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#1362 - 06/10/15 08:41 AM Re: Women joining Air Force Special Operations Units, your thoughts? [Re: denroy17]  
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Special tactics Airmen participate in fitness standards study

By Senior Airman Eboni Reece, 27th Special Operations Wing Public Affairs / Published June 04, 2015

CANNON AIR FORCE BASE, N.M. (AFNS) -- Nearly two dozen members of the 26th Special Tactics Squadron participated in a physical fitness study that analyzed mission requirements for battlefield Airmen.

[color;red]The physical fitness tests were part of an in-depth study to scientifically measure battlefield Airmen’s operational mission requirements to better correlate them to the Air Force’s physical training and performance standards for the special operations community.[/color]

Not to be confused with the Air Force Fitness Assessment standards that measure general health and fitness for all Airmen, these physical tasks are based upon the operational requirements of a particular Air Force specialty code -- the same standards apply to all members of an AFSC, independent of age and gender.

In support of the two-month study at Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland, Texas, Airmen from various career fields participated in tests that will be recorded and analyzed to develop and validate recommendations for occupationally specific, operationally relevant and gender-neutral physical tests and standards.

During the course of one week, members from the Air Force Fitness Testing and Standards Unit at Joint Base San Antonio-Randolph, Texas, conducted a series of tests with Airmen from the 26th STS. These tests were used to assess areas such as muscular strength, speed, endurance and agility. The studies to develop and validate physical and mental standards will provide data for the Air Force’s Women in Service Review implementation plan.

“The key crux of this is what physical fitness tests best predict operationally relevant, occupationally specific physical movements, physical patterns, and physical requirements.” explained Dr. Neil Baumgartner, a lead researcher. “We went to the career field experts, and they helped us narrow down a very broad list of requirements, down to the most arduous and critical physical tasks.”

The results from this study will provide scientific measurements regarding the physical demands for each battlefield Airman specialty. So in turn, qualification and training requirements can be more precisely correlated to the demands of the Air Force specialty.

“This scientific study was conducted to validate the closed career fields’ operational physical fitness standards,” said a member of the 26th STS participating in the study. “It is my duty to ensure the physical standards reflect the necessary operational requirements that lead to success on the battlefield in any condition, for any mission.”

Less than 1 percent of all Air Force career fields are yet to be available to women. That small percentage is comprised of six career fields that include special tactics officers, combat rescue officers, special operations weather enlisted, combat control, tactical air control party and pararescue. Although women represent 19 percent of the Air Force population, the highest of any other service, opening these few remaining career fields to all members, regardless of gender, increases the amount of available recruits for battlefield Airmen positions, as well as the Air Force’s opportunity for success.

According to the Air Education and Training Command, the Air Force’s intent is not to raise or lower any standards. If an individual meets the standards and wants to be a battlefield Airman, he or she will have the opportunity based on skill and ability, not gender.

“We welcome any Airmen, male or female, who can obtain and maintain the high standards of performance and competence that make us successful on the battlefield,” said another member of the 26th STS participating in the study. “If a person can meet the standards, maintain the pace and endure the selection process with our other candidates, then they will do just fine. In special tactics, exceeding the standard has always been the standard and that will not change.”

Since 1993, the Air Force has integrated women in combat operations by placing females in combat aircraft. Partaking in this study is just another way for the Air Force to continue to make positive changes toward gender integration in all aspects.

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I highlighted in red text so emphasis is given that the testing done at Cannon AFB is directly connected to the two-month study at Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland, Texas. Unfortunately the how it's connected is not provided in the article. However, both are connected to developing and implementing new PAST events and pass-fail standards.

#1397 - 06/16/15 11:20 AM Re: Women joining Air Force Special Operations Units, your thoughts? [Re: denroy17]  
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Female Warriors: You Can’t Have It Both Ways Girls

BY Herschel Smith 12 hours, 17 minutes ago

From reader Ned Weatherby, Liberty News Now:


Transgender mixed martial arts (MMA) fighter Fallon Fox is the target of criticism after brutally injuring an opponent.

Fox defeated Tamikka Brents just two minutes into the first round of the match. Brents suffered a damaged orbital bone, which required seven staples, and a concussion.

Brents summed it up: “I’ve never felt so overpowered ever in my life.”

