388th FW, 75th ABW Airmen take on ‘Throwdown’ challenge

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah -- Eight Airmen represented the 388th Fighter Wing and 75th Air Base Wing in a fitness challenge against other first responder teams April 21 at the Salt Palace.

Two teams from Hill Air Force Base competed. One team included Brandon Charleson, Jesse Emery, Elijah Carino and Russell Poulson. Joe Lucich, Juan Mendez, Andrew Cherry and Travis Callahan formed the other team. Other competitors in the ‘FitCon Frontline Throwdown’ included a total of eight military, firefighter and law enforcement teams.

“This challenge gave us a boost in camaraderie and pride, especially with the public attention that FitCon generates,” said Charleson. “We expected competition to be high since we competed against other military teams, fire fighters and police.”

The fitness challenge consisted of deadlifts, rope climbs, shuttle runs and endurance challenges. One of the Hill AFB teams prepared for the Throwdown with CrossFit training at a local gym.

“In these types of competitions, workouts are usually either announced at short notice or not announced at all to promote general physical preparedness and ensure no one is specialized in one specific skill,” said Charleson. “We feel training for CrossFit applies to all aspects of training for the unknown and being prepared for the unknowable. The same aspects as being in the military is—being ready mentally and physically 24/7.”

The team of Lucich, Mendez, Cherry and Callahan finished third, while the team of Charleson, Emery, Carino and Poulson finished sixth.

“We anticipated a very healthy dose of competition and we got it,” said Emery.