Week 8 – PFA, Career Day, AEF, Assault Course
Physical Fitness Assessment
For many of us the PFA was the final major graded obstacle between us and graduation! We did it first thing Monday morning and I made it through with no problems. If you refer back to my PT posts this is the test that counted and was uploaded to the AF fitness database so I wanted to make it count. The only difference with the process is that we did height/weight measurements the same day then we went out to the track and did the test. Another difference was that the class was divided into two major groups. One group did it early morning and the other did it late morning. I think they did this due to the large number of people testing and to decrease congestion on the track.
Career day was a day where a seasoned officer from your career field (usually a Capt/Maj) came to talk to us in one of our flight rooms or auditorium depending on how many people were in your career field. There were only a handful in my career field and and we actually had three mentors. It was interesting but not life-changing. I am a leech for information so most of what they said were things I had heard before. If you want career advice for the 13S career field (or any career field in general), continue to follow my blog. I plan to cover most if not all of the things they did. I think we had two hours blocked off for the career day and it was very relaxed so there was nothing to stress about.
AEF was one of the few events of OTS I knew something about prior to my arrival. I was pretty nervous about it for really no reason at all – I think I just didn’t really feel like getting dirty again. We had several briefings about AEF on Monday. The briefings consisted of safety, mission, overview, etc. After we finished SMT for the day we packed up and got on a bus in the evening to ship out to AEF. I think it took about an hour to get out there.
AEF week itself consisted of full day Tuesday and Wednesday, then half a day Thursday. Thursday afternoon we spent time cleaning up the camp and we were sent on buses back to the OTS complex on Thursday afternoon. The camp itself consisted of deployment tents with cots, an equipment building, and a public shower/bathroom building. We had way more amenities than enlisted Security Forces so I really had nothing to complain about. The showers were hot mostly and we had running water for hygiene. From my perspective it was great.
The basic day consisted of getting up and eating an MRE, getting your equipment, and walking out or setting up camp. Once you made it to camp it was game-time so you were back in whatever scenario they gave us. Our scenario spanned the three days so it was an evolving story line. They gave us different missions during the scenario and we all had paintball masks for safety. They had limited paintball guns so they passed them out depending on who needed them most. After the day was over we walked back to the normal camp and cleaned up then ate hot chow in the equipment barn. The DFAC had hot food in trucks and I thought it was delicious.
I was an idiot when I packed for AEF so I didn’t have my hygiene bag, I just threw it all in ziplocks. My hygiene bag definitely would have came in handy because we were in tents. We all had our cell phones in our tents and there were plenty of plug-ins to go around. The only other thing I would have brought it I had it was my own personal paintball mask. The ones they have fogged up really bad and that REALLY sucked when you were trying to perform a mission.
The assault course was a blast! I was really nervous about it but there was no need to be. We basically jogged through several obstacles and cleared them as a team of two. The course ended with the rope over the water which I am sure you have seen videos of. I had a good time.