate in their thoughts and actions to deliver solutions to the nation’s most complex military challenges. They conduct global air, space, and cyber-enabled special operations across the spectrum of conflict to prepare for, fight, and win our nation’s wars.

For live updates and to track the Special Tactics memorial ruck march, please go to: http://raceday.me/v/75ea11


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