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Surviving Air Force Basic Training

Obstacle Course

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Surviving Air Force Basic Training

The Air Force Obstacle Course consists of 20 obstacles, designed to test your strength, endurance, and will power.

Official USAF Photo

They used to call it the Confidence Course in Air Force Basic Military Training (AFBMT). These days, if you take a drive through Lackland AFB (not that you will be driving during your stay at basic), you'll note that signs show the direction to the "Obstacle Course. This reflects the change in attitude among Air Force officials to "toughen up" Air Force basic training. The philosophy is no longer to build your confidence, but rather test your ability to overcome obstacles placed in your path.

In any event, the obstacle course is a lot of fun. Lot's of folks worry about this aspect of training, but there is no need to. I've never seen, or even heard of anyone who has failed the obstacle course. During a recent trip to Lackland, I asked a bunch of new basic training graduates, which part of basic training would be most be willing to repeat. Almost to a person, everyone answered, "The obstacle course!"

For a period of time, recruits got to visit the obstacle course twice during their stay at basic. Unfortunately, with the adding of so much additional training items, despite the extra two weeks added to basic, there is now only one visit. You'll go through the obstacle course during week #4.

The Air Force Obstacle Course consists of 20 obstacles, designed to test your strength, endurance, and will power. The course also encourages team-building, as the recruits waiting to tackle an obstacle cheer for their flight mates. Recruits climb over, under and around obstacles. Some of the course is over water, so you'll get very wet if you lose your grip. Strangely, the number of butterfingers always seems to increase in the summer, when Texas temperatures are very hot. I wonder why that is?

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