“I’ve fought a lot of women,” Brents stated. “And never felt the strength I felt in a fight as I did that night. I can’t answer whether it’s because [he] was born a man or not, because I’m not a doctor,” she stated. “I can only say, I’ve never felt so overpowered ever in my life, and I am an abnormally strong female in my own right.”

The video of the Brents-Fox fight was pretty brutal: Fox threw knees to Brents face and torso right at the beginning, to kick off the fight. Brents ultimately turned her back to avoid more damage–and took almost a minute of hard strikes from Fox’s elbows and fists, before the referee stopped.

But wait? I thought women can do everything a man can do? That’s what I’m led to think about Ranger school.


It’s down to three now — three female soldiers, out of an original 19, that refuse to give up their dream of earning the coveted Army Ranger Tab.

The one female major and two female first lieutenants failed at two attempts to make it through the first phase of U.S. Army Ranger School, but the trio has still earned the respect of the gatekeepers of this grueling, two-month infantry course.

The female soldiers had been at it for 29 days when the two top leaders at Ranger School offered them a choice – start over from day one with a new class or go home.

All three agreed to start over on June 22.

“Anybody that takes a day-one recycle — be it a male or female soldier — it displays an incredible amount of grit and determination; they want to earn the Ranger Tab,” Col. David G. Fivecoat, commander of the Airborne and Ranger Training Brigade, told Military.com during a June 5 interview.

Fort Benning, Ga., held its first co-ed course of Army Ranger School on April 20. Nineteen women and 380 men were pre-screened for the combat training course.

Three of the women failed to pass the Ranger Physical Fitness Assessment, a requirement to enter Ranger School. Eight out of 16 female soldiers completed the Ranger Assessment Phase, or RAP week.

But the remaining eight females weren’t able to complete the first phase and advance to the second phase of the course. Instead, they were allowed to repeat the Darby Phase along with 101 male candidates.

Fort Benning officials announced May 29 that none of the eight passed the Darby Phase on their second attempt. Three of those females, along with five males, have been invited to start over on day one.

No female has successfully passed the Marine Infantry Officer Course either. You can’t have it both ways girls. You can’t claim unfairness if you have to fight men on the one hand, and claim you can do anything a man can do on the other.

That doesn’t pass even elementary tests of consistency. And to reiterate what I said earlier, God has made men and women differently, in case you missed that growing up.

#1407 - 06/17/15 11:46 PM Re: Women joining Air Force Special Operations Units, your thoughts? [Re: denroy17]  
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It has been proven that women can "participate" in combat missions over the past 4 or 5 years with the implementation of the cultural support teams. That being said, most of those missions are of the special operations type raid variety, meaning that the average time on the ground is probably not more than ten hours at the most. While a lot can happen in ten hours, and a lot of ground can be covered, that isn't exactly an arduous combat mission. We are talking being inserted via helicopter or ground vehicle, walking a marginal distance, completing mission, and walking back out.

These women have performed their job of communicating with women and children well in this environment. However, I doubt their ability to hang with the pack if they were ever on a mission where everyone is loaded down with extra gear, possibly conducting a multiple day mission with enemy contact expected. Operating in mountainous terrain per se, with a limited amount of water and food (whatever you can carry). I am talking about the kind of mission so tough that people are in danger of heat stroke from lack of water and sheer distance travelled. While most special operations units don't conduct missions like this on a regular basis, it certainly is far from being unheard of. In fact, CSTs are often taken off mission manifests for missions with an extreme physical demand or high likelihood of enemy contact.

All this being said, there are regular infantry units that have conducted extended length patrols on a regular basis for their entire tour of 9 mo-1 year. Even the supposed realistic nature of Ranger School cannot replicate the environment of a combat patrol. In Ranger School, food and water is a guarantee, and if the weather becomes too extreme there are protocols to mitigate risk. In a combat patrol, weather or other factors can swamp transportation and leave a unit stranded without resupply for multiple days.

This is especially the kind of thing possible with many of the style of missions conducted in Afghanistan in 2010-2011. E.G. Operation Bulldog Bite, Operation Hammer Down, Operation Moshtarak, and numerous others. Large, clearance operations in enemy territory that has rarely been set foot upon by ISAF soldiers.

The circumstances encountered in many battles and firefights fought in Afghanistan, and Iraq for that matter, make it fairly obvious that the extreme demands of war upon the individual soldier have not become easier. It seems to me that this reality falls upon many deaf ears. Society can advance technologically and culturally, but just because life is easier and less offensive for everyone in America, doesn't mean our enemies give a damn. The Taliban, ISIS, Al Qaeda, or whoever will fight America with the same vigor as America's enemies of old. The reality of warfare does not change just because society wants it to change to please the delicate sensibilities of a select few and the outright ignorance of a large swath of the population. While there are certainly women that exist that can hack it, I don't think just for the sake of equality we should open up a career field with easily the most punishing and unforgiving degree of physical hardship, which most physically fit men couldn't hang with on their best day.

In my opinion, most of the people who want women in combat arms don't even know what they are asking for. It seems that many of these advocates for women in combat arms have no idea the realities faced by troops on the ground. The worst day one could experience in Ranger School is so many levels of magnitude easier than the worst day one could experience in war zone. I don't think a woman passing Ranger School would prove a damn thing. People can argue that there are women who have successfully participated in combat, but I feel like most of those cases were more due to a coincidental necessity than anything else. I would like to see a woman do a 10+ kilometer foot movement with 100+ pounds of gear, then fight an enemy force for multiple hours. Women in combat arms is a silly idea based purely on ideology, and the idea itself was probably thought up in a college class room by a naive professor.

#1409 - 06/19/15 02:32 PM Re: Women joining Air Force Special Operations Units, your thoughts? [Re: denroy17]  
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Originally Posted By: California275
It has been proven that women can "participate" in combat missions over the past 4 or 5 years with the implementation of the cultural support teams.
Unfortunately the implementation of the culture support teams is more connected to military engagement more so than being there contributing as a combatant against an armed force or repelling the attack of an armed force.

Quote:
Military engagement (DOD) Routine contact and interaction between individuals or elements of the Armed Forces of the United States and those of another nation's armed forces, or foreign and domestic civilian authorities or agencies to build trust and confidence, share information, coordinate mutual activities, and maintain influence.
Source: JP 3-0


There are more suitable examples such as the Battle of Nasiriyah, March 23, 2003, which was the result of a combat support unit, convoy, getting lost and going into area it was not intended to be in and getting ambushed. The emphasis is on lost and ambush to distinguish from the combat action being planned and well-ordered attack against a local objective.

Further participation in combat missions has much elusiveness of what the being there contribution is. Combat mission too often is credited simply as any activity conducted in a region or area being declared as an area of military operations involving armed conflict. No demarcation is made between indirect fire (IED, mortar, rocket, missile, artillery) and close engagement direct fire bring with it higher potential for hand-to-hand combat.

Being embedded in a tactical combat force conducting military engagement activities lacking planned or deliberate purpose or intent to attack an objective or to repel an attacking enemy force compromises the proof being offered.

No declaration of war was made against the indigenous civilian population thus the military engagement in the region involving the participation of culture support teams lacked intent of movement in the objective area to seek out and engage the enemy in combat (a fire fight).

#1410 - 06/20/15 10:48 AM Re: Women joining Air Force Special Operations Units, your thoughts? [Re: denroy17]  
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Very true. A lot of the problem with people advocating for women in combat arms is that they draw from statistics which say X amount of women have been involved in combat and performed successfully. Many of the individuals in the Army who receive either Combat Infantry Badges or the soft skill (does anyone else give out combat badges?) equivalent have done so just by standing around and taking indirect fire, or being hit by some sort of IED attack, which requires only the universal skill of being in the wrong place at the wrong time. It certainly is very different from gearing up and stepping out into the enemies' back yard for the sole purpose of closing with and destroying.

#1454 - 06/28/15 09:38 PM Re: Women joining Air Force Special Operations Units, your thoughts? [Re: denroy17]  
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Not SOF specific but military in general. One deployment with a mixed unit...there was not one female in my unit that was not sleeping with at least one male in my unit and several with more than one. 4 divorced their spouses upon redeployment and the person they hooked up with while gone. 1 female was married to a male in our unit and started seeing another while we were their and they are married now. Right or wrong, there were lots of distractions.

Second deployment with an all male combat arms unit their wasn't really any of that going on. We didn't have to find a separate space for a female to sleep, shower etc when outside the wire. Gotta take a leak on patrol you whip it out next to the truck or sometimes standing on the truck.

Not saying that women shouldn't be allowed to attend Ranger School for leadership training. They have been allowed in Sapper School for quite a while. The few tabbed women I know are legitimate bad asses that performed right up there with the dudes. If they can meet the standard without lowering it, then let them. However, I think 75th, SF, Battlefield Airman, MARSOC, SEALS, etc should be integrated.

That being said, I've seen the ***** that women in the Army put up with. The creepy group of dudes(me included) that haven't seen a female in months walking behind her on the boardwalk at KAF because they smell amazing. One of my friends telling me she had never felt like such a piece of meat before just from dudes looking at her on deployment. My sons will be encouraged to join and my daughters will be discouraged. Maybe I am a misogynist, but I would rather my male children to go through and see what I've seen over my daughters. I would prefer neither.

Check out think operator after 10 months in Afghanistan.


Sorry for any typos...my 8 month old keeps wanting to add his opinions.

Last edited by pkt1213; 06/28/15 09:39 PM.
#1455 - 06/28/15 10:00 PM Re: Women joining Air Force Special Operations Units, your thoughts? [Re: pkt1213]  
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Originally Posted By: pkt1213
However, I think 75th, SF, Battlefield Airman, MARSOC, SEALS, etc should be integrated.


Shouldn't....shouldn't

#1460 - 06/29/15 02:38 AM Re: Women joining Air Force Special Operations Units, your thoughts? [Re: denroy17]  
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Get some lessons on how to photoshop, this attempt of putting a beard on a female is pathetic.

The sapper tab was established effective 28 June 2004. Earning it requires completion of a 28 day course that didn't exist prior to 1985. All Sapper Leader Course students must meet the Army Physical Fitness Test (APFT) standards while scoring a minimum of 210 points and height and weight standards IAW AR 600-9 for their age group.

The Ranger Tab was approved 30 October 1950. Not only are the fitness standards been a bit more physically demanding than the APFT standards but the Ranger school is more than double the training days (61 days) required for award of the sapper tab.

Point being, asserting "The few [sapper] tabbed women I know are legitimate bad asses that performed right up there with the dudes'" isn't saying much about anybody who wears the sapper tab.

Further being discussed here are career military occupation specific human performance standards and not one time completion of a course fitness standards.

Sapper Leader Course Pamphlet - United States Army

#1462 - 06/29/15 10:08 AM Re: Women joining Air Force Special Operations Units, your thoughts? [Re: denroy17]  
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SMA: Big changes coming to Best Warrior Competition

... Also, for the first time in the event's history, competitors who don't meet basic Army standards will be eliminated from the competition. A soldier who fails the physical fitness test or land navigation will be immediately sent home. ... this year, instead of going to a lane and being asked to complete a task, competitors will be required to perform various tasks under fire or in simulated combat scenarios.

First female selected as Best Warrior's Soldier of Year

WASHINGTON (Army News Service, Oct. 25, 2010) -- For the first time since its inception nine years ago, a female Soldier has claimed the title of Soldier of the Year for 2010's Best Warrior Competition.

#1465 - 06/29/15 02:56 PM Re: Women joining Air Force Special Operations Units, your thoughts? [Re: Yukon]  
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Originally Posted By: Yukon
Further being discussed here are career military occupation specific human performance standards and not one time completion of a course fitness standards.


I'm sorry you didn't like my Duck Dynasty clip art beard. My buddies and I were discussing this, this weekend and one of them made the crack about how are they going to grow an operator beard.

I didn't state the thesis of my post. I 100% agree that meeting the standard at X training or school (like Ranger) means you are prepared to be in a combat unit (like Ranger Bat). There is a time that you have to endure it and you know it will be over in X amount of days.

My first 2 paragraphs were just a comparison between an integrated unit and a non and a few of the issues that come up.

I am actually astonished that they would allow people to attend and stay in the Best Warrior Comp that couldn't pass an APFT. I don't know if we consider anyone moving from company level that isn't at least a 270. Basic standards people.

I won't get in to a pissing contest about SLC vs Ranger School. Both are extremely mentally and physically demanding leadership schools. 49 PU and 59 SU on the min standards for Ranger is 70 points in both events. We all know that meeting standard doesn't get you anywhere.

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